iOS 12 Beta Increases Security, but may stifle Law Enforcement

Apple is testing a new feature that will stifle law enforcement attempts to decrypt iOS devices. In previous iOS versions, data transfer over USB is enabled, even when the screen is locked. If the device is being connected to a machine for the first time, it must be unlocked. The USB can however be used to guess pin codes for unlocking the phone. A previous version of the iOS Beta had USB device lockout set for one week. I’ve posted some thoughts about this here:

The article linked below covers the specifics of the new USB restricted mode included in the iOS Beta:

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/zm8ya4/apple-iphone-usb-restricted-mode-cellebrite-grayshift

Joseph Cox also posted some thoughts noting that this move may hurt law enforcement and reinvigorate the “going dark” debate.