Apple, we have a problem. A bug report filed Monday through Open Radar – which mirrors bug reports developers submit to Apple’s private bug tracking system – suggests that password prompts in iOS apps can be misused to steal passwords and other secrets.
In a blog post today describing the issue, developer Felix Krause, founder of fastlane.tools, explained that Apple’s UIAlertController API allows programmers to present alerts that closely mimic legit password prompts from Apple system services like iCloud, iTunes, or GameCenter.
The problem arises because Apple has trained iOS users to hand over their credentials for Apple services from within third-party apps, without any kind of mechanism for verifying the legitimacy of the prompt. Thanks to that indoctrination, a malicious developer can present a lookalike login box – a UIKit alert or action sheet – and expect the user to respond by supplying an Apple ID, a password, or similar.
At present, the risk is theoretical. Krause said in an email to The Register he wasn’t aware of anyone using this technique in the wild, though it’s difficult to be certain. Apple may detect deliberate deception of this sort through its iOS app review process, but a determined developer may also be able to conceal misuse long enough to see the app distributed.
Using visual trickery to steal data has been a problem for years. For example, a recent Gmail phishing attack relied on image files designed to look like attached PDFs.
Apple’s Secure Coding Guide acknowledges that social engineering attacks like phishing can be difficult to combat. It cites domain name homograph attacks by which different character sets (eg. Latin and Cyrillic) can be intermixed to dupe users, noting that Safari has implemented defenses.
多个部门将联合制定《网络安全等级保护条例》 网络安全概念股引(8)
That’s essentially what Krause is describing – an interface homograph attack. And there isn’t really a method to visually separate Apple-authorized prompts from doppelgängers.
“No matter what kind of custom UI Apple would use, people could always somehow fake it,” said Krause. “The problem is that now people are used to just entering the password whenever asked, and changing that behavior is really difficult and will take time.”
Krause suggests one way to mitigate the risk would be for each alert to contain the app icon in the pop-up or action sheets, similar to how the app icon is shown on the lock screen next to notifications.

Even so, graphic designs can be faked.
多数企业将防范网络犯罪提上董事会议程,在安全上进行投资仿佛不创造直接的商业价值,没有足够和聪明的投入则可能让创造的直接商业价值瞬间变为灰烬,信息科技时代,这不是在吹牛。
“Another way, people on Twitter mentioned, would be a different keyboard for system password inputs,” he said. “However I think the best way would be if the dialog tells the user to open the iCloud settings, instead of asking for the password directly.”
Apple, as expected, did not respond to a request for comment. ®
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SQL注入攻击很难有效防范,问题在于这类攻击不是传统的网络安全系统如防火墙、入侵检测和防御系统等可以有效防范的,它更多是应用安全的范畴,需要将安全内置进整个系统开发生命周期当中。

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