Windows 11’s Phone Link for iOS Allegedly Used for iPhone Owner Surveillance
Windows 11’s newly introduced Phone Link support for iOS has raised concerns about potential privacy risks for iPhone owners. The feature, which allows users to receive messages, notifications, and other smartphone functions on their Windows 11 PC, has been popular among Android users for some time. However, cybersecurity experts have identified a flaw in the implementation of Phone Link for iOS that could be exploited by malicious actors.
Mobile security firm Certo Software has reported instances of users being spied upon through Phone Link for iOS. To compromise an individual, an attacker would need physical access to the victim’s iPhone and knowledge of the device’s passcode. By setting up Phone Link on their own Windows PC and establishing a Bluetooth connection with the victim’s iPhone via a QR code scan, the attacker gains access to call history, iMessages, and notification content without the victim’s knowledge.
The potential for abuse is alarming, particularly in cases of domestic abuse where an abusive partner could secretly spy on their victim’s private communications. Certo Software has observed that cyberstalkers are rapidly exploiting this new feature. iPhone owners who are concerned about their privacy can take precautionary measures, such as disabling Bluetooth if it is not regularly used and reviewing and deleting unfamiliar devices connected to their iPhone’s Bluetooth settings.
Certo Software recommends that Apple and Microsoft promptly investigate and address this security vulnerability. The introduction of visual warning indicators in iOS when notifications or messages are being shared with another device via Bluetooth could be a potential solution. It is crucial for both companies to prioritize user privacy and implement necessary measures to protect iPhone users from unauthorized surveillance and potential spyware attacks that may exploit this loophole in iPhone security.