Apple To Close iPhone Security Loophole Police Use to Collect Evidence

(From The Guardian)

Apple is closing a security gap that allowed outsiders to obtain personal information from locked iPhones without a password, a change that will thwart law enforcement agencies that have been exploiting the vulnerability to collect evidence in criminal investigations.

The loophole will be shut in a forthcoming update to Apple’s iOS software, which powers iPhones.

Once fixed, iPhones will no longer be vulnerable to intrusion via the Lightning port used to transfer data and to charge the devices. The port will still function after the update, but will shut off data an hour after a phone is locked if the correct password is not entered.

The flaw has provided a point of entry for authorities across the US since the FBI paid an unidentified third party in 2016 to unlock an iPhone used by a mass killer in the San Bernardino shooting months earlier.

The FBI sought outside help after Apple rebuffed the agency’s efforts to get it to create a security backdoor for iPhones.

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