Written by Nick Heer.

Faking an iPhone Reboot

ZecOps, a security research company (via Bruce Schneier):

We’ll dissect the iOS system and show how it’s possible to alter a shutdown event, tricking a user that got infected into thinking that the phone has been powered off, but in fact, it’s still running. The “NoReboot” approach simulates a real shutdown. The user cannot feel a difference between a real shutdown and a “fake shutdown”. There is no user-interface or any button feedback until the user turns the phone back “on”.

To demonstrate this technique, we’ll show a remote microphone & camera accessed after “turning off” the phone, and “persisting” when the phone will get back to a “powered on” state.

This is one of those things that is as clever as it is worrying. Imagine if you thought your iPhone was the target of a spyware attack, so you try turning it off and back on — except your phone never switched off and all of that behaviour was faked. Extraordinary.