HomeKit is the latest Apple product to have a serious security flaw

Unauthorized

Another week, another Apple vulnerability receives an emergency patch.

We also understand that Apple was informed about this and related vulnerabilities in late October, and some but not all issues were fixed as part of iOS 11.2 and watchOS 4.2 which were released this week.

Apple usually pushes out security updates for its various devices and software on the same day, but not this time.

A HomeKit vulnerability was found in the current version of iOS 11.2 that gave unauthorised access to connected smart devices like smart locks and garage door openers. Clearly, in the wrong hands such a flaw would put a household at risk of burglary. Our understanding is Apple has rolled out a server-side fix that now prevent unauthorized access from occurring while limiting some functionality, and an update to iOS 11.2 coming next week will restore that full functionality.

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The report stressed that the issue was not with the accessories themselves but with the HomeKit framework as a whole which connects smart products from different companies.

Although this was reportedly a hard flaw to exploit, coming from a smart home system as high profile as Apple HomeKit means consumers will likely remain cautious about connecting crucial hardware like door locks to the internet. The exploit required an iPhone or iPad iOS 11.2, while connected to a user's iCloud account. Earlier versions of iOS aren't affected.

Users won't have to install anything, but they will notice the "remote access to shared users" feature for their HomeKit devices has been temporarily disabled. However, the fix does disable some of the HomeKit functionality for remote users, although the disruption to the service's functionality will be fixed in the future iOS update.

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