IOS 11.4.1's New Passcode Cracking Prevention Feature Can Be Bypassed: ElcomSoft

Enter your passcode tap switch to Off position

In addition to the expected fixes and improvements, iOS 11.4.1 brings over a feature that's called USB Restricted Mode, whose objective is to prevent those iPhone hacking machines that law enforcement is using to bypass the screen lock from hacking iOS devices. This seems like a ideal solution, but security researchers from ElcomSoft have pointed out a significant shortcoming. Here's how to enable this feature. However, the company found a flaw in Apple's new implementation of the USB Restricted Mode. This new mode, which is buried under your passcode settings, adds additional security to your iOS device by preventing USB accessories to connect with your iPhone or iPad if the device has been locked for more than one hour.

However, if the device is connected to a Lightning accessory - including one that has never been connected before - the one-hour countdown timer to initiate USB Restricted Mode will be reset. The workaround requires a Lightning connector accessory, such as Apple's $39 Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter, but is expected to work with numerous other Lightning accessories, as well.

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The group was exploring the Tham Luang Cave after a June 23 practice when monsoon rains flooded the cave and blocked their exit. Two of the boys are being treated for potential lung infections - but they're expected to make a full recovery.


Apple's iPhones are extremely secure once you've used TouchID or FaceID and a passcode to lock them down, but there was a loophole with specialized USB tools plugging into the lightning port. If you've got accessories that you want to continue working after your iPhone has been sitting locked for awhile, you can toggle the option on to remove the hour limit. As the company says though, it is likely an oversight from Apple which will perhaps be fixed in a future point release of iOS 11.4 or when iOS 12 releases later this year.

A really interesting tidbit from the ElcomSoft report is that since iOS 11.4, Grayshift's boxes are already weakened significantly. However, Apple had not released the details on its security page at the time of this posting, but expect them to appear sometime soon. They have already issued an update of their own. After all, if you're listening to music with your iPhone hooked up to a USB audio interface, you don't want the music to stop after an hour, and to re-authenticate before you can continue.

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We will have to wait and see how Apple responds to the situation.

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