The iPhone has been taking massive blows in terms of security and privacy for the last 6 years. Whether it is the NSA or hackers, Apple’s iPhone is constantly facing defeat in the war for privacy and security.
After the iCloud servers were hacked by hackers back in August 31st, 2014, iOS users developed a sense of paranoia for their iPhones and iPad, questioning their decision to use the handheld devices instead of the Android OS.
Increase in Malware Threats for iPhone
iPhone always received special attention from malwares – in a bad way that is. According to an article on “Yahoo Tech” last year, malware such as YiSpecter are on the loose, and are targeting iOS based devices including iPhone, iPad and iPod. This malware cloaks itself as a genuine Apple application and then tampers with the phone’s system, ROM, RAM, etc.
YiSpecter wasn’t the only malware that managed to destabilize iPhone’s firewall and encryption; there was another malware called “XCodeGhost” that did its job quite nicely as well. According to Stuff.TV, the “XCodeGhost” manages to nab your credentials through key-logging and disruption of social media apps like Facebook, WeChat, Viber and SnapChat.
iPhone’s Vulnerabilities Against Wi-Fi’s
Last year, there was a malware found on public Wi-Fi’s that crippled users’ iPhones and iPads, and forced them to reboot and refresh every other minute. According to “The Guardian”, many iPhone and iPad users had to trash their devices, as the malware eventually corrupted the phones core programming through constant re-bootings and refreshes.
The malware exposed the security risks that iPhone users face when using public WiFi HotSpots. Most pubic WiFi HotSpots are unprotected, which allow hackers and malware designers to inject malicious code into the router’s framework, thereby easily targeting the users who connect to the WiFi HotSpot.
iPhone users now use encryption and tunneling tools to ensure that they stay safe when connecting to WiFi HotSpots. Similarly, public HotSpot providers now take special care to ensure that they configure advanced encryption on their routers.
Flaws in the iPhones Core System
According to a research conducted by the delegates of Indiana University and the Georgia University Of Technology, there is a flaw in iOS security tools that allow malicious data and apps to penetrate into users’ personal information like passwords and credit card numbers – because of a vulnerability in Apple’s “KeyChain Service”.
Apple’s “KeyChain Service” is a feature for iPhone users to help save usernames and passwords for Apple applications. Apple hasn’t released a solid patch for the vulnerability and user data security remains threatened.
However, data theft on account of the KeyChain Service vulnerability can be prevented with the usage of VPN that ensures users’ confidentiality through encryption and connection tunneling.
Diminishing Privacy & Government Surveillance
Apple and the NSA have been in conflict with each other, on this issue, for over a decade now. Allegedly, the NSA has been implanting spyware on individual iPhones through AppStore downloads which manipulate the iPhone’s OS to send users’ information to the NSA unnoticed. This was also testified by Edward Snowden in one of his expos when he blew the whistle on the NSA’s “DROPOUTJEEP” program.
Project “DropOutJeep” was run by the NSA to retain users’ data through AppStore downloads. This project consisted of spyware that would implant itself on the targeted iPhone and allow NSA agents to extract and push data on the individual’s iPhone.
Recently, the NSA went berserk trying to crack through Apple’s encryption and firewall. A shooting incident in California initiated this beef between the two, but the debate on state security seems to be a cover up for the NSA’s push to penetrate deeper into Apple’s user privacy software architecture.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the NSA is leveraging the Justice Department’s system to push Apple Inc. into decrypt other iPhones besides the shooter’s phone, for inspection and investigation. If this happens, the collateral damage will come in the form of the death of privacy of iPhone users across America.
The iCloud Incident
On August 31st, 2014, the world witnessed an online circus where celebrities were put to shame with their “private” data being put on public forums for everyone to view. This was done by independent hackers from different thread based websites, and the reason behind the attack remains unknown.
Knowing those photos were deleted long ago, I can only imagine the creepy effort that went into this. Feeling for everyone who got hacked.
— Mary E. Winstead (@M_E_Winstead) August 31, 2014
Celebrities suffered emotionally and mentally from these attacks. Like millions of other iCloud users, they had trusted Apple’s Cloud storage system with their personal data, and some of the leaked data was that which had already been deleted but had been backed up on the iCloud servers.
Thank you iCloud🍕💩
— Kirsten Dunst (@kirstendunst) September 1, 2014
Celebrities, much like regular iCloud users, failed to realize that major hack attacks (such as the one in question) take place because of the everyday Netizen’s failure to use encryption and tunneling during internet sessions. As a result, hackers are able to steal the data they need to carry out major hack attacks.
Every iPhone User for Himself
The iPhone is gradually proving to be more vulnerable as time passes. We recommend that you always stay on your guard and protect yourself with the practical counter measures – a VPN in the case of Apple’s iPhone.