JailbreakMe: Security warning for iPhone and iPad owners

August 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Security News


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A website that has made it simple for iPhone and iPad users to jailbreak their devices may not just be a headache for Apple, but also a portent for future malicious attacks.

 

Owners of Apple gadgets who visit the JailbreakMe website in Safari have found that all they need to jailbreak their device is slide a button to give permission, opening up the possibility of installing apps that have not been approved by the official AppStore.

 

Previously, jailbreaking has required users to connect their device to a computer before they can start to tamper with the set-up of their iPhone or iPad and gain access to the Cydia underground app store.

 

jailbreakme JailbreakMe: Security warning for iPhone and iPad owners

 

The drive-by jailbreak is possible because the website exploits a vulnerability in the way that the mobile edition of Safari (the default browser used in the iOS operating system) handles PDF files – specifically its handling of fonts.

 

As a number of YouTube videos have demonstrated, it’s a pretty slick process:

 

What concerns me, and others in the security community, however, is that if simply visiting a website with your iPhone can cause it to be jailbroken – just imagine what else could hackers do by exploiting this vulnerability? Cybercriminals would be able to create booby-trapped webpages that could – if visited by an unsuspecting iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad owner – run code on visiting devices without the user’s permission.

 

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2 Responses to “JailbreakMe: Security warning for iPhone and iPad owners”
  1. That’s funny how easy a multi-million device development can be spoiled by a tiny virus application that can spread and infect so easily.

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