Forget about voiding your warranty and potentially rendering your iPhone unusable if something goes wrong, Apple fans now have another reason to avoid jailbreaking their smartphones: Government agencies like the NSA have the ability to spy on jailbroken iPhones, and now we have proof.
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On Monday, news broke that notable cybersecurity firm Hacking Team suffered a serious data breach. Hacking Team is an Italy-based firm that builds security solutions for law enforcement agencies as well as government-run security agencies. It also offers solutions that allow these agencies to spy on targets.
Hackers seemingly infiltrated Hacking Team’s network and leaked 400GB of confidential documents onto the Internet.
The hack has been disastrous for the security firm, but as was the case with Snowden’s NSA leaks, the breach has also been something of an eye-opener for the general public. Despite the firm’s repeated insistence that it does not work with oppressive regimes, The Guardian notes that the leaked documents list governments of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE among Hacking Team’s clients.
Revelations will continue to pour out for days, but one in particular should be alarming for iPhone users.
Apple released iOS 8.4 just last week, and the software was jailbroken the very next day. Millions of users jailbreak their phones, and we’ve discussed many of the awesome jailbreak tweaks out there that give jailbreakers access to features most iPhone users will never experience.
That great functionality comes at a price, however.
As Macworld reports, documents counted among the 400GB worth of leaked Hacking Team files reveal that the company built and sold software that is capable of spying on users with jailbroken iPhones and iPads. Even more worrisome is the fact that the firm created computer malware that can automatically jailbreak and infect a connected iPhone.
Hacking Team charged clients more than $55,000 for this particular piece of software, and one leaked document said the program is capable of monitoring Skype communications, WhatsApp messages and Viber conversations, as well as location, contact lists and call logs on infected iPhones.