Hackers could access your iPhone because of iMessage app design flaws - here's how to stay safe

By Claire Schofield
Thursday, 01 August, 2019, 10:23
The flaw could allow hackers to access your iPhone remotely (Photo: Shutterstock)

Apple's iMessage app has a design flaw that could allow hackers to access your iPhone remotely, researchers have found.

A team of Google bug researchers say they have discovered six flaws in the messaging app - one of which is yet to be resolved.

Device vulnerability

Security analysts working for Google's Project Zero are tasked with hunting for serious design flaws and vulnerabilities in various pieces of software before hackers uncover them. Project Zero was formed in 2014, with the aim of reducing the number of people affected by targeted attacks.

Researchers in the team provide manufacturers with a 90 day deadline before they make any issues that are discovered public.

The iMessage design issues could have been exploited in a variety of ways, such as by remotely accessing files or crashing devices. Five of the flaws that were uncovered were resolved in the iOS 12.4 update which was rolled out last week.

However, the sixth bug still allegedly remains problematic, although Google is not disclosing the issue until the deadline for resolving it is reached.

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Five of the flaws uncovered by security analysts were resolved in the iOS 12.4 update (Photo: Shutterstock)

Keeping your phone safe

The flaws were described by one of the researchers as "interactionless", meaning they are able to run without the user having to do anything.

The only way one issue was able to be fixed on an iPhone was by carrying out a complete reboot and recovery leading to data loss, researcher Natalie Silvanovich said in an original report published in April.

Apple users are advised to keep their software up to date to help maintain the security of their phone and protect against vulnerabilities.

An Apple spokesman said, "For the protection of our customers, Apple doesn't disclose, discuss, or confirm security issues until an investigation has occurred and patches or releases are generally available.

"Keeping your software up to date is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your Apple product's security."

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Yorkshire Evening Post.