An iPhone hacker has revealed that everything a user does on the much-publicised device is recorded and can be tracked, raising privacy concerns.
According to Jonathan Zdziarski, known in the iPhone development community as the hacker , "Nervgas," the iPhone takes a screenshot every time you press the home button in order to create the eye-catching shrinking effect that marks the iPhone switching between applications. While this image is supposedly then deleted, it could in fact be obtained by experts.
Zdziarski revealed this is a live webcast entitled iPhone Forensics 101: Bypassing the iPhone Passcode, hosted last week by O'Reilly Media.
The hacker revealed that there was no way of preventing the iPhone from retaining this information and that he had mixed feelings regarding it. "I hope Apple fixes it because it's a significant privacy leak, but at the same time it's been useful for investigating criminals," he was reported by Wired as saying.
Zdziarski also demonstrated at the webcast a method of bypassing the iPhone's security passcode, which he claimed could be performed in a little as 60 seconds by those with the right knowledge. This involved using the Pwnage' software exploit tool to create a custom firmware.
Apple did not respond to an email requesting comment on this report.
Last Friday, Apple released firmware 2.1 for the iPhone, which it says fixes several bugs, reduces dropped calls and improves general performance.
Get the ITPro. daily newsletter
Receive our latest news, industry updates, featured resources and more. Sign up today to receive our FREE report on AI cyber crime & security - newly updated for 2023.
Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.
Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.