Security Experts:

Apple Fixes Dangerous SSL Authentication Flaw in iOS

iOS SSL Validation Flaw Enables Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

Users of iOS devices will find themselves with a new software update to install, thanks to a certificate validation flaw (CVE-2014-1266) in the mobile popular OS.

The 35.4 MB update on an iPhone 5S, released by Apple on Friday, brings the latest version to iOS 7.0.6 and provides an SSL connection verification fix.

While Apple provides very little information when disclosing security issues, the company said that an attacker with a “privileged network position could capture or modify data in sessions protected by SSL/TLS."

SSL MiTM Attacks on iOS?According to Apple’s security notice, “Secure Transport failed to validate the authenticity of the connection.” Apple says it has addressed the issue by restoring the missing validation steps.

"While this flaw itself does not allow an attacker to compromise a vulnerable device, it is still a very serious threat to the privacy of users as it can be exploited through MitM (Man-in-the-Middle) [attacks]," Chaouki Bekrar, CEO and Head of Research at VUPEN, told SecurityWeek

For example, when connecting to an untrusted WiFi network, attackers could spy on user connections to websites and services that are supposed to be using encrypted communications, Bekrar said.

Users should update their iOS devices as soon as possible, he added.

The iOS 7.0.6 update is available for Available for iPhone 4 and later, iPod touch (5th generation), iPad 2 and later. Apple also released an update (iOS 6.1.6) for older versions of iOS that supports iPhone 3GS and iPod touch (4th generation).

The same flaw apparently affects Apple TV devices, as Apple released Apple TV 6.0.2 to address the same issue.

To get the latest iOS update, from your iOS device go to Settings >> General >> Software Update, and then tap on "Download and Install". 

Users should also take caution, or at least be aware, that the iOS udpate turns on Bluetooth automatially.

Related: Exclusive Podcast - Vupen CEO Chaouki Bekrar Addresses Zero Day Marketplace Controversy at CanSecWest

*Upated to add details on software updates for iOS 6 and Apple TV.

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For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.