Multiple exploit developers tell Motherboard that an upcoming change in iOS could make zero-click exploits harder to pull off.
The article says that Apple has “quietly” made a new change in the way it secures the code running in its mobile operating system (the change is in the beta version of iOS 14.5). Several security researchers who specialize in finding vulnerabilities in and crafting exploits for iOS believe this new mitigation will make it much harder for hackers to take control of an iPhone with a technique known as a zero-click (or 0-click) exploit, which allows a hacker to take over an iPhone with no interaction from the target. Apple also told Motherboard it believes the changes will impact 0-click attacks.
“It will definitely make 0-clicks harder. Sandbox escapes too. Significantly harder,” a source who develops exploits for government customers told Motherboard, referring to “sandboxes” which isolate applications from each other in an attempt to stop code from one program interacting with the wider operating system.
Like the name suggests, zero-click attacks allow hackers to break into a target without needing the victim to interact with anything, such as a malicious phishing link. This means that the attack is generally harder for the targeted user to detect.