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iPhones Are Susceptible To Malware Attacks Even When Switched Off: What It Means

By: S Aadeetya

News18.com

Last Updated: May 18, 2022, 18:12 IST

Apple iPhone users have a new warning.

Apple iPhone users have a new warning.

Apple offers the useful Find My iPhone feature which uses a Bluetooth chip to detect devices when you lose or misplace it.

Apple has proudly talked about iPhone’s privacy and security measures over the years, but a new report suggests an iPhone is prone to malware attacks even when you turn them off. This discovery was made by a team of researchers from the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, who claim that Apple’s popular Find My iPhone feature is the culprit for the vulnerability.

As you might be aware, the Find My iPhone feature does not need the device to be switched on, instead it uses the Bluetooth chip to detect the phone when you have lost or misplaced it. And the team observed that the firmware of the Bluetooth chip is not encrypted, leaving it vulnerable to malicious attacks.

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The details of the findings have been shared via their report titled, “Evil Never Sleeps: When Wireless Malware Stays On After Turning Off iPhone.” It explains the low-power mode of the Bluetooth chip has been designed with its purpose in mind, Apple probably didn’t think about the security aspect of it, which is why iPhones running on the iOS 15 version can be exploited using this loophole.

But all isn’t doom for the iPhone users just yet, as the research team quickly explains that in order to bypass this security issue, the attacker would need an iPhone which has been jailbroken. Considering most iPhones in the market aren’t jailbroken (since you lose the official Apple warranty on the device), it is possible the threat level of such an attack isn’t too concerning for Apple.

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Anyway, the team reached out to Apple to share their findings from the report, which has reportedly been studied by Apple engineers.

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We are hoping that in the future, the company will fix any possible vulnerabilities that exist with the Find My iPhone feature, even if it is related to jailbroken iPhone models.

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first published:May 18, 2022, 18:12 IST
last updated:May 18, 2022, 18:12 IST