Security researchers recently developed a new technique that could fake the iPhone shutdown. The technique called “NoReboot” can be exploited by malicious actors to spy on a person using their iPhone camera and microphone without their knowledge.
Many smartphone users would know that rebooting an iPhone fixes a lot of problems. It refreshes the system, so processing will be smoother. It also gets rid of unnecessary or malicious programs like malware. However, until a reboot is properly executed, a malware can persist and continue its operations.
This is why the new “NoReboot” technique is a dangerous discovery for Apple fans.
iPhone Malware: NoReboot Technique
Experts from ZecOps shared this discovery in a YouTube video. They showcased how mobile attackers can fake a shutdown sequence on an iPhone.
It should be emphasized that during simulation, the “attacker” has control over both the camera and microphone. Despite the iPhone shutdown attempt, the hacker’s program remained undisturbed.
The Hacker News further explained the process of this attack. NoReboot works by injecting a specially crafted code to three background processes: InCallService, SpringBoard and Backboardd.
The InCallService controls the iPhone power commend. This means hackers fake the command “slide to power off” to fool iPhone users about a shutdown notice.
Next is the SpringBoard manipulation. This is the general display that shows apps and notifications. Hackers manipulate this to pretend a shutdown process.
Lastly, hackers access the Backboardd. This is the UI that is responsible for the loading icon. Hackers use this to fake a black screen, impersonating a real shutdown.
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In a quick summary, NoReboot fools iPhone users to think they completed a reboot sequence. But in truth, the iPhone is still fully awake, with its systems connected to the internet under the hacker’s control.
Be warned that this technique can be extended to other types of malicious schemes. Hackers can use it to fake a low battery status. They can also force fake restarts on an iPhone infected.
iPhone Security: How to Fix NoReboot Bug
Unfortunately, there is no patch for the NoReboot technique because it does not exploit bugs in the iPhone. This malicious technique can be carried out on any iPhone model running on any version of iOS.
To fix it, Apple Insider said manufacturers have to build a new hardware-based indicator to display an iPhone’s on or off status. This kind of fix would imply a massive recall on the already-released units.
Up to date, there are no malware detected or publicly documented using the NoReboot technique. However, iPhone users are advised to be extra careful about this new discovery.
For now, iPhone users should be wary of suspicious files that might contain malicious code. Users are advised never to download any files from unlicensed sources. If necessary, users should only download from legitimate and trusted websites.
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