Jailbreaking is more than just freeing yourself from the limitations put forth by AT&T and Apple. It’s about taking control of your phone and installing the software that you want on your phone. Jailbreaking is not for everyone. Not everyone has the patience and technical knowledge to deal with jailbreak solutions out there. And considering that Apple and AT&T are out to punish jailbreakers, you may face some adversity if you do decide to jailbreak your phone. If you have decided to jailbreak your phone, your biggest challenge won’t come from Apple or AT&T. It will be from hackers and crackers that can’t wait to get their hands on your sensitive information.
Jailbreak phones have become a sweet target for hackers around the world. In the past few weeks, we have heard about a few serious attacks on these phones. The latest worm that is attacking jailbroken phones is going after user’s personal data. It installs itself on iPhones and transmits the owners’ personal data to a server in a foreign country. If previous worms have not gotten your attention yet, this should. Here is what Intego had to say about this new worm:
When active on an iPhone, the iBotnet worm changes the root password for the device (from “alpine” to “ohshit”), in order to prevent users from later changing that password themselves. It then connects to a server in Lithuania, from which it downloads new files and data, and to which it sends data recovered from the infected iPhone..
The worm does a few other things such as messing up your passwords and using your phone to spread through the network. But if you have personal and financial information on your jailbroken iPhone, you may want to remove your most sensitive data somehow. Of course, Apple wouldn’t gloat about this issue, would it? But the company never hesitates to remind you how you have messed up when you decided to jailbreak your phone:
As we’ve said before, the vast majority of customers do not jailbreak their iPhones, and for good reason. These hacks not only violate the warranty, they will also cause the iPhone to become unstable and not work reliably.
What I don’t understand is why people should not worry about other iPhones suffering the same fate in the near future. No software is foolproof, so as much as Apple may have worked to offer a 100% foolproof mobile OS on iPhones, the possibility of your data being exposed on your mobile phone is already there. It’s OK to store non-sensitive information on an iPhone. What I don’t understand is why some people see the need to store everything about their lives on their phones. Jailbreak or not, every piece of software has holes. But if you believe that there is no way your data can be stolen from your iPhone, you have got bigger issues to worry about.
Could Apple be indirectly behind these worms to punish jailbreakers? Probably not. But who doesn’t like a nice little conspiracy theory?