All iPhone users are warned to update these settings NOW after a disturbing warning

IPHONE owners are being encouraged to change their settings to protect their texts from stalkers.

Cybersecurity champion Zak Doffman last week pointed out that a little-known vulnerability makes it possible for hackers to spy on chats held via iMessage.

Hackers can snoop on messages sent via iMessage


Hackers can snoop on messages sent via iMessageCredit: AFP

That’s despite Apple’s promise that the service is end-to-end encrypted, which means no one – not even Apple – can read your messages.

Write in Forbes On December 4, Doffman, CEO of surveillance technology company Brit Digital Barriers, described the solution as a “serious problem”.

“It turns out that what happens on your iPhone isn’t always on your iPhone,” he said.

The iMessage vulnerability is related to Apple’s cloud storage service, iCloud. This tool regularly creates a copy of information on your iPhone called a backup.

While texts sent to iPhones using iMessage are encrypted, the key needed to decrypt them is stored on your iCloud backups, Doffman said.

The idea of ​​end-to-end encryption is that this key should only be shared between you and the people you message to prevent anyone from intercepting them.

However, storing it on iCloud means Apple can access the key — meaning the company can read your messages, according to Doffman.

“Apple stores a copy of those encryption keys in an iCloud backup that it can access,” Doffman said.

“That means end-to-end encryption is actually pretty pointless.”

There’s no evidence that Apple uses the vulnerability to detect messages, but the risk is enough to warrant changing your settings, he added.

That’s because government agencies like the FBI can use this vulnerability to gain access to your documents and other sensitive information.

Leaked FBI documents last week revealed that the security organization could gain “limited” access to iMessage using this method.

With a search warrant, agents can “show backups of the target device” and “if the target uses iCloud backups… can also obtain iMessages from iCloud” if the user has enabled the feature this.

It also allows law enforcement officials to access some WhatsApp messages.

Apple declined to comment on the filing of the leaked document, referring instead to its legal process guidelines.

How to Secure Your iPhone Messages

To protect your chats from prying eyes, you need to turn off iCloud backup.

Be warned that this means you can’t restore your apps and settings if you lose or damage your device.

Your photos, videos and messages will also be lost if you are negligent.

  1. Open your iPhone’s Settings app
  2. Towards Apple ID
  3. Light weight iCloud Backup and turn it off

WhatsApp recommends disabling the feature and enabling the app’s encrypted backup option. To do this, open WhatsApp, then:

  1. Open settings
  2. Light weight Chat > Chat backup
  3. Light weight End-to-end encrypted backup and turn it on
Services like WhatsApp and iMessage encrypt chats, but that doesn't make them secure


Services like WhatsApp and iMessage encrypt chats, but that doesn’t make them secureCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Warning millions of Apple fans DO NOT buy a new iPhone model

In other news, Apple has announced that it will let customers repair their own iPhones for the first time starting next year.

The UK is battling a pandemic of hacking attacks targeting consumers and businesses, according to officials.

NASA hit Russia after a rocket it fired at one of its own satellites forced the space station to perform an emergency reverse maneuver.

And, a 75-year-old British man has told of his anger after WhatsApp scammers tricked him into sending them hundreds of pounds.

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