iPhone Camera Can Record Without Notice?

Halloween was yesterday, you say? Yep, but here’s another spooky story for you.

Honestly, I refrained from posting this one for a while, because I wanted to make sure that it’s not just fear mongering. And the reason I posted now is because this is a widely circulated story that many of you have probably seen.

Here’s the deal: A Google creator, Felix Krause, posted this Blog entry.

This article highlights an issue that security researchers and others have known for a while, but he proved it out in a different and very effective way, and it set off a storm.

In essence – his work shows that there are ways for apps to secretly record users from both the front and back cameras of an iThingy. And, he also showed that Apple’s current privacy and app permission settings don’t really provide a way for users to turn off or block this behavior.

It is scary to think about, but here’s some perspective.

  • This is a known issue with not only Apple, but with almost every device that has a camera. Felix Krause just did a great job of escalating the issue and hopefully manufacturers and software creators will start paying more attention
  • You’re probably not in any more danger now than you were before the article was written and everyone from Tech blogs to Fox News picked it up and ran.
  • Please understand that when you use any device with a camera, a web connection, a browser, or anything else that stores and transmits personal information, you’re theoretically hackable.

What should you do about this article? Well, if you’re really concerned about iDevice privacy – contact Apple. Tell them that you demand better permissions and patches. You can also do that with Google, Microsoft, and your laptop / desktop manufacturers.

Beyond that, just please follow the advice we’ve given for months: Keep your systems patched, Update when patches come out. And, consider using 3rd party tools to augment security.

If you want more details, please contact us.

 

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