A massive hack has compromised over 250,000 devices

While most iPhone users need not worry about a hack like this, it's a scary reminder that the risks of jailbreaking can far exceed the rewards.

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A network security company, Palo Alto Networks has revealed that one of the largest hacks of any Apple product has left nearly a quarter million iPhones compromised.

The company reports that more than 250,000 "jailbroken" iPhones — phones that people have modified to install apps not available in the App Store — in at least 18 different countries have had their Apple account logins hacked. Some of such people have even had their iPhones remotely locked and held for ransom.

Jailbreaking an iPhone or iPad basically bypasses Apple's security — which is generally considered superior to competing platforms like Android — in iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system.

Why would people want to do this? Well, the most common reason is to get access to Cydia, the jailbreak version of the App Store that lets users make all kinds of modifications to your system. In the past, for example, jailbreaking was the only way iPhone users could multitask or tether their cellular connection on the iPhone to use it as a hot spot.

Nowadays, there just aren't any exciting reasons to jailbreak because many of these features have become standard on the iPhone. The idea of jailbreaking becomes much less enticing when thousands of people get hacked. And this isn't the first first time reports of hacked jailbroken phones have surfaced.

Although, it's technically possible for an iPhone to get hacked even if it's not jailbroken, it's nowhere near as easy. