Jailbreaking the iPhone 6 “could remove the strict security Apple has built into its iOS” warns Bitdefender

iPhone users can choose from 1.5 million official apps, but some continue to alter the OS to bypass factory settings and restrictions. On the back of Apple launching the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, Bitdefender has been assessing what users need to know about jailbreaking the new iPhone, including top tips on how to stay secure.

Jailbreaking an iPhone will take users away from Apple’s safe, controlled environment to an unsafe setting whereby malicious, unauthorised apps may reside. 200,000 Apple users realised the dangers of jailbreaking when they had their Apple credentials stolen by an iOS malware dubbed ‘KeyRaider’, targeting only jailbroken iOS devices.

The process of jailbreaking disables the sandboxing feature of iOS, which is an essential piece of the security architecture. Sandboxing ensures third party apps access only certain pieces of user data and are therefore unable to access users’ address books, photos or location data without their knowledge.

Disabling sandboxing lets apps access data without asking for permission.

Jailbroken devices can allow Governments to tap into a device. It was revealed that the notorious Hacking Team, the company specialising in Hacking-as-a-Service, could silently hijack jailbroken iOS devices.

After an iPhone or iPad has been jailbroken, iOS cannot be updated without reverting to the un-jailbroken default mode. Besides this inconvenience, it’s sometimes the case that end users have to wait weeks before an updated jailbreak toolkit becomes available.

As personal as the decision to jailbreak an iPhone may seem, this can have a major impact on an organisation. If a vulnerable device connects to a company-owned network, it can become a gateway for intrusions.

Avoiding any potential breaches

To help avoid breaches, Bitdefender states that an enterprise-wide Bring Your Own Device policy would need to prohibit the use of jailbroken phones or tablets. As the vast majority of malware needs to be manually installed, companies should educate users about the personal and business risks associated with a rooted or jailbroken device.

If an end user decides to take the risk of jailbreaking a device, they should remember to:

*Change the root password. Root is the iPhone’s administrator account, but many hackers are already aware of Apple’s default root password

*Update the mobile user password. This is the regular user account password that has been set-up on the device

*Be careful what apps and software to trust. iPhone users should only download apps from reputable sources to reduce the chances of their smart phone becoming infected

*Always use a mobile security solution that’s constantly updated and able to detect new advanced threats

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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