updated 09:55 am EST, Wed November 11, 2009
Again targets jailbroken devices
A new, more serious danger to jailbroken iPhones has emerged, says security firm Intego. The threat, currently labeled "iPhone/Privacy.A," is described as a hacking tool based on the same vulnerability used by the recent Ikee worm. Unlike Ikee however, Privacy.A is not meant as a warning but rather a malicious means of stealing data from an iPhone. Attackers can steal contacts, e-mail, text messages and anything else in an iPhone's storage.
Also unlike Ikee, there is no warning that the tool may be active. It is installed on a Mac, Windows, Unix or Linux computer, where it can then scan a network for jailbroken iPhones in order to invade them and run data transfers. Intego suggests that the tool has a unique public threat, as it could be installed on a retail computer in order to trap visiting shoppers; in a similar manner, a hacker could load the software on a notebook and wait for victims in an Internet cafe.
Some anti-virus programs may already be able to detect Privacy.A, but the option has little use, as it can only block the tool on a computer, not an iPhone. Intego argues that iPhone owners should not jailbreak their devices in the first place, as it significantly increases vulnerability to malware. Privacy.A can be defeated, however, simply by changing a handset's default root password.