The stunning features of an iPhone device attract customers from all over the world. Friends boast the faster processing speeds, the seamless functionality and the dynamic layout of applications of an iPhone device in the face of an Android mobile user. It could come to a surprise to these avid Apple product users and fans that loopholes in the operating system of the iPhone devices enable certain applications to spy on its users.
The irony of the matter is that the user when spied on is never prompted or indicated in any way. The application can turn on the camera by itself without letting the user know that it is accessing the phone’s camera and take photos, videos and much more. Managed Security Services Dubai and Sharjah are scrambling to provide protection to their high-value customers from this new threat.
This alarming new threat to iPhone users was only recently discovered by a security expert named Felix Krause, last week on Wednesday. Felix is also an entrepreneur and an ethical hacker. On his website, he proved to the world by making an iOS application that could without any hint take photographs of the phone user.
The iPhone has been known for the security and privacy it ensures for its users. To protect the iPhone user, an application has to be scrutinized by Apple to be made available on the Apple Store. Regrettably, the application that Krause constructed fulfilled all standards Apple enforces on every application it makes available for download on its Apple Store. Yet, Krause’s application could infringe a user’s privacy. However, cloud security services protect the user’s information that has already left the iPhone and stored in a protected server.
Krause explained that the exploitation of this loophole is not because of a weakness of software designs or Apple’s own security benchmarks, but in the blanket approve all applications such as WhatsApp and Facebook require to use the phone’s camera.
A malicious application can exploit this expansive approval to access the camera of the phone and;
- Access both the front and back of the phone’s camera
- Make a video of the user anytime while the application is running in the background
- Take pictures and video without the approval or prompting the user
- Live stream a video from the iPhone of the unsuspecting user
- Run real-time face recognition software to recognize and detect the user and the people sharing the device or an in the proximity of the camera
- Based on the images collected the application can reveal the location of the user
- Build a 3D image of the user’s face
- Cause a great deal of embarrassment to the user (let your imagination run wild – seriously)
Krause suggested that Apple should give only temporary approval to an application to access its cameras and microphones, and revoke that approval after a specific time.
He also suggested that until considerable measures are taken users should cover their cameras with sticky tapes like Facebook founder Mark Zukkerberg and Former CIA director James Commey.