Back in June of this year, it came to light that a small bunch of security researchers had managed to find a way of injecting unwanted code into iOS devices by using a malicious USB charger. That revelation may have caused concern to a lot of users, but it seems that the latest beta of iOS 7 has resolved the security flaw, as promised by Apple in a recent statement.
Although we have known about the home made USB charger for a couple of months, it was officially shown off yesterday at the Black Hat Convention being held in Las Vegas. The research team involved in the project demonstrated how they managed to build a USB powered charger for $45 that contains a small Linux based computer as part of the internal makeup, designed to maliciously compromise the connected iOS device within sixty seconds.
The overall good news is that it seems Apple are meticulously dedicated to preserving the security and integrity of their customer-facing products and services. The latest beta of the publicly unavailable iOS 7 contains mechanisms that have been put in place to combat any attempts by USB connected devices to bypass the internal security protocols of an iOS device. The same dedication to security has also been demonstrated by the fruit company’s willingness to take down their entire developer center as a result of a server compromise three weeks ago.
Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr has gone on record as thanking the researchers involved for their “valuable input” and security work that has allowed Apple to put iOS 7 beta 4 into the hands of software developers with an additional important fix included. The demonstration at the Black Hat Convention showed the team behind the USB charger successfully compromising an iOS device and forcing it to make an outbound call to another handset.
It’s unlikely that Apple will make a big deal about the inclusion of this fix, but iOS 7 on the whole is likely to cause a big stir amongst consumers when released later this year. With revamped visuals, inclusion of additional utilities and new animations, it is definitely the biggest change to iOS that we have seen since the launch of the original iPhone in 2007.