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iOS 7 issues and the dangers of updates

apple-logo-thumbTechnology – no matter how well designed – will always have some form of security hole. Even products famed for being secure, like the iPhone, can face big issues that put users at risk.

In fact, the iPhone, a device developed by the world’s most valuable technology company, included four potentially dangerous security oversights in its latest version software version, iOS7.

Four dangerous security issues with iOS7

The first security issue in the new iPhone update involved a phone mechanism that should be very simple: the locking screen.

When you lock your phone, you expect that no one should be able to access it without knowing your password, right? That didn’t happen with the new iPhone update, however. iOS 7 accidentally included a simple method to completely bypass the lock screen – the equivalent of finding a locked door but going in an open window.

Using a method outlined in this video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tTewm0V_5ts – users could easily sneak into a locked phone (Apple has now fixed the issue).

The lock screen also had a second bug, which allowed users to make phone calls without unlocking the phone. All users had to do was type a phone number and repeatedly push the call button. More details can be found here: http://www.engadget.com/2013/09/21/ios-7-bug-lockscreen-emergency-call/.

iOS 7’s third bug was in the much-used email app built into the phone. The app was set to automatically execute any JavaScript code included in emails, which makes it much easier for criminals to send emails that could hack into your device.

Finally, experts say Apple’s new Touch ID fingerprint sensor, which unlocks the phone by using your fingerprint, is “broken”. They claim that you can get pass the security measure by using a high-resolution image of a fingerprint on a glass surface (more details on the BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24203929).

Why this matters

If Apple – arguably the most important technology firm in the world – can have this many major bugs in a new release, and if they were all discovered so quickly, it can happen to anyone. It’s a huge warning – one that reminds us that we shouldn’t put our safety totally in the hands of technology companies.

Just because something appears secure – be it an iPhone or a computer – doesn’t mean we should relax. Safety always needs to come first, so backup your data, and be wary of who has access to your computer/phone.

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