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Security update: Apple to lock out police cracking tools

Apple to improve user privacy but thwart police investigations with latest security update

Apple has confirmed it will be making some serious security changes in all future versions of iOS, which will make it harder to use cracking tools to access the data on an iPhone or iPad through a cable.

Currently, the police can use tools like these to obtain information locked on a criminal’s device. By plugging in through a Lightning to USB wire, cracking devices use various clever methods to “break in” and take data from the device. Apple’s plans would thwart many of these investigation attempts and make things much more difficult for the police.

From iOS 11.4.1 onwards, devices will no longer allow a USB connection after the device has remained locked for one hour. This means police will have to act fast or permanently lose access to a device. Of course, it means anyone else trying to hack into your device will be out of luck, too.

Though clearly a move that will frustrate law enforcement, Apple has stressed that it puts customer privacy above all else and hasn’t made the change in order to hinder the police. Remember, any tricks the police use to access private data could also be used by bad actors; if the government can hack your iPhone, so can anyone else with the right tools and expertise. This is why Apple is so keen to shut down any and all backdoors that could provide access to personal data.

Apple’s dedication to privacy is a plus for anyone who uses an iPhone or iPad, and along with the security improvements coming in iOS 12, will make for the most secure devices on the planet. If you care about keeping your personal information safe – photos, bank details, messages, health records, etc. – then make sure you always update to the latest version of iOS as soon as possible.