Apple devices could fall victim to hackers via a single text message, an American threat intelligence organisation has found.
According to Tyler Bohan of Cisco Talos, a flaw in Apple’s old operating systems could give hackers access to your iPhone, Mac computer, Apple TV, or Apple Watch in a matter of seconds.
In a blog post, the flaw is explained as “a vulnerability in the way in which the Image I/O API parses and handles tiled TIFF image files”.
“When rendered by applications that use the Image I/O API, a specially crafted TIFF image file can be used to create a heap-based buffer overflow and ultimately achieve remote code execution on vulnerable systems and devices.”
What does this mean for those of us who don’t talk tech?
Basically, hackers can send you a certain kind of image file through an iMessage, MMS, webpage or email attachment and gain access to your data remotely.
Thankfully, there’s a quick fix. Apple has already corrected the flaw with its latest operating system updates, which were rolled out on July 18.
To protect yourself, you just need to make sure you have all the latest software installed on your phone.
- The iOS 9.3.3 update for all iOS devices.
- The OS X 10.11.6 update for all users of El Capitan.
- The tvOS 9.2.2 for the Apple TV.
- The watchOS 2.2.2 for the Apple Watch.
- The iTunes 12.4.2 update for Mac users.
If you’re still feeling paranoid, you can turn off your MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) in Settings > Messages.