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Everyone Panic! The iPhone Apocalypse Is Happening Tomorrow!

sjohnson
45 Comments

Posted July 29, 2009 - By Stephen Johnson

Apple iPhone

Everybody panic! According to "cybersecurity researchers" Charlie Miller and Collin Milliner, tomorrow could be the biggest technological freakout since WOPR took over the nation's nuclear program and ran a program called "Global Thermonuclear War." Miller and Milliner say they have identified a flaw in the iPhone's text messaging system that allows people to completely control your iPhone through text messages, and they're going to tell the world how it works tomorrow at a hacker convention in Las Vegas.

The security experts say they can send a series of mostly invisible text messages to any iPhone, and gain control of all of the phone's functions, including visiting websites, dialing the phone, taking shots with the camera, turning on the microphone and sending more text messages that will control other phones.

"The only thing you can do to prevent it is turn off your phone," Miller told Forbes. "Someone could pretty quickly take over every iPhone in the world with this."

Apparently, Apple was notified of the problem over a month ago, but has yet to release a fix. Milliner and Miller say they've found a similar texting bug in Windows Mobile that allows complete remote control of Microsoft devices, and a pair of SMS exploits in the iPhone and the Android phones would supposedly allow a hacker to knock a phone off its wireless network.

Whether or not the iPhone-pocalypse happens tomorrow, this hack highlights what is quickly becoming the biggest problem in electronic-security: Worms that spread through SMS messages. So if you receive a mysterious text message on your iPhone tomorrow, turn that thing off, right away. In fact, just to be safe, why don't you turn off your phone right now, wrap it tightly in bubble-wrap and duct tape and bury it in your backyard.

If you could control every iPhone in the world, what would you do with your vast power?

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Everyone Panic! The iPhone Apocalypse Is Happening Tomorrow!
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