iOS 11.4 to come with 7-day USB shutout

Posted on May 12, 2018

iOS 11.4 to come with 7-day USB shutout

Mobile forensics researchers recently discovered a major new security feature while poking around in the beta version of Apple’s upcoming iOS 11.4 release, due soon. It’s called USB Restricted Mode: a feature that popped up in the iOS 11.3 beta but didn’t make it to the final release. The feature snips the USB data connection over the Lightning port if the device hasn’t been unlocked for a week.

The device can still be charged over USB, but after 7 days, it won’t give up data without a passcode, meaning that at least some backdoor ways to get at data won’t work anymore. If the device is unlocked with a passcode, the data transfer over USB will be re-enabled. But once the Lightning port has been disabled for a week, thieves or investigators won’t be able to get at data by pairing the device to a computer or USB accessory.

Without a passcode to unlock the device, they won’t even be able to get into it using an existing iTunes pairing record, used to recognize PCs that are ‘trusted’ by the device, also known as a lockdown record.