iOS 12 Includes Setting to Disable USB Access When an iPhone Hasn't Been Unlocked for More Than an Hour

In iOS 12, there's a new setting that will effectively put an end to law enforcement access to iPhones and iPads using USB devices like the GrayKey box, preventing USB accessories from connecting when it's been more than an hour since the iPhone was last unlocked.

Located under Touch ID & Passcode, the new setting, which requires a passcode to be entered to allow a USB accessory to connect after an hour, is enabled by default.

ios12usbaccessoriessetting
You can toggle off the setting to allow USB accessories to connect at any time, but most users are likely going to leave this set to the default setting as there's not a whole lot of benefit to turning it off. With this turned on, you'll need to enter your passcode for a data connection to the iPhone using a USB device, such as when you connect it to iTunes on a computer, but charging via the Lightning port will continue to work fine.

The new setting is of interest because it's an expansion of USB Restricted Mode, a feature Apple toyed with during the iOS 11.4 beta. USB Restricted Mode was designed to disable USB access to the Lightning Connector after 7 days, but iOS 12 cuts that time period way, way down.

Law enforcement officials use USB access to an iPhone or an iPad to connect accessories like the GrayKey box, a tool that plugs into the Lightning port of an iPhone and uses the data connection in an attempt to brute force a passcode.

With the new setting, an iPhone's Lightning port data connection will not work with the GrayKey box if it's been more than an hour since a passcode was entered, rendering it effectively useless unless used immediately after an iPhone is obtained from a suspect.

Law enforcement officials are likely going to be unhappy with the changes Apple is making in iOS 12 because it's going to make iOS 12 devices a lot harder to get into, but from a customer point of view, this setting offers protection from hackers and other bad actors who may be able to get ahold of this kind of technology.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

Khedron Avatar
47 months ago
In before that guy who's been professionally cracking iOS for a decade tells us he already knows how to bypass this setting.
Score: 57 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr. Heckles Avatar
47 months ago
This is just awesome! I’m glad it’s an hour and not a week.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr. Heckles Avatar
47 months ago
what are you hiding?
i just had a 4 digit pin lol
Banking info, emails, contacts of friends and family, photos, personal info, and more. No one needs to see this info unless I let them. Period.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
justiny Avatar
47 months ago
I’m perfectly fine with law enforcement officials being unhappy about this.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Robert.Walter Avatar
47 months ago
Should also be triggered when a phone is put into SOS mode and whenever TouchID/FaceID is disabled.

If it’s not doing that, that would seem to be an oversight.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jermwhl Avatar
47 months ago
Good - **** the police
I was wondering why this was listed under "political, religious, and social issues". I guess this is why, lol.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
safari icon blue banner

Safari Bug Allows Websites to Track Your Recent Browsing Activity in Real Time [Updated]

Sunday January 16, 2022 3:37 pm PST by
A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session....
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...
Unlikely Products 2022 Feature

Six Rumored Apple Products You're Unlikely to See This Year

Saturday January 15, 2022 2:06 pm PST by
Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer. Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature Red

AirPods Pro 2 Could Start a New Accessory Ecosystem

Friday January 14, 2022 2:34 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could arrive alongside a new series of accessories, recent leaked images suggest. Alleged leaked photos of the next-generation AirPods Pro obtained by MacRumors showed a charging case with a metal loop on the side for attaching a strap. Apple has not used this design for any of its other AirPod models and it is unclear why it would be added in this...
netflix2

Netflix Again Raises Prices for All Plans, 4K Streaming Now $20 Per Month

Friday January 14, 2022 12:46 pm PST by
Netflix today updated the prices for its streaming plans, and all of its offerings are now more expensive. The Basic plan is now priced at $9.99 per month, the Standard plan is priced at $15.49 per month, and the Premium plan is priced at $19.99 per month. The Basic plan is $1 more expensive, up from $8.99 per month. This plan allows users to watch on just one screen at a time, and it limits ...
tesla carplay solution

Developer Showcases Apple CarPlay Workaround for Teslas

Monday January 17, 2022 7:24 am PST by
A Tesla Model 3 owner has resorted to a workaround to implement Apple CarPlay in his vehicle, amid no sign of official support from Tesla (via Tesla North). Apple CarPlay and Apple Music support are among the most-requested Tesla features, but with no indication that Tesla is willing to implement Apple CarPlay in its vehicles, Polish developer Michał Gapiński took matters into his own...
top stories 20220115

Top Stories: iPhone 14 Pro Rumors, iCloud Private Relay Controversy, iOS 15.2.1 Released, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 6:00 am PST by
Hole-punch? Pill? Hole-punch and pill? Rumors about what the front camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro will look like are evolving rapidly, and it now appears we might be getting a novel but potentially controversial design later this year. Other major stories this week included some confusion and controversy about iCloud Private Relay being disabled for some T-Mobile customers, increasing...