Apple is adding a new feature that could block methods police use to download data from locked iPhones.
Last week, at Apple’s annual developer conference, the company unveiled the latest version of its operating system for iPhone and iPad, iOS 12. In addition to tools to break your iPhone addiction, “Memojis,” and group FaceTime, Apple is also rolling out a new security feature in the update called USB Restricted Mode, which prevents tools used by law enforcement to unlock devices, reports Motherboard. The company acknowledged to Reuters that the feature was designed in part for users in countries where phones are easily obtained by police and criminals.
In an emailed statement, an Apple spokesperson wrote, “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 also said it has staff available 24/7 who are dedicated to assisting law enforcement with information requests. The company has long challenged the FBI’s request to break into a passcode-protected iPhone used by one of the San Bernadino shooters.
With USB Restricted Mode on, iPhone users will need to enter their passcode every hour to maintain a USB connection for data transfer.
A passcode is currently required when transferring data from an iPhone to a computer through iTunes. But mobile forensic firms figured out how to work around the need for a passcode and transfer data from the iPhone without it.
The new USB Restricted Mode on iOS 12 closes that loophole. When this feature is turned on, the phone’s Lightning port is disabled for data…