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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: iPhone hacking

Chinese Hackers Using New iPhone Hack to Spy On Uyghur Muslims

Chinese Hackers Using New iPhone Hack to Spy On Uyghur Muslims
April 22, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A Chinese hacking group has been found leveraging a new exploit chain in iOS devices to install a spyware implant targeting the Uyghur Muslim minority in China's autonomous region of Xinjiang. The findings, published by digital forensics firm Volexity , reveal that the exploit — named "Insomnia" — works against iOS versions 12.3, 12.3.1, and 12.3.2 using a flaw in WebKit that was patched by Apple with the release of iOS 12.4 in July 2019. Volexity said the attacks were carried out by a state-sponsored hacking group it calls Evil Eye , the same threat actor that it said was behind a series of attacks against the Uyghurs last September following a bombshell disclosure by Google's Project Zero team . China has long considered Xinjiang a breeding ground for " separatists, terrorists and religious extremists ," with the residents of the region — ethnically Turkic Muslims — thrown into concentration camps , and subjected to persecution and high-tech surv

Hackers Used Local News Sites to Install Spyware On iPhones

Hackers Used Local News Sites to Install Spyware On iPhones
March 27, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A newly discovered watering-hole campaign is targeting Apple iPhone users in Hong Kong by using malicious website links as a lure to install spyware on the devices. According to research published by Trend Micro and Kaspersky , the " Operation Poisoned News " attack leverages a remote iOS exploit chain to deploy a feature-rich implant called 'LightSpy' through links to local news websites, which when clicked, executes the malware payload and allows an interloper to exfiltrate sensitive data from the affected device and even take full control. Watering-hole attacks typically let a bad actor compromise a specific group of end-users by infecting websites that they are known to visit, with an intention to gain access to the victim's device and load it with malware. The APT group, dubbed "TwoSail Junk" by Kaspersky, is said to be leveraging vulnerabilities present in iOS 12.1 and 12.2 spanning all models from iPhone 6 to the iPhone X, with the attac

Saudi Prince Allegedly Hacked World's Richest Man Jeff Bezos Using WhatsApp

Saudi Prince Allegedly Hacked World's Richest Man Jeff Bezos Using WhatsApp
January 22, 2020Mohit Kumar
The iPhone of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos , the world's richest man, was reportedly hacked in May 2018 after receiving a WhatsApp message from the personal account of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman , the Guardian newspaper revealed today. Citing unnamed sources familiar with digital forensic analysis of the breach, the newspaper claimed that a massive amount of data was exfiltrated from Bezos's phone within hours after he received a malicious video file from the Saudi prince. The mysterious file was sent when crown prince Salman and Bezos were having a friendly WhatsApp conversation, and it's 'highly probable' that it exploited an undisclosed zero-day vulnerability of WhatsApp messenger to install malware on Bezos's iPhone. "The forensic analysis found that within hours of receipt of the MP4 video file from the Crown Prince's account, massive and (for Bezos' phone) unprecedented exfiltration of data from the phone began, increasing da

Facebook Sues Israeli NSO Spyware Firm For Hacking WhatsApp Users

Facebook Sues Israeli NSO Spyware Firm For Hacking WhatsApp Users
October 29, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Finally, for the very first time, an encrypted messaging service provider is taking legal action against a private entity that has carried out malicious attacks against its users. Facebook filed a lawsuit against Israeli mobile surveillance firm NSO Group on Tuesday, alleging that the company was actively involved in hacking users of its end-to-end encrypted WhatsApp messaging service. Earlier this year, it was discovered that WhatsApp had a critical vulnerability that attackers were found exploiting in the wild to remotely install Pegasus spyware on targeted Android and iOS devices. The flaw (CVE-2019-3568) successfully allowed attackers to silently install the spyware app on targeted phones by merely placing a WhatsApp video call with specially crafted requests, even when the call was not answered. Developed by NSO Group, Pegasus allows access to an incredible amount of data from victims' smartphones remotely, including their text messages, emails, WhatsApp chats,

