Hackers found a SECRET trick to access your iPhone even when switched off!
Hackers can access your device and we have seen multiple such vulnerabilities. But what about switched off devices? Are these safe? Sadly, the new study by Secure Mobile Networking Lab at the University of Darmstadt, Germany found some shocking revelations which suggested that even a switched off iPhone can be hacked! The study explained that a switched off iPhone is not actually off, as some of these components are still in use. In fact, they are in use all the time. And that's where the loophole is, giving a chance for hackers to hijack your iPhone.
The cybersecurity firm Kaspersky mentioned that the research examined the operation of the wireless modules and found ways to analyze the Bluetooth firmware. The findings showed that it can introduce malware capable of running completely independently of the iOS, the iPhone's operating system. "When an iPhone is turned off, most wireless chips stay on. For instance, upon user-initiated shutdown, the iPhone remains locatable via the Find My network. If the battery runs low, the iPhone shuts down automatically and enters a power reserve mode. Yet, users can still access credit cards, student passes, and other items in their Wallet," the report mentioned.
So what exactly is causing hackers to get access to your iPhone?
Back in 2021, Apple announced that its Find My service feature which is used for locating a lost device actually works even if your iPhone is switched off. This is what lets your iPhone stay active even if it is switched off. The researchers carried out a detailed analysis of this feature in Low Power Mode and then with power off. Then most of the work was handled by the Bluetooth module periodically sending data packets over the air, allowing other devices to find the not-really-off iPhone.
Surprisingly, the research team found that the firmware of the Bluetooth module is not encrypted, which permits the analysis for the search of vulnerabilities. The lack of Secure Boot allows an attacker to access the iPhone. Well, the only good part is that accessing these components of the iPhone would require a lot of work and importantly, physical access to the iPhone by hackers.