R Ju2ljgAt least 76 popular iOS apps have been found to be vulnerable to data inception, according to a report from a security expert.

The discovery was made by app binary code scanning service verify.ly and published in a Medium post by Sudo Security Group CEO Will Strafach, who revealed that the apps failed to make use of the Transport Layer Security protocol.

The TLS protocol secures communication between client and server. Without the protection, the apps are susceptible to data interception by an attacker with access to custom hardware such as modified smartphone, which can be used to initiate TLS certificate injection attacks. The interception is possible regardless of whether the developers chose to use Apple networking security feature, App Transport Security.

The truth of the matter is, this sort of attack can be conducted by any party within Wi-Fi range of your device while it is in use. This can be anywhere in public, or even within your home if an attacker can get within close range.

There is no possible fix to be made on Apple's side, because if they were to override this functionality in attempt to block this security issue, it would actually make some iOS applications less secure as they would not be able to utilize certificate pinning for their connections, and they could not trust otherwise untrusted certificates which may be required for intranet connections within an enterprise using an in-house PKI. Therefore, the onus rests solely on app developers themselves to ensure their apps are not vulnerable.

Apps in the vulnerable list included a number of popular downloads like third-party Snapchat apps, the official app for Vice News, and banking apps for banks based in Puerto Rico and Libya.

Strafach sorted the 76 apps into low, medium, and high risk categories, and says he is reaching out to developers to fix the problems before disclosing the most high-risk apps in the list. According to Strafach, more than 18,000,000 downloads of the vulnerable app versions have been downloaded from the App Store.

Until the issues are dealt with, Strafach advises users of the apps to avoid accessing them over Wi-Fi, as it's harder to exploit the vulnerabilities over a cellular network.

Top Rated Comments

Kabeyun Avatar
65 months ago
For the tl;dr crowd, the medium and high security risk app list won't be published for 60-90 days to give the devs time to mitigate the exploit. Bookmark the page and check back then!
This shows us, again, that Apple's scrutiny is far from perfect. In the mean time use VPN.
Not really, or at least this is a misleading statement. Obscure networking attacks are hardly particular to Apple devices. That's what bug bounties and security updates are for in all OS's. But if you prefer the wild west of the uncurated Google play store, go right ahead. But I agree with using a VPN service. Anyone who's fool enough to conduct financial transactions on an open WiFi network...
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kabeyun Avatar
65 months ago
There is nothing wrong or misleading about the fact that Apple missed it, and since security is important to all of us... that is why Apple should have caught the problem long before security researchers do (did in this specific case).
Respectfully disagree. The headline, "15,000 Ford cars involved in accidents this year" implies that there's something about Fords that's a particular problem. It may be true that app clearinghouses like Apple's App Store should scrutinize every line of submitted code, but it's misleading to suggest that this is a particularly Apple problem.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nwcs Avatar
65 months ago
Very much expected. Security is a moving target for both developers and consumers. What may be totally secure today could be insecure tomorrow. As for TLS, only TLS 1.2 is currently secure so it's using the right version at the right time. You also have to stay on top of third party libraries and think like an attacker. Troy Hunt shows how easy it is to break the security of a lot of apps. The problem is people don't think like an attacker and so miss critical areas.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
I7guy Avatar
65 months ago
Maybe Apple's screeners shoulda woulda coulda, but it's completely fair for Apple to advertise iOS as safest and macOS as most secure vs major competitors. No guarantees ever, they don't claim it, and people don't expect a guarantee.

This problem exists in an order of magnitude greater numbers ('https://www.fireeye.com/blog/threat-research/2014/08/ssl-vulnerabilities-who-listens-when-android-applications-talk.html') in Google Play. Your position seems to be that Apple has no right to market its more secure App Store as more secure unless is can guarantee zero exploits. Sure, bad stuff can get through, but if your main concern is the safety of offerings, you'll pick the App Store over Google Play every time. Inversely, Google isn't absolved of dealing with appsec just because they don't advertise it as an asset.
I'm not sure why apple can't advertise ios as safe, given the millions of apps in the app store, some small percentage have vulnerability issue. Absolute security is not a destination it's a process. In the same way a 5 start auto rating by NHTSA does not mean no deaths in accidents for that vehicle.

On another note, I'm going to start using LTE more instead of wifi.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kabeyun Avatar
65 months ago
I'm not sure why apple can't advertise ios as safe, given the millions of apps in the app store, some small percentage have vulnerability issue. Absolute security is not a destination it's a process. In the same way a 5 start auto rating by NHTSA does not mean no deaths in accidents for that vehicle.

