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Apple's 'walled garden' cracked by hacked charger

John P. Mello Jr. | Aug. 5, 2013
Researchers exploit hardware vulnerability to compromise iPhone with fake Facebook app

Apple did not respond to a request for comment on the hack, but it has reportedly moved to address the problem. The issue has already been addressed in the latest beta of iOS 7, the next version of Apple's mobile operating system expected to be finalized this fall, Reuters reported.

"The good news is that the researchers informed Apple and iOS 7 will have protection in place against this vulnerability," security analyst Graham Cluley said by email. "What isn't clear at this stage is whether Apple is also going to roll out a security update for earlier versions of iOS."

Pending the release of a patch, he said, iPhone owners should be charging their iOS devices only from an electrical socket in the wall or by plugging it into their own computers.

Since the researchers' exploit only works on an unlocked iPhone, it's also wise for users to lock their phones and secure them with a strong password.

Nevertheless, depending on how Apple chooses to patch the flaw, it could be exploited in the future. "If Apple only patches iOS 7 and leaves other devices unprotected, then there may well be targeted attacks against specific individuals using this method," Cluley said.

 

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