File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )
A security flaw in the web browser Safari can give hackers access
Apple devices are not impenetrable, after all!
Turns out, a security flaw in the web browser Safari can give hackers access to a person’s camera, either or on an iPhone or on a Macbook.
The flaw was discovered by Ryan Pickren, a security expert, who was later awarded money by Apple for finding their shortcoming.
According to him, this has a lot to do with how Apple’s browser - Safari logs permissions for websites that are visited frequently.
For instance, a video chat application like Skype only needs permission to access your camera and microphone once, after which it will automatically access the lens whenever needed.
In a conversation with Wired, Pickren claimed that an attacker could make a “malicious website that, from Safari’s perspective could then turn into Skype”.
What does this imply?
Simply put, you no longer will know the hacker has access not only to your camera and microphone but can also screen all information and data!
Additionally, the hacker now can take as many pictures of you as they want, and then use them as they deem fit.
How do they do this?
It’s simple, they make simple tweaks in the URL you intend to visit. For instance, www.wionews.com may come off as http://wion.com or http://wionews.com/news
Such slight variations may not mean anything for a casual user, but will give a lot of unregulated access to the hacker!
This is usually called the “bait and switch” attack.
If Apple is to be believed, the security flaw has been fixed in the security updates released in January and March. So if you’re an Apple user and haven’t updated yet - it might be time!