Apple to undercut popular law-enforcement tool for cracking iPhones

Are we nearing the end of the Lightning era

In 2016, the company refused a demand from the Federal Bureau of Investigation that it create software to circumvent encryption technology on an iPhone that had belonged to a suspect in a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. "We have the greatest respect for law enforcement, and we don't design our security improvements to frustrate their efforts to do their jobs", the company said in a statement. USB-C has the functionality of Lightning but in a connector that works across different platforms.

Apple plans to send out a software update to iPhone users that will make the smartphone's charging and data port inoperative an hour after the phone has been locked. In that mode, which will be the default, only charging will be possible through the port after the initial one hour period has expired.

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"We're constantly strengthening the security protections in every Apple product to help customers defend against hackers, identity thieves and intrusions into their personal data".

Apple said its changes were made with criminals in mind who can exploit the same vulnerabilities as law enforcement to break into stolen phones. "There's not really any reason to think only law enforcement will ever have those devices".

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Apple has been a prominent opponent of demands from authorities for legislation to be created that forces technology companies to maintain access to users' devices. According to a new rumor out of China, the company is only going to support the standard in the smartphones it releases next year. Apple pointed out Wednesday that it has responded to thousands of requests from USA law enforcement for access to customer data - more than 14,000 in 2017.

Having a device in the market that offers criminals - and law enforcement - the ability to get into any iPhone, no matter what the iOS version, for as low as $100 turned into a nightmare for Apple. "They will to some extent get away with it". This has allowed law enforcement officials and others to easily gain access to pretty much any iPhone.

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The Washington Post reported in May that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had misstated the number of all mobile devices that it could not access due to encryption by the thousands.

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