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The Hidden Dangers of Jailbreaking

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One of the most popular things to do with popular gadgets is hacking them. Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch are the most popular gadgets to hack so much so that hacks on iPhone and iPod touch have it’s own name. Jailbreaking is what it is called when an iPod touch or iPhone is altered to work in a way other than how Apple or AT&T designed it to work.

Back in the days after the release of the original iPhone the only way to add applications was to jailbreak the iPhone. Along came the iPod touch and the App store. Jailbreaking remains popular for those looking to unlock iPhones from the AT&T or some other carrier, in order to use it with another carrier. For those looking to connect their iPhone to their computers to use the iPhone a modem that uses the cellular networks to connect to the Internet the only way to do this through Jailbreaking.

For a certain number of owners of the iPod touch, having access to thousands of applications through the Apple’s app store isn’t good enough and jailbreaking the iPod touch. For iPod touch and iPhone users who jailbreak face a number of risks associated with jailbreaking, most noteable is the risk that comes from directly from Apple which will brick any iPod Touch or iPhone that Apple discovers has been jailbroken. Anybody who finds that their jailbroken iPhone or iPod touch bricked has to throw themselves on the mercy of the local Apple store.

Many of those coders who program the iPhone and iPod touch jailbreaks are based in Russia or China where most of the world’s malware originates from. Undoubtedly this calls into question the trustworthyness of any programming of any jailbreak. If even the jailbreak isn’t intentionally malicious there can be security holes that can be exploited by somebody else who would want to gain access to sensitive data or disrupt the operation of the devices or the networks they run on.

Even if the designers of any jailbreak don’t have any malicious intentions and programmed a secure crack to jailbreak the iPod Touch or iPhone they have very little control over the programs designed to be installed on jailbroken iPod Touches or iPhones, somebody could easily put out malware on the iPod Touch and iPhone. Anybody else could create a benign looking program for jailbroken iPhones and iPod Touches but under the surface could be a malicious payload. AT&T’s cellular and data networks by itself is a large enough target for hackers, jailbroken iPhones would be the perfect way to cause some kind of disruption to the AT&T network.

Exploits on PC’s are just as valuable on Jailbroken iPod Touches or iPhones to those who take advantage compromised PC’s. would make perfect spam zombies going from hotspot to hotspot their ISP changes and their IP address making them extremely difficult to detect and shut down, iPhones are attractive because of the always on data network connection.

The possibility of getting hacked or exploited in any other way on a jailbroken iPhone or iPod touch may be remote, but still can happen. The only way to avoid these security risks on these devices is to not jailbreak them in the first place. In order to take an off contract iPhone to use it on another cellular carrier then and only then jailbreaking is required which leaves it up to the user if they want to take the risks associated with jailbreaking. For anybody with an iPod touch the risks are very few with possibility of getting the device bricked by Apple or exploited by a hacker, those risks just are not worth it.


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