1-Click iPhone and Android Exploits Target Tibetan Users via WhatsApp

1-Click iPhone and Android Exploits Target Tibetan Users via WhatsApp
September 24, 2019Mohit Kumar
A team of Canadian cybersecurity researchers has uncovered a sophisticated and targeted mobile hacking campaign that is targeting high-profile members of various Tibetan groups with one-click exploits for iOS and Android devices. Dubbed Poison Carp by University of Toronto's Citizen Lab, the hacking group behind this campaign sent tailored malicious web links to its targets over WhatsApp, which, when opened, exploited web browser and privilege escalation vulnerabilities to install spyware on iOS and Android devices stealthily. "Between November 2018 and May 2019, senior members of Tibetan groups received malicious links in individually tailored WhatsApp text exchanges with operators posing as NGO workers, journalists, and other fake personas," the researchers say . What's more? The researchers said they found "technical overlaps" of Poison Carp with two recently discovered campaigns against the Uyghur community in China—the iPhone hacking campaign

Police Can't Force You To Unlock Your Phone Using Face or Fingerprint Scan

Police Can't Force You To Unlock Your Phone Using Face or Fingerprint Scan
January 15, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Can feds force you to unlock your iPhone or Android phone? ..."NO" A Northern California judge has ruled that federal authorities can't force you to unlock your smartphone using your fingerprints or other biometric features such as facial recognition—even with a warrant. The ruling came in the case of two unspecified suspects allegedly using Facebook Messenger to threaten a man with the release of an "embarrassing video" to the public if he did not hand over money. The federal authorities requested a search warrant for an Oakland residence, seeking to seize multiple devices connected to the suspects and then compel anybody on the premises at the time of their visit to unlock the devices using fingerprint, facial or iris recognition. However, Magistrate Judge Kandis Westmore of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California turned down the request, ruling the request was "overbroad and neither limited to a particular person nor

Zerodium Offers to Buy Zero-Day Exploits at Higher Prices Than Ever

Zerodium Offers to Buy Zero-Day Exploits at Higher Prices Than Ever
January 08, 2019Mohit Kumar
Well, there's some good news for hackers and vulnerability hunters, though terrible news for tech manufacturers! Exploit vendor Zerodium is now willing to offer significantly higher payouts for full, working zero-day exploits that allow stealing of data from WhatsApp, iMessage and other online chat applications. Zerodium—a startup by the infamous French-based company Vupen that buys and sells zero-day exploits to government agencies around the world—said it would now pay up to $2 million for remote iOS jailbreaks and $1 million for exploits that target secure messaging apps. Get $2 Million for Remotely Jailbreaking An iPhone Previously, Zerodium was offering $1.5 million for persistent iOS jailbreaks that can be executed remotely without any user interaction (zero-click)—but now the company has increased that amount to $2 million. The company is now offering $1.5 million for a remote iOS jailbreak that requires minimal user interaction (i.e., single-click)—the amount h

New iPhone Bug Gives Anyone Access to Your Private Photos

New iPhone Bug Gives Anyone Access to Your Private Photos
October 16, 2018Mohit Kumar
A security enthusiast who discovered a passcode bypass vulnerability in Apple's iOS 12 late last month has now dropped another passcode bypass bug that works on the latest iOS 12.0.1 that was released last week. Jose Rodriguez, a Spanish amateur security researcher, discovered a bug in iOS 12 in late September that allows attackers with physical access to your iPhone to access your contacts and photos. The bug was patched in iOS 12.0.1, but he now discovered a similar iPhone passcode bypass hack that works in 12.0.1 and is easier to execute than the bug Rodriguez discovered and reported two weeks ago. The new hack allows anyone with physical access to your locked iPhone to access your photo album, select photos and send them to anyone using Apple Messages. Since the new hack requires much less effort than the previous one, it leaves any iPhone user vulnerable to a skeptic or distrustful partner, curious college, friend or roommate who could access your iPhone's photo

