IOS 11.4.1 brings USB Restricted Mode but it has a bug

Angelica Greene
July 10, 2018

The accompanying explanation gives no indication of its real objective: "Unlock iPhone to allow USB accessories to connect when it has been more than hour since your iPhone was locked", it says underneath a sliding bar. Apple "just" released the USB Restricted Mode with the release of iOS 11.4.1 earlier today. The researchers have spotted that it can be compromised using Apple's native Lightning to USB 3 Camera adapter that is available at $39 (roughly Rs. 2,700).

Using USB accessories to defeat the data port lock also works in Apple's iOS 12 beta, Afonin said. This means if you haven't turned the USB Accessories toggle on, and it has been more than an hour since your Apple device was locked, a USB accessory won't be able to communicate with your device. In order to let the accessory connect, you have to unlock the iPhone with a passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID. Once an iPhone has been locked, a countdown begins before USB Restricted Mode activates. The trick, then, is to attach a USB accessory to the port as soon as possible after stealing (or seizing) the iPhone, in order to stop it from locking down. "In other words, we have found no obvious way to break USB Restricted Mode once it is already engaged".

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iOS 11.4.1 includes bug fixes and improves the security of your iPhone or iPad.

While Apple might fix the flaw in the next iOS 11.4 release or in the iOS 12, Afonin doesn't consider it as a severe vulnerability and calls it an "oversight". The Grayshift boxes plug into the Lightning port and remove prolonged delays between PIN code attempts, allowing law enforcement (or criminals) to brute-force an unlock. In future iOS releases, it may make sense for Apple to make the policies more stringent, by only prolonging the timeouts for accessories that have been previously authorised as trustworthy. The device can then be accessed once again through USB.

Other reports by GizPress

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