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The heart of tech

This article was published on August 3, 2010

iOS 4 security breach. How to protect your iDevices.

iOS 4 security breach.  How to protect your iDevices.
Jeff Cormier
Story by

Jeff Cormier

Jeff Cormier, a graduate of SMU and the TW School of Law, is the co-founder of C4 Universe, LLC. Desire to know more? http://about.me/jffc Jeff Cormier, a graduate of SMU and the TW School of Law, is the co-founder of C4 Universe, LLC. Desire to know more? http://about.me/jffcrmr/bio...

Great news for those who dislike Apple and bad news for those of us who champion Apple as the greatest of all mobile device makers.  There has been a security breach affecting all devices running iOS 4.  This includes the iPod touch, iPhones and the iPad.

Here’s how it works: A user visits a site in the mobile Safari browser.  Upon doing so, a compromised PDF file presents itself. The malicious code is hidden in the font of the PDF document and causes a stack overflow, granting access and control to affected iDevice.

Frightening, I know.  Fortunately there are some simple things one can do to protect their precious Apple devices.

First, DO NOT visit any PDF links directly or loading any from a source that you do not trust.

Second, use an alternative mobile browser app.  There is no indication at this point that other browser options are affected by this security issue.  Some of the better options for iDevices include; Opera Mini, Atomic Web Browser, and Perfect Browser (iPad-specific).

Finally, if you are of the jailbreaking breed, jailbreak your iPhone, installing a program, “PDF loading warner” in Cydia, which will ask for authorization anytime your browser comes across a PDF file.

As of now Apple has not released a statement regarding the security breach.  Once they do, we will keep you updated with their official response and plan to rectify the issue.