Hackers steal 225,000 iPhone accounts

FILE - In this Jan. 5, 2011, file photo, Tyrell Coley, 21, holds his iPhone displaying his Twitter account in the Queens borough of New York. A new poll finds African American millennials are just as engaged in getting news online as their white counterparts, further debunking a long-held belief that people of color are at risk of being left behind technologically. The AP-NORC study found no evidence to suggest that African Americans and Hispanics lag behind in terms of technology use with nearly all millennials across racial and ethnic groups using a smartphone, and half using a tablet. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Nearly a quarter of a million iPhone accounts have been compromised.

Hackers stole more than 225,000 Apple accounts from iPhone customers. The iPhones were infected with the KeyRaider malware.

The good news for most iPhone customers is the malware only targets jailbroken iPhones.

A jailbroken iPhone is when hardware restrictions are removed on iOS. It allows iPhone owners to access parts of a phone’s file systems that are otherwise restricted for security reasons. It is not approved by Apple.

When an individual jailbreaks their iPhone they are more prone to be hacked. This is because they are giving up all of their iTunes App Store information. Including, account username, password, the iPhone’s unique ID, and all the information about their App Store purchases. It also prevents them from recovering their phones once they’ve been hacked.

Not only do the hackers have access to millions of accounts, but they are allowing others to take advantage of the stolen account information. They have uploaded software that lets others purchase iTunes apps for “free.” But, those downloading these apps are using the victims’ accounts. About 20,000 people have downloaded the software that lets them steal from the affected iPhone owners.

Palo Alto Networks is calling the attack the largest known theft caused by malware.

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