TvOS 11.4 Beta 4 Now Available for Apple TV

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Elcomsoft tested the new feature and found that after a week of no unlocking, "the Lightning port is only good for charging".

The USB Restricted Mode - if it will be in iOS 11.4, as predicted by Elcomsoft after looking at Apple documentation and developer betas - will be Apple's strongest effort in safeguarding iPhone users' privacy since its face-off with the Federal Bureau of Investigation over unlocking the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook in 2015.

"[Now] if the phone is delivered [to the unlocking service] in a powered-off state, and the passcode is not known, the chance of extraction is slim at best", Elcomsoft said. If the user doesn't unlock their device using Face ID, Touch ID or the passcode after seven days, the Lightning port can no longer be used with a computer or other USB accessories. To Apple's credit, they have been relatively quick when it comes to squashing such bugs, so hopefully we won't have to wait until the release of iOS 11.4 to see a fix. This basically locks the device in a way that it can not be restored or updated via iTunes after the threshold period is met.

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After several incorrect attempts to unlock an iPhone, the device disables further attempts by increasing the amount of time in between each guess. Device thieves intent on wiping phones will be affected as well, but given Apple and the FBI's history it's a safe assumption that law enforcement is the primary target. Restricted mode won't work even with computers authorized via iTunes unless the device has beeh unlocked properly first.

"After the seven days elapse, the Lightning port will be disabled". While Cellebrite offers this exclusively as an in-house service, and the service is only available to select law enforcement agencies with proper court orders, GrayKey supplies the actual unlocking hardware to North American law enforcement. Now, law enforcement will have an expedited window to unlock the device, as the lockdown records also expire after a period of time.