iPhone 15 Series - What to Expect in Terms of Security?

Haseeb Awan
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June 20, 2023

Introduction

In 2023, Apple will maintain its lineup of four iPhones, introducing the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. Similar to the iPhone 14 Pro variants, the iPhone 15 Pro models will offer exclusive features that won't be available in the more budget-friendly iPhone 15 devices.

Along with the release of the new iphone series, it is likely  that the new iOS series will also be released in the following short term. iOS 17 is set to make its debut to the public during the upcoming autumn season, taking over from iOS 16 as the latest operating system for iPhones. While the specific features included in this update are currently unknown, there is speculation regarding potential additions such as expanded lock screen widgets, the ability to access third-party app stores, and notable enhancements to iMessage. It will be easier if we interpret the potential to-be-updated features along with the iOS updates.

Based on current information, it appears that the iPhone 15 Pro models will showcase a refreshed design, featuring slimmer and curved bezels, as well as a new titanium chassis. Notably, Apple may introduce a redesigned "mute" button that could serve as an Action button similar to the one found on the Apple Watch Ultra, replacing the existing mute switch.

In terms of performance, the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max will boast an upgraded 3-nanometer A17 chip, while the iPhone 15 models will rely on the same A16 chip found in the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. All iPhone 15 devices will come equipped with the Dynamic Island feature and will make the transition from Lightning to USB-C. Additionally, it is anticipated that there will be an increase in RAM alongside the A17 chip. However, it is worth noting that all iPhone 15 models will utilize the same 5G Qualcomm modem chip technology for connectivity.

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iPhone 15 Security Expectations

Along with these several, yet meager changes, there exist some points to note related to the security aspects of the upcoming iPhone 15 series. 

These include... 

Operating System Security: 

The iPhone series typically runs on iOS, which is known for its robust security measures. The latest version of iOS is currently (May 2023) iOS 16.5, and according to expected circumstances, following the beta testing period, iOS 17 will see a launch in September 2023 alongside new iPhones. Anticipate enhancements in the operating system that can include improved encryption, secure boot processes, and protection against vulnerabilities, which could enhance the overall security of the iPhone 15. 

Biometric Authentication: 

iPhones often include advanced biometric authentication features such as Face ID. According to Mark Gurman, a reputable source for reliable Apple-related information, Apple does not currently have any intention of reintroducing Touch ID to their flagship iPhones in the near future. Along with the iOS updates, the apple has been providing an updated version of the face ID recognition, therefore, we can expect further advancements in biometric technology to enhance the security of unlocking your device and authorizing transactions. Anticipate improvements in the Secure Enclave to further enhance the security of biometric data and other sensitive information

App Security:

 Apple maintains strict control over the App Store, conducting thorough reviews of applications before making them available for download.  They also provide layers of protection to help ensure that apps are free of known malware and haven’t been tampered with. These security controls provide a stable, secure platform for apps, enabling thousands of developers to deliver hundreds of thousands of apps for current version of iOS.  Anticipate continued efforts to ensure the security and privacy of applications, such as increased scrutiny of app submissions and potential enhancements to the app review process as the new iphone 15 releases and the updated version of iOS applies. 

Privacy Features: 

Apple has been emphasizing user privacy in recent years, introducing features like App Tracking Transparency and enhanced privacy controls. In the iOS 15 version, the updated version enabled you to hide your email address, hide your internet activity, keep track of app permissions, monitor insecure passwords, and much more.

iMessage Contact Key Verification

Towards the conclusion of the previous year, Apple made an announcement about iMessage Contact Key Verification, a tool aimed at safeguarding conversations for individuals facing significant digital threats. Apple had initially stated that this safety feature would be available sometime in 2023. 

The new addition functions as an improvement to the existing end-to-end encryption within iMessage, specifically designed to protect individuals facing what Apple defines as "extraordinary digital threats," such as journalists, human rights activists, and government officials who may be targeted for breaching Apple's security measures and intercepting their messaging conversations.

With the Contact Key Verification feature, users can ensure that they are exclusively communicating with their intended recipients, without any interference from external parties. To enhance security further, users can verify their identities by comparing a Contact Verification Code in person, through FaceTime, or using other secure communication methods.

Once it becomes available, iMessage Contact Key Verification will automatically alert participants in an iMessage conversation if Apple detects the addition of an unauthorized device to an account, provided that everyone in the conversation has enabled the feature. Apple envisions this feature as a means of protecting activists, government officials, and journalists from hacking attempts sponsored by state entities. It is anticipated to be one of the final additions to iOS 16 before Apple directs its full focus towards iOS 17, which would possibly be applied in the iPhone 15. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, the upcoming iPhone 15 series is expected to bring about several changes and improvements, including a refreshed design, upgraded processors, and potential enhancements to features like Face ID and app security. Apple's commitment to operating system security, biometric authentication advancements, rigorous app review processes, and privacy-focused features further contribute to the overall security of the iPhone 15 devices. Additionally, the introduction of iMessage Contact Key Verification aims to provide enhanced protection for users facing digital threats. As iOS 17 is anticipated to coincide with the release of the iPhone 15 series, users can look forward to experiencing the combined benefits of new hardware and software updates in terms of security and privacy.

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Haseeb Awan
CEO, Efani Secure Mobile

I founded Efani after being Sim Swapped 4 times. I am an experienced CEO with a demonstrated history of working in the crypto and cybersecurity industry. I provide Secure Mobile Service for influential people to protect them against SIM Swaps, eavesdropping, location tracking, and other mobile security threats. I've been covered in New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Hulu, Nasdaq, Netflix, Techcrunch, Coindesk, etc. Contact me at 855-55-EFANI or haseebawan@efani.com for a confidential assessment to see if we're the right fit!

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