New iPhone security risk lets hackers spy on what you type & it only costs $30

Anurag Singh
iPhone being used for sending text messageUnsplash

Stalking software in the form of a custom keyboard is being used by hackers to see everything you type on your iPhone.

iPhones are generally considered to be safer than other smartphones. Even Apple never fails to mention privacy and security while launching new iPhones. But it seems the phones are not without their security flaws.

According to a new report, hackers have found a way to bypass Apple’s security checks and use third-party custom keyboards to spy on everything you type on your iPhone. These malicious keyboard programs, called keyloggers, reportedly come as cheap as $30.

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The security risk affects all iPhone models

iPhone custom keyboardCerto Software

British cybersecurity company Certo Software details how bad actors are spying on everything people type on their phones using off-the-shelf spyware (h/t PhoneArena).

Noting how this spyware is affecting people, Certo Software writes:

“This is particularly concerning for those at risk of domestic tech abuse, as it only requires a few unsupervised minutes with the device to set up and it’s difficult to spot unless you know what to look for.”

Compatible with all iPhone models, this stalking software is hidden inside small apps that include a custom keyboard. According to Certo Software, these apps are often distributed through TestFlight, a platform meant for testing new apps before they’re released to the public.

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Since TestFlight’s rules aren’t as tight as the App Store’s, the spyware can sneak past Apple’s defenses. Once the app’s on your phone, it keeps track of everything you type and sends it to an online portal that the stalker can access from anywhere in the world.

How to know if you’re affected

The malicious keyboard is almost identical to Apple’s default keyboard. However, you can still find out if you’re being spied on by going to Settings app > General > Keyboards.

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The keyboard is supposed to show you two options—one in your language and the other named “emoji.” If you see a third keyboard that you don’t remember installing yourself, it might be spyware. Tap on the Edit button in the upper right corner and delete it from your phone.

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About The Author

Anurag is a Tech writer at Dexerto. He is an expert in laptops, smartphones, and wearables. Anurag has previously covered major brands like Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft. He's previously written for publications like Android Police, Neowin, MakeTechEasier, Gizmochina, and more. Get in touch at Anurag.singh@dexerto.com.