Watch a computer hack 2-dozen iPhones with 1 code – is anything sacred?

Chris Burns - Dec 3, 2020, 1:30pm CST
Watch a computer hack 2-dozen iPhones with 1 code – is anything sacred?

Earlier this year, a security researcher discovered a way to remotely hack any iOS device and steal all the data inside. Before we panic, be sure to take note that the vulnerability was fixed before May of 2020. Between then and now, there’s very little chance you’ve not already downloaded the updates you needed to avoid this hack from ever having a chance to grab hold.

From Ian Beer of the Project Zero security research team at Google came the following exploit and fix. A demonstration is shown below. With the exploit as explained, Ian Beer was able to transmit a code that took advantage of a vulnerability on every iPhone within transmit distance – remotely, without any sort of physical access.

It’s important to note, again, that what was possible earlier this year is no longer possible now. That’s assuming your iPhone or iPad has the latest set of software updates from Apple, of course.

Beer created, as he suggests, “a wormable radio-proximity exploit which allows me to gain complete control over any iPhone in my vicinity.” This exploit was discovered by a single person, working along in his room earlier this year.

If one person was able to accomplish this, what’s possible when a team of hackers takes aim at a high level target? The question isn’t “is it possible” so much as it is “why doesn’t this sort of thing happen more often?”

Above you’ll see another demonstration of the code exploit in action. Here a photo is captured without alerting the target.

Could it be that vulnerabilities in connected computing devices like these are exploited in the wild more often than we realize? Are we already living in the world of Watch Dogs and we just haven’t noticed it because hackers move in silence?

Hack a talking fish, reboot a couple dozen iPhones, what’s the difference? What’s left to do but keep all our money in cash, stuffed under our mattress in the basement?


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