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Cops’ Favorite iPhone-Cracking Tool Defeats New Security Feature

Unlock an iPhoneAccording to VICE’s Motherboard, the firm behind law enforcement’s favorite iPhone-cracking tool, the GrayKey box, has already developed an antidote to Apple’s latest security feature.

Apple has recently rolled out a feature dubbed USB Restricted Mode that locks the access of third-party devices via the USB port if the phone has been staying locked for over an hour. The feature locks the iPhone’s cable port into a port that can only charge the phone, instead of accessing it.

This means that forensics experts can no longer use their physical hacking tools to unlock suspects’ phones unless they rush the seized devices to an iPhone-cracking box within an hour.

GrayKey is one of the most popular phone-cracking devices employed by the police. However, rumors have it that the company behind the tech, Greyshift, has already found a workaround to Apple’s latest security feature.

Grayshift has gone to great lengths to future proof their technology and stated that they have already defeated this security feature in the beta build,

a forensic expert told Motherboard via e-mail earlier this month.

The iPhone-Cracking Tool Is Being Used by FBI, DEA, Other Agencies

The expert reportedly met with Grayshift representatives this month, so it is unclear how many of his claims are just marketing strategies. Another source told the magazine that the company had talked about fending off Apple’s USB Restricted Mode at a conference several weeks ago.

However, forensics experts are still concerned by the new security feature, according to a person familiar with the matter. Motherboard wouldn’t name its sources for the story since the revelations are “sensitive” to the industry.

Motherboard reported that GrayKey’s maker has ties with the Secret Service, DEA, FBI, and a plethora of local and federal law enforcement agencies. Even the New York State Police have been using Grayshift’s technology.

The GrayKey box can crack into two iPhones at once by “brute force,” i.e. generating multiple passcode combinations until it gets the real passcode right.
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About Megan Bailey

Megan Bailey is a true journalist, but it wasn’t easy for her to find her true calling. She worked in a PC service all throughout her college and not she is using her hardware and software skills to write technology articles. The thing she loves most about her job is being able to keep tech lovers up to date with the recent trends.

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