A finding by a group of security researchers on Friday revealed that almost all Apple devices are vulnerable to a variety of hacks. Even though Apple has already issued an update for iOS in response to the security concerns, it is still working on an update for Mac computers, which are still vulnerable.
While the researchers who discovered the flaws and the people who have looked at Apple’s fix know what the problem was, none of them have announced what was actually wrong with iOS or Mac OS X. However, researchers who did speak publicly about their findings announced that there was a major issue and possibly the worst kind of vulnerability that one could possibly seen in these types of devices.
It’s as bad as you could imagine, that’s all I can say, – Matthew Green, cryptography professor, John Hopkins University
Prior to the iOS and Mac updates that cover up the vulnerability, hackers were able to intercept emails and other forms of communication which should have been sent from the device in an encrypted and secure format.
We are aware of this issue and already have a software fix that will be released very soon. – Trudy Muller, spokeswoman, Apple, speaking with Reuters
Since the hackers were capable of intercepting the emails as they were being sent from a device, they were also able to add malicious links into the email’s text prior to it being fully sent.
For all intents and purposes, this sort of vulnerability is the absolute best scenario from a hacker’s point of view and it is still not known how long hackers were able to intercept emails from Apple devices in this way.
From the details that have been provided, the vulnerability appears to be tied around the digital certificates that many sites use in order to establish an encrypted connection for data transfers. If the hackers adjust the certificates in the smallest way, they are able to impersonate the websites and therefore, gain control over emails and other pieces of information being sent.
Now that general information about the vulnerability has been released, it is only a matter of time before more hackers find a way around whatever fix Apple applies to iOS and Mac OS X. However, mobile iOS users should be safe for the time being now that the update has been sent out.
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