Well, the short answer to that is yes. Any system for that matter, can be hacked. At least in theory. What you really want to know, however, is whether a system is likely to be hacked, and that, as we shall see, is an altogether different question.
What does it mean to hack a system? In simple terms, it is the process of gaining unauthorised access to the data stored in the system. Security measures ranging from the simple password to complicated layers of encryption help us prevent our data from being hacked. The more complex a system’s â€˜Security’, the more â€˜difficult’ it is to hack into it. In other words, more secure a system, higher is the cost of breaking into it.
A simple corollary of this is the fact that, hacking into any system has to be worth it. Financially or otherwise. Which means, a system need not be impossible to break into. It just needs to be very very expensive to hack, so much so that, the cost does not justify the benefits.
So where does the iPhone stand?
With every new version of the phone, it gets a little more secure. Same is true for every successive version of the iOS. Since the iPhone 5S, we have the fingerprint scanner hidden under the home button, which adds an additional layer of security to an already secure operating system. The fingerprint scanners in the latest Apple devices are of the Capacitance type, which are far more difficult to fool than the conventional electro-optical type scanners. The latest release of the iOS, version 9, is the safest mobile operating system in the market today. So prima facie, your iPhone 6 is pretty safe. But let us take a closer look.
Hacking an iPhone
Breaking into your iPhone can mean two different things. The first is gaining access to your device, with the device in hand. That is, bypassing the fingerprint scanner and the passcode. The second is gaining access to the system remotely, over an internet access.
The first is possible, and has already been done. Marc Rogers, a security researcher at Lookout, broke into an iPhone 6, bypassing its fingerprint scanner, within days of the phone being released. Essentially he fooled the scanner using a sophisticated fingerprint-cloning system, which basically allowed him to copy a user’s fingerprint and unlock the phone. The whole set-up, however, cost him upwards of $1000, and a number of efforts over a long period of time. And this is what makes it unlikely to happen to you. In most circumstances, it would be waysides cheaper to just buy a new phone, unless your phone has data that is truly worth in gold. In most cases, the cost would not justify the efforts.
And from that perspective at least, your iPhone 6 is pretty safe.
The second one, a remote break-in, has been made extremely difficult with the new security layers in iOS 9, that was released on September 16. In fact, the Cyber Security firm Zerodium has offered a $ 1 Million bounty to up to three hackers who can find a way to breach into the system remotely. It is expected that someone will win the prize eventually. But the same principle can be applied again. Hacking into your phone, is not likely to get someone a bounty of $ 1 Million. So given the difficulty, it is very very unlikely to happen.
A final word of Caution
It is however, advisable to make your phone as secure as possible, because it is a a window to a lot of our personal information. So always use a combination of your fingerprint, and a difficult-to-guess passcode. You can never be too careful after all!