iPhone users at risk of being ‘pwned’

The team of Charlie Miller and his fellow cybersecurity researcher Collin Mulliner presented an iPhone vulnerability at the Black Hat cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas which can allow anyone to take control of all the iPhones across the world. The duo has found a flaw in the way iPhone manages its text messages. The researchers have revealed that the weakness lies in the way the iPhone receives the text messages.

When a SMS is sent by the carrier to the phone then it receives the full message even if the phone is incapable of deciphering the whole text message. This is how the smartphones work. Miller claims that if a SMS is sent to the user’s phone which it doesn’t understand then it gets confused and handles that message differently which somehow makes the phone vulnerable to being remotely hijacked.

This will allow the hacker to literally take over your phone and all the activity that you might perform on your iPhone ranging from checking your bank account to your emails. The solutions according to the Miller and Mulliner lies with AT&T and Apple. AT&T can filter such SMS from ever reaching the iPhone users while Apple can quickly create a patch to stop this from ever happening.

Such SMS messages will appear as some garbled text or single square character. It is advised to quickly (like in seconds) shut down your iPhone and pray that the hacker doesn’t attack you again. There’s obviously not much that user can do (other than keep his phone shut) at his end as of now until AT&T and Apple do something very quick. The researcher duo have also claimed that such vulnerabilities are also present in Android and Windows Mobile but iPhone stole most of the attention.

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