Apple Inc. has fixed a security flaw allowing hackers access to users information through their products.
Greg Price Sr., chief technology and security officer for Troy University, says Apple products using certain Apple operating systems were affected.
Apple customers using unsecured wireless networks were the most susceptible to anyone wanting to take advantage of the security breach.
There are many variables that go into creating a secure wireless network. “Chiefly, authenticated access, encryption and ‘hardening’ of the wireless device, properly updating the Wi-Fi device software attribute to a secure wireless network,” Price said.
Anyone willing to take advantage of the security flaw would have access to many different types of information about the Apple product user, even if the user was on a secure website.
“Tests reveal that hackers, or anyone with access to the wireless network devices, were able to capture and view the contents of all network connections, despite the Apple product revealing a secure connection,” Price said. “In essence any data sent via the Apple device, through a network connection, was available for others to monitor, collect and disseminate.”
The security flaw was, essentially, a result of issues with two security technologies put into effect in 2012.
These technologies were used to encrypt the information sent out over networks and to validate the identity of the recipient of the information.
“The flaw in the Apple software allowed for monitoring of the data and the possibility for thieves to impersonate legitimate Web-based service providers, given the proper access to insecure wireless networks,” Price said.
Price said that using an insecure Wi-Fi connection for communications with sensitive information is never a good idea.
Even with this new system update for Apple products, the threat of others gaining access to personal information is real.
Price also said everyone should take advantage of any updates available for software. “Security vulnerabilities are discovered daily, the vendor patches are a solid effort to minimize threats,” Price said.
Jacob Isdell, a junior history major from Pell City, said Apple handled the security breach well.
“While it was a pretty big security flaw, Apple handled it in a swift and professional fashion, even going so far as to push an update to phones that they are trying to phase out,” Isdell said.
As of right now, all known security flaws have been fixed with the new Apple software updates.
If anyone has questions involving Troy University’s Internet Technologies department, all are welcome to contact them at 334-808-6110.
For problems with internet connection or gaming systems, submit a desk ticket on the IT department’s website, it.troy.edu.