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iOS Exploit Targets Your iPhone and iPad Devices

Apple devices have remained relatively safe over the years, but a new vulnerability is now aimed directly at spying on your personal data.

One of the benefits of purchasing an iOS device from Apple is the company’s strict proprietary policies that help protect you against the possibilities of malware and other exploits. However, no device is truly safe. A new exploit has been discovered and is targeting your smartphone and the rich data it holds. Worst of all, the attack takes advantage of an iTunes feature, allowing a hacker to access the content you once believed was safe. If you own an iPhone or iPad, you’re at risk, but here are a few preventative measures you can take to decrease the odds of an attack.

How They Are Accessing Your Personal Data
Researchers discovered that the vulnerability takes advantage of an iTunes feature known as ‘iTunes Wi-Fi Sync.’ Normally, this feature allows users to sync their photos, music, and other content wirelessly over a Wi-Fi network, without the need to plug into a Mac or PC. However, in this circumstance, hackers take advantage of the useful ability to access your device’s personal data. Worst of all, you don’t need to enable ‘iTunes Wi-Fi Sync’ because an attacker is able to perform the action themselves.

Read More: Android vs. iPhone: Which One Has Better Security?

The exploit begins when the user of an iOS device, such as an iPhone or iPad, connects to an unidentified machine bobby trapped with the malware and chooses to ‘Trust’ it. This action allows the machine to communicate with your device, as well as set up the remote access it needs to breach your security.

Defending Yourself Against the Exploit
The solution may seem simple, like ensuring you don’t plug your iPhone or iPad into any unfamiliar machines – and you definitely shouldn’t choose the ‘Trust’ function. Luckily, it really is that simple! Certainly, don’t plug devices into machines you’re unfamiliar with, but there could be times when a familiar machine isn’t readily available.

A common occurrence when you might plug your device to an unfamiliar machine is at a local pharmacy’s photo department. Many pharmacies offer printing services directly from your smartphone. However, this service does require you to choose ‘Trust’. For an easy workaround, offload your photos to a flash drive, or utilize a third-party solution from the App Store to wirelessly transmit photos to your pharmacy’s photo department.

Overall, the new exploit may be dangerous, but it’s quite easy to avoid. As with many instances of cybersecurity, remaining cautious and using your best judgment is a strong defense against malicious attacks.