Apple is said to have quietly made a change to the way it secures iOS, making it much harder to pull off one of the most powerful types of attacks on iPhones.
According to a report by Motherboard, the update will make it much harder for hackers to take control of iOS with ‘zero-click’ exploits.
For those who aren’t familiar, zero-click attacks allow hackers to break into a target without needing the victim to interact with anything, such as a malicious phishing link.
Security researchers specialized in crafting exploits for iOS have spotted the change is in the latest beta version of iOS 14.5, suggesting the code will likely be added to the final release.
“It will definitely make 0-clicks harder. Sandbox escapes too. Significantly harder,” a source who develops exploits for government customers told Motherboard.
An Apple representative told Motherboard that the company believes this change will make zero-clicks harder, although they said that the security of the device is dependent on dialling up multiple mitigations at once, rather than a single item.
A security researcher who works on iOS and asked to remain anonymous as he was not authorized to speak to the press, said that many iPhone hackers are worried “because some techniques are now irretrievably lost.”
While this doesn’t completely block zero-click attacks on iOS, it will, however, require hackers to come up with new techniques to pull them off.