Report: Apple fixes iPhone SMS spoofing flaw with iOS 6
Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) new iOS 6 reportedly fixes an SMS security flaw discovered in the previous version of the mobile operating system.
Last month, a French hacker calling himself "pod2g" identified an iOS loophole enabling scammers to spoof their identities and transmit malicious text messages that appear to originate from banks or other trusted sources. According to pod2g, the spoofing flaw was a byproduct of the process that converts text messages to the Protocol Description Unit mode for delivery--security experts added the flaw is not present across rival Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Symbian devices.
Apple Insider reports iOS 6, released to consumers Wednesday, patches the SMS spoofing flaw and dramatically upgrades security across the platform. It was uncertain whether Apple would address the issue: "Apple takes security very seriously," it said in a statement last month, but instead of disclosing what steps it would take to remedy the situation, the company suggested that its over-the-top iMessage solution presents a safer alternative to conventional messaging tools.
"When using iMessage instead of SMS, addresses are verified which protects against these kinds of spoofing attacks," said Apple. "One of the limitations of SMS is that it allows messages to be sent with spoofed addresses to any phone, so we urge customers to be extremely careful if they're directed to an unknown Web site or address over SMS."
Apple introduced iMessage in Oct. 2011, concurrent with the launch of its iOS 5 operating system update. The service enables users to send free text messages, photos and videos among all iOS devices. Despite the introduction of over-the-top services like iMessage, Facebook, Skype and Twitter, 91 percent of U.S. smartphone owners still actively use SMS, according to a survey conducted this spring by Vanson Bourne on behalf of mobile messaging firm Acision.
- read this Apple Insider article
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