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Apple's iPhone Mail, Safari Apps Vulnerable To Attack

Apple's iPhone Mail and Safari apps under the iPhone 1.1.4 and 2.0 firmware are vulnerable to URL spoofing, a security researcher said Wednesday.
Apple's iPhone Mail and Safari applications are vulnerable to URL spoofing, security researcher Aviv Raff said on Wednesday.

"By creating a specially crafted URL, and sending it via an e-mail, an attacker can convince the user that the spoofed URL, showed in the mail application, is from a trusted domain...," Raff explained in a blog post. "When clicking on the URL, the Safari browser will be opened. The spoofed URL, [shown] in the address bar of the Safari browser, will still be viewed by the victim as if it is of a trusted domain."

Apple's iPhone Mail and Safari applications under the iPhone 1.1.4 and 2.0 firmware are affected. Earlier versions may be affected, too.

Raff said he plans to withhold technical details until Apple issues a fix for the flaw. He said that Apple has acknowledged the Mail vulnerability and is investigating the Safari issue.

Raff recommended that users not click on links to get to trusted sites, like online banks. Rather they should type URLs in manually until the problem is resolved.

Raff observeed that in addition to being vulnerable to phishing, iPhone users are also vulnerable to being spammed. "IPhone users should consider [not] using the Mail application until Apple fixes this issue, unless they want to be spammed," he said.

Earlier this month, Raff criticized Apple for failing to learn from past browser design mistakes.

Apple has patched 20 Safari vulnerabilities so far this year.

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