3OYS: "Man in the Middle" virus simple to avoid

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX  -- Apple users don't usually get security alerts, but the so-called “Man in the Middle” attack that can strike while accessing websites is a really big deal.

"The flaw is actually a pretty minor error in the code but it's got very dramatic implications," says Ken Colburn. He’s a computer and technology expert who owns and operates Data Doctors. "Just about everything Apple makes was subject to this flaw."

Colburn also says the “Man in the Middle” virus has the potential to hit a lot of people. “Because of a flaw in the Apple code, all iPhones, iPads and Mac Operating Systems basically could be fooled by malicious websites," he says.

And, unfortunately, that could mean big issues. “There's no way that you'll be able to tell that's it's a malicious website," Colburn says. "That's the problem."

Colburn says the this is how the virus works. “Basically, they can set up a trap and watch for you to type in your user name, your password, what have you on your bank and the device that would normally not allow that to happen is going to let it happen because of this flaw."

However, there is an immediate fix. Colburn says it's critical that Apple users not ignore the security update on their devices. "This is the most current update; this is the one everyone should install. Most of the devices will tell you there's an update available," he says. "You want to make sure you get that update. Right now it's 7.1 for iPhones & iPads. And then for Mac computers, it will tell you there's a security update for the operating system. This is OSX-based Mac devices."

And even after you install the update, Colburn says there's another step that needs to happen. “This bug has been out there for 18 months, so anywhere in the past your information might have been compromised. It may be sitting in a hacker's database somewhere, waiting to be sold. Just as a precaution, change those pass codes, update the device, and you'll be fine."