How to enable USB Restricted Mode in iOS 11.4.1

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Security researchers at ElcomSoft point out that connecting a USB accessory inside the 1-hour window restarts the clock.

The feature, introduced in iOS 11.4.1 and iOS 12 beta 2, is supposed to make the data on your iPhone safe even if someone can physically access it. Significant but not listed: USB Restricted Mode, a change originally included in the iOS 12 beta that makes it more hard for anyone, including authorities, to break into the iPhone through the Lightning port.

However, USB Restricted Mode is not foolproof.

Tap the switch next to USB Accessories under Allow Access When Locked to put it in the white "off" position (if it's not there already) if you want USB Restricted Mode activated. Apple says that it added USB Restricted Mode to iOS to increase device security against a known means of hacking, which notably has been used by law enforcement personnel to extract the contents of criminal suspects' phones without their permission.

If an accessory is connected to the iPhone within that one-hour timeframe before the Restricted Mode is enabled, then it will be able to disable the lockdown timer. Any USB accessory that connects to an iPhone over the Lightning port works, including Apple's own Lighting to USB 3 Camera adapter which is available for $39. There are people who'd prefer unlocking their phones every time someone connects an accessory to the Lightning port instead of being subjected to the flawed restrictions.

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It prevents specialist unlocking hardware made by the likes of Cellebrite and Grayshift from entering multiple passcode guesses via the phone's data port. The feature is aimed at rendering third-party boxes which try to brute force into a locked iPhone useless. When you connect the iPhone to a computer, the two devices exchange cryptographic keys and establish trust.

Battery drain is not listed among the bugs iOS 11.4.1 addresses. Security is always a moving target - we'll have to see how the iOS cracking industry responds to Apple's latest defences.

This seems like an oversight on Apple's part, and it's possible the company will fix this in a future update.

Another user pointed out that the iPhone's Settings apps shows that the Personal Hotspot is using up nearly 50 percent of the device's battery life even when the user has never activated it.