Sep 18, 2015

    iOS 9 can fix new AirDrop bug but prepare to wait

    A NEW bug has been discovered in Apple's file sharing service, AirDrop, which allows hackers to install malware on an iOS or OS X device even if the user rejects the incoming file transfer.

    Mark Dowd, an Australian researcher from Azimuth Security, said the bug affects devices running iOS 7 onwards, and Mac OS X versions from Yosemite onwards.

    The malware is disguised as an app which will be activated once the infected device is rebooted. It will then access Springboard, a tool that Apple uses to manage the homescreen of iOS devices, and fools the device into assuming that it has the same access rights as any other legitimate app. Some of the access rights include reading contacts, obtaining location information and using the camera.

    To protect your iOS device or Mac computer from this malicious app, the researcher recommended that users update to iOS 9 and Mac OS X EL Capitan.

    iOS 9 is now available while OS X Capitan is scheduled to arrive at the end of the month. Another precautionary measure is to turn off AirDrop completely.

    But there might be a catch with iOS 9. Apple customers were facing issues while upgrading to iOS 9, which was released on Wednesday, technology blog 9to5Mac reported.

    The blog posted a screenshot showing an error message that appeared when users tried to install the latest version of the operating system for iPhone, iPad and the iPod touch.

    But 9to5Mac noted that the error could be "related to server load". Rebooting mobile devices and checking the Software Update option in Settings could address the error.

    "As with any major release, the best troubleshooting solution is likely being patient and letting Apple's servers catch up," said 9to5Mac.

    Earlier, Apple had said it would not release watchOS 2, an updated operating system for the Apple Watch, on Wednesday as planned after it discovered a bug in development.