Apple Inc.'s recent lawsuits concerning FaceTime raise questions of users' privacy

How to Prevent Your Phone From Spying on you Through the Latest Cybersecurity Advancements

By Sharlene Oong on Feb 18, 2019
According to a recent article in The Washington Post, Apple Inc. is facing multiple lawsuits due to the recent FaceTime (Apple’s video chat application) security glitch that enabled users to “eavesdrop” on conversations and see individuals through their iPhones without detection. This bug, revealed in the iOS 12.1 update, was fixed nearly two weeks after it was discovered by a 14-year-old boy in Arizona, USA. The delay in fixing this issue is causing concerns as the bug impacted personal safety and business security, as well as enabled cybercriminals to potentially replicate it for malicious intent. In the age of technological boom, nearly everyone is using a smartphone, making it easy for cybercriminals to track individuals and misuse their personal information.

“During the last quarter of 2016, more than 400 million people bought a smartphone (only Android or iOS) worldwide,” stated Prof. Dirk Westhoff and Prof. Maximilian Zeiser from the University of Applied Sciences Offenburg, Germany, in their authored chapter, “Measuring the World: How the Smartphone Industry Impacts Cyber Deterrence Credibility,” from the International Journal of Cyber Warfare and Terrorism (IJCWT).

As individuals are becoming more dependent on this mobile technology, more personal information is stored on the device including the current location of the user, credit card details, contact information, and more, increasing the impact when these devices are hacked. Even though one may have disabled their location-based services and enabled additional security features, “modules itself are still sending and receiving beacons and are enabled to read Received Signaling Strength Indication (RSSI) values and others,” according to Prof. Westhoff and Prof. Zeiser.

Additionally, studies reveal that Generation Y and Generation Z may the most vulnerable to these potential privacy concerns, as Generation Y “adopts new smart mobile device (SMD) technologies very fast. Out of the 582 respondents, 17 percent of them are less concerned about the security of SMD devices, and 83 percent of them are more concerned it,” according to Prof. Heru Susanto from Tunghai University, Taiwan, and Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Indonesia, and et. al, authors of the chapter, “Android vs iOS or Others? SMD-OS Security Issues: Generation Y Perception,” from the International Journal of Technology Diffusion (IJTD). However, while Generation Y and Z are vulnerable to these privacy concerns, Prof. Susanto and his co-authors suggest that the installation of anti-virus prevention programs on both iOS and Android devices were claimed to be the “safest of all.”

Privacy data can also be mitigated through the use of the malware detection method, according to Prof. Fan Wu from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, China, and et. al., authors of the chapter, “A Privacy Protection Approach Based on Android Application's Runtime Behavior Monitor and Control,” from the International Journal of Digital Crime and Forensics (IJDCF). “However, malware detection cannot be the only benchmark to prevent privacy leaks, since many benign applications may also abuse the users’ privacy data.”

As Apple Inc. works through their recent lawsuits, technology corporations need to ensure their products does not pose the same risk. In order to combat cybercrime, it is essential for businesses to refer to research conducted on cybercrime and data protection. Providing solutions to the current issue of privacy, IGI Global publishes emerging research in security and forensics in areas such as cybersecurity, cyberterrorism, information security, internet/data privacy, surveillance systems, and more.
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Find below a selection of scholarly journals that contain the timeliest, peer-reviewed research in cyber security that are featured in IGI Global’s InfoSci-Journals database:

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of IGI Global.
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