Knowing if your iPhone has been hacked and what to do about it
12 May 2015

Knowing if your iPhone has been hacked and what to do about it

A few signs will help you to discover whether your iPhone has been hacked and, if so, whether you should wipe it clean and return it to the state it was in when you first got it.

The iPhone has an operating system similar to your laptop or desktop computer. This means that an iPhone could be compromised and “hacked” by an enterprising and unscrupulous individual, just like a computer. A few signs will help you to discover whether your iPhone has been hacked and, if so, whether you should wipe it clean and reinstall the operating system.

Instructions: Discover If Your iPhone Has Been Hacked

  1. Wake the iPhone by pressing the "Sleep/Wake" button at the top. Swipe the slider to exit the splash screen and go to the "Home" menu screen. Tap the "SMS" icon to launch the program.
  2. See if you have received a text message that is only a "square" character. This indicates that the iPhone has been compromised with a SMS hack.
  3. Note how long the battery takes to run low on power. If the battery is running low on power quicker than before, a hacker may be using the iPhone's cellular capability and draining its battery.
  4. Hold the iPhone in your hands between calls. A warmer-than-usual iPhone can indicate that the cellular network is still in use surreptitiously
  5. Listen for a "buzzing" sound emanating from the iPhone between calls, which can indicate that the microphone has been hacked and is transmitting audio through the cellular network to another person.
  6. You experience a higher than normal incidents of dropped calls which may be the result of hacker-initiated data traffic that interferes with your connection under weak signal strength conditions.

Hacking or jailbreaking your iPhone is a process that modifies your iPhone by adding custom features and abilities to your iPhone such as using your iPhone on multiple cellular networks. While not illegal, jailbreaking will void your iPhone's warranty.

You may want to wipe clean your iPhone by removing the jailbreak and restoring your device to its original factory default state.

You may want to wipe clean your iPhone on a regular basis to ensure your device is safe and secure. Smartphones are being compromised every day and contain a wealth of personal information.

Security breaches can have serious emotional and economic impacts that far outweigh the hassle of completing these steps.

Instructions: How To Wipe Your iPhone Clean and Reinstall

  1. Double-click the iTunes icon on your computer. This will launch the iTunes application.
  2. Connect the iPhone data cable to your iPhone and connect the other end of the data cable to a USB port on the computer running the iTunes application.
  3. Select your iPhone from the iTunes "Devices" subsection on the left side of the iTunes window.
  4. Click the "Restore" button located at the bottom of the iTunes window.
  5. Confirm that you want to restore your iPhone by clicking the "Confirm" button. Your iPhone will automatically restore to its original factory settings removing the jailbreak in addition to all information and settings stored on your iPhone.
  6. ITunes will prompt you when the process completes.
  7. Spend a few minutes to set up your email and reinstall your favorite apps.

Unlock Code Security Advice

A new study suggests millions of iPhone users could be at risk of having their devices hacked because they are lazy when they picked their password combinations.

Research conducted by iPhone app developer Daniel Amitay shows while 10,000 possible passwords are available for the device, 15 per cent of users choose one of ten four-digit combinations.

According to the study, posted on Mr Amity's blog, Amity.

Mr Amitay conducted the experiment by tracking the passwords entered by users of the Big Brother Camera Security application he developed.

The New York-based iOS developer collected 204,508 passwords in the process, making the assessment using the logic that the password set-up to the application and the iPhone lock screen are nearly identical.

He wrote: 'Because Big Brother's passcode setup screen and lock screen are nearly identical to those of the actual iPhone passcode lock. Mr Amitay figured that the collected information would closely correlate with actual iPhone passcodes.

Instructions: Pick A Less Common Passcode

Pick an unlock code that is not common by staying away from the most common passcode combinations. The most common passcode patters are listed below.

Pick a passcode that does not resemble any of the passcodes below and your device will be significantly more secure.

  • The top five codes in ranking order include: 1234, 0000, vertical row 2580, 1111 and 5555
  • Following closely are: 5683, or 'LOVE', vertical row 0852, 2222, 1212 and 1998.
  • Roughly 10 per cent of iPhone users use 1234 or 0000
  • Looking at the list's top 100, he determined the high frequency of 199* could represent the 1990s, indicating a birth year or the year of graduating college
  • Passcodes 1990-2000 are all in the top 50, and 1980-1989 are all in the top 100
  • The findings show the least used numbers are seven (7) and six (6)

Automatically Erase iPhone If Too Many Incorrect Passcodes Are Entered

One setting you should definitely enable is the "Erase Data" setting on the Passcode Lock settings page.

This setting erases all the data on the iPhone after more than 10 incorrect passcode attempts.

Instructions: iPhone Erase Security Setting

  1. Go to the iPhone Settings Screen
  2. Select "General" settings
  3. Select "Passcode Lock"
  4. Turn on the Passcode feature if it is not enabled
  5. Pick a safe passcode that is not common
  6. Set "Erase Data" to "On" (which will erase the iPhone if more than 10 incorrect passcodes are entered before a correct one is entered)