Apple, HomeKit and Cyber Security

Cyber security can seem like an uphill battle, or a never-ending arms race. As the technologies we take for granted become more complex, more and more vulnerabilities and potential exploits are uncovered. Millions of people using millions of devices means it's inevitable that unforeseen problems will arise, no matter how much testing has been done before their launch.

apple patches and cyber security

And while the old adage that Apple products are safer (because people don't tend to write so many viruses for them) is true to an extent, viruses are only one of the many things you have to worry about when entrusting your personal and banking data to a computer.

homekit software update

A lot of the time it's all about trying to find the vulnerabilities in a system before the criminals do, rather than responding to problems that have already occurred. Fortunately Apple have huge teams of specialists working on this round the clock in order to pre-empt any attacks.

Recently they discovered a flaw in iOS HomeKit, the app that allows users to control various items around their house (lights, smoke detectors or even the locks on their doors) from their iPhone. The flaw was a very serious one- it could in theory allow someone who had gained access to the user's iCloud account to take control of any things in their home tied to HomeKit. Although it would have been a difficult attack to carry out, the consequences could have been very bad indeed- a stranger being able to unlock your front door is not something anyone wants.

apple home kit security flaws

Fortunately the flaw was discovered before anyone managed to exploit it. Apple announced a temporary server-side fix when the exploit was discovered, and it will be permanently dealt with by a patch in the next few days. Hopefully the patch will not follow in the footsteps of Apple's recent High Sierra software update, which was designed to fix a problem whereby malicious users could gain access to the user's computer, but which in conjunction with an earlier version of the OS would only result in a temporary fix.

With new exploits and flaws becoming apparent as time goes on, Apple's cyber security division have their work cut out for them every bit as much as those working on PCs.

If you any questions about Apple products in general, please contact the team here at iRepairs Harlow. We’d be delighted to help.

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Steve ChewComment