Want to see if your iPhone’s been hacked? There’s an app for that

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hacking pic
You might think your iPhone's safe, but are you sure?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

You could be using a jailbroken iPhone containing malicious software that spies on your every move and you wouldn’t even know it.

It might be unlikely, but it happens, and you should be aware of it — especially if you buy used devices. Fortunately, you can now get a simple app that tells you in an instant whether your iPhone or iPad has been hacked.

No one can jailbreak your iOS device remotely; they need physical access to it. But if you’ve ever lost your device and had it returned, or bought one second-hand and started using it without restoring its software, then it could have been jailbroken without your knowledge.

According to Stefan Esser, a security researcher who previously worked on iOS jailbreaks under the name i0n1c, hiding a jailbreak on an iPhone or iPad is as simple as deleting one file. So Esser built a simple app that tells you if your device has been hacked.

It’s called System and Security Info, and it checks for any anomalies in your software, including non-Apple daemons, injected libraries, and more. If your device has been secretly jailbroken and is running nasty software, this app will detect it.

“The biggest motivation behind [this app] is that these companies like FinFisher or HackingTeam that are selling iOS spy software to government and others, they usually require [their clients] to only use jailbroken phones,” Esser told Gizmodo.

Your device might look safe on the surface, then, and you might assume you never have to worry about malicious software when you choose iOS — but it does exist. And if companies are selling it, that means intelligence agencies and governments are buying it.

System and Security Info also offers other useful information, like real-time CPU and memory usage statistics, a list of running processes, details about your processor and other hardware, and how much storage you’re using.

You can download it from the App Store now for $0.99.