A Single Text Message Can Cripple Your iPhone

Contributing Writer
Updated

A critical security flaw has been found in the SMS system for the iPhone. According to IDG, Mac OS X security experts Charlie Miller and Colin Mulliner revealed that a specially coded text message could remotely crash an iPhone.

It's possible that the security hole could pave the way for an attacker to run malicious code on the iPhone that would allow it to access the GPS, microphone or internet connection.

Miller did admit that he hadn't found a way to access those functions, but doesn't ruled it out. "I don't have a working exploit for it, just a suspicious looking crash," he said.

The stripped down version of OS X that powers the iPhone is still relatively secure, according to Miller. Applications on the phone run inside their own sandboxes, which should restrict them from tapping into portions of the device that it shouldn't be available. But for one reason or another, the SMS function isn't as protected and could give an attacker root access.

The security experts have already shared their findings with Apple, which hopefully means the hole will be patched up in an upcoming software update – preferably before someone takes advantage of the security flaw with nefarious intentions.