Grayshift May Already Have iPhone Unlocking Solution for iOS 12's USB Restricted Mode

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    iOS 12 introduces USB restrictions that effectively put an end to law enforcement access to iPhones and iPads using devices like the GrayKey box, but Grayshift, the company that makes the box, may have already developed a workaround.

    VICE's Motherboard shared an email from a forensic expert who planned to meet with Grayshift, which said the company had "gone to great lengths" to futureproof its technology and that USB Restricted Mode had been "already defeated."

    Grayshift's GrayKey iPhone unlocking box, via MalwareBytes​
    A second source that spoke to Motherboard said Grayshift addressed the topic of USB Restricted Mode in a webinar several weeks ago.

    Coming in iOS 12, USB Restricted Mode prevents USB accessories from connecting to an iPhone or iPad if it's been more than an hour since the device was last unlocked.

    The setting is enabled by default and it will not allow USB-based accessories like the GrayKey box to connect to an iOS device until a passcode is entered, effectively disabling the current techniques law enforcement officials across the United States are using to access locked iPhones.


    Motherboard's sources did not share details on how Grayshift plans to avoid the new USB restrictions, so it's not clear if the GrayKey box will continue to function or if Grayshift has another iPhone access solution in the works.

    Despite Grayshift's potential workaround, law enforcement officials are concerned about the changes Apple is implementing, and are said to be frustrated with the attention the GrayKey box has received in the media. "Some vendors are frustrated with GrayKey," one researcher told Motherboard. "They feel the media hype brought too much attention to the attack vector."

    Apple yesterday confirmed its plans to implement new USB access restrictions in iOS 12 and clarified that it is aiming to defend customers against hackers, not frustrate law enforcement officials.

    "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. We have the greatest respect for law enforcement, and we don't design our security improvements to frustrate their efforts to do their jobs," Apple said in a statement to MacRumors.

    Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

    Article Link: Grayshift May Already Have iPhone Unlocking Solution for iOS 12's USB Restricted Mode
  2. viperGTS macrumors 68000

    Nov 15, 2010
    If they were smart, they would've waited until iOS 12 was in the GM stage to announce this. Now Apple can look into fixing their bypass. :D
  3. tjleonard macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2013
    The issue is that it costs Apple a lot less money to throw some software updates in a patch than it does for Grayshift to update theirs. Sure, an update is an update, but it has to update easily or it will be something police will not waste money on.
  4. Scottsoapbox macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2014
    Workaround: hold iPhone in front of owner's face.
  5. dave420 macrumors 65816

    Jun 15, 2010
    I am a little out of the loop. I know a similar feature was in the last iOS 11 beta. I think it turned off the port after seven days instead of one hour. Was this feature still present in the current public release? Or was it removed?
  6. rodpascoe macrumors regular


    Jun 19, 2006
    Truro, Cornwall
    Surely if the port is disabled then there is nothing they could do? Disabled is disabled surely?
  7. Trik macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2011
    Washington, DC
    I have to assume at this point Apple has one of these boxes they can test against...
  8. Sasparilla macrumors 6502a

    Jul 6, 2012
    Yeah no kidding, right?

    Its nice that Grayshift can help Apple fix these security holes in their OS. The sooner Grayshift shows their approaches the sooner Apple can close them - which Apple is quite good about doing (and I really love that about the company).
  9. KazKam macrumors 6502


    Oct 25, 2011

    Which will only work, of course, until they develop the trace buster buster buster.
  10. 69Mustang macrumors 603


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    Color me surprised... and by surprised I mean not really.
  11. juanm macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2006
    Fury 161
    They sell to "law enforcement only" and they sure will do their best so that Apple doesn't get their hands on one...
  12. trusso macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2003
    Sounds a bit like damage control, if you ask me. Hoping to make a few extra bucks before the well runs dry. Normally, I'm all for the little guys taking on the big-bad corporate baddies... but script-kiddies and crackers I can do without. (That means you, too, NSA!)

    Remember CurrentC from a few years ago? No? That's because Apple Pay rendered it laughably dead-on-arrival. Grayshift is going to be DOA as well, easily outmaneuvered if Apple has their way.
  13. haydn! macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2008
    The article states it needs to be unlocked with the passcode
  14. GadgetBen macrumors 6502a


    Jul 8, 2015
    Apple leads the privacy war. Rebellion against the empire.
  15. 69Mustang macrumors 603


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    "Additionally, the GrayKey has built in future capabilities that will begin to be leveraged as time goes on"
    If they're announcing it, there's a good chance they already have another avenue ready to exploit. This is a constant game of one-upsmanship.

    This makes no sense. Cost is dependent on time and resource allocation. Also why would an easy update deter law enforcement? It's a tool for work, not a consumer device.:p Easy updating isn't a deterrent.
  16. lec0rsaire macrumors 65816

    Feb 23, 2017
    They could also be bluffing while they actually find another exploit. This way they don't lose any business from LE. What will they do if Apple eliminates the port? It's very possible that this will happen in the coming years.
  17. alex2792 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2009
    I always thought that the empire was much cooler than the rebellion. Storm troopers are badass and deserve to win .
  18. tridley68 macrumors 6502


    Aug 28, 2014
    Everything has a price and Apple is definitely not short on cash I think they will get their hands on one. Of these boxes if the haven't already
  19. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    It will be a constant back and forth between hackers and Apple. The good thing is it seems that Apple is on top of it enough to make sure that things get taken care of before bad actors get their hands on it.

    I'm sure Apple is working as hard as they can to get their hands on one of these devices to figure out how it works, and probably have been successful. I'm sure they could have easily set up a shell company that claims to be a private investigator firm needing to get into a client's phone.
  20. macfacts macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2012
    Everything has a price? That same saying can be used against Apple. Someone can pay an apple employee to steal Apple's digital signing keys. Ultimate back door right there.
  21. Mike MA macrumors 68000

    Mike MA

    Sep 21, 2012
    True, but did you ever see a stormtrooper not being shot immediately? It’s a shame...
  22. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    Why are you assuming such?
  23. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Too bad. The media was doing their jobs by reporting on the fact that the government is paying huge chunks of money to some company to hack our phones. This is how you have accountability in a free and open society. They need to get over it. At the end of the day this is yet another security vulnerability that must be patched. If some kid was doing this the FBI would raid his home and he'd serve jail time.
  24. jarman92 macrumors 6502

    Nov 13, 2014
    Pretty sure that's not how it works...there isn't a guy at Apple walking around with a big shiny key he can just give away if he gets pissed off.
  25. 69Mustang macrumors 603


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    I have no doubt Apple has the means to get one of the devices. Probably already has one.

    As for Apple already figuring out how it works... I'm guessing you'd have to go on the presumption Grayshift's code isn't encrypted. Or it is and Apple cracked their encryption. Who knows. Grayshift says they already have other avenues ready. It's going to be a back and forth for a while it seems.

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