Feeds

iPhone anti-phishing protection goes AWOL

It just doesn't work

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

An anti-phishing feature hyped by Apple marketers has gone AWOL from the iPhone, according to two independent researchers who say the feature simply does not work.

Apple rolled out the feature in iPhone OS 3.0 for the device and once again called attention to it in Wednesday's update to the iPhone operating system. The feature is designed to warn users when they try to browse a page that's known to phish their login credentials for PayPal or some other sensitive online service.

Except that it doesn't. Michael Sutton, vice president of security research for Zscaler, says here that he plugged known phishing sites into both Safari and Safari Mobile and found the difference in responses to be stark.

The sites "were generally blocked by Safari, but none were blocked by Safari Mobile," he writes. "In fact, I have yet to identify a single phishing page blocked on the iPhone." He signs off by imploring users to notify him if they can find a single rogue site that's flagged on the iPhone.

Researchers at Mac security provider Intego report the same finding. "We find it interesting that Apple has added this feature, but we're confused as to why it simply does not work," they write.

To be fair, the iPhone isn't the only smartphone that fails to warn users when they're about to visit a phishing site. But as far as we can tell, Apple is the only manufacturer claiming to protect users from the threat. The issue here is the empty promise of a phishing filter, which gives users a false sense of security. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Meet OneRNG: a fully-open entropy generator for a paranoid age
Kiwis to seek random investors for crowd-funded randomiser
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.