Is Your iPhone Fully Secure? Examples of Errors and Inaccuracies in iOS
By Space Coast Daily // August 18, 2020
For a lot of people, their phone is their means of connecting to the outside world, paying bills and sending pictures to their friends. There’s a lot that you can tell about a person if you were able to tap into their phone and watch a person’s every move.
And this leads to one question: how secure is your phone?
Mobile operating systems are very limited, with two main systems in use: Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.
If you’re running an iPhone, you’ll want to know how secure your phone is – if it’s secure at all.
Apple’s Take on Operating System Security
Apple is known for requiring the highest level of security with their operating system. When you develop an app, there are a myriad of restrictions and requirements that have to be met before the app will make it onto the App Store.
While no operating system is 100% secure, iOS is a very secure operating system.
Back when the iPhone 11 shipped, it was known that there was a security vulnerability with the phone. Hackers can target both the operating system and the hardware when trying to exploit a mobile device.
While it’s not uncommon for Apple and other companies to develop products in-house and use their own testers to find vulnerabilities, it’s also not uncommon to hire an usability testing company to run additional tests.
There are often contests that aim to exploit iPhones.
If an exploit is considered “zero-click,” the hacker will receive a $2 million prize. People are trying to find these exploits and get paid. The exploit will try to do two main things:
- Gain access to the device
- Take control of the device
As an end user, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be the victim of one of these sophisticated attacks. The attacks are usually targeting high-end users, such as presidents, CEOs or celebrities that can be exploited.
Your biggest concern for an iPhone security issues is your own errors, such as:
■ Physical access to your phone
Attacks, which require your own mistakes to be run, are the most concerning.
Common or Past Security Issues for iPhones
Your iPhone is rather secure, and while you may find some errors or glitches when using your iPhone, updates typically rectify the issue quickly.
Massive flaws that are more concerning because they can reach large audiences, include:
■ Apple Mail app. A cybersecurity executive found a flaw in the default mail app offered by Apple. There was a malicious program that was able to exploit the app. Users were receiving blank messages that caused the phone to reset their phone. The flaw didn’t require users to open the message to gain access. Once the mail was received in the app, the flaw led to hackers being able to access photos, contact information and other data.
■ Copy and paste. A copy and paste exploit was found on all iOS devices. The exploit involved the copy and paste functioning allowing apps to access items copied from other apps.
■ Bootrom hack. One of the most significant flaws is the “bootrom” memory hack that is required to run the device when it powers on. Hackers were able to use the issue for all devices and it’s not an issue that can be rectified on older devices. The flaw allows the hacker to install apps, but it did not allow for encrypted data to be retrieved.
A lot vulnerabilities are very severe, but they shouldn’t be a concern for most users. Some of the vulnerabilities require a person to have physical access to the phone, so there’s no reason to worry unless someone actually has your phone and the skills to perform the hack.
The risk of being hacked by one of these vulnerabilities shouldn’t hold you back from using an iPhone. Android also has its flaws, so it’s going to be nearly impossible to find a solution that is 100% secure.
Manufacturers and developers are always finding ways to hack or break the security measures in place. With stronger security measures and “bounties” to find flaws, we can expect the iPhone and other smartphones to only become more secure over time.
In general, for 99% of users, the iPhone is secure enough to do banking, work or anything else.
Meta Description: Is the iPhone secure? We discuss a few of the most recent security flaws and why these vulnerabilities, while severe, shouldn’t be a concern for most users.
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