Encryption weakness in iOS 7 may be a big security risk

Hey Gamenologers!

Apparently we were searching around the awesome internet and there is something we need to talk about.

Apparently some security company called CanSecWest, who looks at security flaws in Android and Blackberry OS 10, while a newly – discovered encryption weakness in iOS 7 can put iOS users at risk.

So a change that Apple made to make iOS 7 more secure instead has backfired itself, and has weakened dramatically everyone’s security running iOS 7, as explained by a security researcher.

At the CanSecWest conference held on Wednesday Tarjei Mandt said that Apple made a big mistake when they changed the random number generator to make it’s kernel encryption tougher in iOS 7. If you don’t know what kernel means it’s the most basic level of an OS that controls important stuff like security.

How did Apple do it?

It all boils down to how Apple calculates randomly generated numbers used in the encryption of the kernel. If the numbers can be guessed, the kernel can be compromised!

The researcher recognised that the method of generating random numbers in iOS 6 can be improved on. The security engineers leveraged the phone’s CPU clock counter on earlier versions of iOS, Mandt said.

It’s not very good, but still somewhat unpredictable, Mandt said.

The problem is in iOS 7 is that it uses a linear recursion algorithm which has more correlation between the values it generates. That makes it easier to guess. Normally, you shouldn’t be able to get these values in the first place, Mandt said.

This exploit is severe, although the researcher didn’t pair it with a vulnerability. Still, that means anybody who can find an unpatched vulnerability in iOS 7, such as the “goto fail” vulnerability that was patched last month, can gain kernel level access.

Apple seems to be taking the flaw seriously, but did not comment.

iOS 7 flaw

Apple [security engineers attending CanSecWest] approached me afterwards and they appeared to be kind of concerned, Mandt said. But he gave caution that this exploit should not be underestimated, and that left unfixed, it would effectively roll back 10 years of security hardening techniques in iOS.

Well, what do you think about this guys? Does this affect you? Do you think it’s such a big deal? Leave your answers in the comments below.

Well that’s it, we guess and we hope Apple is around the clock to fix this issue as soon as possible.

So that’s it for now, and tune in next time for more news!


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