Apple has confirmed that it will build in USB restricted mode in an upcoming iOS version, where the Lightning port can only be used for charging after an hour. That makes various tools to penetrate iPhones and iPads unusable.
USB Restricted Mode in iOS 12 Beta
With the mode, the iPhone or iPad will no longer allow data connection through the Lightning port if the device was last unlocked more than an hour ago. The option is disabled by default in the iOS 12 beta.
Apple isn’t saying which iOS version “usb restricted mode” will be in, but it’s been in betas for 11.3, 11.4 and now in iOS 12 beta. Techcrunch is betting it will be a feature in iOS 12, which will be released this fall for all iPhones since the 5s and all iPads since the Air. The mode renders hacker tools like Grayshift and Cellebrite useless, as they can bruteforce code from iOS devices by connecting the iPhone or iPad via a cable to allow more attempts.
Apple says the option, now disabled by default in beta, is for customer security. “We are constantly strengthening security in every Apple product to help customers defend themselves against hackers, identity thieves and breaches of their personal data.” The company emphasizes that the move is not intended to thwart government agencies, which often use hacker tools to break into Apple devices. “We have great respect for law enforcement and we don’t design our security enhancements to make their job more difficult.”
Apple unveiled iOS 12 last week. The developer beta is available to install on all devices that will receive the upgrade this fall. The company mentions this fall as the period in which the release will take place, but it is unclear when exactly that will be. Previous versions of iOS came out in September.
Watch Back: iOS 12 Preview in Video