Apple Has Reportedly Managed to Kill the GrayKey iPhone Cracking Tool – Nobody Has Any Clue How

iPhone security graykey

Apple has apparently blocked the GrayKey tool, preventing it from cracking the password of any devices that are running its latest software. According to a report by Forbes, the iPhone maker has "put up what may be an insurmountable wall" for Grayshift, the maker of this iPhone hacking tool. Citing sources familiar with the case, the publication said that GrayKey can no longer crack the passcodes of iPhones running iOS 12 or above.

GrayKey took the industry by a storm earlier this year as a "cheap" tool to get into iPhones promising to unlock them for under $100 as compared to the millions of dollars the FBI reportedly pays for such unlocks. The device was specifically designed for the law enforcement to crack passwords on iPhones. Apple with the release of iOS 11.4.1 introduced the "USB Restricted Mode" to circumvent GrayKey's tech. However, researchers were quick to point out ways around that fix too.

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Now Forbes suggests that Apple has finally managed to restrict GrayKey to "partial extraction" as opposed to successfully brute-forcing passwords. This partial extraction gets the GrayKey users access to unencrypted metadata like file sizes and folder structures. It isn't immediately clear what fix Apple has deployed and if it has been there since the release of iOS 12 in September.

No one has any idea about what the fix is; police confirms current reports of GrayKey not working

“No idea," Vladimir Katalov, chief of forensic tech provider Elcomsoft, told the publication. "It [the fix] could be everything from better kernel protection to stronger configuration-profile installation restrictions."

While Apple and GrayKey are both silent on the matter, one police officer, Captain John Sherwin of the Rochester Police Department in Minnesota, was reported saying "that’s a fairly accurate assessment as to what we have experienced" when asked if they are experiencing any issues with GrayKey. “Give it time and I am sure a ‘workaround’ will be developed," he added.

"Someone is always building a better mousetrap, whether it’s Apple or someone trying to defeat device security.”

This statement is quite true. With Grayshift having gone global now selling its products out of the United States, the company would do its best to find a workaround to continue to unlock iPhones. And having an ex-Apple security engineer on the team does help its case.

- While we aren't sure if "USB Restricted Mode" has to do with this fix, you can follow these steps to uncheck USB accessories and enable this restriction. 

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