Hacker Team Claims Compromise of Apple's iCloud and Activation Lock, Possibly via SSL Bug [Updated]

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 21, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    A pair of hackers from the Netherlands and Morocco, identifying themselves as AquaXetine and MerrukTechnolog, claim to have compromised the security of Apple's iCloud system for locking iOS devices.

    The hack will unlock stolen iPhones by bypassing Activation Lock, making it possible for thieves to resell the phones easily on the black market, reports Dutch publication De Telegraaf [Google Translate]. It also may provide hackers with access to Apple ID passwords and other personal information stored in Apple's iCloud service.

    The hackers reportedly worked on the vulnerability for five months, studying the transmission of data between iPhone handsets and Apple's iCloud services. The pair claim to be able to unlock a locked iPhone by placing a computer between the iPhone and Apple's servers. In this configuration, the iPhone mistakenly identifies the hacker's computer as one of Apple's servers and follows instructions provided by the nefarious computer to reverse activation lock on the handset.

    While the hackers did not reveal precise information on how their intercepting computer can spoof Apple's iCloud activation servers, it appears that they may be taking advantage of an SSL bug that is present in iTunes for Windows, as noted by iPhone in Canada, who spoke to security researcher Mark Loman about the issue. The previously disclosed issue was fixed in iOS 7.0.6 and OS X 10.9.2, but it appears that iTunes for Windows is still affected.
    The vulnerability reportedly allows hackers to intercept Apple ID credentials, which can then be used to unlock iOS devices that have been locked after having been lost or stolen.
    Using this technique, the hackers claim to have unlocked 30,000 iPhones in the past few days. The group allegedly contacted Apple about this vulnerability in March, but Apple never responded, prompting the hackers to go public with the information.

    Update 10:43 AM: One of the hackers has denied that the bypass involves an SSL bug.

    Article Link: Hacker Team Claims Compromise of Apple's iCloud and Activation Lock, Possibly via SSL Bug [Updated]
  2. crossifixio macrumors regular


    Mar 21, 2007
  3. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    "The group allegedly contacted Apple about this vulnerability in March, but Apple never responded, prompting the hackers to go public with the information."

    lol, Apple
  4. stiligFox macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2009
    I imagine this will be solved with a simple iOS update and a change of Apple's server.

    That being said -- on a similar topic - Now that Activation Lock exists, it is astonishing to me the sheer amount of iCloud locked iPhones on eBay that are pretty much only good for parts/trash. On the one hand, yes it might keep phones in the owners possession, but on the other hand, it creates a lot of garbage that will end up in the landfill.

    Possibly even more surprising to me is that people are paying almost full price for these locked phones :(
  5. Yvan256 macrumors 601

    Jul 5, 2004
    In my opinion, that's the proper way to do it.

    1. Contact the manufacturer to inform them of the problem.
    2. Give them some time to fix it.
    3. If they haven't fixed it after a few months, go public to force them to react.
  6. keysofanxiety macrumors 604


    Nov 23, 2011
    Yep. Locked phone = stolen phone.
  7. Crosscreek, May 21, 2014
    Last edited: May 21, 2014

    Crosscreek macrumors 68030


    Nov 19, 2013
  8. stiligFox macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2009
    Not 100% of the time -- I've seen phones where the original owner forgot to unlock the phone before selling it, but Apple doesn't provide a way to contact/email the original owner :(

    But aye, they are mostly stolen.
  9. Stella macrumors 604


    Apr 21, 2003
    They did, in March. Still not fixed.
  10. fumi2014 macrumors member

    May 21, 2014
    These billion dollar companies really need to stay on top of all this. They're happy to take your money but not so quick to safeguard your details.

    And now there's trouble at eBay.
  11. ehmjay macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2006
    Annnnnnd cue the tech press over-reacting and blowing this way out of proportion.

    Not that this isn't a serious flaw; it is. But because it's Apple it will be presented as the end of the world, and covered by every major news outlet where-as a similar bug in Android is barely mentioned by anyone at all.
  12. CosmoFox macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2014
    So they wasted 5 months of work so Apple can patch it in a week? I don't see the point
  13. 2010mini macrumors 68040

    Jun 19, 2013
    They claimed they unlocked 30,000 iPhones??? I'm to believe that many iPhones' activation lock was bypassed and the internet community was not ablazed with that info???
  14. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    Source, please.
  15. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2014
    Apple didn't patch it in a week. They haven't done a thing about it since March. The point is to get Apple to secure their products, and publicly releasing vulnerabilities is the only way to do that.
  16. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    There is, however, a difference between simply going public with the info and exploiting the issue to unlock 30,000 locked phones as they claim to have done.
  17. McGrath1982 macrumors newbie


    May 21, 2014
    Crewe UK
    First eBay now Apple :eek:

    2013 13" MBP iPad Air iPhone 5s
  18. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2014
    It puts more pressure on Apple to get a fix rolled out and prevents them from passing it off as a theoretical attack.
  19. Millah macrumors 6502a

    Aug 6, 2008
    So anyone can claim anything they want and people instantly believe them without a shadow of doubt? When did the public become so easily gullible?

    I'm not saying its not true. I'm saying none of us know. Just because some hackers claim something doesn't make it true. And how exactly are they trustworthy to begin with? These are people hacking into places they shouldn't be, unlocking stolen phones, and you don't even have a sliver of doubt about their honesty?
  20. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2014
    The fact that they're exploiting the vulnerability means they're pretty trustworthy when they say there is one.
  21. Stella macrumors 604


    Apr 21, 2003
    Don't take it as a personal attack on yourself.
  22. deadshift macrumors member


    Jan 8, 2011
    clearly you don't understand security. If a lock is pickable, you get a better lock. This was a discovery that a lock was able to be bypassed. So Apple can and should build a better lock, even if it's only 5 minutes worth of work.

    Yeah, it smells of SSL GoToFail and Man-in-the-middle. A bummer of a time SSL has had lately.
  23. Thunderhawks macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2009
    How would you know that they haven't done a thing about it?

    Obviously they will not broadcast anything when things like that happen.

    And, fixes are not really pulled out off a drawer.

    Analysis, testing etc. has to happen first. That takes time.

  24. dumastudetto macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2013
    Anyone who claims Apple doesn't take security of its products and services seriously, and doesn't care passionately about protecting our personal information - put simply they don't know Apple. There is no company on earth who has a better track record in this arena than Apple.
  25. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604


    Oct 13, 2008
    Everywhere And Nowhere

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