The Apple iPhone is easily hacked

Ashesh Shah
April 5, 2010

That was a pretty interesting security conference last week in Vancouver including an annual contest that promises cash prizes if really smart people can hack into fully patched and secure computer systems and devices.

This was not the conference to attend if you are an Apple Fan-Boy.

An Apple iPhone 3GS was fully compromised in 20 seconds by two hackers, the first time the mighty iPhone 2.0 has fallen to a crack. And the infamous Charlie Miller, who has successfully hacked into fully patched Macs for the last two years, this year wormed his way into fully patched and secure MacBook Pro to take home a cool $10,000. Another guy slammed into a fully-patched Windows 7 machine.

What were the main lessons learned from the conference and what can we do to protect ourselves? Tony Bradley of PC World blogged correctly, “Despite the common perception that the Mac OS X operating system is just inherently more secure than Windows, the reality is that the primary reason Macs aren’t attacked and compromised more often is that the platform with 92 percent market share promises malware developers a significantly higher return on investment than the platform with five percent market share,” he said.

Yes, I am sure the Apple folks are blowing up his inbox too but the point is made. Smart people can hack just as readily into Apple products too. They just don’t feel like it as often.

So what can we do? As Bradley points out, the hack above all used the weak point our computing experience, namely the Internet browser. In the Apple MacBook attack, a weakness in the Apple Safari browser was exploited. In the Windows 7 attack, the hacker used an exploit in Internet Explorer 8. Even the iPhone was hacked using … you guessed it … the mobile version of the Safari browser.

So what we need to do as consumers is keep our browsers up to date. The “safest” browser is a question that starts a fistfight in a nerd bar but whatever browser you use, keep it up to date. Don’t install browsers you are not going to use regularly. That just opens a security hole on your system. Many of us got Safari, for example, courtesy of Apple when we installed iTunes on our Windows machines. If you don’t plan to use Safari, remove it. If you plan to use it, patch it.

I usually recommend having two browsers on your system. If you use a Windows machine, that is Internet Explorer and something else. A year ago I would have recommended Mozilla Firefox. Today I would recommend Google’s Chrome to be your main browser and keep IE as your backup. (It is Google’s world and we’re just living in it.)

And pay attention. Patch your system regularly. On March 31, Microsoft released an emergency patch for Internet Explorer to patch a gaping hole that could allow a hacker to take over your computer. Did you get the patch? Did you install it? Did you reboot? Do you have Windows Updates set to install on schedule? Do you install the patches and reboot? Do you check for Apple updates?

You have to be vigilant these days and even then, don’t store anything on your connected computer you would not want swiped.


You may be interested

Cloud Services
0 shares55 views

Video: Salesforce is leaning on low-code to bring more platform access to its admins

Ashesh Shah - Nov 17, 2017

Low-code orchestration allows businesses to get a minimum viable product out the door fast and customize it to the user's…

Cloud Services
0 shares54 views

Amazon's 'Death Star' will be fueled by fat enterprise margins for years, and no one is safe

Ashesh Shah - Nov 17, 2017

Liberty Media's John Malone said that Amazon is in 'striking range of every industry on the planet.' And their enterprise…

Rocket Man Human Drivers and AI Self-Driving Cars: Outrunning Them
Artificial Intelligence
0 shares48 views
Artificial Intelligence
0 shares48 views

Rocket Man Human Drivers and AI Self-Driving Cars: Outrunning Them

Ashesh Shah - Nov 17, 2017

By Dr. Lance Eliot,the AI Trends Insider I was on the freeway the other day and traffic was moving along…


  1. I find that the iPhone is fantastic with all these little apps, being able to do pretty much everything on the move is fantastic. You can attend to pretty much anything, anywhere, anytime! The future has arrived and I love it! πŸ™‚

  2. @Tom – You can uncover the apple iphone from the majority of program providers now. It was just as the iphone was available exclusively in order to particular networks that they would not allow it, now they dont appear to thoughts.

  3. I have been checking out your blog for the last few hours, and everything has been very informative and well written. I hope to hear more updates from you soon!

  4. Hi. Initial I would like to say that I actually like your weblog, just observed it last week but I have been reading it sometimes since then.
    I look to consent with most of your views and beliefs and this submit is no exception. entirely
    Thank you for a fantastic blog and I hope you keep up the great function. If you do I will carry on to browse through it.
    Have a wonderful day.

  5. Good post! I searched around for this… I discovered your site! πŸ™‚ I have a Laptop Battery Related site of my own at Laptop Battery Depot… Otherwise would you mind if I placed a backlink from my web site to your blog site?

  6. So my brother got the new Apple IPad for free and he said the thing is unreal! He is amazed by how well it works and now I really need to get one.

  7. Only just a few months to go…Iphone OS 4.0 is about to be released! I really hope they’ll also focus on the business owner. Like week view, week numbers, ability to import tasks, etc. Put simply, enhanced calendar efficiency.

Leave a Comment