(PresidentialInsider.com)- Ever since the downfall of BlackBerry, Apple has long positioned its iPhone as the most secure mobile device – but a new security flaw was just revealed, and could put millions of Apple users at risk.
A security flaw discovered by researchers revealed how contactless payments could be made on the device without knowing a user’s passcode, meaning anybody who steals a device could use it to make payments. The issue specifically affects iPhone users who have Visa debit and credit cards set up for NFC payments while in “transit mode,” which is a feature allowing commuters to make quick payments.
The researchers who discovered this using simple radio equipment showed how the security flaw bypasses a contactless limit, meaning any amount of money could be taken from an account using the payment system.
Birmingham and Surrey university researchers in England published a video proving how they could make a payment of £1,000 ($1350) using a locked iPhone. It does not, however, work if the user has a Mastercard on an iPhone, or a Visa card on a Samsung or other Android device.
So if you use an iPhone and a Visa card, now might be the time to reconsider using your cell phone to make payments.
Dr. Andrea Radu from the University of Birmingham said that their research shows how a feature designed to make life easier is “backfiring” and “negatively impacting security.”
Apple and Visa representatives have discussed the flaw with the university researchers, but neither has so far been willing to accept responsibility for the problem or even implement a fix.
If you use the feature and you don’t want to turn it off entirely, be sure to at least switch off the “express transit mode” in the iPhone wallet app.