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Monday, 24 February 2014 11:25

Apple admits a security flaw

Written by Nick Farrell



So bad it is not claiming it is a feature

Fruit themed cargo cult Apple has admitted that it has a major security flaw in its software for mobile devices. The fact that Jobs’ Mob has actually admitted it means that it is so bad it is worried it will get sued if it does not confess. Normally it tries to pretend that its software is super secure, or that the hole is actually a feature.

To be fair Apple make its confession in such a low-key way that most users likely aren’t aware of just how at risk they might be if they fail to update their software. The problem is a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) vulnerability allowing hackers to intercept information that was supposed to be encrypted.

The attack vector is like this: an attacker has access to the same network over an unsecured WiFi connection in a coffee shop or restaurant. He could impersonate a protected site such as Facebook or Gmail and alter any data passed between the iPhone and the site.

Johns Hopkins University cryptography professor Matthew said that the attack is as bad as you could imagine. Given we have good imaginations we would suggest that Apple users buy a proper computer or never turn on their wi-fi in a public place.

The flaw is certainly embarrassing considering SSL is hardly groundbreaking stuff and has been around for years. Some are speculating that it is this security hole that allowed the National Security Agency to spy on Apple fanboys and see which Coldplay single is their favourite.

Nick Farrell

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