A VPN-related Scuffle Between Apple & VirnetX

Patent Lawsuit Halts Changes to Apple Devices' VPN Settings

Patent Lawsuit Halts Changes to Apple Devices’ VPN Settings

Following a ruling by a Texan court, Apple will be forced to alter their plans regarding VPN service software updates for iPhones and iPads.

According to CNET, VirnetX filed and won a $368.2 million patent claim against Apple, due to Apple’s plans to change the settings on devices that would automatically connect users to their corporate networks, a move VirnetX claims infringes on several of their copyrights. Apple had begun shipping iPhones and iPads with a software update allowing users to connect to their corporate VPNs when necessary, as opposed to previous set-up, which automatically connected users to their VPNs.

An Apple support link now says that change cannot be made:

“Apple no longer plans to change the behavior of the VPN On Demand feature of iOS 6.1 for devices that have already been shipped. The “Always” option will continue to work as it currently does on these devices.”

Apple intends to appeal the court’s decision, but Apple devices will still automatically connect you to your corporate VPN, which should make some people happy.¬†Mobile Action Defense claims Apple’s (halted, for now) plans have broader implications beyond inconveniencing corporate VPN users, and could create unforeseen VPN security issues.

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