Apple Didn’t Mention iOS 12’s Killer Feature At The WWDC Keynote: USB Restricted Mode

Apple mentioned all sorts of cool new features when they talked about the upcoming iOS 12 at the World Wide Developer’s Conference keynote yesterday. But one feature flew completely under the radar. That feature is called USB Restricted Mode. What it is meant to do is to force iOS users to unlock the iPhone when connecting it to a USB/Lightning cable or device if it hasn’t been unlocked for over an hour. If you don’t unlock the phone within that timeframe, the USB/Lightning port becomes inactive for anything other than charging purposes.

So, what’s the big deal about that? Well, a device like the GrayKey which has become the new cool toy for law enforcement to get to crack iPhones relies on USB/Lightning connections to do that. Take away the ability for GrayKey to communicate via USB/Lightning and the iPhone becomes a whole lot more secure because you can’t crack something you can’t communicate with. And you can copy and paste that for anyone else who does anything similar like the tools that Cellebrite offers for example.

Now law enforcement is likely to freak when they realize this. So you can fully expect that the FBI and others will come out with another round of how evil Apple is and you can also expect that the demands for backdoors in phones and tablets will start up again. But I doubt that Apple cares. I’ve seen a feature like this on and off in various iOS betas for a while now. But I think that Apple clearly believes that it is time to ship it to the masses. Thus if you care about the security of your iPhone, you should hope that this feature makes it into the final version of iOS 12.

 

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One Response to “Apple Didn’t Mention iOS 12’s Killer Feature At The WWDC Keynote: USB Restricted Mode”

  1. […] of iOS 12’s features at its recent Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), but not this one, […]

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