Apple’s iOS 7 Includes Fix for Malicious Charger Exploit

In June, a group of researchers discovered security vulnerability in iOS that would allow an iOS device to be hacked using a malicious USB charger. The three computer scientists, who alerted Apple regarding the issue, demonstrated the flaw at the Black Hat Convention in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

As the Cupertino-Based company received the alarming message, the company hurried to fix the already-mentioned problem in the latest iOS 7 beta 4 released a couple of days earlier.

The security problem allows hackers to manage and install various malware on non-jailbroken iPhones and iPads. However, Apple’s devices are still vulnerable to attacks until the company releases its iOS 7 software update, which is scheduled for this fall.

iOS 7 fixes charger security flaw

In a demonstration at the hacking conference, the hackers plugged an iPhone into a custom-built charger, which was equipped with a small Linux computer that was programmed to attack iOS devices. Apparently, the small computer costs only $45 to buy and a week to built and program.

The device infects the iPhone with a computer virus meant to dial the phone of one of the researchers, which it did. According to scientists, hackers and cyber criminals might build dangerous viruses that would allow them to gain remote control of the devices. This will allow them to take screen shots for stealing banking passwords and credit card numbers.

Billy Lau, one of the research scientists that demonstrated the flaw, said that they revealed the problem in “white hat” spirit, in order to provide manufacturers the possibility to fix any further security problems before cyber criminals exploit them.

In the same time, Lau added that Google’s Android devices are not vulnerable to the same types of attacks because they warn users if they plug devices into a computer, even one that seems to be an ordinary charger.

Along with Apple’s iOS 7 software update, iOS users will be notified if they are connecting their devices to a computer and not to an ordinary charger. In this way, multiple hacker attacks will be successfully prevented.

Apple’s spokesman Tom Neumayr said that Apple has fixed the issue in the latest beta of iOS 7, which has already been released to software developers. “We would like to thank the researchers for their valuable input,” stated Neumayr.

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