Apple iPhone’s that have been “jailbroken” by their users are the latest victims of a security breech, perpetrated by a group of hackers using a malware program dubbed “KeyRaider”.
“Jailbreaking” a smart-phone essentially means gaining root access to software programming, giving users the ability to change settings that are otherwise off-limits and install applications that aren’t available through the Apple App Store.
Palo Alto Networks and Weiptech, a Chinese tech firm, discovered the hack and recovered some of the stolen information which includes iTunes’ account data and victims’ phone ID. Some of the personal information was uploaded to an unsecure server and thus retrievable by the security firms’ programmers.
In all, 225,000 individual iPhone users have been affected by the hack, some of which are being blackmailed by the perpetrators to get control of their Apple accounts back.
While gaining root access to a smart-phone allows one to retrieve deleted content and download otherwise ‘blacklisted’ programs, the trade off is that malicious programs not detected by an anti-virus app can gain control of the phone through the same access points.
According to CNN, the majority of affected users reside in China, but the virus has spread to a total of 18 countries around the world, including the U.S.
[CNN] [The Telegraph]