iPhones made before a certain date are now ‘vulnerable’ to cybersecurity attacks

Security experts have raised the alarm about the vulnerability of older iPhone models, warning that users with “outdated” technology are now more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

This is because smartphones manufactured between 2008 and 2014 no longer receive the important software updates needed to protect users from malware and other exploits.

The unsupported iPhones range from the original model all the way up to the 6 Plus, with new ones continually being added to the list of obsolete models as Apple continues to release newer models.

Apple has never shied away from the debate about forced obsolescence and has even announced that the latest iPhone 15 series will be considered obsolete by 2030.

Apple’s customer service department has stated that “service providers cannot order replacement parts for obsolete products,” meaning that these devices are virtually unsupported after just a few years.

Jake Moore, global cybersecurity advisor at ESE, said hackers specifically target older technologies because they have outdated security features.

“Older iPhones are still in circulation, and once a vulnerability is found, it can quickly be exploited by attackers targeting unpatched devices,” he told Forbes.

“Those using iPhones that are no longer covered by a patch guarantee should consider replacing them with a newer, more secure device.”

Moore even suggested that users dispose of these outdated devices completely to reduce the risk to zero.

For those who still hold on to their iPhone 6 Plus, repairs may be a challenge, as Apple has since stopped producing replacement parts.

The list of obsolete models also includes models from the iPhone 3, iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 families.

“Creepy” setting activated during software update on iPhones

With Apple’s latest software update, a new setting was automatically activated on iPhones worldwide.

The “Discoverable by Others” setting can be found under “Journal Suggestions” in the privacy and security settings of an iPhone.

Journalling Suggestions goes hand in hand with the new Journal app, released in December last year as part of iOS 17.2.

When an iPhone user enables this feature, Apple says it uses history data stored on the phone, such as music, photos, workouts, people called or texted, and important locations, to make suggestions to the user about what moments to write about in the Journal app.

Even if you don’t turn on Journal suggestions, the Discoverable by Others feature is turned on by default. This is also the case if you’ve deleted the Journal app.

Joanna Stern, senior personal technology columnist at The Wall Street Journalsays it’s not as bad as it sounds – but suggests you might want to turn it off anyway.

Stern decided to take a closer look at this feature, which had been causing a stir online, and learned from Apple that the phone would be able to use Bluetooth to detect nearby devices in your contacts without storing which of those specific contacts were nearby, and use that as context to improve journaling suggestions.

Apple denied that it shares users’ names and locations with others, as some people had claimed on social media.

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