Pangu Hackers have Jailbroken iOS 12 on Apple's New iPhone XS

Pangu Hackers have Jailbroken iOS 12 on Apple's New iPhone XS
September 27, 2018Mohit Kumar
Bad news for Apple. The Chinese hacking team Pangu is back and has once again surprised everyone with a jailbreak for iOS 12 running on the brand-new iPhone XS. Well, that was really fast. Pangu jailbreak team has been quiet for a while, since it last released the untethered jailbreak tool for iOS 9 back in October 2015. Jailbreaking is a process of removing limitations on Apple's iOS devices so users can install third-party software not certified by Apple. Today, Android and iOS security researcher Min(Spark) Zheng shared a Tweet with two screenshots showing a working jailbreak on Apple's newly released iPhone XS with A12 Bionic chip achieved by one of the Pangu researchers. The Tweet also revealed that the iOS 12 jailbreak works by bypassing a functional PAC (Pointer authentication codes) mitigation implemented in the new Apple's A12 Bionic chip. Moreover, since the hardware of iPhone XS is very much identical to iPhone XS Max, the new iOS 12 jailbreak expl

Ex-NSO Employee Caught Selling Stolen Phone Hacking Tool For $50 Million

Ex-NSO Employee Caught Selling Stolen Phone Hacking Tool For $50 Million
July 05, 2018Swati Khandelwal
A former employee of one of the world's most powerful hacking companies NSO Group has been arrested and charged with stealing phone hacking tools from the company and trying to sell it for $50 million on the Darknet secretly. Israeli hacking firm NSO Group is mostly known for selling high-tech malware capable of remotely cracking into Apple's iPhones and Google's Android devices to intelligence apparatuses, militaries, and law enforcement around the world. However, the phone hacking company has recently become the victim of an insider breach attack carried out by a 38-year-old former NSO employee, who stole the source code for the company's most powerful spyware called Pegasus and tried to sell it for $50 million on the dark web in various cryptocurrencies, including Monero and Zcash, Israeli media reported. That's much higher than the actual NSO Group's price tag for Pegasus, which reportedly sells for under $1 million per deployment. If you remember

iPhone Apps With Camera Permissions Can Secretly Take Your Photos Without You Noticing

iPhone Apps With Camera Permissions Can Secretly Take Your Photos Without You Noticing
October 30, 2017Mohit Kumar
Are you a proud iPhone owner? If yes, this could freak you up. Trust me! Your iPhone has a serious privacy concern that allows iOS app developers to take your photographs and record your live video using both front and back camera—all without any notification or your consent. This alarming privacy concern in Apple's mobile operating system was highlighted by an Austrian developer and Google engineer, Felix Krause, who detailed the issue in his blog post published Wednesday. The issue, Krause noted, is in the way Apple's software handles camera access. Apparently, there is a legitimate reason for many apps, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Snapchat, to request access to your camera, in an effort to take a photo within the app. So, this permissions system is not a bug or a flaw instead it is a feature, and it works exactly in the way Apple has designed it, but Krause said any malicious app could take advantage of this feature to silently record users activities. iPhon

Apple Allows Uber to Use a Powerful Feature that Lets it Record iPhone Screen

Apple Allows Uber to Use a Powerful Feature that Lets it Record iPhone Screen
October 06, 2017Swati Khandelwal
If you are an iPhone user and use Uber app, you would be surprised to know that widely popular ride-hailing app can record your screen secretly. Security researcher Will Strafach recently revealed that Apple selectively grants (what's known as an " entitlement ") Uber a powerful ability to use the newly introduced screen-recording API with intent to improve the performance of the Uber app on Apple Watch. The screen-recording API allows the Uber app to record user's screen information even when the app is closed, giving Uber access to all the personal information passing through an iPhone screen. What's more?  The company's access to such permission could make this data vulnerable to hackers if they, somehow, able to hijack Uber's software. "It looks like no other third-party developer has been able to get Apple to grant them a private sensitive entitlement of this nature," Strafach told Gizmodo , who first reported about the issue. &q

