A company like Apple creates something, maybe even tries to secure it right out of the gate, but it’s just a matter of time before a workaround is discovered and the company is forced to make changes to patch the holes.
It is an ever-evolving situation, and, despite how secure a platform or device might be, there is always the possibility that someone will find a way to bypass the security measures in place. And that’s where Apple continues to find itself, with a special thanks to the security firm Grayshift, the maker of the USB-based GrayKey tool that is capable of cracking iOS devices.
As was reported on Thursday by VICE, it looks like Grayshift has already planned ahead of Apple’s upcoming USB Restricted Mode, and has apparently “already defeated” it. According to the report, Grayshift “went to great lengths” to achieve that goal, too. And an another source speaking to the publication said that Grayshift was talking about the USB Restricted Mode at a webinar earlier this year — essentially confirming that Grayshift has been working to prepare for Apple’s continued efforts to keep its devices secure for owners.
“Grayshift has gone to great lengths to future proof their technology and stated that they have already defeated this security feature in the beta build. Additionally, the GrayKey has built in future capabilities that will begin to be leveraged as time goes on,” a June email from a forensic expert who planned to meet with Grayshift, and seen by Motherboard, reads, although it is unclear from the email itself how much of this may be marketing bluff. “They seem very confident in their staying power for the future right now,” the email adds.”
Unfortunately, at the time of publication, there is no information as to how Grayshift figured out a way to bypass the USB Restricted Mode, so we don’t know exactly how they’re accomplishing that goal. But it stands to reason that Apple will figure it out at some point, if they don’t already have an idea, and the evolutionary security race to nowhere will continue as Apple works out a way to block Grayshift’s own efforts.
It’s always interesting to see the developments in situations like this. People aren’t going to stop trying to figure out ways to bypass devices, and not just Apple’s, either. But this back-and-forth between Grayshift and Apple doesn’t look like it’s going to die down any time soon.