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

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

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…

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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