Technology

iPhones vulnerable to malware even when turned off, study says

A customers holds the new green colour Apple iPhone inside the Apple Store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan in New York

A customers holds the new green colour Apple iPhone inside the Apple Store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan in New York | Photo Credit: Reuters

iPhones are vulnerable to malware even when the device is turned off. Most wireless chips in an iPhone stay on even when the device is turned off, according to a research.

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On new iPhones “wireless chips can no longer be trusted to be turned off after shutdown,” according to researchers at Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany.

These wireless chips enable the phone to run on Low-Power Mode (LPM) to locate lost devices using the Find My feature. LPM is either activated when the user switches off their phone or when iOS shuts down automatically due to low battery.

And as the power saving mode is set at the iPhone’s hardware level, the feature cannot be removed with system updates. So, it has a long-lasting effect on the overall iOS security model, the researchers note.

Newer iPhones are Bluetooth-, Near Field Communication (NFC)-, and Ultra-wideband (UWB)-enabled, keeping them on even after power runs out. The trio have direct access to the secure element of the phone, exposing them to potential malware attacks.


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Printable version | May 20, 2022 6:51:53 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/iphones-vulnerable-to-malware-even-when-turned-off-study-says/article65438870.ece