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Thursday, 30 July 2009 11:11

iPhone can be hacked with an SMS message

Written by Nick Farell

Image

That is security for you

In a week were it was revealed that the iPhone's encryption was about as useful as a chocolate teapot, security experts have worked out a way of cracking the Jesus phone by using an SMS message.

The news makes a mockery of Apple's claims that its software has superior security to anyone else.According to CNET an attacker could exploit the hole to make calls, steal data, send text messages, and do basically anything that the user does with their iPhone. The attack is enabled by a serious memory corruption bug in the way the iPhone handles SMS messages. There is no patch, despite the fact that Apple was notified of the problem about six weeks ago.

To be fair Android-based phones were found to be similarly susceptible to an SMS attack, but attacker could temporarily knock the phone off the network but not take control. Google patched the hole in a week and does not tell its users that it is invulnerable to attack either.

Previous iPhone attacks required an attacker to lure the iPhone user to visit a malicious Web site or open a malicious file, but this attack requires no effort on the part of the user and requires only that an attacker have the victim's phone number.

Once inside a victim's phone, the attacker could then send an SMS to anyone in the victim's address book and spread the attack from phone to phone.
Last modified on Thursday, 30 July 2009 12:09
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