IOS 11.4.1 brings USB Restricted Mode but it has a bug

Open Settings tap Face ID & Passcode

Open Settings tap Face ID & Passcode

Apple recently introduced a new feature in iOS 11.4.1 called USB Restricted Mode, which is meant to block devices that can crack the iPhone's passcodes and unlock them.

However, security firm ElcomSoft has discovered a way to disable the timer, and it's ridiculously easy - you just need to plug an accessory into the iPhone's Lightning port, and the timer is disabled. Significant but not listed: USB Restricted Mode, a change originally included in the iOS 12 beta that makes it more hard for anyone, including authorities, to break into the iPhone through the Lightning port.

Afonin's method works by extending the one-hour countdown of Apple's USB Restricted Mode.

Tap the switch next to USB Accessories under Allow Access When Locked to put it in the white "off" position (if it's not there already) if you want USB Restricted Mode activated.

It is to be noted that one can't break the USB Restricted Mode once it is already engaged.

It has been seen that the lock doesn't get affected with Apple Lightning to 3.5mm jack adapter, though the one-hour countdown was reset through the official Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter.

Most (if not all) USB accessories fit the objective - for example, Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter from Apple. "Prior to iOS 11.4.1, isolating the iPhone inside a Faraday bag and connecting it to a battery pack would be enough to safely transport it to the lab", he concludes. Once complete, you will be notified and will have the ability to set the device up as an entirely new device or restore it from a compatible iTunes or iCloud backup.

Over the past year or so, we've seen more companies develop ways to unlock locked iPhones for law enforcement, and chances are we would've seen more in the future unless Apple took steps to address this issue. This is the fifteenth update since iOS 11 released last September. Users on iOS 11.3.1 or lower are advised to stay where they are.

Afonin notes that the apparent loophole is "probably nothing more than an oversight", but it's a pretty important oversight given the amount of noise Apple was making about the new security feature in the first place. Users can also manually enable USB Restricted Mode by triggering the SOS mode-holding an iPhone's sleep/wake button and either volume button.

Apple hasn't commented yet, but we can assume that a patch will be landing soon.

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