The Apple vs FBI saga has finally come to a close, and no one’s really coming out of this covered in glory. It’s been a pretty big week for Apple; between the court case, a critical security update and issues with links resolving, it all boils down to security. Here’s what you need to know.
Firstly, a bit of background to set you up for the day: The FBI and Apple have been hashing it out in court over whether Apple should have to provide the government with access into the iPhone of San Bernardino killer, Syed Farook. Giving the government access to the killer’s communications, Apple said, was a) unethical and b) not possible without seriously compromising the secure foundations of Apple technology.
It seems the scuffle was unnecessary though (in practical terms at least) as the government has managed to get access to the device anyway through the work of an ‘unnamed source’, which means someone found a flaw and managed to exploit it to get inside.
The government’s ability to get into the phone has given Apple fairly good reason to take a hard look at its security, and while the company has said it’ll continue to help law enforcement as much as possible in future, it’s also promised to bulk up its security in the face of rising cyber threats.
This is all extra timely considering that in the last week a zero-day vulnerability was announced in older Apple operating systems. Security researchers are urging any businesses using Apple tech to update operating systems in order to reduce risk of exploit.
You should be OK if you’re running the latest versions that were released on the 26th of this month – OS X version 10.11.4 and iOS 9.3 – but if you’re not then it’s a good idea to update your systems to the latest ones to protect your devices; it means that most of the businesses using Apple iPads, iPhones and Macs will be vulnerable until they update so if in doubt, check!
To take advantage of the vulnerability an attacker needs to first gain access to the system through something like a phishing email or browser exploit; of course you’re all practising good security, but sometimes things slip through the net and the vulnerability has the potential to do some damage.
It’s also pretty stealthy and hard to detect, which means that security experts are reminding users of the importance of scanning their systems regularly for potential weaknesses – something which our security arm, Secarma, is a big advocate of!
Finally, the new iPhone update iOS 9.3 is giving thousands of users trouble with links, trying to force links to open in the app, which either does nothing or in some cases crashes the phone. Apple says it’s working on the problem so keep a beady eye out if you’ve been affected.
Even the biggest companies can have issues and while, to an extent, mistakes are expected; it’s how a company deals with them and works to prevent them that’s key. Good, vigilant security practice is vital, as is transparency.
If you’re looking for help keeping your IT solution secure, take a look at our website or give us a call on 0208 045 4945 for more information on the UKFast security solutions.