There is a new threat in a recent version of iOS. The operating software allows it to be located while it is powered off also exposes your iPhone to serious hacking risk according to researchers.
Apple designed this new powered-off wireless functionality to be an innovative locating feature for a missing iPhone and to function as keys while in a turned-off state.
Hackers can tap into it for something much more dangerous.
How hackers could get into your iPhone while it’s off
Researchers at the Tech University of Darmstadt in Germany have proven how malware can be loaded onto an iPhone using the same wireless chip that remains active even when you think your phone is off.
The researchers explain how malware could be uploaded to an iPhone. Hackers can gain access to the Bluetooth wireless chip while in low power mode. It also points out how difficult, although theoretically possible, it would be for a hacker to succeed. A hacker would simply need access to the iPhone to hack and jailbreak it in order to exploit the wireless chip.
Your location tracked while iPhone is powered off
Ideal for espionage, you would be unlikely to notice if your iPhone had been infected and taken over. This 007 James Bond spy move gets much worse. The hack would allow a nefarious actor to maintain the location of your iPhone regardless of it being turned on or off.
Malware can infect your iPhone when it is off
Then it could be a lot more concerning when considering how a hacker might leverage it. Combined with another malware exploit, a hacker could then do some serious damage to your life.
According to the research paper published last week, Apple had no feedback after being made aware of the security exploit to its powered-off wireless vulnerability.
Latest iOS 15.5 update released
Apple has recently released an iOS update but does not disclose specific security-related issues in its updates. We don’t know if this update addresses any part of the research exposing this new kind of threat. I would recommend downloading the latest iOS update to all of your devices as soon as possible.
From the Home Screen
- tap Settings > General > Software Update.
Lock up your devices
In the meantime, you may wish to consider adding an extra layer of protection to your iPhone and all of your devices with a top antivirus protection. You can see my review of the top antivirus protection for 2022 here.
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The threat to your privacy is real. Now it makes a lot more sense to stop making fun of people who use anti-tracking faraday bags and cases like this one that sells for $38 on Amazon.