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iPhone Security Issues Not Exclusive To Jailbroken Devices

December 4, 2009

In the past few months there have been multiple worms released into the wild that affected inadequately protected jailbroken iPhones. However a Swiss iPhone developer has published research that indicates that there are also security vulnerabilities affected un-jailbroken devices too. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise to most as it was only a matter of time.

The developer, Nicholas Seriot has created a proof of concept app called SpyPhone to demonstrate how Apple’s own APIs can be used to read and edit user’s address books, gain access to the user’s web surfing history or even recent location information. Although this is not as bad as what can be done with root permissions to the device, it can still effect users, especially when they think they are safe.

For the attacks to work, the application with the malicious code would need to get through the App Store approval system, however this wouldn’t be very hard as pointed out by many developers, as Apple doesn’t check source code but does have a kill switch on every app. The code would be delayed, so that it only beings to work so many weeks after the app is released or it could be an encrypted payload.

Nicholas Seriot detailed these possible iPhone privacy risks in a talk he delivered in Geneva, during which he also outlined possible defense strategies, suggesting that Apple should design the iPhone OS to require users to authorize read or read-write access by iPhone applications to potentially sensitive on-device information such as the Address Book, add firewall functionality to the device and ensure the keyboard cache is not as readily available to third-party applications.

Developers Research

Related:
How To: Change Your iPhone’s SSH Password

Dutch Hacker Hack’s Into Jailbroken iPhone’s
iPhone Worm Rickrolls Jailbroken Devices
Second iPhone Worm Used For Malicious Purposes

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iPhone Worm Rickrolls Jailbroken Devices

November 8, 2009

Over the past week there has been a lot of news over unsecured SSH on iPhone. First about the Dutch hacker who wasscanning the network for jailbroken users who had not changed their default SSH password. Now a hacker who goes by the name of “ikee” from Australia, created a worm that changes the home screen background to Rick Astley.

As I’m sure your aware by now this only affects users who have jailbroken their phone and installed OpenSSH, not just general users or who have jailbroken their device. If you have jailbroken your device and have got OpenSSH installed please read this guide on how to change your default password to ensure none of these worms or hacks will affect you.

Rickroll iPhone Worm

ikee says this is how the worm spread: “The code itself is set to firstly scan the 3G IP range the phone is on, then Optus/Vodafone/Telstra’s IP Ranges (I think the reason Optus got hit so hard is because the other 2 are NAT’d) then a random 20 IP ranges. I’m guessing a few phones hit a range that another vulnerable phone was on.”

Once one phone is infected it searches for phones with the default password and then begins the process again.

Dutch Hacker Hack’s Into Jailbroken iPhone’s

How To: Change Your iPhone’s SSH Password