Vulnerability in iPhone could remotely take control of the device

The problem allowed full access to the user's personal data, including email, passwords and cryptographic keys.50.jpgIan Beer, a security researcher at Google Project Zero, spoke about a dangerous vulnerability in various iPhones and other devices running iOS, the exploitation of which allowed attackers to remotely reboot and take full control of devices over a Wi-Fi network and without user interaction. The problem could allow criminals to read emails and other messages, download photos, and even potentially watch and eavesdrop on the user through the iPhone's microphone and camera.

According to Beer, the problem stems from the fact that modern iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple Watches use Apple's Wireless Direct Link (AWDL) protocol to create mesh networks for features like AirDrop (to transfer photos and files to other iOS devices) and Sidecar. Beer not only found a way to exploit a buffer overflow vulnerability, but he was also able to force AWDL to turn on even if it had been turned off previously.

Beer has developed several different methods of exploitation. As part of one of the attacks, he installs an implant that provides full access to the user's personal data, including email, photos, messages, as well as passwords and cryptographic keys. To do this, Beer used a laptop, a Raspberry Pi, and some ready-made Wi-Fi adapters. It took about two minutes to install the implant prototype, but, according to the specialist, this time can be reduced to “a few seconds”. Operation can only occur on devices that are within the range of an attacker's Wi-Fi network.

Apple has not disputed the issue and has released security updates that fix the vulnerability.

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