Reports continue to flood in that the iPhone XS (details), iPhone XS Max (details) and iPhone XR (details) are in trouble but now Apple AAPL -0.77% faces a new threat not only to its latest iPhones but every iPhone and iPad you can buy…
In short: the data on all iPhones and iPads running iOS 12 is not safe. This comes after an announcement from popular data recovery company DriveSavers that files on these devices can be accessed with “a 100% success rate”. Furthermore, unlike most security holes which are disclosed to Apple, this one is being kept secret.
Apple’s iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XRApple
Why? Speaking to MacRumors, DriveSavers said it is building a service around the exploit and charging users up to $3,900 if they want to access locked devices. That said, the company stresses it is using strict identification protocols from customers to ensure they are not hacking an iPhone or iPad which doesn’t belong to them.
Whether or not you choose to believe DriveSavers about this, the problem is others may not be so ethical.
With DriveSavers keeping the flaw a secret to protect its new service, Apple has a major job on its hands to find and fix it. And until then, the race is on for more nefarious hackers to discover and exploit it …if they aren’t already.
And the prizes are high.
After all, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that if you can build a successful business model charging owners $3,900 to recover their own data, hackers can charge at least as much to provide access to other people’s iPhones and iPads or to let you back into your device after they access and lock it.
Apple has long promoted the security of its devices as a key selling point. But at a time when sales of new iPhones are allegedly struggling, this is just the sort of development (on the back of yet another hardware recall) which is unlikely to encourage more people to buy them…