October 20, 2021

Volume XI, Number 293

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Is Your Iphone Spying on you (Again)?

In the latest installment of this seemingly ongoing tale, Google uncovered (for the second time in a month) security flaws in Apple’s iOS, which put thousands of users at risk of inadvertently installing spyware on their iPhones. For two years.

Google’s team of hackers – working on Project Zero – say the cyberattack occurred when Apple users visited a seemingly genuine webpage, with the spyware then installing itself on their phones. It was capable of then sending the user’s texts, emails, photos, real-time location,  contacts, account details (you get the picture) almost instantaneously back to the perpetrators of the hack (which some reports suggest was a nation state). The hack wasn’t limited to Apple apps either, with reports the malware was able to extract data from WhatsApp, GoogleMaps and Gmail.

For us, the scare factor goes beyond data from our smart devices inadvertently revealing secret locations, or being used against us in court – the data and information the cyberspies could have had access to could wreak absolute havoc on the everyday iPhone users’ (and, the people whose details they have in their phones) lives.

We’re talking about this in past tense because while it was only discovered by Project Zero recently, Apple reportedly fixed the vulnerability without much ado in February this year, by releasing a software update.

So how do you protect yourself from being spied on? It seems there’s no sure-fire way to entirely prevent yourself from becoming a victim, or, if you were a victim of this particular attack, to mitigate the damage. But, according to Apple,  “keeping your software up to date is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your Apple product’s security”. We might not be ignoring those pesky “a new update is available for your phone” messages, anymore.

Copyright 2021 K & L GatesNational Law Review, Volume IX, Number 246
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About this Author

Cameron Abbott, Technology, Attorney, Australia, corporate, KL Gates Law Firm
Partner

Mr. Abbott is a corporate lawyer who focuses on technology, telecommunications and broadcasting transactions. He assists corporations and vendors in managing their technology requirements and contracts, particularly large outsourcing and technology procurements issues including licensing terms for SAP and Oracle and major system integration transactions.

Mr. Abbott partners with his clients to ensure market leading solutions are implemented in to their businesses. He concentrates on managing and negotiating complex technology solutions, which...

+61.3.9640.4261
Allison Wallace, KL Gates, Commercial Technology and Sourcing lawyer, Australia

Allison Wallace is a lawyer in the Melbourne, Australia office of K&L Gates, working in the Commercial Technology and Sourcing Practice. 

61-3-9205-2095
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