On another note, I'm going to start using LTE more instead of wifi.
I knew there was a better car analogy somewhere!

Cellular is better, at least compared to open WiFi, but get a respected VPN service if you take security seriously.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bokito Avatar
65 months ago
This is pretty insane. Banking apps without (proper) TLS connection? You've gotta be ******** me.

In the western world banks (or other companies using sensitive data) would immediately be penalized for not securing their users data (and would likely lose a whole lot of customers).
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 15

Everything New in iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4: Face ID With a Mask, Emojis, Apple Card Widget, Universal Control and More

Thursday January 27, 2022 12:08 pm PST by
Apple today seeded the first betas of iOS 15.4, iPadOS 15.4 to developers for testing purposes, adding a slew of new features to the latest iOS operating systems. iOS 15.4 is the biggest update that we've had to iOS 15 to date, and it brings Universal Control, Face ID with a mask, new emojis, and tons more. Face ID With a Mask With iOS 15.4, there is now an option to unlock your iPhone...
iOS 15

iOS 15.4 Adds New Emoji Like Melting Face, Biting Lip, Heart Hands, Troll and More

Thursday January 27, 2022 11:33 am PST by
With the iOS 15.4 update that was introduced today, Apple has added support for Emoji 14, introducing a selection of new emoji like melting face, biting lip, heart hands, and more. There are 37 new emoji and 75 skin tone additions in Emoji 14, resulting in a total of 112 characters. New faces include melting face, saluting face, face with open eyes and hand over mouth, face with peeking eye, ...
intel vs m1 max chip purple

Benchmarks Confirm Intel's Latest Core i9 Chip Outperforms Apple's M1 Max With Several Caveats

Wednesday January 26, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Benchmark results have started to surface for MSI's new GE76 Raider, one of the first laptops to be powered by Intel's new 12th-generation Core i9 processor. Intel previously said that its new high-end Core i9 processor is faster than Apple's M1 Max chip in the 16-inch MacBook Pro and, as noted by Macworld, early Geekbench 5 results do appear to confirm this claim, but there are several...
MAsk On Face ID iOS 15

iOS 15.4's Face ID With a Mask Feature Requires iPhone 12 or Newer

Thursday January 27, 2022 1:22 pm PST by
In today's iOS 15.4 beta that's available to developers, Apple added a useful new feature that changes the way Face ID works. There's now a Face ID with a Mask option that allows the iPhone to be unlocked when you're wearing a mask, but you need to have an iPhone 12 or newer. Right now, an iPhone can be unlocked with a mask if you have an Apple Watch for authentication to add an extra layer...
MAsk On Face ID iOS 15

iOS 15.4 Beta Lets You Use Face ID With a Mask On

Thursday January 27, 2022 10:54 am PST by
The iOS 15.4 beta that was introduced today added a new feature designed to allow Face ID to be used with a mask and without an Apple Watch for authentication. Apple says that the feature can "recognize the unique features around the eye" for authentication purposes. If you opt to use this feature during setup, you will need to rescan your face for Face ID. From there, Face ID will be able...
Apple Watch Red Yellow Green Feature 1

Apple Launches Black Unity Braided Solo Loop With 'Unity Lights' Watch Face

Wednesday January 26, 2022 6:05 am PST by
Apple today announced the Black Unity Braided Solo Loop for the Apple Watch, as well as a new downloadable watch face, to celebrate Black History Month. Following the launch of the limited edition Black Unity Apple Watch Series 6 and Sport Band in 2021, Apple today launched the Black Unity Braided Solo Loop as part of its celebrations for Black History Month this year.Apple is launching a...
ios 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 With Fix for Safari Bug That Leaks Browsing Activity

Wednesday January 26, 2022 10:00 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3, the third major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.3 come almost two weeks after the release of iOS and iPadOS 15.2.1, minor bug fix updates. The iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in ...
General Dropbox Feature

macOS 12.3 Will Include Cloud Storage Changes Affecting Dropbox and OneDrive

Tuesday January 25, 2022 3:31 pm PST by
Dropbox today announced that users who update to macOS 12.3 once that software version becomes available may temporarily encounter issues with opening online-only files in some third-party apps on their Mac. In a support document and an email to customers, Dropbox said it is actively working on full support for online-only files on macOS 12.3 and will begin rolling out an updated version of...