Researchers invent iPhone malware which can be dangerous even when the phone is switched off

  • Malware is a method being used by hackers to infect phones and computers to steal data from users.
  • Researchers have created a new malware for iPhones that can infect the phone even when it’s off due to loopholes in iOS 15.
  • Users must be warned about various danger signs of an infected phone and troubleshoot immediately.

Malware or “malicious software” is any file or code which can infect, steal, explore or conduct virtually any kind of behavior as wanted by the attacker.

In the current era, man can never be devoid of a smartphone. With nearly 84% of the world’s population now owning a smartphone, our dependence on these electronics is growing at an all-time high. Thus, it’s no surprise that these indispensable devices have become an attractive avenue for scammers. It was recently reported that nearly 3.5 million phone users became victims of malicious attacks by cyber scammers.

The basics of malware

Traditionally malware is delivered over a network and there are numerous ways that a particular malware can affect our phones or computers.

Phones are compared to have better protection than personal computers due to the “sandboxing” of apps due to which they’re isolated in their own environment, hence protected. However, phones still get infected commonly by clicking on malicious links sent on the user’s phone via spam messages on email or text messages. This in turn provokes the installation of the virus or malware.

In the same tune, Apple is known to offer more security than Android. However, certain users use the “jailbreak” feature to modify their phones and in turn, make them more vulnerable to cyber security attacks.

Groundbreaking development in malware

Researchers have managed to create an iPhone malware that can work even when the phone is switched off.

Now the question arises how can it possibly run without a regular supply of “power” or network availability. To answer that is very simple and in layman’s terms, one needs to understand the fact that nowadays none of the devices is “completely switched off” and even if they are it’s a rare occurrence.

Why is the iPhone a vulnerable victim

iPhone has a Low Power Mode which is present in every one of their mobile sets since 2018. This mode allows the NFC, Ultra-Wideband, and Bluetooth chips to sip a little power even during the time when the rest of the phone is off.

Since the inception of iOS 15 software, these particular chips allow the localization of your phones via the Find My app. Certain other useful features such as Express Cards and Car Key remain in function too. These features are important and come in use when one has misplaced his or her device but it’s also the root cause of putting an iPhone at risk. Until and unless your battery drains out its full capacity; the iPhone remains a vulnerable victim to the risk of malware.

Researchers have claimed that the attackers who use this designed model of malware as a weapon can even run Bluetooth even after a complete shutdown. The reason behind this is the firmware of the Bluetooth chip can run separately from the main chip itself.

Protect your phone

Users need to be aware of certain danger signs of an infected phone. While this new malware discussed continues to be a feat of science, hackers are getting more innovative day by day and hence one must stay alert. Danger Signs of an infected phone include apps taking longer than usual to open, or crashing randomly, excessive battery drain, increased mobile data consumption, unusual pop-up or the unexpected heating up of the device.

If such signs are noted, the user must immediately set into action and perform some essential troubleshooting steps to keep the phone from further damage by the infectious malware.

Disclaimer: This information is covered based on the latest research and development available. However, it may not fully reflect all current aspects of the subject matter.

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