Apple has reportedly fixed a security flaw in the iOS operating system that would allow attackers to be able to bypass passcode lock screens on iPhone 6S and 6S Plus that are running version 9.3.1 of iOS. The bypass would have allowed malicious parties to be able to access the address book and photos of a targeted device, which could expose a lot of private data.
German security firm, Evolution Security, were responsible for discovering the bypass, which takes advantage of the integration of Siri with apps such as Twitter or Facebook, as well as the new 3D Touch feature that is included only in the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. Even while the device is locked, an attacker would be able to request information on @ tags from Twitter, Facebook, and Yahoo. From there, the 3D touch’s hard push feature can be used to bring up the context menu for a string such as an email address. This menu provides the ability to add the data to a contact in the phone’s address book and from there, by accessing the choice to change user pictures, the photo gallery can be launched.
According to the Washington Post, the vulnerability was patched by Apple on Tuesday without users needing to install a software update. Considering the high level of security on the iPhone that led to Apple’s protracted battle with the FBI, it is surprising that so much user data can be exposed by a flaw in the lock screen, which is often the first and last line of defense for the security of the data on the device.
Apple has showcased the latest additions to their iPhone range and described the handsets as, “the most advanced smartphones in the world”. The construction utilizes aerospace-grade aluminium and the strongest glass cover in the industry. On a more cosmetic angle, there is a new rose-gold premium colour scheme. Furthermore, both handsets opt for Apple’s flagship A9 processor and the iSight camera has been upgraded to a 12-megapixel sensor. Another invention is 3D touch which detects the amount of pressure being applied to the screen and performs various functions via force sensors. This means, tapping the screen or a prolonged press provides a very different result in the latest software.
The camera also incorporates “deep trench isolation” to reproduce colours more effectively and create a vivid image. From the presentation footage, the camera quality seems excellent and a marked improvement over the 6 and 6 Plus. Apple decided to offer 4K video with the new 6S range and this has been a long overdue feature as phones like the One Plus 2 can already do this for a much lower price. Consumers often use the front-facing camera to take “selfies” and Apple has improved the sensor to 5-megapixels. This is more than ample for quick photographs but nothing to really write home about.
In terms of networking, the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus contains 23 LTE bands and a maximum WiFi speed of 866 Mbps. This makes it a great choice for people constantly travelling to a variety of countries. In a fairly cringeworthy manner, Apple announced its own Android App designed to migrate data from Android users to iOS, and suggested they are acquiring lots of ex-Android customers.
The pricing remains unchanged from the previous models and costs $199 (16GB), $299 (64GB), $399 (128GB) plus a 24 month contract on the 6S and $299 (16GB), $399 (64GB), $499 (128GB) if you decide to choose the iPhone 6S Plus. The handsets will come with the latest iOS 9 operating system and a new upgrade programme has been launched which let’s you upgrade your phone every year. Although, this is only on tariffs at a minimum of $32 per month and in Apple Stores.