We talked a lot here about the USB Restricted Mode, a security feature that appeared in the first betas of iOS 11.4, then disappeared and returned improved in the first beta of iOS 12.
For those who did not follow the case, it is basically a direct response to the unlocking tools of iPhones and iPads, such as GrayKey, which prevents the synchronization of an iOS device via USB if it is blocked for a certain period of time or more effectively rendering these tools unusable and making it harder for bandits and, let's say, abusive police forces.
So far, Apple was keeping very quiet on the subject, but that has changed: the company has finally confirmed to Reuters the presence of the feature on iOS 12, adding its justification for including it and reinforcing its unwavering security position in the first place for its devices.
Ma has even stated that one of the tool's intentions is precisely to restrict access to iPhones and the company by legal agencies that abuse their powers and, however much the speech may be interpreted as a right-wing crusader in the FBI, the company added that the main focus in countries where legal protections for privacy are less defined than in the United States.
We are constantly strengthening security protections in all Apple products to help our consumers defend themselves against hackers, identity thieves and intruders who want access to your personal data. We have the utmost respect for law enforcement agencies and do not design our security improvements in order to frustrate your efforts to do your jobs.
As we already know, the time that an iOS device needs to stay locked for the tool to enter action has dropped from a week (on iOS 11.4) to just an hour in the first beta of iOS 12 ie, after 60 minutes locked, it is necessary to type the device password so that it establishes the initial communication protocols via USB. Conclusion: Apple is not taking the matter lightly.
IOS 12 should only reach the general public in mid / late September, so depending on the development progress of this feature there is a small possibility that it will already be enabled on iOS 11.4.1 which is currently in its second test compilation .
It remains to be seen, now, if the tool will be effective in its purpose as Apple intends or if companies like Cellebrite and Grayshift will come up with ways to go over it. We will keep an eye on this cat and mouse game.
Update by Rafael Fischmann 07/09/2018 s 15:15
IOS 11.4.1 is out today for all users and brings the promised layer of security.