iPhone charger

Back in June, a group of researches discovered a flaw in iOS that would theoretically allow an iOS device to be hacked  using a malicious USB charger. Their proof-of-concept allowed them to invisibly install malware on non-jailbroken iPhones and iPads.

The results of the experiment were called ‘alarming,’ and brought to the attention of Apple in hopes for a quick fix. The Cupertino company must have gotten the message, because according to a new report, the exploit has been patched in the latest iOS 7 beta

Reuters reports:

“Apple Inc’s next software update for its iPhones and iPads will fix a security flaw that allows hackers to engage in spying and cyber crimes when the victim connects the device to a fake charging station, the company said on Wednesday.

Apple said the issue had been fixed in the latest beta of iOS 7, which has already been released to software developers. “We would like to thank the researchers for their valuable input,” Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said.”

The group of researchers actually demonstrated their find at the Black Hat hacking convention in Las Vegas yesterday. They plugged an iPhone into a custom-built charger equipped with a tiny Linux computer, and it successfully infected the device with a virus.

But real-world usage of the exploit would be much worse. The group said that cyber criminals could use the hack to upload malware onto unsuspecting iPhones and iPads, allowing them to do things like steal banking passwords, credit card numbers, and more.

It’s nice to see Apple respond to a security threat so quickly, which it normally does, as it continues to keep iOS one of the most secure mobile platforms on the market. iOS 7, which now alerts users when they’re using an unauthorized charger, will launch this fall.