Apple's iOS 11.4.1 update makes USB Restricted Mode active

Posted:
in iOS edited July 9
With iOS 11.4.1, Apple has quietly turned on USB Restricted Mode, a feature designed to make it harder for hackers -- as well as spy and law enforcement agencies -- to gain physical access to iPhones and iPads.

USB Restricted Mode on the iPhone X


A new "USB Accessories" toggle is present under the "Face ID/Touch ID & Passcode" menu. The option is off by default, meaning than if a device has been locked for an hour or more, iOS won't allow physical data connections.

"At Apple, we put the customer at the center of everything we design. We're constantly strengthening the security protections in every Apple product to help customers defend against hackers, identity thieves and intrusions into their personal data," the company said in an earlier statement to AppleInsider about the feature's planned inclusion in iOS 12. "We have the greatest respect for law enforcement, and we don't design our security improvements to frustrate their efforts to do their jobs."

Although Apple has denied any intention at interfering with law enforcement, USB Restricted Mode will inevitably make work harder for police departments and third-party forensics firms like Cellebrite and GrayShift, at least until they develop new tools or successfully pressure governments into mandating backdoors.

Cellebrite in particular is believed to be the firm the FBI used to crack the iPhone 5c of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, allowing both Apple and the U.S. Department of Justice to avoid a protracted battle over whether the former could be forced to code a backdoor into iOS.

A number of officials in U.S. spy and law enforcement agencies have complained that internet communications are "going dark," thanks to the growing use of end-to-end encryption, which prevents even the companies employing it from intercepting data. Some politicians have called for backdoors, though nothing has come of those efforts so far.

Apple and other encryption supporters have countered by arguing that privacy is a right, and that any backdoor is bound to be discovered by malicious entities or abused even by well-meaning ones, given mass surveillance efforts by the FBI and NSA.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    macseekermacseeker Posts: 379member
    Good for Apple.
    magman1979kingofsomewherehotjeffharrisjbdragonapplefanprobshankjony0
  • Reply 2 of 18
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 711member
    Thanks Apple. 
    magman1979kingofsomewherehotjeffharrisjbdragonbshankjony0
  • Reply 3 of 18
    dr. xdr. x Posts: 163member
    Excellent Apple!

    one small change, the word BE is missing from the following paragraph. 

    Cellebrite in particular is believed to the firm the FBI used to crack the iPhone 5c of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, allowing both Apple and the U.S. Department of Justice to avoid a protracted battle over whether the former could be forced to code a backdoor into iOS.

    It should be: 

    Cellebrite in particular is believed to “BE” the firm the FBI used to crack the iPhone 5c of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, allowing both Apple and the U.S. Department of Justice to avoid a protracted battle over whether the former could be forced to code a backdoor into iOS.
    magman1979unbeliever2
  • Reply 4 of 18
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,159member

    A new "USB Accessories" toggle is present under the "Face ID/Touch ID & Passcode" menu. The option is off by default, meaning than if a device has been locked for an hour or more, iOS won't allow physical data connections.


    Ok, so I think this means two thing: if the toggle is to the left, then the DISABLING function is ON, and you have to unlock the iPhone to connect. And it means that if the toggle is to the left, and not green, (and thus the USB DISENABLING feature is ON) then you have to unlock your iPhone before you can use it in carplay mode. Right?

    Anyone know if moving the toggle to the RIGHT to disable the disabling feature changes the text? It might ENABLE us to remember how to DISABLE the enabling feature.
  • Reply 5 of 18
    viclauyycviclauyyc Posts: 291member
    eightzero said:

    A new "USB Accessories" toggle is present under the "Face ID/Touch ID & Passcode" menu. The option is off by default, meaning than if a device has been locked for an hour or more, iOS won't allow physical data connections.


    Ok, so I think this means two thing: if the toggle is to the left, then the DISABLING function is ON, and you have to unlock the iPhone to connect. And it means that if the toggle is to the left, and not green, (and thus the USB DISENABLING feature is ON) then you have to unlock your iPhone before you can use it in carplay mode. Right?

