Apple devices with the sixth generation iOS platform. (Photo : Apple)
Apple's iOS 6 mobile operating system is slated for a fall 2012 launch, which means that it will most likely be distributed with the upcoming iPhone 5 and iPad Mini launch. It will introduce a new maps system, an improved Siri, and even the ability to Facetime over cellular networks.
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If the reports are true, then Apple will be revealing the iPhone 5, iPad Mini, and new iPods at an announcement on September 12. The iPhone 5 could then be in consumer's hands as early as September 21, and there's a good probability that Apple wants the iOS 6 to debut with it.
As it continues to go through beta testing, a major security flaw has been revealed by hacker "pod2g." He states that there is a way to exploit SMS messaging to gather private information, and that this loophole is still present in iOS 6 beta 4.
Known as SMS "phishing," the loophole in iOS allows somebody to change the "reply to" field in a sent SMS, fooling people into responding to the text. For instance, if the texts were routed through a bank's number, and asked for private information, users might unwillingly end up sending their information to a random person.
"In the text payload, a section called UDH (User Data Header) is optional but defines lot of advanced features not all mobiles are compatible with. One of these options enables the user to change the reply address of the text. If the destination mobile is compatible with it, and if the receiver tries to answer to the text, he will not respond to the original number, but to the specified one," pod2g writes.
"In a good implementation of this feature, the receiver would see the original phone number and the reply-to one. On iPhone, when you see the message, it seems to come from the reply-to number, and you lose track of the origin."
Apple has urged iOS users to use iMessage instead of standard SMS, claiming that its security features are more advanced.
Hopefully Apple realizes how serious digital security is nowadays, especially after Matt Honan's experience, and will have this fixed by the time millions of people are using iOS 6.