(Photo : Apple)
The iPhone 5 was revealed to much anticipation and hype. Despite having an almost impossible-to-live-up-to reputation, the smartphone's unveiling was a relative success, garnering mostly positive reviews from around the internet. The reason for its semi-lackluster show was because most of the iPhone 5's details had already been leaked. One component that was a no-show in the actual device, however, was the NFC chip.
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But it looks like that could be a good thing.
Participants in the Pwn2Own competition during the EUSecWest security conference in Amsterdam were able to show how an NFC chip could create problems for devices.
"Through NFC it was possible to upload a malicious file to the device, which allowed us to gain code execution on the device and subsequently get full control over the device using a second vulnerability for privilege escalation," MWR Labs said.
So while it may not be much consolation, at least iPhone 5 users won't have to worry about the scenario where a malicious iPhone user bumps into them on the street and ends up walking away with all their sensitive information. Imagine the tens of millions of iPhone users, and imagine how much havoc such an exploit could wreak.
But that's not all, iPhone users still have something to worry about. Hackers were also able to exploit Apple's iPhone 4S, which doesn't have NFC, to gain access to the phone's address book, photos, browsing history, and videos. The exploit was performed on iOS 5, but the same loophole is still existent in the newly-released iOS 6.
"We specifically chose this one because it was present in iOS 6 which means the new iPhone coming out [this week] will be vulnerable to this attack," Joost Pol, CEO of Dutch research firm Certified Secure.
This also means that any Apple mobile devices, the iPads and older iPhone models, are all susceptible to the same exploit.
Pickpocketing in the future may have nothing to do with your actual phone, but what's stored on it, so it looks like everybody is going to have to become a little more cautious with their mobile devices.