Not Every Security Hole Is Something To Worry About

mage: From Apple and iStock

Over the weekend, security researcher Filippo Cavallarin revealed that he discovered a security flaw that could allow an attacker to bypass Apple's App Store protections for iOS devices. Naturally, this resulted in some breathless coverage of how Apple devices aren't invulnerable and that we all should panic. But the reality is much different.

In the case of this specific vulnerability, users need to open a link on a file share to a ZIP file and then open the ZIP file and execute some malicious code. How many iOS users do you know that can open a file share? And then open a file within a ZIP file? The risk of that chain of events happening is pretty low.

It's true that Cavallarin notified Apple and they haven't yet resolved the issue. But the risk of the string events that could lead to an incident is pretty small.

When a new security issue is made public, there's no need to panic. What you need to do is assess the real risk to you.

For example, when WannaCry was made public it was clear that the nature of the way it was spread and its impact required some immediate action. But Spectre and Meltdown, while significant, were much harder for an attacker to exploit.

When a security issue is made public, assess the risk of it affecting you by determining if it's likely to compromise you and the impact of an attack. By taking an objective look at the likelihood and impact, you can decide on the best course of action - that could range from monitoring the situation to shutting down systems.

Rather than moving straight into a reactive mode, take a moment to make an assessment and decide whether action is needed.


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