The landscape of mobile security threats is continuously changing, with cybercriminals increasingly focusing on our most frequently used devices for scams and malware attacks.
Android users face a higher risk of cyber threats, but iOS users are not entirely safe either. Over time, the Apple ecosystem has seen its fair share of targeted attacks. Some of these attacks on iOS devices are highly sophisticated, involving costly exploits used in geopolitical conflicts, while others exploit old technologies' weaknesses like SMS.
Regardless of the method, numerous strategies exist for attackers targeting Apple users. For iPhone users, here are the primary security risks to be aware of in 2024:
Security risks for Iphone:
SMS Scams (Smishing)
As highlighted in previous Hotforsecurity articles, SMS, still widely used five decades after its inception, has several security flaws. It's a favored method for scammers due to its widespread use for personal messaging and business-client communication. Scammers often impersonate companies to steal user credentials, intercept authentication codes, redirect to phishing sites, or trick users into downloading malware.
Apple has recently strengthened its defenses against SMS/iMessage scams, but users must remain vigilant. For added security, iPhone users can use apps like Bitdefender Mobile Security, which includes a Scam Alert feature to scan texts and calendar invites for scams and malicious links.
A significant threat to iOS devices is commercial or mercenary spyware, especially for journalists, activists, and high-profile political figures. This spyware, often state-sponsored, exploits software vulnerabilities unknown to Apple or security researchers. These exploits can be worth millions and are used in geopolitical tensions to gather sensitive information. Apple regularly updates its security to combat these threats, but many spyware attacks require no user interaction, making them hard to detect. High-profile iPhone users should prioritize security updates and consider using Lockdown Mode.
With the rise of two-factor authentication (2FA), there's been an increase in deceptive 2FA apps in app stores. These apps often charge for features that are freely available from reputable developers. Users should be cautious and choose apps from trusted vendors. This caution applies not just to 2FA apps but to all apps and services.
Common Mobile Threats
Besides these specific iOS threats, iPhone users, like all mobile users, face common threats such as phishing, malicious apps (particularly those downloaded after jailbreaking), risks associated with public Wi-Fi, iCloud compromises, and privacy issues related to location tracking.
To stay safe in 2024, iPhone users should be aware of these evolving threats, stay informed about cybersecurity developments, and consider using dedicated security solutions on their devices. Contact us here for more information.