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Apple has claimed on many occasions that its iPhones are the most secure devices that users can own. However, it might not be so true. A Google employee has now stated as well as demonstrated that the iPhone camera can be hacked and used to spy on people.
Apparently, the hacking can be done using apps that are provided with camera access. He has said that the issue is a 'privacy loophole that can be abused by iOS apps'. The loophole found by the engineer is not a bug but it simply takes advantage of the way Apple has set up its permission system.
The Google engineer who goes by the name Felix Krause has just published a comprehensive blog post along with a demonstration video to showcase how the attack works. He has further mentioned that apart from accessing the front and rear cameras, hackers could also take photos and even record videos while the camera app is running on the device. Additionally, hackers can also use the phone to live stream and even run more advanced features like running face recognition software.
While it already sounds scary, users will have one more point of concern. When the phone is hacked there will be no warning displayed or any indicators that will raise the alarm for the users. Krause has said that Apple needs to focus in this area for it upcoming security updates.
He has further stated that Apple could introduce a system of temporary permissions that would allow apps to take a picture during the set-up process, but revoke the access after a period of time. Additionally, he has advised Apple to introduce a warning light or notification features in the iPhone that will make people aware when they are being recorded. According to the Google expert, Apple has already been notified about the bug.
Meanwhile, the Austrian engineer has suggested few solutions for those wishing to protect themselves from the loophole. He writes, "The only real safe way to protect yourself is using camera covers: There are many different covers available, find one that looks nice for you, or use a sticky note (for example)." "You can revoke camera access for all apps, always use the built-in camera app, and use the image picker of each app to select the photo."
You can watch the video of the demonstration below.