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IOS 12 will block police hacking tools - Apple

16 June 2018

However, users will be able to charge their device by plugging in the charger in the port. That has helped solve a series of cases in recent months, including by getting into an iPhone to find videos of a suspect sexually assaulting a child.

Law enforcement agencies often attempt to hack phones of criminals, as was the case in the United States authorities attempted to get into the phone of a mass shooter in 2016, an action which was blocked by Apple.

For example, companies like GrayShift and Cellebrite offer USB devices that enable customers to thwart existing security measures in iOS, and in particular a set number of password guesses before being permanently locked out of an iPhone or the data is erased.

Apple has officially banned law enforcement bodies from cracking iPhones and accessing data stored on it by closing a technical loophole which has been exploited over the years by cops. This has allowed law enforcement officials and others to easily gain access to pretty much any iPhone. Tech firms, he said, shouldn't have to "weaken security for millions of innocent users, just to keep one exploit working longer".

The new security feature, which has already been tested on beta versions of iOS, will be available in future iPhone models.

Since iPhone hacks and unlocks usually work through this port, Apple's decision to restrict its use will severely impact all such devices being sold by the likes of GrayShift and Cellebrite to the government authorities worldwide.

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The fix, however, may reignite a firestorm of words that occurred in 2016 between Apple and the Federal Bureau of Investigation over accessing the iPhone of San Bernardino mass-shooter Syed Rizwan Farook.

Apple's upgraded charging circuitry will allegedly come from Power Integrations, which it intends to use as its sole supplier of charging components.

"At Apple, we put the customer at the center of everything we design", the company said in a statement.

Michael Sachs, an assistant district attorney in Manhattan, said his office uses workarounds-he declined to specify which-to access locked iPhones several times a week. Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore told the Times he is "upset that Apple planned to close such a useful investigative avenue".

Law enforcement may be angered by this but private companies are not obligated to make law enforcement's job easier.

The encryption on smartphones only applies to data stored exclusively on the phone. Authorities have connected another device running special software to the port to access information on the phones.

IOS 12 will block police hacking tools - Apple