New privacy icon in iOS 11.3 attempts to stop iCloud password phishing

Heather Parry

By Heather Parry

25 January 2018

At Apple, it looks like 2018 is going to be the year to thwart phishing.

In response to a blog post published late last year, which showed the ease with which developers could produce a password prompt that looked exactly like one coming from Apple, the tech giant this week launched iOS 11.3 in beta, with an overhaul of its privacy screens.

The new iOS version has a bunch of big new features, but privacy advocates will find this one the most interesting.

While 11.3 is still for developers only, it looks like a new privacy icon has been added, to make it much more obvious if you’re being subjected to a phishing attack.

The 2017 blog post by developer Felix Krause showed that malicious developers could easily dupe users into entering their iCloud password, just by creating an alert that looked similar to an Apple alert.

In order to prevent this, the new icon, which looks like two blue figures shaking hands, will appear whenever an Apple app or feature is asking you to enter personal information, such as your iCloud password.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that it will appear against every app or feature—only the ones which require personal information to run. As Apple explains:

You won’t see this icon with every feature since Apple only collects this information when it’s needed to enable features, to secure our services, or to personalize your experience.

The screen explaining the use of this new icon also goes on to state Apple’s commitment to user security:

Apple believes privacy is a fundamental human right, so every Apple product is designed to: Use on-device processing wherever possible Limit the collection and use of data Provide transparency and control over your information Build on a strong foundation of security

This feature looks to be included on the betas of iOS 11.3 and macOS High Sierra 10.1. While developers can enjoy this new feature now, these updates won’t be available to the public until the spring.

About Us

SurfEasy is a VPN tool that protects your online privacy and unblocks the internet. Use it on your Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad or Android.

Learn More