Oct 24, 2018

iOS 12 Makes 'GrayKey' Unlocking Box Unable To Crack iPhones Anymore

GrayKey, a tool that allows law enforcement agencies to unlock or crack iPhones, now is unable to get the passcodes or unlock any iPhone or iPad running iOS 12 or later, meaning police or FBI can't obtain any encrypted files and metadata anymore, according to Forbes.


Grayshift's GrayKey iPhone unlocking tools that have been sold to multiple law enforcement agencies across the United States. Essentially, the box connects to an iPhone and then installs the software that's designed to crack the passcode of the device. It could take 6 minutes to crack a device that uses 4-digit passcode, and will take longer as the passcode gets longer.

Now, though, Apple has put up what may be an insurmountable wall. Multiple sources familiar with the GrayKey tech tell Forbes the device can no longer break the passcodes of any iPhone running iOS 12 or above. On those devices, GrayKey can only do what’s called a “partial extraction,” sources from the forensic community said. That means police using the tool can only draw out unencrypted files and some metadata, such as file sizes and folder structures.

The way of GrayKey no longer works on iOS devices likely because of the implementation of USB Restricted Mode that prevent other USB tools from accessing an iPhone or iPad if it's been more than an hour since the device was last unlocked, the USB access will cut off.

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