Having the option to jailbreak your iPhone might offer you more freedom, such as the ability to run non-Apple-approved apps and use carriers other than AT&T and Verizon Wireless, but with this perk comes a greater security risk. As Reuters reports, a recently released code for jailbreaking iOS (posted on www.jailbreakme.com) could expose iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users to malicious software--provided the code gets into the hands of hackers.
According to security experts, hackers could easily reverse-engineer the jailbreaking code to identify security flaws in iOS and create malware. Making the potential problem worse, Apple has yet to release an update to its iOS operating system that is malware-proof--though an Apple spokeswoman said that the company is working on an update that will fix this security flaw.
Should that comfort iOS users? Considering the millions of people who own either an iPhone, iPad, or iPod--not to mention all three--this security flaw would certainly do some widespread damage if exploited. And while it's now up to Apple to reassure customers by releasing an iOS update (and fast), in the meantime users can protect themselves by staying informed. According to Patrik Runald, a security researcher who spoke with Reuters, hackers could do damage by creating a malicious PDF file that, when opened, would infect iOS devices. Bottom Line: Be extra vigilant about what you're clicking on, and think twice before you download that jailbreaking code.