For years, people would say that Apple devices can’t get viruses because they were just so secure. This lead users to believe that their devices were impenetrable fortresses and that they could do what they liked online without running the risk of catching a virus or being the victim of a cyber attack. However, this isn’t the case.
Apple device are still exposed to cyber attacks, and so if you have an Apple product you need to take steps to keep it secure. Not sure how to do this? Wondering what kind of cyber attacks you could be vulnerable to? We tell you all you need to know here on Open Data Security.
Phishing attacks and scams are the ones that most of us are aware of a lot of the time. If you have an email account, the chances are that you will have received an email at some point claiming to be from a trusted source.
They aren’t always. When you check the email address or hover over the links, you’ll find that they do not direct you to the site you expected. In fact, these emails are designed to look so authentic that you don’t check the links. The hackers who created them want you to simply believe that they are who they say they are.
This isn’t the only type of email you might receive. As Intego shows, there are plenty of emails you need to watch out for. They lead you to an authentic-appearing website, which makes you feel safe. Often they ask for you to enter things like your username and password for your account… and because the website looks convincing you might be tempted to put your vital information in.
However, once you have they will then have access to your account. From there they can see private data such as your address, and even use your Apple I.D. to purchase things. Definitely not what you want!
So how do you stop this from happening? The best method to use is to regard every email you receive with caution. Simply checking the sender can help you spot phishing scams, as you’ll notice that the email seems a little off. Wondering what else to keep an eye out for? Our very own Sarah tells you how to protect yourself from phishing scams on the Open Data Security blog.
Ransomware and Apple
Last month the hot topic of conversation was the WannaCry ransomware, which infected hundreds of medium and large-sized companies all over the world. However, Apple devices were not infected. For some people out there, this seems like proof that Apple devices are simply safer. This simply isn’t the case.
Back in March a London-based hacking group claimed to have information on over 250 million Apple accounts and were holding the company to ransom. Referring to themselves as “The Turkish Crime Family”, this group stated that Apple would have to pay $75,000 in cryptocurrency (such as Bitcoin) or $100,000 in iTunes gift cards in order to prevent the group from releasing this information.
At the time Apple denied that there had been a breach, and that the information obtained had been collected by the hacking group “from previously compromised third-party services”.
However, Apple still suggested that users change their passwords, and that they make them as secure as they can. Not sure how to create a secure password? There are plenty of different ways you can make your password more secure.
Jailbreaking and malware
Jailbreaking is when you install a program onto your device which, as our own Zoe Jackson points out, allows you to run unsigned code. This means that you are able to get around many of the restrictions Apple has put in place, such as only being able to download apps from the App Store. If you have jailbroken your Apple device, you can download apps from anywhere… and not all of them come from good sources.
For many Apple users this is where the risks lie, as hackers can create malicious apps designed to look perfectly safe. Once you’ve downloaded them, your device is infected. For some users they believe that they can avoid this malware simply by not jailbreaking their device. They’ll be totally safe if they don’t do this, right?
Wrong. Last year we learned that there was a new malware which could infect Apple devices, even if they were not jailbroken. The malware is known as AceDeceiver, and is proof that hackers are now starting to get around the various security measures Apple has in place.
It used to be that Android devices were the ones more likely to be hit by cyber attacks. However, the growing number of iOS users paints a target on Apple’s back, and it is a target hackers simply cannot resist. Because they are so popular hackers have more chances to infect devices and to steal information.
Like many stores for apps on mobile devices, Apple will remove malicious content from their store… but this doesn’t always happen immediately. If you want to protect your devices, make sure you only download those from trusted sources. Found that you accidentally download things from the App Store when you didn’t intend to? If you go into your settings, you can enable Touch I.D. in the store, so that you must give your thumbprint in order to download new apps. This, combined with only downloading from trusted sources, can go a long way to help protect your device.
New threats emerging
A lot of the cyber attacks and security threats we have talked about might leave you thinking “it isn’t happening now, so I’m safe”. However there are new threats emerging each and every day that you should be aware of.
For example, a recent Wikileaks release has revealed that the Central Intelligence Agency has been targetting Apple products for a long time. In fact, the leak claims that iPhones have been hacked since they were first released.
The document suggests that the tool the CIA designed could run in the background on an infected device and effectively give the agency “full control” of it… which is a worrying thought for iPhone users.
This is a threat that dates back to the very first iPhones, but it has only recently come to light. There are many other threats out there, and so it is important to take steps to protect your phone.
Protecting your iOS device
Your Apple device is vulnerable to cyber attacks in the same way that many other devices are. However, by thinking carefully about your security, you can keep your device secure. All it takes is a bit of caution and common sense.
Creating secure passwords which you regularly change can help, as can viewing each email you receive on your device as suspicious. This will help you spot any phishing scams before you click a malicious link. Even viewing the App Store with caution can help. Simply stick only to the trusted sources when downloading apps.
There are plenty of small steps you can take to secure your device, and you’ll notice that you start to feel safer when you take your data security seriously.
Latest posts by Hayley Kershaw (see all)
- Why you need to train your CEO before your employees - September 14, 2017
- Your Apple Device Is Exposed To Cyber Attacks Too - August 1, 2017
- Your computer may be a zombie! - July 25, 2017