A Geek With Guns

Views from a geek gun nut

It’s Not an Anti-Jailbreaking Patch

I don’t get the iPhone and anti-iPhone communities. Seriously what the fuck do either of these groups of zealots think? Oh that’s right they don’t. One side is rabidly for the iPhone and can find no ill-will in anything Apple does. The other side of the fence has the rabid dogs that can find no good in the iPhone. Personally I’m between the two (with a gun so I don’t get bitten of course) as I’m logical enough to find both pros and cons to the platform (although my main problem is with Apple’s draconian practices I fully admit it’s a very nice device).

Recently an exploit was found that allowed people to jailbreak their phone via visiting a website. A day or two ago Apple finally released a patch that fixed that vulnerability and now the anti-iPhone zealots are claiming they only patched it to stop jailbreaking. That’s bull shit.

The reason they patched it is because of how the vulnerability allowed jailbreaking. Due to a flaw in the PDF reading software included with the iPhone malicious code was able to elevate to root privileges. One on hand this allowed jailbreak. There is of course the other hand which is the vulnerability allowed the running on any arbitrary code as a root user. That means a root kit could be uploaded and installed onto an iPhone by just getting the user to visit a web page.

I’m all for jailbreaking and believe if you buy a device you can do whatever you want with it. I also think Apple are complete assholes for how restrictive they are with the phone (but it is their device and they can make it however they want, I just won’t buy it in this case). But this hole they’re fixing is a major security issue and needs to be fixed. Ironically if you went to the jailbreak website and jailbroke your phone there was a patch already available to correct the vulnerability but could only be installed via jailbreaking. Now that’s irony you just can’t buy!

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Written by Christopher Burg

August 12, 2010 at 11:00 am

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