The latest move by the Cupertino-based behemoth in its current war of words with the National Security Agency, FBI, and other law enforcement and intelligence organizations over encryption is something new. It is a feature that switches off USB data authorization on locked devices operating on iOS.
As per various media reports, researchers lately found a feature dubbed as “USB Restricted Mode” concealed in the code for iOS 11.4. When the mode is turned on, an iOS gadget such as an iPhone will stop all data authorization through the Lightning port after not being paired to a computer or not being unlocked. Charging will carry on functioning.
As per the report, the “USB Restricted Mode” feature is in fact very easy. Once the iPad or iPhone is upgraded to the newest iOS version supporting the function, the gadget will stop the USB data connection through the Lightning port after the iPhone and iPad has been unlocked.
It is easy to guess as to why Apple thought fit to roll out the feature. Authorities have been racing to buy encryption-breaking devices (Graykey) produced by Grayshift, a firm that allegedly has an earlier Apple engineer in the employee list. Graykey machines are developed to plug into Lightning port of an iPhone and automatically decrypt them over a matter of days employing an unidentified vulnerability. This essentially gives authorities the long-wished shortcut into encrypted iOS gadgets that Apple has declined to offer.
Recently, speaking of Apple, it is rumored that the new flagship 2018 iPhone by Apple will have the biggest screen ever in any mass market handset. Remarkably, the rumor also claimed that this supposed “iPhone X Plus” will have a design similar to the present 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus. In addition, iPhone X Plus will just be a bit thicker (0.2 mm) in spite of cramming all this features in it.