Apple’s iOS – “the world’s most advanced mobile operating system” had a terrible 2018 and here’s why. It all started with the iOS Trustjacking attack in April of last year which exploited the iTunes Wi-fi sync feature and gained access to the victim’s phone. To counter this attack, the iPhone maker made users enter their passcode when choosing to authorize and trust computers.
The month of September saw two major exploits, one of which affecting wide range of smartphones and laptops using Android, iOS, Linux and Windows; dubbed Blueborne, the Bluetooth bug which could be used to gain control of a device. The second vulnerability was found in the WebKit rendering engine. A simple CSS code was spread with links and when opened, the devices would crash leaving helpless users no option but to restart their devices.
This year, FaceTime Eavesdropping exploit took it to a whole new level with the bug letting you call anyone with audio coming from their device even before the person has accepted or rejected your call. This embarrassingly simple bug even lets the caller see through the other side of the camera when the receiver pressed the lock button on some occasions. Apple has currently disabled group FaceTime functionality until a permanent fix is available.
On the brighter side for Apple, iOS is still more secure than Android because of Android phone’s market fragmentation – a wide array of Android devices with multiple variants of Android launch every month, luring hackers to breed in. Whereas Apple has full control over its hardware security and has to deal with way lower number of devices.
Google’s case is not helped with the numerous phishing and malware apps craving into its Play Store while Apple’s App Store is almost immune to this issue.
It’ll be interesting to see how the iPhone maker tries to counter the ongoing FaceTime issue and release a (hopefully) better version of the currently struggling iOS at WWDC 2019.