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11 October 2017, 07:31 | Casey Mitchell
iOS Apps Become a Hotbed of Phishing Attacks Thanks to Apple's Constant Password Popups
Felix Krause has shown of a proof of concept that could be used to steal peoples login information.
"Showing a dialog that looks just like a system popup is super easy, there is no magic or secret code involved, it's literally the examples provided in the Apple docs, with a custom text".
iOS asks users for their passwords for many reasons, but the most common ones are recently installed iOS operating system updates or iOS apps that are stuck during installation. Users, however, are really left with little recourse than a few tricks, like pressing the home button to see if the popoup is an official system one, in which case it will remain on screen, or a phishing attempt, in which case it should disappear.
"Users are trained to just enter their Apple ID password whenever iOS prompts you to do so".
Developer Felix Krause, who brought the public's attention to this rather simple but very risky situation, makes a few suggestions for Apple to rectify the matter.
Even if you have two-factor authentication (2FA), what's to stop an app developer from asking for your 2FA key as well?
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Apps frequently ask for a person's password to access iCloud, in-app purchases, and GameCenter. This could easily be abused by any app'. Apparently, they may be used to steal your Apple ID password. Finally, only enter your password on the iPhone or iPad in Apple's own apps, whenever they require you to do so.
If you use your Apple ID password elsewhere, like your online banking service, cyber criminals could use it to crack your accounts. He says he's already filed this issue as a radar with Apple and explains that it could be fixed by Apple not allowing passwords to be entered in popups, but rather only in the Settings app/App Store. If the application and its fake pop-up closes, it was a phishing attack.
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