Ubuntu reads your iPhone’s secrets, finds bat cave location

Ubuntu Lucid Lynx

The first time I used Linux was about 6 years ago when Red Hat 8.0 hit the public scene. Linux, and in particular the Red Hat and Ubuntu distributions, is a popular operating system that competes with the likes of Windows and Mac OS X. One of the neat features was being able to poke in Windows (XP, Win98) hard drives to retrieve “protected” files for my friends over the network or through a floppy. It was even possible to use a simple female to female USB cord to connect my linux laptop to a live Windows XP session at the login screen prompt and bypass the prompt to automatically load into the administrator account. The scary part about all of this is that it’s still possible today.

If I were to pop in a homebrew (geek talk for home-made) Backtrack Linux live disk into your computer, I still have complete control over your system. I could be on the same network as you, and could access your administrator account if it’s not setup correctly (like 98% of Windows users, which comprise of roughly 90% of the total Operating Systems market). This is still possible today, even with Windows 7.

Mac’s are not so easy. Mac’s running OS X 10.4 or later are even more difficult. Yet, Apple devices using the iPhone OS: jailbroken, unlocked, and now completely vulnerable are left open to possible data theft. No jailbreak required. Just a normal AT&T iPhone. Without any hack at all.

How is this done?

Well the glorious discovery had already been known to me personally since I actually sync my iPhone with Amarok — an iTunes alternative. Even with a pin lock, Ubuntu Linux can bypass this requirement when you simply plug it into a computer running Linux. What does this mean?

Your music, photos, videos, email, Google Map Data, Google safe browsing database,  game content, and anything else on your iPhone can be copied, changed, or deleted; without a trace. AT&T recently announced that 40% of iPhone users are Enterprise users. My assumption is that Fortune 500 companies assume their data is safe on their phones, but the reality of the situation is that your data is not secured. What’s worse than this?

The issue has been reported to Apple, but so far they are unable to duplicate the problem. I suppose people will think twice about forgetting where they leave their iPhones.

Written by

David is an avid social entrepreneur and Boston sports fanatic. He founded Diversified Data Technologies way back in 2009 and stuck around to see it grow. His party quarks include unnecessary dancing and being an overly hospitable host. When looking, he can be found capturing the twitterverse at @DLanphear, being professional on LinkedIn, or bouncing around town with Foursquare.

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