News: Safari Security Breach Fixed in iOS 10.3 Update

Safari Security Breach Fixed in iOS 10.3 Update

Don't ignore the update sitting in your Settings app; you'd be leaving your iPhone's security vulnerable.

Apple released iOS 10.3 yesterday, which, among others things, resolves a security issue in the Safari app. Most importantly, Apple has changed a few things with Safari's JavaScript popups, the notification windows you need to close before interacting with Safari again, to combat scammers.

These scammers used the JavaScript popups to block users from accessing Safari. They would pair this block with intimidating messages, attempting to convince the user to pay a ransom in order to regain access to their web browser. Interestingly, the scammers demanded iTunes gift cards as payment.

Scammers would lock users out of Safari with threatening messages, until a ransom was paid. Image via Lookout

The block could be reversed on the previous version of iOS, but it's highly likely the average user would not know how (especially if they could not use Safari to look it up). If encountering this bug, the user would have to go into their Safari settings and clear the cache. This would free the app and remove the threatening messages.

Lookout discovered this bug last month, and shared all information gathered with Apple. Apple subsequently fixed the issue, so now, popups open in a new tab instead of popping up over the app. This frees the app for use without having to close out of the popup.

If anything, this is an important reminder to always keep your phone updated to the most recent software available, as Apple, and other companies, routinely issue updates to fix security loopholes such as this. In fact, sometimes, you may even find added security features that weren't there before.

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Cover photo via Kaboompics

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