Warning: Hackers targeting smartphones

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by chevy57, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. chevy57 macrumors regular

    Sep 25, 2009

    True? How to protect against hackers?
  2. corvus32 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
  3. simply stunning macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2010
    So reading through this I find it very interesting, and yet they didn't it or give you any suggestions. Pretty annoying article. They didn't even say what happened to the 3GS.

    That said, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out as people find more ways to get the information out of your phone.
  4. scaredpoet, Mar 23, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013

    scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    The story is rife with half-truths, and is intended solely as a ratings grab. Most likely on the day this story was aired, there were lots of quick promo advertisements with a deep, male voice speaking in an ominous tone: "think your smartphone is safe? Think again! What thieves and hackers can find about you from your iPhone, tonight at 11!"

    They likely teased it further throughout the evening newscasts to keep people watching, and then finally aired their story around the 11:25 slot. And to live up to the generated hype, a lot of misinformation based on half-facts are spewed out, to scare people who aren't informed... usually old rubes who know nothing about that scary newfangled internet, and make the mistake of relying on local TV news stations to explain technology to them.

    And what ended up happening? Some link was sent to an iPhone 3GS running who-knows-what version of iOS, and it subsequently shut off "a few minutes later." Which by the way... can kinda happen if you leave an iPhone sitting for few minutes. The video does show the screen dimming, not that much unlike an auto-sleep about to happen. The edit where the video freezes right as the backlight goes dark (but the screen doesn't actually turn off) is kinda suspicious... you'd think if a link made an iPhone shut off or otherwise go berserk, they'd be more than willing to show the full sequence.

    Did the link cause the 3GS to malfunction? We don't really know and aren't directly told it was the cause, but it's suggested that this could've been the case. Does this link do anything to newer iPhones? No idea, but I imagine if it did, this "news" team would've been chomping at the bit to tell you so. And isn't it a little odd that they were showing and holding iPhone 4/S and 5 models throughout the entire piece, but the "virus" was tested on a beat up, old 3G/S?

    Was data actually stolen from the device? We don't know that either, but again, if that had happened, these "journalists" probably would've been all over it, and would've shown Jennex the "security expert" displaying the information on some Hackers-esque, beat-up, linux-running laptop, instead of just making vague suggestions that maybe it happened.

    In any case, The real nasty passcode bug was fixed, and workarounds exists to bypass the new passcode bug (on newer phones it's as simple as having Siri turned on, and on the iPhone 4 you turn voice command off).

    Yes, security threats DO exist (if they didn't, iPhones wouldn't be jailbreakable), and it might be possible for an attacker to hack an iPhone without jailbreaking it, though aside from the voice command issue, there's currently nothing else out there in the wild as an active exploit, and there's probably far easier ways for an identify thief or hacker to get what they want from you than to hack your iPhone.

    As always, your best defense is to keep your smartphone's OS software up to date, and be cautious about random URLs, software and links people who you don't trust are sending you. Pretty much the same precautions you should take on a desktop/laptop computer.

    Bottom line: iOS users shouldn't be too smug about security, as neither should any other smartphone user. But the vast majority of security threats can be avoided by simply not doing anything stupid on your smartphone. And panicking based on a nightly newscast's ratings grab isn't helpful, either.
  5. lelisa13p macrumors 68000


    Mar 6, 2009
    Atlanta, GA USA
    Using your phone, don't click on obscure links in emails sent to you any more than you would when using a desktop computer. Common Sense 101.
  6. ijohn.8.80 macrumors 65816


    Jul 7, 2012
    Adelaide, Oztwaylya.
    I'm surprised they didn't offer up a scene from a James Bond movie with one smartphone apparently copying an others information as tangible evidence. :rolleyes:
  7. Commy1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2013
    Lol... I have my doubts about all of that. Obviously exercising some caution before tapping shady link, downloading questionable apps without reviews, etc will help you avoid all that fuss... I'm not too worried.

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