Apple blocks controversial GrayKey iPhone and iPad hacking device in iOS 12

Posted 29 October 2018 17:05 CET by Jan Willem Aldershoff

Apple has taken measures against the GrayKey hack device that made it possible to crack iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad. The device developed by GrayKey is reportedly mainly used by secret services to unlock mobile Apple devices. It’s unknown how the device does its job.

Several insiders have told Forbes that the GrayKey device no longer works with the iPad and iPhone when it runs iOS 12. Older versions of the operating system remain vulnerable to the methods used by GrayKey. It’s unknown what Apple has done to prevent GrayKey from unlocking iOS 12 devices.

GrayKey first appeared in March this year. The device is reportedly able to crack a iPhone or iPad pin code of four numbers in about 6.5 minutes. Cracking a pin code of six numbers would take up to 11 hours.

The device is developed by the American startup GrayShift and is reportedly used by the American police and secret services.

Apple previously also attempted to prevent the GrayKey from unlocking iOS devices. In iOS 11.4.1 Apple added a feature called “USB Accessories” that only allowed USB devices to connect with an iOS device if it was unlocked within the last hour.

It was expected it would prevent the GrayKey device from doing its job, but it didn’t take long for GrayShift to announce it had circumvented the new feature.

It remains unknown how the company is able to unlock iOS devices. The company might also introduce a solution to bypass iOS 12 security and get in a cat and mouse fight with Apple.

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