Apple will require HTTPS connections for iOS apps by the end of 2016

Kate Conger at TechCrunch reports:

“Today, I’m proud to say that at the end of 2016, App Transport Security is becoming a requirement for App Store apps,” Apple’s head of security engineering and architecture, Ivan Krstic, said during a WWDC presentation. “This is going to provide a great deal of real security for our users and the communications that your apps have over the network.”

App Transport Security, or ATS, is a feature that Apple debuted in iOS 9. When ATS is enabled, it forces an app to connect to web services over an HTTPS connection rather than HTTP, which keeps user data secure while in transit by encrypting it.

This cannot come soon enough in my opinion.

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People ask me all the time which operating system is more secure: iOS or Android?

The truth is that the choice of mobile operating system shouldn’t be your primary concern.

You should be more worried about the apps that you’re running on your smartphone, and how good a job they are doing at keeping your data secure and private – both when in communication with the internet, and when stored on a third-party developer’s servers.

Forcing iOS apps to use HTTPS is a definite step in the right direction, and will help make it harder for criminals to steal information as you use your iPhone or iPad.

Roll on 2017…

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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