BOSTON — Cybersecurity researchers have warned that a bug in Apple Inc’s iOS operating system makes most iPhones and iPads vulnerable to cyberattacks by hackers seeking access to sensitive data and control of their devices.
Cybersecurity firm FireEye Inc published details about the vulnerability on its blog Monday, saying the bug enables hackers to access their devices by persuading users to install malicious applications with tainted text messages, emails and web links.
The malicious application can then be used to replace genuine, trusted apps that were installed through Apple’s App Store, including email and banking programs, with malicious software through a technique that FireEye has dubbed “Masque Attack.”
These attacks can be used to steal banking and email login credentials or other sensitive data, according to FireEye, which is well-regarded in cybersecurity circles for its research.
“It is a very powerful vulnerability and it is easy to exploit,” FireEye Senior Staff Research Scientist Tao Wei said in an interview.
Officials with Apple could not be reached for comment.
Wei said that FireEye disclosed the vulnerability to Apple in July and that representatives with the company have said they were working to fix the bug.
News of the vulnerability began to leak out in October on specialized web forums where security experts and hackers alike discuss information on Apple bugs, Wei said.
Wei said that FireEye decided to go public with its findings after Palo Alto Networks Inc last week uncovered the first campaign to exploit the vulnerability, a new family of malicious software known as WireLurker that infects both Mac computers and iOS.
FireEye does not know of other attacks that exploit the bug, Wei said.
“Currently WireLurker is the only one, but we will see more,” he said.
FireEye advises iOS users to refrain from install apps from sources other than Apple’s official App Store and to not click “install” on a pop-up from a third-party web page.
The security firm said it verified this vulnerability on iOS 7.1.1, 7.1.2, 8.0, 8.1 and 8.1.1 beta, for both jailbroken and non-jailbroken devices.
These are instructions on how to jailbreak your iPhone 6 Plus, 6, 5s, 5c, 5, 4s on iOS 8.0 – 8.1 using Pangu8 for Mac…
If you aren’t already at iOS 8.1 we suggest upgrading to the latest firmware using iTunes. You can find download links for iOS 8.1 here. We’ve also posted instructions on how to update the firmware of your iPhone. Please note that you must update using iTunes rather than Software Update. If you used Software Update you should do a backup then restore to iOS 8.1 using iTunes.
Create an iClarified folder on your desktop and download the latest version of Pangu into the folder.
Press the Settings button at the top left to return to the Settings menu. Choose iCloud from the Settings menu then select Find My iPhone from the iCloud menu. Ensure the Find My iPhone switch is the Off position.
Connect your iPhone to the computer via a USB cable, launch iTunes, and perform a manual backup. It is very important that you remember to backup your device before continuing as you could lose your data if the jailbreak process does not complete successfully.
*A big thanks to the Pangu team and all the others who contributed to this jailbreak.
Batteries are growing bigger with every passing year, but we’re not seeing a huge benefit because our Android devices are demanding more and more out of them. Battery life still tops the complaint charts for smartphone owners tired of the daily charging routine.
The first Android smartphone, the HTC Dream, had a 1,150mAh battery, but it also had a 3.2-inch display. TheSamsung Galaxy S5 has a 2,800mAh battery and a 5.1-inch display. Average battery capacities have been climbing steadily since 2008, but screen sizes have been keeping pace.
No one really wants to be told that the most obvious route to increased battery life is to use your phone less or worse: turn off some of the features that enticed you to buy it in the first place. So we’ve pulled together a list of relatively painless tips to keep your Android going that little bit longer.
Most Android device manufacturers have added some form of power-saving mode. You can automatically hobble your phone’s features or shut down specific apps when your battery dwindles below a predetermined level.
Stock Android only offers battery stats for now, but Android Lollipop has a battery saver option built in (which means most phones running Android 5 will too in the future). If you can’t find a power saving option, check out an app like Juice Defender.
You don’t need your phone syncing away through the night, so why not introduce a bedtime routine that automatically silences it and kills your data and Wi-Fi connections? With apps like AutomateIt and Tasker you can also automatically turn things on and off based on triggers and rules you define.
Delve into Settings > Apps and flick over to the ‘All’ tab to find a complete list of your apps. Anything there that you don’t use is a candidate for the uninstall pile. In their infinite wisdom, carriers and manufacturers sometimes block you from uninstalling their apps, but you usually have the option to disable them instead and it’s worth doing.
You may also consider installing Greenify to get a good look at what is running and automatically hibernate apps that you aren’t using, so they aren’t eating system resources unless you start them up.
You’ll need to root your device to really take full advantage, which is simple enough but will take a little time to manage if you’re new to the process. If you do decide to root then you may also consider Titanium Backup Pro for freezing unwanted apps.
The busier your home screen, the more battery life it’s going to suck. Get rid of widgets that you don’t need, and consider reducing refresh rates. Animation costs power, so ditch the live wallpapers.
If you have a phone with an AMOLED display (such as nearly all of the high end Samsungs or the new Moto X), then use a dark background for the home screen and a dark theme in general. The technology achieves deep blacks by not lighting up those pixels and so dark backgrounds can save you some power.
Your screen brightness is going to have a big impact on your battery. Don’t rely on auto-brightness because it will generally be set higher than you really need. Reduce brightness manually and keep it as low as is comfortable. You can always pull down the notification shade and tweak it quickly via the quick settings when you have to.
You should also reduce the screen time out in display settings under sleep. The faster your Android device fades to black when not in use, the more power you’ll save.