Sci-tech

Apple to undercut popular law-enforcement tool for cracking iPhones

Apple to undercut popular law-enforcement tool for cracking iPhones”

Rumors of Apple's supposed interest in switching from proprietary connectors to USB have popped up multiple times over the years, despite the company's use of 30-pin Dock Connectors and 9-pin Lightning connectors to tightly control the accessory markets for its products.

The new software feature, called USB Restricted Mode, is being beta-tested by Apple.

Apple said its changes were made with criminals in mind who can exploit the same vulnerabilities as law enforcement to break into stolen phones.

The setting change could also draw criticism from US law enforcement officials who have been engaged in an on-again, off-again campaign for legislation or other ways to force technology companies to maintain access to users' communications. Some of the methods most prized by intelligence agencies have been leaked on the internet.

While the feature is now optional and can be turned on or off via Settings in iOS 11.4, it will be made permanent in an upcoming release of iOS 12, which will likely make the feature near-ubiquitous in the coming months.

"We have the greatest respect for law enforcement, and we don't design our security improvements to frustrate their efforts to do their jobs", an Apple spokesperson said over email.

It's a win for privacy advocates, but it's sure to enrage law enforcement officials by making it harder than ever for them to get information out of locked phones.

The latest step could draw criticism from American police departments, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and perhaps the U.S. Justice Department, where officials have recently renewed an on-again, off-again campaign for legislation or other extraordinary means of forcing technology companies to maintain access to their users' communications.

Apple MacBook 2017 review - Ultimate laptop in pictures Sat, August 5, 2017 APPLE'S new MacBook is the ultimate portable laptop and now offers more power and improved design. In 2016, it went to court to fight an order that it break into an iPhone 5c used by a killer in San Bernardino.



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