iPhone security flaws exposed

DENVER - Telly, who asked us not to reveal her last name, assumed that her iPhone 3 was secure.  Then she says her phone was hacked and her personal information was compromised.

She sent 9NEWS a newstip, asking us to look into how this security breach could have happened.

Telly was having dinner with her family Thursday when her husband pointed out that her phone appeared to be “possessed.”

“I was like it is Halloween time.  Maybe the ghosts are out.  Maybe the ghosts are taking over my telephone,” Telly said.  “It was pretty creepy.  I felt pretty violated.”

Telly soon realized a hacker had taken control of her iPhone.

“They would go to my contacts and find a contact, and then go to my facebook account and find the profile associated with that contact,” Telly said.  “I typed capital W-T-F??  And he typed back LOL.”

Telly’s iPhone 4 is out of commission with a shattered screen after one of her children dropped it on the floor.  She recently began using her old iPhone 3.

Tom Bridge, an apple expert and co-founder of Washington DC-based Technolutionary, says older model iPhones that do not have updated software, could be targeted by hackers.

“If you’ve got an older iPhone, your iPhone is definitely potentially vulnerable,” Bridge said.  “This is one of the reasons that we highly recommend that everybody keep up to date with the software on their iPhone.”

Bridge says hackers can use a text message or PDF to break into your phone, but only if you haven’t updated your operating system, or OS.

Bridge recommends using iTunes to check and make sure your OS is up to date.  He also says “jailbreaking” your iPhone, which is essentially unlocking it to allow unapproved apps, can put you and your contacts at risk for identity theft.

Telly says had not updated the software on her iPhone 3, but planned to do so immediately.  She hopes updating her software will keep her older iPhone safe from hackers.

“There are pictures of my kids that I don’t want just anyone to see,” Telly said.  “I still don’t know if it’s harmless or what they were after.”

Just this week, experts uncovered a security flaw with the latest iPhone 4S, which features a new voice command personal assistant called Siri.

Sharon Vaknin with CNET says somebody who takes your phone can use Siri to send a text message, get your friend’s phone numbers, and even find out where you live.

“If your phone ever gets in the wrong hands, anyone can activate Siri even with if your phone is locked with a passcode,” Vaknin said.

Changing your iPhone security settings takes about 10 seconds.



Bridge says iPhones are actually more secure than other types of smart phones.  He says the number one thing to remember is not to lose your phone.

Don’t put it down at a restaurant, bar, or other public place.  If someone grabs it, they can easily find out a lot about you.

Also, there is new technology called remote wipe.  If someone takes your phone, you can wipe out all the information on it, protecting you and your contacts from identity theft.

If you don’t have a smart phone already, you may soon be in the minority.

The research company Nielsen says more than 40% of U.S. adult cell phone customers have a smart phone.

Global technology researcher I-D-C expects 472 million smart phones will be sold worldwide in 2011, and that number is expected to rise to 982 million in 2015.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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Article source: http://www.9news.com/rss/article.aspx?storyid=225933


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