Apple punches back at Grayshift, maker of the GrayKey iPhone-hacking box

“At a conference of law-enforcement forensics officials last week, someone asked David Miles what would happen if Apple Inc. tried to ruin his business,” Robert McMillan reports for The Wall Street Journal. “Mr. Miles heads an Atlanta startup called Grayshift LLC that sells a $15,000 iPhone-unlocking box to police and other authorities in the U.S. The device’s popularity has contributed to what some forensics investigators say is a golden age of iPhone investigations and led the conference attendee to ask what Grayshift could do if Apple tried to block it. ‘That’s the question everyone’s asking,’ Mr. Miles said to muted laughter, before returning to a demonstration of how his device, called a GrayKey, could break into an iPhone and download nearly all of the data available on the device.”

“Now Apple is indeed firing back, saying Wednesday it is testing a change to its iOS mobile software that, according to people familiar with the company’s plans, could stop the GrayKey from getting into iPhones,” McMillan reports. “The company, which started selling GrayKey earlier this year, won’t discuss the Apple flaws it leverages to get onto the iPhone. But at last week’s demonstration, it was an easy process. Mr. Miles plugged an iPhone X into the GrayKey’s Lightning cable, clicked a handful of options on a management screen and the device went to work. Apple’s new software feature is designed to limit the window of opportunity for police to use the GrayKey to 60 minutes.”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s new software feature is designed to limit the window of opportunity for those who use the GrayKey to 60 minutes. TFTFY. These boxes are not just in the hands of “the good guys.”

“The software feature prevents devices from accessing data on the iPhone via the Lightning port starting an hour after a phone was last unlocked,” McMillan reports. “he company has also likely included software patches that will otherwise block the GrayKey’s effectiveness, security researchers say.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Also, use long, alphanumeric passwords and, even if there is a GrayKey box on every corner, your data will remain secure.

Use at least seven characters – even longer is better – and mix numbers, letters, and symbols.

To change your password in iOS:
Settings > Face ID & Passcodes > Change Passcode > Passcode Options: Custom Alphanumeric Code

SEE ALSO:
Cops are confident Grayshift iPhone hackers already have a workaround to Apple’s new iOS security feature – June 15, 2018
Apple to undercut GrayShift, Cellebrite tools for cracking iPhones – June 13, 2018
Apple’s iOS 11.4 update with ‘USB Restricted Mode’ may defeat GrayKey, Cellebrite forensic tools – May 8, 2018
GrayKey box can guess a six-digit iPhone password in 11 hours on average – April 16, 2018
Police around the U.S. can now unlock iPhones – April 12, 2018
Law enforcement uses ‘GrayKey’ box to unlock iPhones – March 16, 2018
The man who wrote those password rules has a new tip: N3v$r M1^d! – August 8, 2017

25 Comments

      1. Baby steps 🙂
        It is true tho, the 12 sfw lets you force the USB code to access anything but a charger.
        I like it. Not doing anything wrong, I just like knowing Apple is helping me fend off BS search and seizures. Just heard another story this morning about it.

      1. I sure hope so but the real proof of the pudding will be when there is a security system in place that endures. So far in human history there has been no such device, no safe that can be cracked. Creating such a device or system that could endure attempts to break in would be revolutionary indeed.

  1. “designed to limit the window of opportunity for police to use the GrayKey to 60 minutes.””
    Well, it’ll make GrayKey even happier. Now the police will have to buy tons of these boxes and put them in every patrol car, so that they can beat the 60 minute time limit.

    1. They still have to get the warrant. That adds a little time. I’m not saying it will add much with a constitutional hating judge issuing a warrant but at least it will help a little bit.

  2. Advice:
    The longer, the more chaotic the password, the better. Don’t use dictionary words or 1337 versions of words. Use different passwords everywhere. I store my passwords in a text file on an encrypted Sparse Bundle disk image as well as in 1Password. Works great.

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