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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. chuk12chuk's Avatar
      chuk12chuk -
      I do need some protection for all those people who are hacking iphones nowa days...*sarcastically*
    1. romeo_herman's Avatar
      romeo_herman -
      I just need untethered JB....
    1. delusion950's Avatar
      delusion950 -
      Very interested to see what will happen and how it works.
      Bet Steve is not to happy with this.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      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.
      Step 1, Apple sees it as a good idea
      Step 2, Apple implements it
      Step 3, we are screwed
    1. JacquesChirac's Avatar
      JacquesChirac -
      This discussion about malware or the concern apple had about hacking via a pdf exploit or whatever is pointless

      I haven't heard of a single case where anyone has hacked into an iphone, and if apple never fixed that pdf exploit, I doubt there'd be a single virus ever that would have sent a virus to an iphone. It'd just be a waste of time. Viruses are meant to harass with ads on desktop computers, steal information from servers, etc. You don't need a "norton antivirus" for a mobile device.
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Well still, if it was implemented into Windows Vista I highly doubt it does much.
    1. Lombardo Joe's Avatar
      Lombardo Joe -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zokunei View Post
      Well still, if it was implemented into Windows Vista I highly doubt it does much.
      Ahhh... You beat me to it.
    1. iphone?3gs's Avatar
      iphone?3gs -
      We dont need this. This wont do us much good. What would this virus do? Change your background? Put on some michael jackson music to promote his album? Take away your status bar? Really what will a virus do on the iPhone? This is like those "OMG! A New virus has been released! Mcafee and Norton classified it as one of the most dangerous in the world! It burns your harddrive and makes your computer totally useless!" emails that are STILL being emailed around....... Come on..... Dont waste an exploit thats exactly what Apple wants us to do....

      Craps.... Theyll probably just make some stupid viruses now to make them release them...
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      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.
    1. iSteed's Avatar
      iSteed -
      They need that for windows machines. Lol
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Quote Originally Posted by iSteed View Post
      They need that for windows machines. Lol
      You did read the whole article right? Starting with Vista they added it. Man, it really did the trick.
    1. Dragonx151's Avatar
      Dragonx151 -
      Quote Originally Posted by baskie View Post
      I wonder how long though before anti-virus starts to appear for the iPhone?

      I mean, they're are millions of the out there and they're getting used for ever increasingly sensitive tasks, but yet the hackers seem to have left them alone. Can't stay that way for ever.

      Of course, I have no idea what I'm talking about here, so there might be a very good reason why they ain't yet been attacked.
      Well the thing is, not any one person knows the entire source code for any apple os, not even the ppl that work for apple, each person gets a piece to work on and that way if anyone gets fired or somethin, they can't do much harm..thats why there's not so many viruses for the Mac, unlike windows (who's source code is easy to come by) I still like my pc tho not a big mac user
    1. thacarta1's Avatar
      thacarta1 -
      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.
      Sounds logical 2 me but I ain't all about making sense!!
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Lame...
    1. FinalBillybong's Avatar
      FinalBillybong -
      To all those saying this will make jailbreak harder, did you read to story at all? The first line say's 'A German security analyst is about to unveil a new jailbreaking process.........'

      I read that as a new tool to perform the jailbreak on my iDevice but it will not leave it as vulnerable to malware as other jailbreaking methods.
    1. jiggyjae's Avatar
      jiggyjae -
      Seems like every time someone develops a software or exploit for the iPhone the name always has a zero in it. I never understood why. But, I'm sure this antidote will come at a high price if they plan on profiting. So I won't be a buyer.
    1. jiggyjae's Avatar
      jiggyjae -
      Cause if this new jailbreaking method plans on adding extra security as they advertise, I'm sure it won't be free.
    1. iNT3Rv3NTiONZz's Avatar
      iNT3Rv3NTiONZz -
      what will this achieve? the only hack (im aware of) is that australian ssh one. this might tempt apple into using ASLR, thus making jb'ing more difficult (potentially impossible) i really hope this gets pushed back into the darkness, nobody needs this as of yet and nobody even wants it.
      i'd say this is helping apple more than the end user. suck

      Quote Originally Posted by FinalBillybong View Post
      To all those saying this will make jailbreak harder, did you read to story at all? The first line say's 'A German security analyst is about to unveil a new jailbreaking process.........'

      I read that as a new tool to perform the jailbreak on my iDevice but it will not leave it as vulnerable to malware as other jailbreaking methods.
      yes but if apple decides to implement it into the fw then were all ****** (to an extent) it will be alot harder to root simply because of the randomised code injections, let alone getting a stable jb which will work for every device, every time.
    1. spamsalad's Avatar
      spamsalad -
      After reading the white paper in iPhone privacy, most of it alarming reading. Antid0te is a must.
    1. d_animality's Avatar
      d_animality -
      The title should be "antid0te Will Harden the iPhone Against Jailbreak"