@StandardMedia

Apple to undercut popular law-enforcement tool for cracking iPhones

5 months ago, 14 June 14:25

By: Reuters

Apple said on Wednesday it will change its iPhone settings to undercut the most popular means for law enforcement to break into the devices.

The company told Reuters it was aiming to protect all customers, especially in countries where phones are readily obtained by police or by criminals with extensive resources, and to head off further spread of the attack technique.

The privacy standard-bearer of the tech industry said it will change default settings in the iPhone operating system to cut off communication through the USB port when the phone has not been unlocked in the past hour.

That port is how machines made by forensic companies GrayShift, Cellebrite and others connect and get around the security provisions that limit how many password guesses can be made before the device freezes them out or erases data. Now they will be unable to run code on the devices after the hour is up.

These companies have marketed their machines to law enforcement in multiple countries this year, offering the machines themselves for thousands of dollars but also per-phone pricing as low as $50.

Apple representatives said the change in settings will protect customers in countries where law enforcement seizes and tries to crack phones with fewer legal restrictions than under U.S. law. They also noted that criminals, spies and unscrupulous people often use the same techniques. Even some of the methods most prized by intelligence agencies have been leaked on the internet.

“We’re constantly strengthening the security protections in every Apple product to help customers defend against hackers, identity thieves and intrusions into their personal data,” Apple said in a prepared statement. “We have the greatest respect for law enforcement, and we don’t design our security improvements to frustrate their efforts to do their jobs.”

Apple began working on the USB issue before learning it was a favorite of law enforcement.

The setting switch had been documented in beta versions of iOS 11.4.1 and iOS12, and Apple told Reuters it will be made permanent in a forthcoming general release.

Apple said that after it learned of the techniques, it reviewed the iPhone operating system code and improved security. It decided to simply alter the setting, a cruder way of preventing most of the potential access by unfriendly parties.

With the changes, police or hackers will typically have an hour or less to get a phone to a cracking machine. That could cut access by as much as 90 percent, security researchers estimated.

This also could spur sales of cracking devices, as law enforcement looks to get more forensic machines closer to where seizures occur. Undoubtedly, researchers and police vendors will find new ways to break into phones, and Apple will then look to patch those vulnerabilities.

The setting change could also draw criticism from U.S. law enforcement officials who have been engaged in an on-again, off-again campaign for legislation or other ways to force technology companies to maintain access to users’ communications.

Apple has been the most prominent opponent of those demands. In 2016, it ...
Read More


Category: business news topnews

Suggested

14 minutes
@StandardMedia - By: Rading Biko
Allan Chepkoy wins Busara’s first annual data hackathon competition

Previously Chepkoy had won three hackathons prizes this year including BBC's 'Beyond Fake News' hackathon. ...

Category: business news topnews
4 minutes
@StandardMedia - By: Anyango Otieno
How Francis Imbuga’s typewriter jump started my career

King’ori Gachoka says he ran to the professor to borrow machine after a local TV station rejected his script because it was handwritten ...

Category: business news
14 minutes
@CapitalFMNews - By: Agence France Pres ...
Student loan debt still crippling burden for millions of Americans

Washington, United States, Nov 20 - Michael Bloomberg's record $1.8 billion donation for financial aid to Johns Hopkins University highlights the problem Kenya breaking news | Kenya news today | ...

Category: business
1 hour ago
@StandardMedia - By: Reuters
Nissan shares slump after Ghosn arrested over alleged financial misconduct

Nissan Motor Co’s shares fell more than 6 percent on Tuesday as Chairman Carlos Ghosn’s arrest a day earlier sent shockwaves ...

Category: business news
10 hours ago, 00:00
@StandardMedia - By: Kamau Muthoni
Man’s failure to seek consent from wife to sell land costs buyer and Sacco

A buyer and a sacco are facing a Sh13 million loss for failing to ascertain whether a man had sought his wife’s consent to sell a piece of land. ...

Category: business news
24 minutes
@BusinessDaily - By: Patrick Alushula ...
More pupils score above 400 in KCPE

The top candidate in this year’s examinations however scored 453 marks, two points short of last year’s record of 455 marks. ...

