Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

iPhones could be hacked with one tap - you're going to want to update now


No, we're not trying to lure you in with a fear mongering headline: a security flaw has been discovered in Apple's iOS that allows spyware to be installed on your phone just by clicking a link.

The flaw was discovered after hackers botched an attempt to implant spyware on the phone of Arab lawyer and activist, Ahmed Mansoor.

Mansoor - one of the 'UAE Five', arrested and imprisoned for eight months in 2011 for 'insulting' President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan - received text messages that promised to reveal "secrets" about dissidents being tortured in the UAE. He just needed to tap a link provided in the message to be provided with further information. 


Suspicious of the messages' content, Mansoor sent them to security researchers at the Citizen Lab. They discovered that the links would initiate a download of software that would effectively 'jailbreak' Mansoor's iPhone 6, leaving it vulnerable to being overridden remotely. You can read about how it would have gone about opening up Mansoor's phone here.

"Once infected, Mansoor's phone would have become a digital spy in his pocket, capable of employing his iPhone's camera and microphone to snoop on activity in the vicinity of the device, recording his WhatsApp and Viber calls, logging messages sent in mobile chat apps, and tracking his movements," Citizen Lab told the BBC.

"We are not aware of any previous instance of an iPhone remote jailbreak used in the wild as part of a targeted attack campaign, making this a rare find."

The scope and sophistication of the spyware has caused Apple to respond immediately, releasing an update (iOS 9.3.5) that counters against similar threats. 

Researchers at Citizen Lab believe the spyware is the creation of Israeli 'cyber-war' company, NSO Group. Researchers believe that someone will have paid for Mansoor's phone to be targeted. Give it a few days and we'll probably be reporting that Sony has acquired the rights to make the film. 

In summary: always update your phone to ensure you've got the most recent security measures, don't click links from unknown sources and never believe your phone is totally secure. 

(Image: Citizen Lab)

[Via: BBC]



How to make your iPhone battery last longer


Apple wants to introduce five new emoji


16 gadgets every great man should own


Fidget spinners might contain deadly levels of lead

Is your toy slowly poisoning you to death?

by Gary Ogden
02 Jun 2017

We might be about to get smartphones that charge fully in five minutes

An Israeli start-up claims it's going to go into production next year

by Tom Mendelsohn
15 May 2017

5 of the best fidget toys on the market right now

Tackle your knuckle cracking head on

by Matt Tate
10 May 2017

Some Italians have created a phone cover that also makes espresso

No, we don't know why either

by Tom Mendelsohn
08 May 2017

New app will rebalance the London rental market in favour of landlords

Finally, the capital's hard-up property owners will get their due with Rentberry

by Tom Mendelsohn
26 Apr 2017

This knife-toting robot playing stabby hand will make you nervous

I for one welcome our new robot overlords

by Tom Mendelsohn
25 Apr 2017

Now you can turn your iPhone into a retro mac

For the man who has everything

by Tom Mendelsohn
21 Apr 2017

The best turntables of 2017

How the tables have turned

by David Cornish
20 Apr 2017

The Tamagotchi is back

Great news for fans of neglecting responsibilities and watching tiny creatures literally shit themselves to death!

by Emily Reynolds
11 Apr 2017

Self-healing smartphone screens could exist by 2020

Could it be curtains for shady smartphone repair stalls across Britain?

by Tom Mendelsohn
05 Apr 2017