Millions of iPhones vulnerable to email hack; Apple says fix is coming soon

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |

Published: April 23, 2020 12:32:26 pm


The vulnerability affects those iPhone users who use Apple’s mail app.

Hackers may have found a way to exploit iPhones and iPads using a malicious message sent through Apple’s email app. The flaw was discovered by San Francisco-based cybersecurity firm ZecOps, and first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Apple is aware of the iOS vulnerability, and the company is preparing to push out a security update soon.

In a report published, ZecOps said it found evidence that hackers have been using a malicious program since at least January 2018, gaining access to the iOS mobile operating system. ZecOps researchers say the attack is a zero-click exploit, meaning it doesn’t require users to click on the email in order to get the device infected.

The attackers send black emails that would corrupt the iPhone when the users try to open the message. This way hackers gain entry to the device, giving them access to confidential emails, photos, and other details. It affects the iPhone with iOS 13, though the cyber-security firm says the vulnerability has existed since at least iOS 6, which was released way back in 2012.

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“ZecOps detected multiple triggers in the wild to this vulnerability on enterprise users, VIPs, and MSSPs, over a prolonged period of time,” the cybersecurity firm said. “The attack’s scope consists of sending a specially crafted email to a victim’s mailbox enabling it to trigger the vulnerability in the context of iOS MobileMail application on iOS 12 or maild on iOS 13.”

The cybersecurity firm claimed it was able to identify who was targeted by the bug which includes individuals an executive from a mobile carrier in Japan, employees of technology companies in Saudi Arabia and Israel, a European journalist, and individuals from a Fortune 500 company in North America.

An Apple spokesperson told Reuters that the company would soon roll out a software update for the iPhones and iPads.

Apple devices are known to be more secure than Android devices. But in the last few months, there has been an increase in software flaws. Last year, a researcher discovered a bug in iOS 13 that would allow hackers easy access to your iPhone contacts.

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