The security flaw in Apple's iOS operating system came to light on Wednesday as the website www.jailbreakme.com released code that Apple customers can use to modify the iOS operating system through a process known as "jail breaking."
Security experts warned that criminal hackers could download that code, reverse engineer it to identify a hole in iOS security and build a piece of malicious software within a few days.
Apple has long spoken out against jailbroken phones and their security risks. But Adrian Kingsley-Hughes argued on his ZDNet blog that perhaps jailbreaking the phones makes them more secure. He wrote:
One of the reasons given by Apple for locking down the iOS platform is security. A locked down OS is more secure than one that isn't because it doesn't allow unsigned code to be run on the platform. But what happens when a zero-day vulnerability is discovered that allows the security system to be bypassed that will take days, maybe weeks, to be fixed by Apple has already been patched by the jailbreak community? This is when a jailbroken device becomes more secure than one protected by Apple's security mechanisms.
According to Computerworld, Apple is working to fix the vulnerabilities.
Incidentally, this news comes days after it was reported that Apple was the target of a hacker group over the July 4th holiday weekend. Supposedly, the hacker group posted usernames and passwords from an Apple corporate computer to Pastebin. It raises concerns that iTunes and iCloud could be potential targets for a hacking group.
These hacking incidents are doing one positive thing, at least. They are putting data security on the front page. We saw the fallout from the Sony breach. Could you imagine if iTunes were hacked? I don't know what data Apple keeps stored for iTunes, but the number of people who have an iTunes account and who could possibly be affected by a breach could be staggering.