Apple steps up encrytion to thwart police cracking of iPhones

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That stand-off ended when the Department of Justice said it had found a third party that could unlock the iPhone without Apple's help.

Apple is reportedly planning to replace its proprietary Lightning connector with the more widely-used USB-C connector on the iPhone and iPad next year. Undoubtedly, researchers and police vendors will find new ways to break into phones, and Apple will then look to patch those vulnerabilities. With the launch of iOS 12, you'll need to unlock your iPhone to allow USB accessories to connect when it has been more than an hour since your iPhone was locked. After an hour, law enforcement won't be able to use such devices.

The Washington Post reported in May that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had misstated the number of all mobile devices that it could not access due to encryption by the thousands. In 2016, it went to court to fight an order that it break into an iPhone 5c used by a killer in San Bernardino. A brewing legal showdown was defused after the Federal Bureau of Investigation hired professional hackers to crack into the device.

That solution should thwart iPhone cracking devices like those made by GrayShift and Cellebrite. Prices for the gadget start at $15,000. Not just police, but identity thieves could use the Lightning port to access data.

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But according to Reuters, Apple has confirmed that it's going to push through a rumored change to iOS that will make GrayKey virtually worthless. But then Apple chose to cut the time span to a mere hour with the upcoming iOS 12.

There is a chance Apple will work its tech wizardry to create universal charging soon but it seems more likely this will come later, if at all.

"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. Any security flaw can be exploited by a bad actor as well.

"At Apple, we put the customer at the center of everything we design", the company said in a statement.

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