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  • antid0te Will Harden the iPhone Against Malware


    A German security analyst is about to unveil a new jailbreaking process that will make iPhones much more secure. Stefan Esser, a security consultant and application developer for SektionEins, has found a way to support Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) in iOS, and has developed a new jailbreak tool - to be called antid0te - to implement it, making iPhones much more resistant to malware attacks. The tool will be announced at a security conference next week and should be available soon thereafter.

    ASLR works by randomly assigning data to memory to make it tougher for attackers to figure out the location of critical operating system functions, greatly increasing the difficulty of designing reliable exploits. ASLR was built into Windows Vista over three years ago, and is supported in Windows Phone 7, as well as (to a limited extent) in Mac OS X. However, it isn't present at all on iOS, instead Apple relies on Data Execution Protection sandboxing to make iPhones resistant to attack. This is kind of like welding your car doors shut as an anti-theft measure: sure, the car will be harder to steal, but it will also be a lot less useful. Jailbreaking defeats sandbox protection in order to allow you to load the software you want, but at the same time a layer of Apple's brittle defense is removed, allowing worms like Ikee to access protected memory. The absence of robust security like ASLR in iOS allowed security researchers at this year's Pwn2Own hacking contest to break into a stock iPhone and hijack the entire SMS database, including deleted messages, in about 20 seconds.

    Esser will be presenting antid0te at the Power of Community security conference in Korea on December 14th. "With ASLR," the conference notes explain, "an exploit mitigation is added that is not available in factory iPhones and makes exploitation more difficult." And according to Esser, he's going to continue to work on further hardening the iPhone: "more mitigations and a full reactivation of the codesigning protection are planed [sic] for the next months."

    Source: The Register
    This article was originally published in forum thread: antid0te Will Harden the iPhone Against Malware started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 50 Comments
    1. LGgeek's Avatar
      LGgeek -
      I use Firewall IP so if anything gets in it will not get out which is what most hackers are after. I agree there isn't rash of infected iphones so not that concerned. As far as future of jailbreaking when I can't jailbreak an iphonen is when I stop buying new iphones.
    1. plato451's Avatar
      plato451 -
      I'm not sure I agree that this is ruining an exploit for future JB'ing or something beneficial to the community. I'm gonna take a wait and see attitude for now. I'm running 4.0.1 on a 3Gs JB iPhone and I don't yet see the need to update to 4.2 and spend an afternoon re-installing all of my Cydia apps and tweaks. Kind of like my phone just the way it is now. And for anyone skeptical about malicious code infecting your iPhone see here, or here, or maybe here...
    1. bigboyz's Avatar
      bigboyz -
      I guess the point of the article is that it IS possible? The next question is why would you bother?

      agreed...i think of APPLE itself as a anti hacker mechanism...just think about it...haha!
    1. katmeef's Avatar
      katmeef -
      Quote Originally Posted by plato451 View Post
      I'm not sure I agree that this is ruining an exploit for future JB'ing or something beneficial to the community. I'm gonna take a wait and see attitude for now. I'm running 4.0.1 on a 3Gs JB iPhone and I don't yet see the need to update to 4.2 and spend an afternoon re-installing all of my Cydia apps and tweaks. Kind of like my phone just the way it is now. And for anyone skeptical about malicious code infecting your iPhone see here, or here, or maybe here...
      If they use a new exploit to get their JB onto a device (aka not limera1n or any other previously released expoit) they are burning an exploit. Extra security stuff is besides the point.
    1. alexevo's Avatar
      alexevo -
      To those of you that think the worst this virus could do is change your wallpaper or do something else that isn't a big deal how about getting access to your apps with IDs/passwords cached, contact list, SMSs with potentially harmful information such as photos, sensitive information, emails with sensitive information in them, etc.

      It isn't as innocuous as you think. Don't worry though, nothing is unhackable and there will be future jailbreaks for the iphone as long as the iphone is around. I bet comex and the iphone dev team already thought of ASLR and already have many more exploits anyway that an implementation of ASLR wouldn't affect.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zokunei View Post
      Come on guys, get real. If Apple were going to implement this and "burn an exploit" they would've done it in the beginning (or at least by now). ASRL (or whatever they said, I don't really care) is obviously a known technique in the tech industry.
      Just about every major update that Apple has pushed out has been features that the mod community showed them we wanted. Despite what Apple makes you believe, they are not the first and only company to come up with any and all good ideas...

      Viruses on phones, as phones store more and more of our info, are a very real threat and will probably continue to escalate. It is a pretty poor argument IMO to say "There hasn't been a virus for iPhone and Apple knows about this tech yet they have not implemented it yet therefor we don't need to worry about it."
    1. charlyc's Avatar
      charlyc -
      Most of you are young and don't really care what you post here or on Facebook and the information you carry on your Iphone. Wait until you go and look for a job and the person hiring you takes a good look at the electronic footprint you left behind. Secure you Iphone the same way you would secure your money or anything that you intend to keep for youself.
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
      Just about every major update that Apple has pushed out has been features that the mod community showed them we wanted. Despite what Apple makes you believe, they are not the first and only company to come up with any and all good ideas...

      Viruses on phones, as phones store more and more of our info, are a very real threat and will probably continue to escalate. It is a pretty poor argument IMO to say "There hasn't been a virus for iPhone and Apple knows about this tech yet they have not implemented it yet therefor we don't need to worry about it."
      I never said iPhone viruses weren't a threat. They always make the phone hardened against jailbreaks with each update anyway, and this obviously hasn't stopped computers from being hacked.

      And in case you're wondering, yes, this is a new jailbreak tool being released in a few weeks if you read more detailed articles.
    1. numanair's Avatar
      numanair -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zokunei View Post
      Seriously, I'm super curious, how can a jailbreak tweak that can only affect the OS after you jailbreak and install it hinder an exploit being used? It's like saying the PDF patch from Cydia should have stopped JailbreakMe.com, the way I see it. Someone explain.
      I would say that you are right on. I don't see how this is going to negatively impact the development of new jailbreaks.
    1. EskimoRuler's Avatar
      EskimoRuler -
      Sounds if it helps to protect my iPhone