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Jailbroken iPads and iPhones pose a serious security risk says Akamai CSO

According to Andy Ellis, the CSO with Akamai, when the iPad and iPhone first came out, the devices were what security consultants have been asking for.

Each app, he told the E27 Far Eastern newswire, is sandboxed from each other, there's no common file system that could be exploited, and there wasn't multitasking, so there was no chance for a process-space invasion.

Ellis says that, unfortunately, Apple has been moving away from that security model, so he would not be surprised if we see more attacks on that.

For now, he adds, users have a slight headstart over the hackers as there has not been a large-scale attack on the iOS platform.

The Akamai CSO went on to tell the Singaporean newswire that, when it comes to Android devices, he is unsure if Google would head towards a more secure or insecure model for its operating system, adding that those users with jailbroken iOS devices are the ones he's most worried about.

The Android phones and jailbroken iPhones, he says, probably represent the biggest risk we have because those users that have jailbroken the units have basically taken a device that was secure by default, and replaced it with an operating system that is known to be insecure.

As well as being a target for hackers, Ellis said he is seeing a rising trend in using mobile devices tethered to mobile broadband networks to carry out hacks and distributed denial of service attacks.

"It's not the compromised smartphones that are used to launch the attacks, but rather the laptops that are on a mobile broadband network. We no longer have the clean attribution of where these attacks come from", he told the newswire.

According to Ellis, high-profile DDoS attacks were rare between 2005 and 2009, but came back strongly following the July 4 DDoS attacks on US government sites.

Ellis also said he expects a spike of attacks to come at the final quarter of this year. "Most attacks are timed according to when the hackers can do the most harm, and for online traders that’s during the holiday season", he noted.

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