iOS’ USB Restricted Mode “Loophole”

Everyone seems to be trying to point out this “loophole” as a huge deal, getting in the way of the new feature in iOS 11.4.1 that disables the USB port for anything but charging if the device has been locked for more than an hour (or S.O.S. mode is activated on the device).

The “loophole” that people are calling a flaw is that if certain Lightning-connecting accessories are connected within the one-hour window, the timer is stopped. This does not apply to all lightning accessories, as the Lightning-to-3.5mm jack accessory does not reset the count. Apple’s Lightning-to-USB 3 Camera Adapter, however, is one of the accessories that stop the countdown. This makes perfect sense, as it allows the user to connect an accessory without the need to unlock first. If the device is in a pocket, then said accessory can just be connected. It would be one thing if Lightning accessories were trusted the same way as computers are, but that is not the case here. There is no cryptographic key exchange when connecting accessories so the device doesn’t know one accessory from another, without manufacturers making changes to their products.

This is a great step forward, making it much more difficult for attackers & warrant-skipping authorities from having virtually unlimited time to try & crack a device. Here I’m specifically thinking of the GrayKey device & any other services offered by shady companies for unlocking iOS devices.

Screenshot showing the new USB Restriction setting.

Apple’s Warning Against Jailbreaking

Seeing as how the Electra 11.3.1 jailbreak is supposed to be released soon, it looks like Apple put out a statement on why you shouldn’t jailbreak: Apple: Unauthorized modification of iOS can cause security vulnerabilities, instability, shortened battery life, and other issues. I definitely find that ironic…

  • Security Vulnerabilities: I’ve seen jailbreak developers release patches for devices with Cydia before Apple puts them out
  • Instability: Okay, sure. But if an occasional crash is the cost of having things like themes & hooks into Springboard, it’s a price I’m willing to pay. Especially because iOS isn’t that much more stable without being jailbroken.
  • Shortened Battery Life: This coming from the company that was secretly throttling older device “to save battery life”. Sorry if I don’t believe this one.

I have not yet read the rest of the page, but I’m sure it will be much of the same above. I’m not interested in Jailbreaking to download free apps; it’s for the ability to customize the device i own & want to do with as i please.