Smart but Dangerous

If we are being honest, human beings actually love anything that mirrors their own desire to grow over time. Hence, all our efforts are directed towards instilling this growth-oriented tendency into everything around us. Now, by doing so, we have given ourselves some really great openings, which are essentially designed for further aiding our growth in one way or the other. However, as great as these avenues turned out to be, none of them even came close to matching what technology did. Technology, like us, has spent its life thus far in a highly progressive environment. Despite being a groundbreaking creation right from the start, it has continued to evolve into a better version, but just as not every change in us tends to be a positive one, technology would also go through some hiccups on its journey. The biggest hiccup will, of course, appear on the cybersecurity front. Whenever there is back-and-forth about technology’s value in our lives, the criticism part is often centred on how vulnerable we have become since adopting a tech lifestyle. The argument is, by all means, a legit one, and it will get validated time and time again, with threat actors becoming increasingly well-equipped to affect other people in a destructive way. An evidence of their continuously developing powers was recently put-forth through a research.

According to study conducted by security researcher, Trevor Spiniolas, Apple’s HomeKit API can be easily used to trigger a freefall for your iOS device. There are, in fact, multiple ways to do it. Firstly, assuming a hacker creates a HomeKit device with a name longer than 500,000 characters, any device trying to connect to it will turn unresponsive. This will be followed up by a vicious cycle of freezing and rebooting, which you can end only if you reset the device. Another way to pull it off would see the hacker setting up a fake Home network. Once that is done, they are likely to reach out in a phishing attempt, asking you to join the network.

The counter to these attempts, for now, can include rejecting any invitations to join an unfamiliar Home network. Apart from it, users with smart home devices can disable “Show Home Controls” setting and allow the new limited information setup to bolster security levels.

After he published the research on his website, Spiniolas revealed that he had actually warned Apple about the vulnerability. However, the company evidently didn’t take any action.

“Apple’s lack of transparency is not only frustrating to security researchers who often work for free, it poses a risk to the millions of people who use Apple products in their day-to-day lives by reducing Apple’s accountability on security matters,” he wrote.

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