Alleged iOS Security Flaw Enables Malicious Apps to Secretly Log User Touch Inputs

Researchers from security firm FireEye have revealed a new bug in iOS that enables a malicious app to monitor and log a user's touch inputs and button uses while running in the background, reports Ars Technica. The exploit reportedly targets a flaw in iOS' multitasking capabilities to capture user inputs, and allows for them to be sent to a remote server.
fireeye_logging_ios_flaw2
To demonstrate the flaw, the researchers created a proof-of-concept monitoring app and developed approaches to "bypass" Apple's App Store Review process effectively. Once the app was installed on an iOS device, actions including keyboard inputs, use of the volume, home, and power buttons, screen touches with exact coordinates, and Touch ID events were all captured. The researchers also noted that disabling iOS 7's "Background App Refresh" setting would not disable a malicious app from logging data, as the only present solution to the problem is to manually remove apps from the task switcher.

FireEye also spoke about the flaw being identified in current versions of iOS:

Note that the demo exploits the latest 7.0.4 version of iOS system on a non-jailbroken iPhone 5s device successfully. We have verified that the same vulnerability also exists in iOS versions 7.0.5, 7.0.6 and 6.1.x. Based on the findings, potential attackers can either use phishing to mislead the victim to install a malicious/vulnerable app or exploit another remote vulnerability of some app, and then conduct background monitoring.

The group added that it is actively working with Apple on the issue, although the company has yet to comment publicly. The news comes less than a week after Apple issued iOS 7.0.6 in response to a SSL vulnerability that allowed a hacker to capture or modify data from Safari in supposedly secure sessions.

The SSL security bug was also found to be present in OS X, as new research over the weekend revealed that additional apps such as FaceTime and iMessage could be compromised. Apple confirmed to Reuters that it will issue an OS X software update "very soon" to patch the bug.

Top Rated Comments

Asclepio Avatar
93 months ago
welcome to the new microsoft.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Creep89 Avatar
93 months ago
How is this even remotely considered a security issue?

Yes, every touch is logged, but none of the logs carry any semantic information about the touches.

What those guys have just demonstrated is of no use to an actual hacker. It would be like tapping a phone line and then only be able to know how many calls are placed each day.

If you know the exact coordinates you can simply overlay the iOS Keyboard and extract everything the user typed in, including passwords, logins or other personal information. :rolleyes: But yeah, no security issue here. LOL.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Zxxv Avatar
93 months ago
The researchers also noted that disabling iOS 7's "Background App Refresh" setting would not disable a malicious app from logging data, as the only present solution to the problem is to manually remove apps from the task switcher.


those people closing all their apps don't look so silly after all :p:D:p
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Gymgenius Avatar
93 months ago
How is this even remotely considered a security issue?

Yes, every touch is logged, but none of the logs carry any semantic information about the touches.

What those guys have just demonstrated is of no use to an actual hacker. It would be like tapping a phone line and then only be able to know how many calls are placed each day.
You sure?
The fact that x and y co-ordinates of each touch or release event is captured, could be used as a key-logger once the boundries of each key on the soft keyboard have been worked out.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
H2SO4 Avatar
93 months ago
S: The group added that they are actively working with Apple to fix the issue, as the company has yet to respond.

Business as usual then......
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Creep89 Avatar
93 months ago
Wow.. Apple.. Much secure :rolleyes:
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

siir apple event april 20

Siri Reveals Apple Event Planned for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
Siri has apparently prematurely revealed that Apple plans to hold an event on Tuesday, April 20, where the company is expected to reveal brand new iPad Pro models and possibly its long-awaited AirTags trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Upon being asked "When is the next Apple Event," Siri is currently responding with, "The special event is on Tuesday, April...
apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
Google maps feaure green

Google Maps App for iOS Finally Updated After Four Months

Monday April 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Following the completed rollout of App Privacy labels for its App Store apps, Google today updated the Google Maps app for the first time in four months. Apple in December began requiring all new app submissions and app updates to include App Privacy labels, detailing the data that is collected by the app so consumers know what they're sharing. Google didn't begin implementing App Privacy ...
pixel watch prosser leak

Google Pixel Watch Allegedly Leaks with Circular Design, Rumored to Launch in October

Monday April 12, 2021 2:49 am PDT by
Renders of Google's first smartwatch, codenamed "Rohan," have been shared by Jon Prosser, showing that Google plans to adopt a circular design for its flagship wearable watch. Prosser shared the renders in an episode of his YouTube show "Front Page Tech," in which he claims they were made based on marketing material he had seen from a source within Google. The renders show that the Pixel...
apple event hashflag

Twitter Hashflag for April 20 Apple Event Goes Live

Tuesday April 13, 2021 2:21 pm PDT by
Following the overnight Siri leak and subsequent announcement that Apple will hold a media event on Tuesday, April 20, a new Twitter hashflag has appeared to help provide visibility for the event on the platform. For the last several recent events, Apple has utilized hashflags, which are little icons next to hashtags on Twitter, as a way to market its events. The company first started the...
macos catalina serial number

Apple Preparing Rollout of New Randomized Product Serial Numbers Ahead of 'Spring Loaded' Event

Wednesday April 14, 2021 2:08 am PDT by
Apple is advising its authorized premium resellers and dealers to prepare for new products with 10 and 12 digital serial numbers, days ahead of when it's expected to reveal a slew of new products. MacRumors previously reported that Apple plans to switch to randomized serial numbers for future products starting in early 2021. The company now seems to be preparing for that roll-out, telling...
iphone12cameras

Kuo: 2022 iPhones to Feature 48-Megapixel Camera, 8K Video, and 6.1 and 6.7" Sizes With No 5.4" Mini Option

Tuesday April 13, 2021 10:45 pm PDT by
The upcoming 2022 iPhone lineup will feature two 6.1-inch devices and two 6.7-inch devices, with no mini-sized 5.4-inch iPhone, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors that was seen by MacRumors. Two of the iPhones will be high-end models and two of the iPhones will be lower-end models, similar to the current iPhone 12 lineup. Apple introduced the 5.4-inch...
AppleTV and HomePod Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on New Apple TV With Integrated HomePod Speaker and FaceTime Camera

Monday April 12, 2021 3:32 am PDT by
Apple is working on a combined Apple TV with HomePod speaker that has a camera for video calls through a connected television set, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: The company is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions,...
epic iap feature 3

Tim Cook Says App Store Would Become a 'Flea Market' if Third-Party Payment Systems Were Allowed

Monday April 12, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
In a recent interview with the Toronto Star, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about a wide variety of topics, ranging from App Tracking Transparency to Apple's ongoing legal battle over App Store policies with Fortnite creator Epic Games. Notably, Cook said that Epic Games' desire for Apple to let developers offer their own payment systems in apps "would make the App Store a flea market":At the...
tim cook toronto star

Tim Cook Says Apple is 'Not Against Digital Advertising' Ahead of iOS 14.5 Launch With App Tracking Transparency

Monday April 12, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
Starting with iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5, Apple will be requiring apps to receive a user's permission to track their activity for targeted advertising purposes, as part of a privacy measure known as App Tracking Transparency. Ahead of App Tracking Transparency being enforced, Apple CEO Tim Cook has participated in a privacy-focused interview with the Toronto Star, telling the...