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Scary bug gives hackers complete control over your iPhone – update to iOS 10.3.3 right now

Published Jul 20th, 2017 9:18AM EDT
iOS 10.3.3 Update
Image: YouTube

Android often makes the news for being the mobile platform that’s most susceptible to malware. But that doesn’t mean that iOS is completely safe. In fact, it turns out that hackers can take over your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and control it without your knowledge. So you’d better update your device to the latest iOS version, which was just released.

Even your brand new iPhone 7 is a potential target, so don’t think that just because it’s fresh hardware, it can’t be attacked by malicious individuals. Apple says on its support pages that iPhone 5 or later, iPad 4th generation or later and iPod touch 6th generation are all affected by this serious bug.

The problem concerns the iPhone’s Wi-Fi chip made by Broadcom. If Wi-Fi is turned on your iOS device, hackers can take over the Wi-Fi chip. From there, they can take control of the main chip, and thus, the entire phone.

It was Exodus Intelligence’s security researcher Nitay Artenstein who disclosed the vulnerability to Apple, showing that hackers can “run code in the main application processor.” He will explain exactly how it was possible to do that on an iOS device at the next BlackHat conference.

The security issue is so serious that it can affect a wide variety of devices that connect to Wi-Fi using the same Broadcom chips. Yes, Android is also affected by this Broadpwn exploit, CNET explains. Google patched the issue on July 5th, but unlike iOS where updates are available as soon as Apple releases them, you might have to wait to receive yours.

Getting back to iOS security, you should install the iOS 10.3.3 update right now to avoid any Broadpwn issues.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.