When it comes to mobile security, it’s general consensus that Apple has the edge over Android. I mean, why else would thousands of people flock to Apple stores whenever a new device is released?
Must be because of how secure their new devices will be, right?
On second thought, maybe that’s not the reason…
Now for the most part, finding out that you’ve got a problem with your iOS security is easily fixed by simply updating your system to the latest firmware. That’s because Apple tends to do a good job of staying ahead of the latest vulnerabilities and exploits used by hackers to gain access to a user’s data, and adds new security measures in all of their latest updates.
However, when it comes to the latest version of iOS, ‘iOS 13’, it seems that Apple might have a problem on their hands.
See, hackers (and some daring users) use exploits called ‘Jailbreaks’. This is a way to bypass the restrictions imposed by Apple onto iOS and unlocks a minefield of additional features. For some people, this is just a way of pirating apps and games on the App Store as well as movies and TV shows.
But for those who are looking at things from a more malicious point of view, a jailbreak provides a buffet of opportunity.
The problem is, this time the buffet is all-you-can-eat. And those would-be hackers have a very large appetite.
Jailbreaks are usually hamstrung by the fact that they take a while for the developer to implement. This means that by the time a new jailbreak releases, iOS is two or even three updates ahead, and anybody wanting to use that jailbreak has to remain on, or downgrade to older versions of the software.
This time though, jailbreak developers are working overtime. There is already a jailbreak available for iOS 13, just a handful of weeks after it was made available by Apple.
Firstly, if you use jailbreaks, Checkra1n means that you can update to the latest iOS version and still keep your jailbreak. However, be aware this means your device is still susceptible to rogue attacks like any other jailbreak.
If you consider yourself a high-threat target (hey Mr. President!), then the concern is that if you temporarily allow physical access to your phone then there is the opportunity for an attacker to jailbreak your device without your knowledge, opening up a range of features allowing them to monitor and swipe your important data.
For the majority of users, the risk is probably minimal. That’s because this exploit requires physical access to the device and most of us rarely take our eyes off our phone screens, never mind let the whole thing disappear from sight.
However, on a more serious note, because the vast majority of spyware requires a jailbreak to be installed – at the time of writing iOS 13 has reached 50% of all iOS devices – the risk of becoming a victim is now significantly higher than it was before the new release.
The most important thing you can do if you think you are at risk (or you consider the risk too great for you), is utilise security software such as Certo.
Certo has the ability to scan your device and detect whether that device has been jailbroken and whether or not any malicious spyware has been installed, even if it has completely hidden itself from you, the user.
Once you’ve detected a threat on your system, Certo can then advise you on how best to remove the threat and ensure that you remain protected in the future.