Even iPhones can be hacked: Safety risks you should be aware of

Vimal Joshi
Updated: 15 Dec 2021, 04:59 PM IST
TL;DR.

Merely owning an iPhone is not a panacea for all data security threats. The users should be aware of their smartphone vulnerabilities, and try to protect their financial data from any potential breach

Pegasus can target even the iPhones via multiple apps including Apple iMessage, FaceTime, Apple Music and Safari web pages.

Pegasus can target even the iPhones via multiple apps including Apple iMessage, FaceTime, Apple Music and Safari web pages.

If you manage your bank account or trading account on your smartphone, you must make sure that your device is secure from hacking. And if it is not, you should keep it as safe as you can from the data breach.

In September 2021, it was discovered that Israel firm NSO group’s Pegasus software can target even the iPhones via multiple apps including Apple iMessage, FaceTime, Apple Music and Safari web pages.

And once the virus enters the phone, it gets entire access to the phone including its location, text messages and audio, photo, video files, etc.

Zero-click hack

With a zero-click hack, the attacker can target a mobile phone without the user clicking any link sent to him. This makes the hacking even more sophisticated.

Once a hacking attempt is successful, the iPhone can be converted into a listening device.

It is worth noting that such targets do not compromise security of iPhones in general because such hacking attacks are perpetrated against specific individuals and not against the mobile phone users of a particular make in general.

In other words, no report suggests that any mass hacking was conducted across a large number of iPhone users. However, only a select few journalists and activists were targeted.

Security update

All iPhone users must stay on guard and install the latest security update as soon as one can, Hindustan Times quoted John Scott-Railton as saying. Scott-Railton is a senior researcher at Citizen Lab which has discovered the Apple flaw.

Experts say that it’s not possible to find out whether a phone is infected. “There's nothing you can do as a user to protect yourself from infection, and nothing you're going to see when you're infected,” John Scott-Railton was quoted by news agency AFP.

However, an open-source utility called Mobile Verification Toolkit was released by Amnesty International that can detect the traces of Pegasus in your phone.

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We explain what exactly is a zero click hack.

The software can run on a personal computer to analyse data that also includes backup files exported from a smartphone — Android as well as iPhone.

So, we can summarise that hacking attempts and data breach are not uncommon to iPhones any more. It is highly recommended that the users install their security updates without fail and minimise, if not eliminate, the occurrence of data theft risk.

 

First Published: 15 Dec 2021, 04:59 PM IST
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