    Anyone know if moving the toggle to the RIGHT to disable the disabling feature changes the text? It might ENABLE us to remember how to DISABLE the enabling feature.
    Sounds like the disable is active by default, means no USB access after 1 hours. When button is on the left, the USB access is disabled. 
    fastasleep
  • Reply 6 of 18
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 614member
    While I agree that increased security is good, I think a bit much is being made of the USB Restricted Mode. Honestly, how many of us need to worry about Cellebrite hacking our phones?
  • Reply 7 of 18
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    MplsP said:
    how many of us need to worry about Cellebrite hacking our phones?
    All of us. Do you not understand the importance of privacy?
    jbdragonapplefanpro
  • Reply 8 of 18
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,289member
    MplsP said:
    While I agree that increased security is good, I think a bit much is being made of the USB Restricted Mode. Honestly, how many of us need to worry about Cellebrite hacking our phones?
    "It’s not that I have something to hide. I have nothing I want you to see." — The Girl, Anon (2018)
    jbdragontallest skilunbeliever2airmanchairmanairmanchairmanbshank
  • Reply 9 of 18
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,867member
    MplsP said:
    While I agree that increased security is good, I think a bit much is being made of the USB Restricted Mode. Honestly, how many of us need to worry about Cellebrite hacking our phones?
    You lose your phone or someone steals your phone, and now a Criminal with the right know how can break into your phone. A phone with personal pictures on it maybe. Or your banking into. Personal mail, and so on and so on. If you ant to just leave your phone unlocked, go right on ahead. Getting mugged because of your iPhone was getting up there to be pretty popular at one point until Apple locked up phones like they have making them almost worthless to most people as you can't sell them for much money other than some parts.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,159member
    Without starting something that may quickly turn political, Apple is clearly firing a shot across the bow of law enforcement with this. OK short term, but I expect some retaliation that Apple can't win.
  • Reply 11 of 18
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 614member
    Soli said:
    MplsP said:
    While I agree that increased security is good, I think a bit much is being made of the USB Restricted Mode. Honestly, how many of us need to worry about Cellebrite hacking our phones?
    "It’s not that I have something to hide. I have nothing I want you to see." — The Girl, Anon (2018)
    It’s not that I don’t value privacy or want people to de what’s on my phone; my point was simply that this is currently only relevant if you loose physical possession of your phone *and* the people who get your phone have the means to hack it before you can remotely wipe it. For sure that happens, but not too often. ( haven’t lost my phone since I. Ought my first 3GS) certainly it’s not a life or death issue that you have to take care of before tomorrow. 
    edited July 10
  • Reply 12 of 18
    JanNLJanNL Posts: 246member
    eightzero said:

    A new "USB Accessories" toggle is present under the "Face ID/Touch ID & Passcode" menu. The option is off by default, meaning than if a device has been locked for an hour or more, iOS won't allow physical data connections.


    Ok, so I think this means two thing: if the toggle is to the left, then the DISABLING function is ON, and you have to unlock the iPhone to connect. And it means that if the toggle is to the left, and not green, (and thus the USB DISENABLING feature is ON) then you have to unlock your iPhone before you can use it in carplay mode. Right?

    Anyone know if moving the toggle to the RIGHT to disable the disabling feature changes the text? It might ENABLE us to remember how to DISABLE the enabling feature.
     :) 

    Text is changing ànd rather clear. (in iOS 12 beta)
  • Reply 13 of 18
    Soli said:
    MplsP said:
    While I agree that increased security is good, I think a bit much is being made of the USB Restricted Mode. Honestly, how many of us need to worry about Cellebrite hacking our phones?
    "It’s not that I have something to hide. I have nothing I want you to see." — The Girl, Anon (2018)


    Wasn't Cellebrite itself hacked shortly after gaining publicity from the iPhone 5 unlocking incident, thereby proving Apple's point about intentional back-doors and other vulnerabilities?
    edited July 10
  • Reply 14 of 18
    bshankbshank Posts: 140member
    dr. x said:
    Excellent Apple!

    one small change, the word BE is missing from the following paragraph. 

