Is Your iPhone Susceptible to Getting Remotely Hacked?

Known for introducing newer technological trends in the tech industry, Apple has recently outdone itself once again with the launch of two new iPhone devices – iPhone 8 and iPhone X.

While users are swooning over the new iPhone X which comes as the company’s 10th-anniversary edition, possessing lots of incredible and exclusive features such as the inclusion of an OLED screen, Face ID, and Animoji, it wouldn’t be right to admit that iPhone 8 has been completely overshadowed. In fact, it is also enjoying quite a bit of a limelight like every other iPhone device does.

With every new device, the world-famous tech-brand does everything to ensure better security and provide data safety to its users. Right after a new iPhone device is unleashed for the users, the team of developers starts bringing in new updates to immediately fix the security flaws and other bugs. However, there still exists a possibility of a major security flaw or a bug lying somewhere in the coding that may allow the hacker to sneak into your device and get access to your private information. These issues can literally exploit your iOS device and provide a third party complete control over your iPhone.

Security Flaws Leading to iPhone Hacks

Interestingly, many stories as regard to compromising an iPhone with sneaky hacks in the form of text messages have surfaced in the past. For instance, last year in August, Apple had been notified about a security flaw, which was apparently found in the iOS, version 9.3.5, claiming to exploit the device altogether. According to the leading security firm Lookout, the security flaw allowed the attacker to send a link to the victim’s iPhone device via a text message. On opening the link, the victim falls into the prey of the attacker as all of their phone data, from call logs to emails to access to social media accounts to pictures and videos, gets compromised. According to the data collected from mobile and web analytics firm MixPanel back then, around 86% of Apple iPhones in the world were susceptible to getting remotely hacked with just a text message. Unbelievable, isn’t it? Apple was quick to take an abrupt action by fixing the flaw before it could affect millions of iPhone devices.

The One Million Dollar Text Message

Moving ahead with the same sneaky text message hack narrative, Ondrej Krehel, Digital Forensics Lead, CEO & Founder at LIFARS, also shared a story where someone claimed to have an SMS message that could hack an iPhone remotely. The more nerve-racking part was the rumor going around that a US-based ad agency had brought that iPhone hack by paying one million dollars for it. Generally, it’s not an easy task to break into a mobile device and deploy its software. It’s much harder to do even for an intermediate hacker – the one who is not trained enough to break into a device. However, for well-trained and professional hackers, carrying out phishing attack is a tad convenient. Such mind-gamers can easily trick you into handing over your personal information such as bank account details, passwords, and other confidential data to them.

How Does the Text Message Bug Work?

As Ondrej Krehel explains in the above video taken from Mashable, “there are a few exploits that work very independently from the user actions, just by one SMS message. Ultimately, if you have that bug, I can send you an SMS message to your iPhone, I can exploit your iPhone. I can fully control it.”

One of the researchers from Cisco Talos discovered the same bug that turned out to become the cause of the text message hack. This bug affected multimedia messages such as the TIFF image files, allowing hackers to gain instant access to your confidential information.

As a result, hackers could send a malicious text message to your iPhone and then run their own code on your device, gaining access to your phone’s data. All it takes for them is to have your phone number. Just with the phone number itself, they can successfully send you a text message and infiltrate your device. Even if you think of avoiding clicking on the link then keep in mind that it won’t stop the code from working.

What’s the Quick Fix?

Fortunately, Apple never stays behind in combatting these issues. As soon as the news about the malicious text message hack started making rounds, Apple came forward to fix the bug. There’s a quick fix to stay away from the malicious bug – to install the latest software update offered by Apple. These updates are designed by the company to improve the performance of the device as well as the stability and security problems like this one. Staying neglectful about the new software updates will only make your device more susceptible to getting hacked. In case the device is not updated on time, it becomes even more vulnerable to such attacks. Therefore, if you want to keep your device protected from the security flaws and bugs then you better install the latest updates on your device before it gets too late.

The process to get a quick update is really simple and straightforward. Simply head to the Settings of your iPhone > General > Software Update and then tap ‘Download’ and ‘Install’ to get the latest updated software on your device.

Users who keep a constant check on Apple’s new iOS updates will no longer be subject to the vulnerability of this issue and also prevent any hacker from exploiting their iPhone device.

Even the company continues to urge users to immediately get the latest update installed on their iPhones as soon as a new update or an iOS version is announced. The newly released iOS 11 update has only been out for two weeks and users have started complaining about the problems they’ve experienced so far. As expected, Apple was quick to nip the evil in the bud as it has already pushed out the first bug-fixing update for iOS 11.

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