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There's a major downside to jailbreaking your iPhone (if you're thinking about it)

It leaves your device vulnerable to malware as more than 225,000 users found out recently.

Image: John Stillwell/PA Wire

MORE THAN 225,000 APPLE accounts have been stolen from owners of jailbroken iPhones in a major malware attack.

Jailbreaking allows you to bypass restrictions that are originally placed on devices, which are usually there for security reasons or to limit certain functions.

Jailbreaking an iPhone allows you extra functionality like customising your phone further or downloading apps from outside the App Store, ones that haven’t been officially approved by Apple. The drawback is it leaves it more vulnerable to attacks and malware.

The malware, called KeyRaider, was discovered by researchers for Weiptech and Palo Alto networks.

It was distributed through the jailbreaking tool Cydia and allows attackers to steal passwords, login details, purchasing receipts, private keys and other data without the users’ knowledge.

It can also hold iOS devices for ransom by disabling any kind of unlocking actions, even when the correct PIN or password has been entered.

Those responsible for the malware can send a push notification demanding a ransom directly, without going through Apple’s own push channels.

If you’re running a normal version of iOS, you’re safe as it only affects jailbroken devices. The researchers recommend against jailbreaking your iPhone or iPad since it puts them at risk of malware and attacks.

Read: This smartphone chip could be a big help in the fight against bad apps

Read: So what can you expect at Apple’s big iPhone event? Quite a bit… >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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