Apple is going to ruin cops’ favorite tool for breaking into iPhones

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Apple has insisted that the new security measure is primarily aimed at protecting users in despotic countries, not at making law enforcement's job more hard.

If you're too young to remember when Apple changed their iPhone and iPad chargers from the big chargers to the lightening cables then good for you because it was harrowing.

However, Apple denied the changes were created to thwart USA law enforcement.

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Police and forensics officials in the United States are understood to be using a piece of kit called GrayKey, which takes around three to six days to work out a six digit passcode. The company is closing off an unintended security hole in iOS that law enforcement has been using to hack into iPhones.

Law enforcement can now "crack" security measures using a piece of hardware that generates sequences of numbers to unlock smartphones so they can access messages and potential evidence without needing a PIN.

Cyber-security expert Alan Woodward, who is a visiting professor at the University of Surrey, is sceptical of the idea that GrayKey devices could be used for mass surveillance by police.

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Apple told CNNMoney that its security update, including the Restricted Mode feature, is meant to prevent criminal attacks rather than stymie law enforcement agents investigating cases. The FBI eventually paid hackers for information (or services) to successfully crack the shooter's iPhone. An Inspector General report earlier this year suggested the Federal Bureau of Investigation should have exhausted more options before it took Apple to court.

On Wednesday, Apple framed its decision to tighten iPhone security even further as part of its crusade to protect the highly personal information that its customers store on their phones. But Apple confirmed yesterday that a plugged-in iPhone will require a passcode every hour for the data transfers to continue. Law enforcement officials said they generally send iPhones to Cellebrite to unlock, with each phone costing several thousand dollars to open. After the update, this ruse will no longer work.

Apple said that it has a team that responds to law enforcement and national security requests 24 hours a day.

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