Tech

Four-year-old bug leaves iPhones vulnerable to Contacts hack

Four-year-old bug leaves iPhones vulnerable to Contacts hack

San Francisco: Apple has never shied away from boasting about how secure its systems are, but researchers have found that contacts saved on iPhones are vulnerable to an SQLite hack attack which could infect the devices with malware. That includes the iOS Contacts app. Anyone can apply to get one of these iPhones, but there are only a limited amount being produced, and they will only be given to qualified researchers. Though they made a decision to crash the app during demonstration, the researchers could have stolen user data and passwords using the malicious code.

What Check Point discovered is that the Contacts app built into iOS can be exploited using the industry-standard SQLite database so that any search of Contacts can trick the device into running malicious code capable of stealing user data and passwords. The Check Point researchers said that keeping the replacement code after the restart on an iOS device was "hard to achieve". Reportedly, the bug seemed to be unimportant because it was believed that it could only be exploited by an unknown app. "However, SQLite usage is so versatile that we can actually still trigger it in many scenarios". "Sure this is a win for Apple, but ultimately this a huge win for Apple's end users". "We hope that the security community will take this innovative research and the tools released and push it even further", the researchers said.

The company's demo hack also bypasses the native system checks that Apple has put in place when devices are booted up. Apple head of security Ivan Krstić announced major changes to the program on stage at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas Thursday, CNET reports.

More news: Shweta Tiwari files complaint against husband Abhinav Kohli over domestic violence

Recently, a group of hackers working for Google's Project Zero program uncovered a cache of flaws in Apple's software, which would allow hackers to gain access to your phone simply by sending you a message. Moreover, the firm is supposedly rolling out its long-postponed bug bounty program for Mac.

Unlike other tech companies, Apple had previously only offered rewards to "invited researchers who tried to find flaws in its phones and cloud backups".


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