New Wi-Fi Exploit Puts iPhone Users at Risk

Media Division | July 24, 2017

Our mobile devices have become extremely valuable in our day to day operations. We are now able to do things with our phones and tablets that only computers were able to do previously. They allow us to send quick texts, perform business operations, play games, send emails, and of course make phone calls. But, as with any cyber technology these days, our mobile devices can also be potentially targeted by cyber attacks when vulnerabilities go unnoticed. There have been numerous cases of vulnerabilities like this being discovered, and most are patched quite quickly, but there can always be new ones that surface down the road. In a recently discovered vulnerability within Apple devices, attackers were able to compromise users’ mobile technology through Wi-Fi networks.

What to Do About the Vulnerability

It is being advised that iPhone users should immediately update to version 10.3.3, as it eliminates a potential vulnerability that allows attackers to target these devices when in close proximity or when connected to a compromised router. A large danger being that it requires absolutely no interaction from the user at all. The vulnerability stems from three models of Broadcom chips within iOS hardware, and it relates to the way that they process data. These chips are manufactured for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets and are not used on Macs or PCs. The vulnerability affects iPhones from 5th generation and later, 6th generation iPod touches, and 4th generation and later iPads. External attackers that are near the device have the ability to potentially execute arbitrary code on the Wi-Fi chip, according to Apple’s release notes.

While the attack is somewhat limited, being that attackers have to be within proximity, it still places individuals with non-updated devices at risk within heavily populated public locations. Attackers could remain in these locations and target the devices that have not updated and connect to the Wi-Fi. As mentioned above, individuals with the above generations of devices are advised to update them immediately to protect themselves from this bug. While our phones and other mobile devices have made many of our tasks much more simple and enabled us to complete business on the go, individuals must ensure that their devices are always protected to the best of their ability. This includes always updating to newer forms of software, installing malware protection, and only downloading apps from the device companies’ respectable stores.

Installing Security Tools to Prevent Cyber Attacks

Mobile devices, along with our larger systems and devices must be protected from the range of threats and attackers that are lurking among the cyberscape. Fortunately, there are various types of tools and services that can prevent cyber attacks from being successful. Those who own or manage systems, networks and devices should always ensure that they have comprehensive security software installed, as well as that it is consistently updated. Software and systems can be left extremely vulnerable when updates are not continually maintained. This was borne out in the recent widespread WannaCry attack. Wannacry typically targets older versions of Windows like XP, but it can also hit newer versions that have not updated. Surprisingly enough, a large number of those that were hit in the attack were running Windows 7 software that had not been updated. This displays the lack of attention from far too many people in ensuring that updates are downloaded and installed. And as mentioned above, they also need to ensure that supplemental security software and tools are installed and updated as well. Massive Alliance offers a number of tools and services that can help organizations to prevent cyber attacks.

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