Microsoft rolled out a new version of the Windows Phone Link app in April 2023. Now iPhone owners can use it to receive/send texts and calls right on their PC. Only, it poses a serious threat to user data.
We mentioned it in our columns a few weeks ago. At the end of April 2023, Microsoft rolled out a new version of the Windows Phone Link app. Since then, iPhone owners can finally use the app to enjoy iMessage directly on their Windows PC.
Thus, they can in particular make and take calls, read and reply to text messagesor see notifications and access their iOS contact list on their PC. A very practical tool therefore, and which since mid-May has been accessible to all Windows 11 users.
However, there is a big catch. As computer security researchers at Certo Software explain, this new version of the app allows hackers to spy on iPhone owners. Faced with the proliferation of disturbing testimonies, the firm decided to conduct an investigation.
Phone Link for iOS is an open door to hackers
In short, these experts have found that hackers who have successfully gained physical access to their victim’s iPhone can then install Phone Link on their own Windows PC. This done, they can quietly spy on received text messages and sent via iMessage along with phone call history, all without the knowledge of the victim.
According to Certo Software, the task remains relatively “simple” for the hacker (in theory anyway). It is actually enough to grab an iPhone for a few seconds then scan the QR Code offered by Phone Link on his PC to establish a quick Bluetooth connection. From there, you just have to activate a few options on the phone to start sharing information with your PC.
In addition to being able to consult your messages, the attacker can also see the content of all notifications. Some of them may contain sensitive data, such as notifications from your banking apps, for example. And more worryingly, it turns out that the victim cannot obviously see that his messages/notifications are shared on another PC.
How to protect against Phone Link hack for iOS
Nevertheless, it suffices to follow the following procedure to banish the unwanted:
- First of all, it will be necessary to access the Bluetooth settings
- Then go to the My Devices tab. Here you will find the complete list of devices connected to your iPhone via Bluetooth
- Now search for any device that has Show notifications or Share system notifications enabled
- Tap Forget This Device to unpair it
As a reminder, new security vulnerabilities have recently been detected within Microsoft Teams. Once exploited, they make it possible to collect your personal data.