Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Tech | By

Apple iOS 11.4.1 officially adds USB Restricted Mode, blocking hacking tools

Apple iOS 11.4.1 officially adds USB Restricted Mode, blocking hacking tools

Apple released iOS 11.4.1, tvOS 11.4.1, and watchOS 4.3.2 today with minor bug fixes for its iPhones, iPads, HomePods, Apple TVs, and Apple Watches, but there was one surprise in the software: USB Restricted Mode, a feature created to block iPhone-cracking USB devices used by law enforcement agencies, has finally arrived. Camera issues and battery drain problems stemming from iOS 11.4 have been patched in the update. If you own a HomePod, it will automatically update itself to the latest software release without any user intervention.

The update includes a new feature called "USB Restricted Mode" that will disable a data connection from the iPhone's charging/data port at the bottom of the device after one hour of being locked by default. However, Apple had not released the details on its security page at the time of this posting, but expect them to appear sometime soon.

Essentially, after one hour of non-use, an iOS 11.4.1 handheld will not talk to any device plugged into its charging port - other than to receive power to charge its battery - until a valid passcode is entered via the screen.

USB Restricted Mode can be found in Settings Face ID (or Touch ID) & Passcode USB Accessories.

Apple also released minor updates for the Apple Watch, Apple TV, and HomePod-watchOS 4.3.2, tvOS 11.4.1, and HomePod 10.4.1. These are also small updates. There isn't anything in the way of new features, instead delivering on some bug fixes and stability improvements.

Apple is rolling out iOS 11.4.1 for iPhones and iPads everywhere. There's precious little question at this point that iOS 11 has been Apple's most problematic mobile software release in many years. After almost a year of dealing with buggy iPhones and iPads, iOS 12 is already a breath of fresh air in is current beta state. Those releases are likely to come this fall.

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