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Apple upgrades iPhone security
Apple wants to make intrusion into iPhones even more difficult in order to protect its users against hackers and identity theft. Although the iPhone manufacturer may risk new confrontation with the US security agencies, but that had not bothered Apple so far.
The company is developing a feature that will disable the device’s Lightning port one hour after its last use for data connections. The battery of the iPhone can continue to be charged via the Lightning port, said the company from Cupertino.
Apple iPhones are always encrypted and can only be unlocked by entering the passcode, fingerprint or facial recognition of the user. At the same time there are currently at least two providers who exploit a public, unspecified known vulnerability to unlock the iPhone via the cable connection called Lightning. With the Lightning deactivation, Apple would dramatically reduce the time it takes to penetrate.
According to the Wall Street Journal, it is still unclear whether the function could be introduced in the next iPhone iOS 12 announced this fall. Apple emphasized that the concern of the company is to protect its devices better against attacks by hackers and identity thieves as well as against the seizure of personal data. “We have the utmost respect for security authorities and are not developing our security enhancements to complicate their work,” says Apple.
Security authorities have long criticized the encryption of iPhones and smartphones with Android operating system, because they make the devices for them inaccessible and hamper investigations. In the US, Apple was sued in early 2016 by the US Department of Justice, demanding that unlock the iPhone of a dead assassin. The group refused and warned that writing software for it would end up worsening security for everyone. In the end, the US authorities withdrew their lawsuit after claiming that they were using an external service provider to access the data on the iPhone.
Currently, Israeli company Cellebrite is offering security services to unlock iPhones from suspects through a hack. In the US, there’s GrayShift, which sells investigators a box starting at $ 15,000 to crack the phones themselves. This approach has been criticized by some experts for concern that the equipment could fall into the hands of criminals. Apple provides security authorities with unencrypted information from users by court order.