Security of Text Message Filtering in Malwarebytes for iOS

Document created by asmith Employee on Apr 10, 2018
Version 1Show Document
  • View in full screen mode

The Text Message Filtering functionality in Malwarebytes for iOS involves sending some messages to a server controlled by Malwarebytes. This process is done in accordance with the requirements set by Apple for Text Message Filtering, using a process put in place by Apple in iOS. iOS is the operating system, created by Apple, that runs on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches.

 

We respect and value the security of your messages. Text message filtering in iOS is handled by iOS, and the system will only provide messages to Malwarebytes that are from senders who are not in your Contacts. In such a case, the message is sent by iOS to our server. All communication between iOS and our server is done via secure TLS 1.2 connections, using modern ciphers and allowing only SHA2 or better certificates. Details on the network communication requirements in iOS can be found here:

 

https://www.apple.com/business/docs/iOS_Security_Guide.pdf

 

iOS only provides the sender and the body of the message to Malwarebytes. No information is provided about the recipient. Since it is iOS that sends this information to our server, and not the Malwarebytes app, that means we cannot associate your name, phone number, Apple ID or any other personal information with the messages being filtered.

 

For more detailed information on how the filtering APIs work, see Apple's documentation here:

 

https://developer.apple.com/documentation/identitylookup

 

After a text message from an unknown sender is sent to our server, we examine it to determine whether it is malicious. For example, if the message is sent from a known scammer or contains phishing links, it will be identified as malicious.

 

If a message is identified as malicious, the information provided by iOS (the sender and the body of the message) will be sent to a separate, secured telemetry server to help us learn more to protect our users. Since our server never receives any information about the recipient of the message, this data is completely anonymized and cannot be traced back to you. We never sell or otherwise share this data with anyone else.

 

Messages that are not identified as malicious are immediately discarded, and will never be stored on disk on the server or sent to any other Malwarebytes systems.

 

In order to use Text Message Filtering, you will need to explicitly enable it in the iOS Settings app, under Messages -> Unknown & Spam. The Malwarebytes app cannot enable this setting itself, and iOS will only communicate with Malwarebytes about text messages if you allow it to.

 

The server that handles this text message data is located in Paris, France.

Attachments

    Outcomes