Category: business news

@StandardMedia

Apple to undercut popular law-enforcement tool for cracking iPhones

5 months ago, 14 June 14:25

By: Reuters

Apple said on Wednesday it will change its iPhone settings to undercut the most popular means for law enforcement to break into the devices.

The company told Reuters it was aiming to protect all customers, especially in countries where phones are readily obtained by police or by criminals with extensive resources, and to head off further spread of the attack technique.

The privacy standard-bearer of the tech industry said it will change default settings in the iPhone operating system to cut off communication through the USB port when the phone has not been unlocked in the past hour.

That port is how machines made by forensic companies GrayShift, Cellebrite and others connect and get around the security provisions that limit how many password guesses can be made before the device freezes them out or erases data. Now they will be unable to run code on the devices after the hour is up.

These companies have marketed their machines to law enforcement in multiple countries this year, offering the machines themselves for thousands of dollars but also per-phone pricing as low as $50.

Apple representatives said the change in settings will protect customers in countries where law enforcement seizes and tries to crack phones with fewer legal restrictions than under U.S. law. They also noted that criminals, spies and unscrupulous people often use the same techniques. Even some of the methods most prized by intelligence agencies have been leaked on the internet.

“We’re constantly strengthening the security protections in every Apple product to help customers defend against hackers, identity thieves and intrusions into their personal data,” Apple said in a prepared statement. “We have the greatest respect for law enforcement, and we don’t design our security improvements to frustrate their efforts to do their jobs.”

Apple began working on the USB issue before learning it was a favorite of law enforcement.

The setting switch had been documented in beta versions of iOS 11.4.1 and iOS12, and Apple told Reuters it will be made permanent in a forthcoming general release.

Apple said that after it learned of the techniques, it reviewed the iPhone operating system code and improved security. It decided to simply alter the setting, a cruder way of preventing most of the potential access by unfriendly parties.

With the changes, police or hackers will typically have an hour or less to get a phone to a cracking machine. That could cut access by as much as 90 percent, security researchers estimated.

This also could spur sales of cracking devices, as law enforcement looks to get more forensic machines closer to where seizures occur. Undoubtedly, researchers and police vendors will find new ways to break into phones, and Apple will then look to patch those vulnerabilities.

The setting change could also draw criticism from U.S. law enforcement officials who have been engaged in an on-again, off-again campaign for legislation or other ways to force technology companies to maintain access to users’ communications.

Apple has been the most prominent opponent of those demands. In 2016, it ...
Read More

Category: business news topnews

Suggested

14 minutes
@StandardMedia - By: Rading Biko
Allan Chepkoy wins Busara’s first annual data hackathon competition

Previously Chepkoy had won three hackathons prizes this year including BBC's 'Beyond Fake News' hackathon. ...

Category: business news topnews
4 minutes
@StandardMedia - By: Anyango Otieno
How Francis Imbuga’s typewriter jump started my career

King’ori Gachoka says he ran to the professor to borrow machine after a local TV station rejected his script because it was handwritten ...

Category: business news
14 minutes
@CapitalFMNews - By: Agence France Pres ...
Student loan debt still crippling burden for millions of Americans

Washington, United States, Nov 20 - Michael Bloomberg's record $1.8 billion donation for financial aid to Johns Hopkins University highlights the problem Kenya breaking news | Kenya news today | ...

Category: business
1 hour ago
@StandardMedia - By: Reuters
Nissan shares slump after Ghosn arrested over alleged financial misconduct

Nissan Motor Co’s shares fell more than 6 percent on Tuesday as Chairman Carlos Ghosn’s arrest a day earlier sent shockwaves ...

Category: business news
10 hours ago, 00:00
@StandardMedia - By: Kamau Muthoni
Man’s failure to seek consent from wife to sell land costs buyer and Sacco

A buyer and a sacco are facing a Sh13 million loss for failing to ascertain whether a man had sought his wife’s consent to sell a piece of land. ...

Category: business news
24 minutes
@BusinessDaily - By: Patrick Alushula ...
More pupils score above 400 in KCPE

The top candidate in this year’s examinations however scored 453 marks, two points short of last year’s record of 455 marks. ...

Category: business news
Our App