GrayKey password cracking tool can no longer break into by Apple’s iOS 12 update
Apple has finally managed to stop GrayKey devices from working on iPhones running last month’s release of iOS 12, according to a report from Forbes.
For those unaware, GrayKey is an iPhone unlocking device created by Atlanta-based firm Grayshift. This tool helps law enforcement agencies around the world to break passwords on iPhones involved in criminal investigations. The tool attracted widespread concern from security experts as well as the public when the device was unveiled in March.
Apple for the past six months has been continuously setting up hurdles to block GrayKey’s ability to access user data without permission. However, Grayshift managed to jump each barrier and continued to grow.
With iOS 12, however, GrayKey can no longer break a password of any iPhone. “On those devices, GrayKey can only do what’s called a “partial extraction,” sources from the forensic community said, reports Forbes. “That means police using the tool can only draw out unencrypted files and some metadata, such as file sizes and folder structures.”
However, it is unclear as to how Apple managed to restrict GrayKey. Vladimir Katalov, chief of forensic tech provider Elcomsoft, said “it could be everything from better kernel protection to stronger configuration-profile installation restrictions.”
Captain John Sherwin, Police officer of the Rochester Police Department in Minnesota confirmed that iOS 12 was blocking GrayKey from unlocking iPhones: “That’s a fairly accurate assessment as to what we have experienced.
“Give it time and I am sure a ‘workaround’ will be developed … and then the cycle will repeat. Someone is always building a better mousetrap, whether it’s Apple or someone trying to defeat device security.”
Neither Apple nor Grayshift has commented on the report.