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Johns Hopkins Researchers Help Apple Fix iMessage Security Issue

The fix came from Apple in iOS 9.3 and OS X 10.11.4, both of which shipped in March this year
August 14, 2016

Johns Hopkins researchers have helped Apple patch a security issue in iMessage, a recent report explains. The fix, according to the report, came in iOS 9.3 and OS X 10.11.4.

The news comes from Patently Apple, which cites a report explaining that Johns Hopkins University researchers, led by Christine Garman, discovered an iMessage security issue that was since patched in iOS 9.3 and OS X 10.11.4, in March this year. “Since that time, Apple has added a series of short- and long-term defenses to the iMessage protocol,” Patently Apple adds, noting that Apple was “made aware of the problem as early as November 2015.”

Since then, Apple has been pushing mitigations recommended by the researchers through monthly updates to several of its products. Most of the repairs were included in iOS 9.3 and OS X 10.11.4, which shipped in March 2016. The problem could have only been hacked by state-sponsored level actors, the report noted.

Earlier this year, Apple engineers explained that hackers pose the most significant threat to user security. The comment came admid some controversy surrounding the U.S. government's stance on encryption and user privacy.

Apple is continually bolstering its iOS security through small point updates like iOS 9.3.4, which launched in August this year. More and more iOS applications are adding end-to-end encryption to their services, too, in a bid to make user data more secure.

To read the paper outlining Johns Hopkins' involvement in finding the aforementioned iMessage security issue, click this link. We'll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.