iPhone: New security features against spam and phishing

In iOS 16, Apple makes it easier to spot hack attempts via email. Unsolicited advertising via short message can be reported better.

 iPhone: New security features against spam and phishing

With iOS 16, Apple has worked on the security features of its iPhone operating system screwed. New measures are intended in particular to ensure that spammers and phishers find it less easy to find victims.

Mail checks logos

This is the case in the Apple Mail app on iOS 16 now a feature that can be used to automatically check whether the logo contained in a message actually comes from an official sender. The function is also in macOS 13 aka Ventura and is based on a technique from the Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) consortium. For example, if an e-mail actually comes from your own bank, “digitally certified” is now displayed below the sender and recipient field, provided the message was secured using BIMI.

If you click on the designation, an information dialog appears explaining that the logo contained in the mail actually comes from its owner and the corresponding domain. Phishers who forge a bank’s logo, for example, are supposed to be conspicuous – the BIMI system is designed in such a way that they cannot obtain the certification themselves. BIMI is already offered by other email providers, including Yahoo, Google and Fastmail. Due to the popularity of Apple Mail, iOS 16 should now spread the technology even further. In order for it to work, however, banks and other security-relevant senders must first support it – these are currently mainly US institutions.

Report SMS spam better

Also new in the next iPhone operating system is the ability to more easily report spam coming to devices via text messages. In addition, as users of the second iOS 16 beta discovered, Apple has implemented a new “Report Junk” feature that now not only covers iMessages, but also SMS and MMS. The message then goes directly to the mobile phone provider, which is why they first have to be activated for the function.

In the USA, the first network operators are said to be on board. It was initially unclear whether European ones would also be added. In addition to regular telephone spam, the number of junk messages via SMS, MMS and iMessage as well as in messaging services such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger is constantly increasing. SMS and MMS can also be blocked at network level – at least that is what is hoped – by blocking certain senders. However, this can only be done by the mobile operators themselves – and they must first be informed.


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