SIX iPhone security flaws have been found by Google researchers – and Apple still hasn’t fixed one of them.
The holes in Apple’s iOS software allow a hacker to take control of your phone by simply sending you a bugged message.
The find flies in the face of recent suggestions by Apple that it’s the company to turn to if you care about privacy and security.
Research was carried out by a team at Project Zero, Google’s security research group that tracks down so-called “zero day” vulnerabilities.
These bugs are named as such because whoever’s in charge of the software has “zero days” to find a solution.
They’re a valuable tool for hackers and are constantly being hoarded by cyber criminals and intelligence agencies, while others attempt to find and fix them.
Of the six flaws found by the team, Apple has now patched five. To protect yourself, simply update to the latest version of iOS.
Four of the six – including the one not yet patched by Apple – allow a hacker to break into your phone by sending you an iMessage filled with malicious code.
All you need to do is open the message and the cyber crook has remote access to your iPhone.
From here, they can copy files like your photos, messages and possibly your bank details – or even crash your phone, wiping everything on it.
Other flaws found by Google allowed hackers to break into your iPad or Mac computer using similar methods.
Details of the five flaws now patched by Apple have been published online by Project Zero.
How to update your iPhone
Here’s what you need to do…
The easiest way to update your iPhone is wirelessly – just follow these simple steps:
- Plug your iPhone into a power socket, and connect to a Wi-Fi network
- Tap Settings > General > Software Update
- Tap ‘Download and Install’
- Tap ‘Install’ to update immediately, or tap ‘Later’ and choose ‘Install Tonight’ to update while your phone is plugged in overnight
- You may have to enter your passcode
If you’d rather do a manual update using a wired connection, that’s easy enough too.
- First, install the latest version of iTunes on your computer
- Then connect your device to your computer using the supplied USB cable
- Open iTunes and select your device
- Click ‘Summary’, and then click ‘Check for Update’
- Click ‘Download and Update’
- You may be asked to enter your passcode
The sixth vulnerability has been kept a secret in order to stop hackers from using it.
Apple urged users to update their iPhones to iOS 12.4, the latest version of its software, to fix the five patched bugs.
Apple has previously stated that keeping your software up to date is “one of the most important things you can do to maintain your Apple product’s security.”
As for the sixth flaw, The Sun understands that Apple is currently investigating a fix. There’s no word yet on when that might become available.