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Not even launched, Apple’s USB Restricted Mode can already be cracked, says report

Grayshift says it already has workaround on Apple's newest security feature

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Grayshift, the company that is known for cracking Apple's iPhone security says it can break USB Restricted Mode — a feature that hasn't even launched, but is expected to come out with iOS 12.

So says Motherboard, which reported emails between a forensic expert and another person asserting Grayshift's GrayKey cracking tool will still work on iPhones running the new security feature, and ".have already defeated this security feature in the beta build," reads one of the emails.

USB Restricted Mode has been hyped by Apple, and was expected on the 11.4 iOS update, essentially preventing data from being removed from the iPhone via the lightning port unless the phone was opened by Face ID or the correct passcode after seven days.

But USB Restricted Code never showed on 11.4 — and instead has appeared on iOS 12 beta, now available to developers — with the seven-day window now shrinking to a cool one-hour.

Without the correct passcode, or Apple recognizing the user's face, USB Restricted Code only allows the lightning port to charge the iPhone if it hasn't been used within the allotted time.

Since iOS also allows iPhone owners to have their phone erase all content after a certain number of failed attempts to open the smartphone — this feature is likely meant to thwart police and other authorities who want to get information off iPhones they've confiscated.

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