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Apple steps up encrytion to thwart police cracking of iPhones

14 June 2018

It prevents other devices-personal computers, for example-from accessing data on the iPhone via its Lightning port an hour after a phone is last unlocked.

"We have the greatest respect for law enforcement, and we don't design our security improvements to frustrate their efforts to do their jobs", Apple told Reuters. While this will likely make it more hard for law enforcement officials to access iPhones, it could result in the purchase of more GrayKey devices as they look to get them closer to where seizures occur.

Apple said the new features are not created to frustrate law enforcement but prevent any bypassing of encryption by good or bad actors.

Apple representatives said the change in settings will protect customers in countries where law enforcement seizes and tries to crack phones with fewer legal restrictions than under US law.

On Wednesday, Apple said it was aware of the vulnerability and chose to patch it.

Apple has been at the center of such debates since it declined Federal Bureau of Investigation requests to unlock an iPhone 5C used by a gunman in the San Bernardino, California, shooting in 2015 that left 14 people dead.

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The announcement is one more piece of Apple's effort to position itself as a champion of user privacy, an approach that has put it at odds with law enforcement in the US.

Apparently, there was speculation that Apple would end up using the USB-C port on its 2018 iPhone lineup but the sources claim that since Apple is still in the redesign phase, it would not be able to use the technology on its upcoming iPhones.

Apple will address a popular law-enforcement tool for breaking into iPhones, the company announced Wednesday. "There is a method by which the security of the device can be compromised by devices law enforcement can purchase".

Apple CEO Tim Cook defended the company's decision saying, among other arguments, that weakening encryption gives criminals and other malicious actors an easier way to break into phones.

Since Microsoft has been doing the unthinkable lately by adding Unix/Linux capabilities to Windows, the adoption of USB Type-C in Apple's MacBook series arrived like a rather small surprise. Last month, the Washington Post reported that the true number was less than a third as high.

Apple steps up encrytion to thwart police cracking of iPhones