Apple releases iOS 11.4.1 to stop cops from cracking iPhones

iPhone 8

Apple has finally released an iOS update that will prevent law enforcement and hackers from accessing iPhone data through its Lightning port.

As reported previously by IT Pro, the move is intended to close a loophole used by the police to access protected iPhone data.

The update brings a new default setting called "USB restricted mode" which has been present in developer betas for both iOS 12 and iOS 11.4.1. The feature will block all communication through a Lightning port to USB connection on unlocked and dormant devices.

This will prevent a device called GreyKey from working. This tool uses two Lightning cables that can unlock password encryptions on iPhones and extract data from them. The feature is also present in the beta version of iOS 12.

The iOS 11.4.1 update is bug fix release. It should also improve the reliability of a feature called Find My AirPods. The issue concerned the prevention of some users from viewing the last known location of their AirPods in Find My iPhone.

The update should also improve the reliability of syncing mail, contacts and notes with Exchange accounts.

Apple's security update web page also lists a few security issues that the update intends to fix. Among them include: unexpectedly persistent cookies in Safari, processing an emoji under certain configurations may lead to a denial of service, local users able read kernel memory because of an out-of-bounds read issue in Kernel.

Also fixed are issues around applications being able to gain elevated privileges from a memory corruption issue in libxpc, and read restricted memory from an out-of-bounds read in libxpc.

To update to iOS 11.4.1, users can open up the Settings app, tap "General," then "Software Update", then follow instructions to download and install the latest OS.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.