Dear Iphone users, please prepare yourself for a shocking (and unpleasant) surprise!
According to the information he published on his blog, iOS apps can gain access to both your front and back camera and take pictures without your consent. This issue has to do with the policy of Apple’s software concerning use of the cameras.
Most of us use applications that require camera access like Snapchat and FaceTime, however these are created by trustworthy companies.
According to Krause, this “feature” is there on purpose and it does exactly what it’s supposed to, however it could lead to shady applications by even shadier developers to record YOU and everything that you’re doing!
Once you give an app the “green light” for your camera, it can use it as the developer sees fit. Considering there is no indicator of the camera working presently, you could be spied on at all times and you wouldn’t even know! Unfortunately, there is no end to how far beyond it’s intended use this can be abused by malicious software.
For example, malicious applications can grant real time access to both cameras with the ability to take photos and record videos as well as uploading them on the Internet or even streaming them live!
He has also developed his own demo-app to prove the existence of this dangerous loophole by allowing it to take pictures, make videos, start a livestream and even has its own facial-recognition feature which he shows in a video demonstrating the possible abuse of camera permission.
According to Krause, malevolent applications can go as far as livestreaming you and people around you from anywhere as long as you have a good internet connection. This could lead to the leakage of sensitive personal footage from your home etc.
Just imagine having your address, license or even personal information such as ID’s and passwords visible to the whole world because of one questionable app!
How can you protect yourself then?
There’s not much an individual user can do to stop this.
What Mr. Felix suggests is to cover your camera like many celebrities do and avoid any remotely suspicious software you come across.
The rest is in the hands of Apple.
The engineer also has advice for the next generation of iPhones like offering a way to grant temporary access to the camera, displaying an icon on the screen whenever the camera is active or simply just adding an LED to both of the cameras.
Until a solution is born, however, you should keep an eye on the apps you have given camera permission.