A RUSSIAN HACKING TEAM has shown evidence that Apple is storing records of users' browser history even after it has been 'deleted'.
Elcomsoft has sounded the alarm bells and has warned that users of Safari, the default browser for Mac, iPhone and iPad, may find that the list of sites they've visited is being stored in iCloud for a year or more even if they have opted to delete it.
Elcomsoft boss Vladimir Katalov explains that the deleted data is kept in a file called Tombstone which iCloud uses to sync with other devices, ironically, in order to tell them what to delete off the device.
Elcomsoft makes a software package called Phone Breaker which they used to find the information which they came upon by accident. We previously reported on how Phone Breaker was able to extract your previous call history via your iCloud account, as well as your backups to iTunes.
However, it's important to note the terminology used by Apple which describes the information is 'cleared' rather than 'deleted'.
Katalov believes the information may actually stay in the cloud "probably forever". An anonymous hacker working for Forbes was able to confirm that this is definitely the case and believes that. while this is necessary in order to keep devices synced, the fact that Phone Breaker was able to access these records was in and of itself a lapse in security.
Whilst acknowledging the necessity of the practice, Jay Stanley of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) points out: "Browsing history is a very sensitive set of data. It reveals people's interests, concerns, worries and in many cases their every fleeting thought, as well as health information, information on their sexuality.
"It's vital that people are able to trust that they can be in control of that kind of information. It's one reason we advise using search tools that don't store your history."
Apple appears to be preparing a fix that puts these records out of reach, but it still serves as a timely reminder of the consequences of not running the most up-to-date version of your operating system. µ
Now you can watch documentaries about horribly disfigured people whenever you like
Brad to the bone
Being in a minority of one doesn't make you right
WeWork needs a rework