SMS Vulnerability Exclusive Feature of iOS Devices, Finds Security Firm

August 28, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

After a researcher warned iPhone users that they are more likely to fall victims of spoofed SMS and phishing attempts due to vulnerability with the iPhone, another security firm now points out that the vulnerability is something found exclusively on iOS devices.

According to research report produced by security firm, AdaptiveMobile, users will find it difficult to distinguish between a spoofed SMS or phishing attempt via text message on an iOS device when compared with devices on other popular platforms like Android.

The vulnerability is when the iOS devices display the ‘Reply to’ number which is used by hackers to modify the actual origin of the message as a different number, fooling the victims to take the message as a genuine one.

According to the security firm, when they tested this with Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry and Symbian platforms, the devices ignored the ‘reply to’ field in the spam messages and just showed the original address and replay address.

The practice of thus ignoring the ‘reply to’ number is in line with specific security standards. However, Apple turns out to be less worried about this security standard while all rival platforms have toed in line with the recommendation.

Thus, Apple users are more likely to fall victims for a phishing attempt by replying to the SMS messages. Though Apple is yet to make a statement on the new finding, they have earlier tried to blame SMS technology for the SMS vulnerability on iOS devices.

The response even says that everything would have been flawless if every one used iMessage where every message from iOS to iOS will be authenticated, leaving no chance with the spammers.

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