Apple Patches Tried to Contain iPhone Vulnerability

Posted by Kirhat | Monday, January 25, 2016 | | 0 comments »

iOS Flaws
The dangers of iPhones invading one's privacy cannot be stressed enough, which is why Apple issued a patch last 20 January for a flaw that could let hackers hijack the iPhone. This means that perpetrators can copy what user's type and make purchases without their knowledge.

To do that, hackers would have to create a fake Wi-Fi network that users would then connect to. After that, the information stored on iPhones is up for grabs.

So far, there's no indication that any bad guys have actually done this, but it's a useful reminder to guard the information stored on iPhones.

"We live off of these things," said Reg Harnish, CEO of cybersecurity firm Greycastle.

In the past decade, smartphones have gone from pocket-size communicators to the center of the world. Almost everyone buy and sell things with their phones, or do taxes, check our bank accounts, and communicate with everyone they have ever met. Phones are like a fingerprint of everyone's lives.

So while iOS 9.2.1- which also happens to be the first public (as opposed to beta) update of iOS 9.2 - might look like a minor update, it's still important to install.

Apple declined to comment on the vulnerability, which researchers at cybersecurity firm Skycure reported to the company in June.

Skycure researcher Adi Sharabani said attackers could do all sorts of damage once they've snared an iPhone on their fake network. They could steal cookies, which are stores of information that browsers use to communicate with websites.

Often, cookies contain passwords. And they could leave behind malicious software on popular banking and email websites that would record what the user is typing the next time they tried to log in. That email password alone, is gold. With it, hackers could potentially steal all other passwords.

"Attackers have list of most important data they are looking to get," Sharabani said.

Apple isn't the only company dealing with major security flaws. Android phones have a flaw, revealed last 19 January, that could give intruders access to the device's core - allowing them to rewrite the phone's software and take critical information.

Unfortunately, it will take a while before all Android phone users can install a patch. Unlike Apple, which controls its own universe, it's up to the different phone carriers to issue their fixes.

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