Hackers Could Control Your iPhone With SMS Message

According to security researchers, hackers could take over your iPhone. The method they use is extremely simple - a text message containing 1 square character. The hack would come in the form of a burst of SMS messages that contain a single character. Researchers have found a flaw in the way the device handles text messages which could allow hackers complete control of the phone. If your iPhone gets infected, the hackers could do the following:

  • Control dialing the phone
  • Visiting websites
  • Control the phones camera
  • Send texts to other iPhones, allowing control of them too

On Thursday, two researchers (Charlie Miller and Collin Mulliner) plan to reveal an un-patched iPhone bug that could virally infect phones via SMS. The two researchers plan to demonstrate ( during a speech to the Black Hat CyberSecurity Conference) how a series of 512 SMS messages can exploit the bug, with only one of those messages actually appearing on the phone, showing a small square. Miller cautions that someone could easily design the attack to show a different message or without any visible messages. The entire process of infecting an iPhone and then using the device to infect another iPhone on the user's contact list would take only a few minutes, Miller says.

If you receive a text message on your iPhone any time after Thursday (7/30) afternoon containing only a single square character, Miller would suggest you turn the device off. Quickly! Miller said: "This is serious. The only thing you can do to prevent it is turn off your phone. Someone could pretty quickly take over every iPhone in the world with this."

They have informed Apple about the potential bug that could take over all iPhones in the world about a month ago. However, Apple still hasn't released a patch to combat these potential hacks.

The new attacks, can strike a phone without any action on the part of the user and are virtually unpreventable while the phone is powered on, according to Miller and Mulliner's research.

The researchers say they've also found a similar texting bug in Windows Mobile that allows complete remote control of Microsoft based devices. Another SMS bug in Google's Android phones would purportedly allow a hacker to knock a phone off its wireless network for about 10 seconds with a series of text messages. The trick could be repeated again and again to keep the user offline, Miller says. Google has apparently released a patch for its Android based mobile phones.

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