One of the ways that law enforcement have been cracking iOS devices such as iPhones is by connecting them to external devices made by third-party companies. Apple is clearly not thrilled by this which is why in iOS 12, they introduced a new feature called USB Restricted Mode that makes it harder for law enforcement to crack their devices.
However it seems that despite Apple’s efforts, shortly after the feature was announced, it was also reported that the companies that make these cracking devices claimed to have beaten it. Not surprisingly Apple isn’t taking this lying down because in the latest iOS 12 developer beta 4, it has been revealed that Apple has made some further improvements to USB Restricted Mode.
For those unfamiliar with the feature, basically if the phone has not been unlocked for an hour, what happens is that when it is connected via USB to facilitate data transfer, it will require a password to be entered. However with this change, that hour timeframe has been removed completely and that when users connect it to a computer or USB accessory, they will need to enter a password regardless of however much time has passed in between.
This means that devices like the GreyKey box will no longer have that hour window to try and brute force their way to the contents on the iPhone. It is unclear if this has beaten such devices completely but for those concerned about privacy and security, this change should be welcome news.