Apple is working to correct a potential security flaw that was identified in many of its products. The flaw could allow hackers and unauthorized personal to gain access and intercept email ids and passwords. This bug was identified in the iOS 7 system of the products.
The bug makes the SSL/TLS coding vulnerable and open for anyone to see. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer whereas TLS stands for Transport Layer Security. Generally both of these have the same function where they protect the transfer of data between a device and the company’s server. They both ensure that the transfer of data remains private and encrypted. The bug however makes it impossible for the server to differentiate between an authentic device and an unauthorized user. For this reason the data can easily be intercepted and obtained.
Apple products that experienced the problem includes iPhone 4 and above, the fifth generation iPod touch and the second generation iPad. Apple stated that these devices would update automatically and that the possible threat would be eradicated. Multiple online experts were able to identify the cause of such a security breach. It was revealed that an addition in the products authentication code forced the device to bypass all other authentication protocols. This meant that emails and passwords that are normally encrypted can now be easily intercepted by hackers. Apple’s security flaw quite literally opens up the way for any potential third party user to gain access to a personal device.
Cybercrime and hacking has existed ever since technology was first introduced. Cases of unauthorized access are not unheard of and have grown exponentially over the years. Everyone is familiar with the potential damage it can inflict and countless measures have been taken to minimize the effects. This bug would not only allow hackers access to email ids and passwords but also let them steal bank information should a user be unlucky enough to enter it. Malicious software and malware can also be externally installed into the device which would continuously transfer personal information to the hacker.
Apple’s spokerperson Trudy Muller said that they were unaware of such a bug or that it even existed. They however assured their customers that a fix was already developed and that it would soon be integrated into the product’s existing code. Muller however did urge the users not to connect to any public WiFi or enter any site which would allow unauthorized access to the device till the situation was completely under control.
The gravity of the situation can be understood from the fact that developers of the system were not even ready to give away details about the bug. Users might be a bit troubled to find out that he issue has persisted for over a year and that little was done about it.
Computer writer Kim Komando advised all apple users to immediately update their phones if a new update was made available. Users using the iOS system are advised to update to the latest version of the software that is 7.0.6 as developers claim the issue has been fixed in the update.
Such a breach might call into question Apple’s ability to keep their users safe and secure. Apple however maintains that users should rest easy and know that the situation is well under control. Only time will tell whether the potential security flaw has truly been fixed or whether Apple users still remain vulnerable and exposed.
By Hammad Ali