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IPhone SE, iPhone 6s suffer fast battery drain on iOS 11.4

11 July 2018

On the day of its official release, technology security gurus are raising a red flag over Apple's new security feature, USB Restricted Mode.

No doubt it's only a matter of time before security companies either find a way to reactivate the port or devise a different system to access an iPhone - it is, after all, still software. The toggle is off by default, which means Restricted Mode is enabled and you'll need to unlock the device via passcode or Touch ID before USB data connection can work again. One hour after the phone's last been unlocked, it enters USB Restricted Mode, which disables data access to its Lightning port, preventing access from devices like the Graykey. Apple has added protections against the USB devices being used by law enforcement and private companies that connect over Lightning to crack an iPhone's passcode and evade Apple's usual encryption safeguards.

What we discovered is that iOS will reset the USB Restrictive Mode countdown timer even if one connects the iPhone to an untrusted USB accessory, one that has never been paired to the iPhone before (well, in fact the accessories do not require pairing at all).

Making sure its research is as inclusive and objective as possible, ElcomSoft says it plans to test as many USB adapters as possible and found that one, the Apple Lightning to 3.5mm jack adapter ($9), does not work to defeat USB restrictions. All iOS 11.4, 11.4.1 and iOS 12 users are recommended to downgrade to 11.4 beta 3 for jailbreak!

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However, if you aren't actually happy with the release, and you want to go back to an earlier version of iOS, then be aware that Apple is now only signing iOS 11.4, which means that you will only be able to downgrade to iOS 11.4.

Yesterday, Apple's iOS 11.4.1 update secured the USB Lightning port on iPhones and iPads.

Most (if not all) USB accessories fit the goal - for example, Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter from Apple.

There should be no reason why iOS 11.4.1 has caused issues on your device.

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Battery drain is not listed among the bugs iOS 11.4.1 addresses.

Afonin notes that the apparent loophole is "probably nothing more than an oversight", but it's a pretty important oversight given the amount of noise Apple was making about the new security feature in the first place.

Another user pointed out that the iPhone's Settings apps shows that the Personal Hotspot is using up nearly 50 percent of the device's battery life even when the user has never activated it. We'll just have to wait and see.

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IPhone SE, iPhone 6s suffer fast battery drain on iOS 11.4