Update Your Apple Devices to iOS 10.3.1 to Avoid Being Hacked Over Wi-Fi

Update Your Apple Devices to iOS 10.3.1 to Avoid Being Hacked Over Wi-Fi
April 04, 2017Mohit Kumar
Note:  We have published a follow-up article with more technical details about this vulnerability which resides in Broadcom WiFi SoC equipped not only in Apple devices, but also in Android devices from various manufacturers. Less than a week after Apple released iOS 10.3 with over 100 bug fixes and security enhancements; the company has just pushed an emergency patch update – iOS 10.3.1 – to addresses a few critical vulnerabilities, one of which could allow hackers to "execute arbitrary code on the Wi-Fi chip." The vulnerability, identified as CVE-2017-6975, was discovered by Google's Project Zero staffer Gal Beniamini, who noted on Twitter that more information about the flaw would be provided tomorrow. Apple also did not provide any technical details on the flaw, but urged Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users to update their devices as soon a possible. In the security note accompanying iOS 10.3.1, Apple describes the issue as a stack buffer overflow vuln

You Can Crash Anyone's iPhone Or iPad With A Simple Emoji Text Message

You Can Crash Anyone's iPhone Or iPad With A Simple Emoji Text Message
January 19, 2017Swati Khandelwal
A newly discovered bug in Apple's iOS mobile operating system is being exploited in a prank that lets anyone crash your iPhone or iPad by just sending an emoji-filled iMessage, according to several reports. YouTube star EverythingApplePro published a video highlighting a sequence of characters that temporarily freeze and restart an iPhone, which people can send to their iPhone buddies to trouble them. You can watch the video demonstration below. Here's the first troublesome text: A white Flag emoji, the digit "0" and a Rainbow emoji. This simple numeric character, flag, and rainbow emojis confuse iOS 10 devices when it tries to combine them into a rainbow flag. As soon as this text is received, the iPhone's software attempts to combine the emojis but fails, and the messaging app crashes and eventually reboots in a few minutes. The recipients do not even have to open or read the message. Video Demonstration Another iPhone-crashing method involves

Warning! Your iPhone Can Get Hacked Just by Opening a JPEG Image, PDF or Font File

Warning! Your iPhone Can Get Hacked Just by Opening a JPEG Image, PDF or Font File
October 25, 2016Mohit Kumar
What's worse than knowing that innocent looking JPEGs, PDFs and font files can hijack your iPhone, iPad, and iPod. Yes, attackers can take over your vulnerable Apple's iOS device remotely – all they have to do is trick you to view a maliciously-crafted JPEG graphic or PDF file through a website or an email, which could allow them to execute malicious code on your system. That's a terrible flaw (CVE-2016-4673), but the good news is that Apple has released the latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 10.1 , for iPhones and iPads to address this remote-code execution flaw, alongside an array of bug fixes. And now that the company has rolled out a security patch, some hackers would surely find vulnerable Apple devices to exploit the vulnerability and take full control of them. So, users running older versions of iOS are advised to update their mobile devices to iOS 10.1 as soon as possible. Besides this remote code execution flaw, the newest iOS 10.1 incl

Edward Snowden Designs an iPhone Case to Detect & Block Wireless Snooping

Edward Snowden Designs an iPhone Case to Detect & Block Wireless Snooping
July 22, 2016Swati Khandelwal
We just cannot imagine our lives without smartphones, even for a short while, and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden had not owned a smartphone since 2013 when he began leaking NSA documents that exposed the government's global surveillance program. Snowden fears that cellular signals of the smartphone could be used to locate him, but now, to combat this, he has designed an iPhone case that would detect and fight against government snooping. With help from renowned hardware hacker Andrew "Bunnie" Huang, Snowden has devised the design, which they refer to as an " Introspection Engine, " that would keep journalists, activists, and human rights workers from being tracked by their own devices leaking their location details. "This work aims to give journalists the tools to know when their smartphones are tracking or disclosing their location when the devices are supposed to be in airplane mode," Huang and Snowden wrote in a blog post published Thu

