Hackers Disclose Bug in Apple Software

by Jordan Richardson on July 8, 2011

Hackers are usually given a bad rap for their oft-destructive behaviours, but every so often their tinkering and meddling turns up something useful. In this case, hackers have disclosed a bug in Apple software that has analysts doing flips.

Security experts say that the newly-discovered bug could be exploited by villainous hackers looking to gain remote access to iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices. The flaw has even led the German government to issue a warning about “critical weaknesses” in iOS.

The flaw originates with the latest release of JailbreakMe.com, a site that allows people the ability to hack their Apple devices in order to run unauthorized applications on them. The site released code that Apple users can utilize to modify their devices, but security experts warn that hackers could download the code and reverse engineer it to expose a hold in iOS software. From there, malicious software can be produced within days and all bets are off.

Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller said that the company was aware of the problem and added that customers will be able to have a fix by the next software update.

Experts at Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security determined that a security hold was present in the way devices running iOS load and read PDF files. PDF files loaded with viruses or other pieces of malicious software can bypass security, which gives hackers an “in” to all of the information loaded on to the particular device.

All iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad, iPad 2, and iPod Touch devices with software versions up to and including iOS 4.3.3 have been confirmed as vulnerable.

According to analysts, the vulnerability is not only applicable on devices that have made use of jail-breaking, so all Apple product users should probably be aware of this.

Apple has long been against the process of jail-breaking, voiding device warranties if the process is done on a product. The vulnerability, exposed because of jail-breaking, probably won’t cause the company to rethink their relationship with the practice – nor should it – but one can’t help but consider it at least a little ironic in principle.

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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