Apple has reportedly acted to shut down an iPhone passcode cracking tool that promised to give authorities unauthorised access to people’s smartphones.
According to a Forbes report, Apple has managed to counteract the GrayKey hardware for users with iPhone handsets running the iOS 12 operating system. The report says the GrayKey box, built by cloak and dagger firm Grayswift, has been hindered to the point snooping third-parties can only perform a “partial extraction.”
That offers access to unencrypted files and relatively unharmful data like file sizes and folder structures for iPhone handsets. When asked by Forbes, Minnesota Police Captain of Rochester, John Sherwin said the reports of an effective patch represented a “fairly accurate assessment as to what we have experienced.”
Shutting out this tool is great news for privacy-conscious iPhone users, especially after Grayshift secured lucrative contracts with the likes of the US Secret Service and the Customs and Immigration Service. The company has been selling the GrayKey boxes for up to $30,000 with a promise to unlock any password protected phone.
Related: iOS 12 features
Now the initiative shifts back to Grayshift to find a way around Apple’s counteractive measures in iOS 12.
Captain Sherwin added: “Give it time and I am sure a ‘workaround’ will be developed … and then the cycle will repeat. Someone is always building a better mousetrap, whether it’s Apple or someone trying to defeat device security.”
If you’re still on iOS 11 and haven’t bothered to update to iOS 12, now might be a good time to change that. Given reports that the police are forcing suspects to look at their phones in order to unlock them via Face ID, we’ll take anything we can get right now.
Do you trust Apple to stay ahead of encroachment threats from law enforcement? Or are the security experts always one step ahead? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.