Feeds

iOS 7: Even if you don't jailbreak your iPhone, bugs STILL CREEP IN

Oh, and that SSL bugfix last week? Old news, my boy

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The comforting notion that unmodified iOS phones are more or less immune to security threats has been shaken to the core with the release of new research that shows mobile monitoring applications can bypass Apple’s app review process and successfully exploit non-jailbroken iOS 7 kit.

Background monitoring mobile (AKA snooping) apps were previously considered a risk only to jailbroken iOS devices. However, security researchers at FireEye have discovered that it's possible to effectively circumvent Apple's app review process and exploit non-jailbroken iOS 7 devices.

Potential attackers can either use phishing to mislead the victim into installing a malicious app or exploit a known vulnerability in another app before running a background monitoring app. FireEye created such a proof-of-concept "monitoring" app on non-jailbroken iOS 7.0.x devices to underline its concerns.

This app was capable of recording all the user touch/press events from the background – including touches on the screen, home button press, volume button press and TouchID press – before phoning home with this sensitive information to a remote server. "Potential attackers can use such information to reconstruct every character the victim inputs," FireEye warned.

The demo exploits the latest 7.0.4 version of iOS system on a non-jailbroken iPhone 5S devices. Users running iOS versions 7.0.5, 7.0.6 and 6.1.x are also at risk from the same vulnerability.

The research from FireEye, released on Monday, covers similar ground to separate research into touchloggers (touchscreen keylogging malware) by TrustWave, also unveiled at this week's RSA conference in San Francisco. Trustwave's research involved the creation of proof of concept malware for rooted Android and jailbroken iOS devices but didn't look into the risk on non-jailbroken iOS devices, the focus of FireEye's research.

FireEye is working with Apple on resolving the issue. In the meantime it reckons the only way for iOS users to avoid the security risk is to use the iOS task manager to stop the apps from running in the background.

More details on FireEye's research can be found in a blog post here.

Last week Apple released patches for iOS 6 and iOS 7 (6.1.6 and 7.0.6 respectively) to fix a vuln which allowed a man-in-the-middle attack against SSL and TLS-encrypted sessions. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
Desperate VXers enslave FREEZERS in DDoS bot
Updated Spike malware targets Asia
Heatmiser digital thermostat users: For pity's sake, DON'T SWITCH ON the WI-FI
A stranger turns up YOUR heat with default password 1234
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.