Programmer Will Strafach has released an app to protect against the security hole in Mobile Safari that runs code embedded in PDF files. The security vulnerability came to light after hackers used it to jailbreak Apple’s latest iPhones and iPads.
PDF Loading Warner is now available for jailbroken iOS devices via Cydia, the unofficial app store. You will need a jailbroken iPhone or iPad to install it. Users who haven’t jailbroken their devices will have to wait for Apple to release a fix.
PDF Loading Warner displays a warning if Mobile Safari tries to load a PDF file. As previously reported, Mobile Safari allows code embedded in PDFs to run in the browser, bypassing all of the device’s security systems. This is a huge security hole that is present in all iOS devices, jailbroken or not. The hole is currently being used to jailbreak Apple’s devices, but could easily be exploited by hackers to install malicious software that steals identities, passwords and sensitive login details.
Note that PDF Loading Warner is a quick hack to provide a thin layer of protection until Apple releases a secure patch for the exploit.
PDF Loading Warner can be downloaded from Cydia for free.