With advancing technology, cops are also getting smarter — they are finding new methods to break into the iPhones of suspects in order to obtain information.
Till now, cops and law enforcement agencies used hacking devices like GreyKey to get past the passcode and break open the device. However, Apple has found a workaround to prevent cops from breaking in your device.
Forbes’ Thomas Brewster, who closely covers the usage of GreyKey boxes used by the law enforcement agencies, has uncovered that iOS 12 has made all the hacking tools worthless.
As per his report, Grayshift’s $15,000 tool that used brute force to correctly guess the password is now only capable of extracting partial data including some unencrypted files and metadata that is of no use for cops.
The device can now perform only “partial extraction” on all the iPhones running iOS 12. A police officer from Rochester Police Department in Minnesota named John Sherwin has confirmed the iPhone cracking through GrayKey is not possible now.
He also said, “Give it time and I am sure a ‘workaround’ will be developed … and then the cycle will repeat. Someone is always building a better mousetrap, whether it’s Apple or someone trying to defeat device security.”
Interestingly, many police agencies relied on the devices made by GrayShift and other such companies. In fact, a former Apple security engineer is one of the founders of Grayshift and you cannot view the website of the company without getting access to the credentials that are only provided to government and forensic agencies. This further confirms that Apple has found a way to stop the functioning of such devices on iPhones.
However, nobody knows as to what is preventing the hacking devices from cracking open the iPhones.
Apple has introduced a couple of security-related features in iOS 12 including “USB Restricted Mode” that disables the lightning pot for establishing a connection with USB accessories after your iPhone has not been unlocked for more than an hour.