What it is: The latest iOS beta includes a feature to defeat encryption-cracking devices like GrayKey.
When police want to view the contents of your iOS device, they have to crack the password (or use your fingerprint or face to unlock an iPhone). To crack a password, authorities often use a device called a GrayKey, which essentially cracks passwords through brute force. Brute force means the GrayKey devices tries every possible combination until it finds the right one. Sometimes this can take a small amount of time but usually this takes a longer amount of time, depending on the size and complexity of the password.
That means no matter how secure your password may be, a device like GrayKey can break it eventually. That’s why the latest iOS beta includes a feature that shuts down the Lightning port after seven days. This assumes that if you don’t unlock your iOS device after seven days, it’s probably in the hands of the authorities. Then this will stop a device like GrayKey from accessing the iOS device, essentially keeping the iOS device’s contents safely locked out of sight.
Naturally, this is a two-way sword. Terrorists and criminals can use an iOS device to hide their activities, which is why the FBI and other governments constantly want backdoors in iOS devices so they can access its contents at any time. What the FBI and other governments fail to realize is that if a backdoor is put into any device, then criminals and thieves can access that backdoor as well.
Imagine a bank built with secure walls, but with a secret backdoor that anyone can open if they know where to find it. That means authorities can go into that bank any time they want but if thieves find this backdoor, they can also go into the bank any time they want. Backdoors are worthless because they open any device up to hacking by criminals and thieves, not to mention dishonest and corrupt government officials who could exploit any such backdoor.
Apple will constantly find ways to improve the security of iOS devices and governments will constantly complain they need a backdoor to access devices, completely forgetting that if they have access to any such backdoor, so will criminals, hackers, and thieves.
Expect the next update to iOS to block access through the Lightning port after seven days of inactivity. Security is either one for everyone or off for everyone. There is no in between.