How to protect your iPhone from checkm8-based attacks 2020
checkm8, being a BootROM exploit, gives hackers access to areas that were previously unreachable, which makes it one of the most dangerous and powerful exploits to be ever released publicly in the history of iOS jailbreaking.
No matter what device you own, precaution is always better than cure. Here are three mitigation activities to keep in mind.
WHAT CAN AN ATTACKER DO WITH CHECKM8 BOOTROM EXPLOIT?
Devices such as iPhones 4S, 5, 5c and older iPads are highly vulnerable in that an attacker might gain access to your data regardless of how strong your password is.
- If your password is weak (4 to 8 digit), anyone with physical access can easily access its contents.
- If, however, you have a strong password (4 to 8 digit alphanumeric code), the attacker will have to spend months or even years to spend.
STEAL SENSITIVE PERSONAL INFORMATION
BYPASS ICLOUD LOCK
We will cover checkm8-based iCloud bypass techniques in future articles.
PROTECTION AND MITIGATION TECHNIQUES
BEWARE OF ROGUE CHARGING STATIONS
checkm8 requires the attacker to connect your iPhone or iPad to a computer with a lightning cable.
This means anyone with a malicious cable could inject malware into your device or put it in pwned DFU mode without your knowledge.
So, make sure you use authentic accessories before you charge or connect your device.
In layman’s terms, your Apple device should remain safe so long as you don’t plug it in random charging spots.
CHECK YOUR LIGHTNING PORT
Although checkm8 requires a computer to boot, a sophisticated device like a Lightning-USB key, which loads the exploit on every boot can effectively untether it.
Alternatively, the attacker could also put on a new malicious battery case (such as the one given below) to trigger the exploit without a computer.
However, if you are a jailbreaker, installing these devices will ensure your device stays in the jailbroken state for longer periods of time.
Noticing these malicious devices is rather easy and simply disconnecting them from your device shall get the job done in this instance.
REBOOT YOUR DEVICE
Since checkm8 is a tethered exploit, rebooting just once will render the malware useless.
Apple’s security measures will kick in and neuter any attack vector based on this SecureROM exploit.
Therefore, you must restart your device if you notice any malicious activity on a vulnerable device.
- Ensure your iPhone or iPad stays on your person at all times.
- Stick to trusted devices and accessories if you own a vulnerable iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Apple TV.
- If you own an iPhone 4s/5/5c, an attacker with physical access to your device can access your data.
- If you have an iPhone 5 or a later model, the attacker can still inject malware into your device without possessing your passcode. However, restarting your device once will make it return to the stock state.