NEWS – “without comment”
Your iPhone can be hacked with malware even when it’s switched off, new research finds
Apple iPhones are vulnerable to malware even when they’re switched off, according to new research. –
By Jack Ramage – BIZTECH NEWS
It’s possible to load malware onto an iPhone even when it’s turned off, according to a new report.
The study by researchers from the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany found that a chip that enables Bluetooth can be exploited and hacked in order to instal malware on the device without the user’s permission – even though the phone is switched off.
This comes in light of the new iOS 15 update, which includes a feature that allows you to be able to locate an iPhone even when it’s powered off.
Apple has claimed that this new feature will enhance the security of users because it allows them to find a lost or stolen phone, even when turned off.
However, because the chips remain on even when the iPhone is turned off, researchers warn this could pose a new threat.
The feature is enabled because three chips wireless stay on – Bluetooth, Near Field Communication (NFC), and Ultra-wideband (UWB) – the paper noted.
This allows the phone to continue sending signals, and is designed to help the owner find their phone if it’s lost.
Malware can be installed on your iPhone – even when off
The paper – which was released last week and entitled “Evil Never Sleeps: When Wireless Malware Stays On After Turning Off iPhones” – revealed that it was possible to install malware on the Bluetooth chip located in the iPhone.
The study also concludes that hackers would need to first hack and jailbreak the iPhone to be able to access and exploit the Bluetooth chip.
On modern iPhones, wireless chips can no longer be trusted to be turned off after shutdown. This poses a new threat model.
At this point in time, there is no evidence that this kind of attack has been used yet. is theoretical, with no proof that this kind of attack has been used.
Should you be worried
“We assume that average user is not targeted by such malware,” she added.
However, she notes that politicians or journalists, as well as their close contacts, could be prone to these attacks, citing previous research from Citizen Lab, in which dozens of Al Jazeera journalists were hacked using spyware.
“Apple has introduced hardware changes to support Bluetooth after power off since the iPhone 11 – these hardware changes cannot be undone,” Classen said.
“Apple could add a physical power switch that disconnects the battery in future iPhones”.