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Apple pays $ 75,000 for a leak that could take over the iPhone camera

Apple paid $ 75,000 to a security researcher who discovered several vulnerabilities in Safari. With that, he managed to take over the camera and microphone from an iPhone, provided that a victim had previously given certain permissions.

The hacker, Ryan Pickren, describes on his blog how he found a total of seven bugs in Safari. The vulnerabilities were in the way Safari parset URLs and web originsmanages. That way he could make the browser think that it was on one site, when in reality it was a different domain. In his blog post, Pickren demonstrates how he can take over a user’s camera and microphone on both the iPhone and a desktop with macOS. He does this by making the browser think that the user is on Skype, for example, when in reality it is a different domain. He does assume that the victim has previously given camera and microphone permissions to that specific site. Safari makes it possible to set permissions per website.

Pickren shared his findings with Apple. Because he had found a zero click method of access to sensitive data, he was paid $ 75,000, or € 69,300, from the company. Besides the three bugs to get camera access, he also found some other bugs. Those have been repaired by Apple in iOS 13.4 and Safari 13.1.

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