Beware! Your iPhone Can Be Hacked Remotely With Just A Message

Beware! Your iPhone Can Be Hacked Remotely With Just A Message
July 20, 2016Mohit Kumar
In Brief Do you own an iPhone? Mac? Or any Apple device? Just one specially-crafted message can expose your personal information, including your authentication credentials stored in your device's memory, to a hacker. The vulnerability is quite similar to the Stagefright vulnerabilities , discovered a year ago in Android, that allowed hackers to silently spy on almost a Billion phones with just one specially-crafted text message. Cisco Talos senior researcher Tyler Bohan, who discovered this critical Stagefright-type bug in iOS, described the flaw as "an extremely critical bug, comparable to the Android Stagefright as far as exposure goes." The critical bug (CVE-2016-4631) actually resides in ImageIO – API used to handle image data – and works across all widely-used Apple operating systems, including Mac OS X, tvOS, and watchOS. All an attacker needs to do is create an exploit for the bug and send it via a multimedia message (MMS) or iMessage inside a Tagg

Apple Patents Technology to remotely disable your iPhone Camera at Concerts

Apple Patents Technology to remotely disable your iPhone Camera at Concerts
July 01, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Here's something you'll not like at all: Apple has been awarded a patent for technology that would prevent you from snapping pictures and shooting videos with your iPhone or iPad at places or events, like concerts or museums, where it might be prohibited or inappropriate. The patent , granted on Tuesday by the United States Patents and Trademark Office, is highly technical. Apple's latest patent describes an iPhone or iPad camera receiving coded infrared signals beamed from emitters in public places would temporarily disable device camera functionality, preventing any photography or recording for as long as the signal is on. "An infrared emitter can be located in areas where picture or video capture is prohibited," reads the patent. "An electronic device can then receive the infrared signals, decode the data and temporarily disable the device's recording function based on the command." The technology patented by Apple could also be used to be

Apple left iOS 10 Kernel Code Unencrypted, Intentionally!

Apple left iOS 10 Kernel Code Unencrypted, Intentionally!
June 24, 2016Mohit Kumar
Apple's new iOS 10 recently made headlines after MIT Technology Review revealed that the company had left the kernel of the mobile operating system unencrypted. Yes, the first developer preview of iOS 10 released at WWDC has an unencrypted kernel. When the headline broke, some of the users were surprised enough that they assumed Apple had made a mistake by leaving unencrypted kernel in iOS 10, and therefore, would get reverted in the next beta version of the operating system. However, Apple managed to confirm everyone that the company left the iOS 10 kernel unencrypted intentionally, as the kernel cache does not contain any critical or private information of users. On iOS, the kernel is responsible for things like security and how applications are capable of accessing the parts of an iPhone or an iPad. But, Why Apple had left the iOS wide open when other features like iMessage offer end-to-end encryption ? Apple did this on purpose, because by leaving the iOS 10 kernel

FBI paid Hacker $1.3 Million to Unlock San Bernardino Shooter's iPhone

FBI paid Hacker $1.3 Million to Unlock San Bernardino Shooter's iPhone
April 22, 2016Swati Khandelwal
In Brief Guess how much the FBI has paid an unknown grey-hat hacker to break into San Bernardino Shooter's iPhone? FBI Director James Comey hinted during an interview that the FBI spent more than $1.3 Million for breaking into the iPhone of a suspected terrorist and found nothing useful on it. Apple's  legal battle with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ended following the bureau's announcement last month that it bought a hacking tool to break into the locked iPhone 5C belonging to the alleged San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook. At the time, the FBI did not disclose the name of the third party neither it revealed the cost of the hacking tool. But yesterday while speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in London, FBI Director James Comey gave a hint on the price it gave to the unnamed "outside party" for the hacking solution after Apple refused to help the agency bypass the iPhone's security mechanisms. The FBI Paid Over $1.3 MILLION f
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