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Hacking fears lead to ban of Apple products

Hacking fears lead to ban of Apple products

There is one place you won't be seeing an Apple Watch.

U.K. prime minister Theresa May issued a directive that will ban U.K. Cabinet ministers from wearing Apple Watches during meetings due to hacking fears.

The fear largely stems from Russian hackers who might secretly compromise the smartwatch and use it as a listening device.

The directive, however, is not specific to the Apple Watch. Mobile phones and other smart wearables that are susceptible to hacking attacks are also barred from the cabinet meetings.

"The Russians are trying to hack everything," a source told The Telegraph.

It should be noted that under former U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, reports say that some of his Cabinet ministers wore the Apple Watch during meetings. This will change now with the smart wearable ban.

This follows concerns about Russia's alleged security maneuvers in the past few months. Just last week, the Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence officially pointed to Russian hackers as the culprits for stealing and releasing emails from the Democratic National Committee.

These U.S. agencies also say that hacking "is not new to Moscow - the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there."

A spokesperson for Russian leader Vladimir Putin denies these claims.

However, compromising an Apple Watch or any other smart device is not beyond the realm of possibility. We've reported about how iPhones have been targeted in the past and used as spying tools. Finding a zero-day exploitable flaw in an Apple Watch, which largely relies on tethering to an iPhone to be fully functional, is certainly not impossible.

Apple regularly investigates security vulnerabilities in its software and patches them with timely security fixes. This means for regular users, it's important that you keep all your gadgets up-to-date. But, of course, an undiscovered zero-day exploit that could turn any device into a secret spying tool is something the U.K. Cabinet doesn't want to take any chances on.

For now, those regular Swiss or Japanese watches will suffice for making all of the everyday political decisions they have to.

Click here to read about how hackers are devising ways to steal passwords via smart wearables.

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