Are Security Flaws Worse in iPhone 12?

Apple has been called out on iPhone 12 security flaws ahead of its launch. Ouch.

 

iPhone users are confident about two things: their smartphone is the prettiest and securest of all. Yet, the reality is not as shiny or as flawless as the apple on iPhones’ reverse side. Security researchers recently discovered the iOS default Mail app has a vulnerability no one has known about for eight years! Terrifying, isn’t it?

 

No wonder this news has put iPhone users in two minds. On the one hand, Apple boasts of having custom Central Processing Units, encryption, and multiple layers of protection to secure its system against malware. On the other hand, these findings make us question their promises and the security of the iPhone 12 concept.

 

So what’s the truth? Keep reading to find out.

Ways your iPhone could be hacked

The Mail app’s vulnerability led to hundreds of targeted attacks. And the worst part is the victims often didn’t notice anything strange or suspicious about the email itself. Yet, just receiving it could trigger the attack and result in the Mail app or whole iPhone glitching.

 

The company which discovered the exploit believes regular users are not usually victims as hackers used targeted attacks against a number of high-value execs. However, to be on the safe side, it’s better to upgrade to the newest iOS 13.4.5 as soon as possible - this is said to patch up the vulnerability. Oh, and maybe switch to Gmail for now, just in case.

 

The news about an eight-year-old security vulnerability made iPhone users frustrated and worried ahead of the new iPhone 12 launch. Was it the only iPhone security flaw? Or are there other issues hidden in the latest version of iOS? Unfortunately, there are.

 

About two months ago, social media blew up with news about a so-called “text bomb”, causing unexpected app or system crashes. The string of the text itself wasn’t shared for security reasons, but it is known to be in the Sindhi language and accompanied by the Italian flag. There are no serious risks for iOS users, except for unexpected glitches or system restarts. In any case, Apple will cover the vulnerability up in the next iOS update.

 

Another security flaw was recently discovered in the iPhone’s camera. Thankfully, this time the vulnerability was found by an ethical hacker, meaning no users have been caused any harm. Ryan Pickren, a former AWS security engineer, found a total of seven zero-day vulnerabilities in Safari, three of which could be used to grant unauthorized access to the iPhone’s camera. Apple patched a fix almost immediately, but we can’t be 100% sure whether this security flaw has been previously used by less ethical hackers.

 

The question millions of iOS users will have today is whether the latest iPhone is more secure.

Will iPhone 12 be any different?

Many iOS users are increasingly excited as the iPhone 12 release date gets closer. How will it differ from its forerunners?

 

The core security feature of the upcoming iPhone is the combination of two of the most common and reliable biometric security approaches - face and finger recognition. In 2013, Apple introduced Touch ID - a fingerprint scanner, meaning phones could only be unlocked by verified users. But in 2017, iPhone X hit the market with its Face ID magic (and AI algorithms) allowing the unlocking of smartphones just by looking at it. That year, Touch ID was discontinued.

 

But with iPhone 12, Apple is bringing it back to supplement their newest smartphone with another layer of biometric security. The revived Touch ID will be using a fingerprint reader hidden in the screen. You won’t even notice it!

 

The iPhone 12 rumors don’t say much about the newest iOS update the smartphone will run, but iOS 14 is expected to focus on performance, quality, and, of course, security. While there’s no hard proof, we may anticipate security levels at least the same as iOS 13 or higher. An iOS 14 release date is planned for September 2020.

How to protect your iPhone from hacker attacks

When it comes to security, Apple does a tremendous job of protecting its users from almost any kind of malware or hacker. For example, take the way Apple polices its App Store. They have a rigorous policy of carefully reviewing each app before it becomes available to iPhone users. So how can your iPhone still be hacked?

 

Well, no matter how secure the device is, there are still many ways clever hackers can steal your private information. Their most widespread hacks involve the phone’s owner as the weakest link. Here are a few tips to help you protect your device from being hacked.

 

Use a passphrase over a passcode

As simple as it sounds, using a unique passcode longer than six digits is already a decent way to protect your device. Yet there is a better option - using a passphrase containing a combination of both words and numbers. The one downside is how remembering this could take you more time to unlock your iPhone.

 

Keep your iPhone up to date

Each new iOS update brings fixes to the previous version. No matter if these are minor fixes, point updates, or huge software patches, they might save your data from leaking. Last January, Apple issued an update aimed at fixing security vulnerabilities, potentially exposing thousands of users to hackers. Thankfully, a timely system update was the remedy, so never postpone it.

 

Don’t open unknown links

Did you know 94% of malware is delivered via phishing emails? They are often cleverly disguised and can mislead hundreds of users. Beware of opening strange links or installing unofficial apps (especially if you are one of those who chose a slippery path and jailbroke their iPhone). This can save you from malware and personal data leaks.

 

* * *

 

iOS vulnerabilities are quite rare, but this makes them even more devastating. However, we can be confident in one thing: Apple’s security experts will be closely overseeing the new iOS and iPhone releases to prove the new versions have covered these previous security flaws.

 

And if you want to contribute to securing your iPhone (which you absolutely should do), always mind the permissions you give to apps. You can also read Clario’s blog to learn more about cybersecurity and the best ways to stay secure.

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