Over the years, one of the most significant security enhancements Apple has brought to its devices is the Secure Chip Enclave that encrypts and protects all sensitive data stored on Apple devices. Since the chip operates separately from the rest of the system, apps don’t have access to private keys.
The data stored on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and other Apple devices is encrypted with random private keys, which are only accessible by the Secure Enclave. This includes sensitive data such as passwords, the credit card used by Apple Pay, and biometric identification to enable Touch ID and Face ID.
Unfortunately, Chinese hackers from the Pangu Team have reportedly found an unpatchable exploit on Apple’s Secure Enclave chip. This exploit can lead hackers to break the encryption of private security keys. Moreover, since the issue at hand is unpatchable (caused by hardware), it cannot be fixed via a software update.
The Team Pangu has found an “unpatchable” vulnerability on the Secure Enclave Processor (SEP) chip in iPhones. https://t.co/9oJYu3k8M4
— Jin Wook Kim (@wugeej) July 29, 2020
This vulnerability affects all Apple chips between the A7 and A11 Bionic, and Apple can do nothing for the devices that have been shipped. The Cupertino has, however, fixed this security breach with the A12 and A13 Bionic chips.
Although finer details of what the exploit allows the hacker to do will be known in the coming months, keep in mind that exploits like this usually require the hacker to have physical access to the device in order to obtain any data. Hence, it is unlikely that hackers can remotely access your data.
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