    Cellebrite in particular is believed to the firm the FBI used to crack the iPhone 5c of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, allowing both Apple and the U.S. Department of Justice to avoid a protracted battle over whether the former could be forced to code a backdoor into iOS.

    It should be: 

    Cellebrite in particular is believed to “BE” the firm the FBI used to crack the iPhone 5c of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, allowing both Apple and the U.S. Department of Justice to avoid a protracted battle over whether the former could be forced to code a backdoor into iOS.
    AI, could you please hire this guy as an editor so we don’t have too see nit picky posts like this in the comments. We all get the gist even if there is a mistake like this. 
    jony0
  • Reply 15 of 18
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,289member
    Soli said:
    MplsP said:
    While I agree that increased security is good, I think a bit much is being made of the USB Restricted Mode. Honestly, how many of us need to worry about Cellebrite hacking our phones?
    "It’s not that I have something to hide. I have nothing I want you to see." — The Girl, Anon (2018)
    Wasn't Cellebrite itself hacked shortly after gaining publicity from the iPhone 5 unlocking incident, thereby proving Apple's point about intentional back-doors and other vulnerabilities?
    No idea. Far too many hacks, laziness, hubris, and general human errors to keep track ofd when it comes to digital security. I also seem to recall that soon after the Feds said they'd be able to keep a backdoor into iOS secure some agent lost a laptop containing SW they use to hack devices (or something along those lines). ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 
  • Reply 16 of 18
    jony0jony0 Posts: 267member

    Why does AI feel the need to still name the shooter ? 

    If you only stated his name, which I shall not, then hopefully nobody or few would know or care what the fuck you’re talking about. However, San Bernardino shooter says it all and gives it all the context and infamy this narrative needs. For the life of me I just don’t understand why the media insists on naming these assholes years after their dastardly deed. They are not prophets or martyrs or a name we should be reminded of, they are bluntly ruthless killers who should remain anonymous. Naming them does not inform us of anything of value but only elevates them to martyrdom and conveys pride back to their sick brethren.


  • Reply 17 of 18
    jony0jony0 Posts: 267member

    eightzero said:

    A new "USB Accessories" toggle is present under the "Face ID/Touch ID & Passcode" menu. The option is off by default, meaning than if a device has been locked for an hour or more, iOS won't allow physical data connections.


    Ok, so I think this means two thing: if the toggle is to the left, then the DISABLING function is ON, and you have to unlock the iPhone to connect. And it means that if the toggle is to the left, and not green, (and thus the USB DISENABLING feature is ON) then you have to unlock your iPhone before you can use it in carplay mode. Right?

    Anyone know if moving the toggle to the RIGHT to disable the disabling feature changes the text? It might ENABLE us to remember how to DISABLE the enabling feature.
    It says so right in the title of that section : ALLOW ACCESS WHEN LOCKED
    By convention, the green light of the toggle says that the statement is true for that line or any other line in that section.
    In this case, you ALLOW USB Accessories ACCESS WHEN LOCKED when you toggle to green light.
  • Reply 18 of 18
    jony0jony0 Posts: 267member

    Soli said:
    MplsP said:
    While I agree that increased security is good, I think a bit much is being made of the USB Restricted Mode. Honestly, how many of us need to worry about Cellebrite hacking our phones?
    "It’s not that I have something to hide. I have nothing I want you to see." — The Girl, Anon (2018)


    Wasn't Cellebrite itself hacked shortly after gaining publicity from the iPhone 5 unlocking incident, thereby proving Apple's point about intentional back-doors and other vulnerabilities?
    Not sure but this happened just 5 days ago :
    https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/07/06/nso-group-employee-allegedly-stole-attempted-to-sell-pegasus-ios-malware-for-50m

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