Apple is testing a new security measure in the iOS 11.4 beta that would limit the chances of hacking a device with tools like GrayKey.
This Restricted Mode feature was already introduced on iOS 11.3 beta, and then disappeared with the final version. Now, Apple has rehabilitated this feature with the latest beta of iOS 11.4.
The next version of the software should introduce the new “USB Restricted Mode“, which disables USB communication via the Lightning port seven days after the device has been active. The new feature has already appeared in the beta of iOS 11.3, but Apple then decided to remove it before the official release.
Here is its operation described by ElcomSoft:
To improve security, for a locked iOS device to communicate with USB accessories you must connect an accessory via Lightning connector to the device while unlocked – or enter your device passcode while connected – at least once a week.
Once you enter this mode, an iPhone or iPad will recharge, but it will no longer attempt to activate a data connection. The “Do you want to authorize this computer?” Command will not be shown when connected to a computer.
This mode provides law enforcement, and hackers, a maximum of seven days to access a device by attempting to crack the unlock code with tools such as the GrayKey box.