A report proposed that nearly a quarter-million iPhones have been hacked by at least one or more of the 92 distinct identified varieties of malware. A new feature called System and Security Info will let you know if your iPhone was one of them.
Would you even know?
The troublesome part isn’t the hack itself, but it is the fact that bulks of consumers have absolutely no clue that they are being spied on. Contemporary malware runs as a background process and hardly leaves any clues behind like a cunning criminal. If iPhone owners knew they were running malware, it’s rather easy to remove- hence the focus on keeping it concealed.
This is when the German security researcher, Stefan Esser comes to our rescue. He created the feature to tell users if their phone has been jailbroken, a simple step that could alert those who have not actively jailbroken their phones to the presence of malware.
Esser told the media:
“The biggest motivation behind this feature is that companies like FinFisher or HackingTeam that are selling iOS spy software to government and others, most of the time they need their clients to only use jailbroken phones. So the idea behind that is whoever is trying to spy on someone needs to first get physical access to the device, jailbreak it, and then they can run the spying tools from HackingTeam or FinFisher.”
The feature itself tells you in a simple language if your iPhone is running an authentic version of iOS or not. If everything is green, then there is no issue and you are in the clear. It also features ‘anomaly detection,’ a tool that helps you to verify certain assumptions, if they are still valid, such as an Apple signature on an iOS update. This feature has helped people to know immediately if they are being spied on or not.
Unlike Android devices, iPhones need a jailbreak for hackers to have access to the parts of your phone that you’d rather keep private. Whereas Android hacks – since most of the devices are not encrypted by default – do not require this level of access.
The scary part is the fact that you don’t even have to jailbreak your phone; hackers have come up with various ingenious ways to do it without your knowledge.
With the new iOS 14, the ball will be in your court. Apple has created a bunch of ways to make sure that the apps are restricted from spying on you.
Limit app access
With iOS 14, you can now limit whether an app can have access to your entire photos library or only a selected bunch. This way, social networking apps such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat won’t have access to your entire photos library and you can give these apps access to individual photos that you would actually want to share on such apps or sites. Due to this an app (any app) will always seek your permission before accessing your gallery.
If you are worried about your location, you do not need to be, because the new version of the iPhone has got you covered. Many apps request access to your precise location to give you certain useful features like the direction in Google Maps. However, they don’t always need access to your exact location. In iOS 14, Apple has launched the ‘Approximate Location’ feature that lets you share your location in a less targeted way. Now, whenever you turn off the precise location for an app, it can be no longer know your exact location and will only have a rough idea of where you are at that moment, thus it protects your location privacy a lot better.
Is this on record?
A great feature in iOS 14 is Recording Indicators. They will let you know when an app can access your phone’s camera or microphone. Whenever an app uses your phone’s microphone or camera, you will see a small dot right above the battery icon in the control centre. A green dot signifies that your camera is being accessed, and a yellow dot signifies that the microphone is being currently used. You can go to Control Centre to know which app recently used the phone’s microphone or camera.
Keeping contacts secure
The ‘Contacts Autofill’ feature is quite handy too. Instead of sharing your contact details with third-party apps, you can now simply type any name of your contacts and your phone will autofill their details for you instantly. For instance, with this feature, you can revoke contacts access for apps such as Google Play. So for example, if you are sending money, just type the name of your contact and you will see an autofill suggestion with the contact’s phone number. This way you can stray away from uploading your entire address book on the internet and still have the convenience of quickly entering phone numbers or email addresses without giving much information out.
Safe web browsing
The ‘Privacy Report’ in Safari denies websites from tracking your browsing information. To access the Privacy Report in Safari for one particular website, all you have to do is hit the ‘aa’ button in the top left and tap ‘Privacy Report’; by doing so you will be able to see the data from the last 30 days.
Technology has come a very long way and Apple is for sure pushing its boundaries to greater realms. These features not only give a sense of relief to the consumers but also pave various ways to explore features that only Apple has been able to put out in the world.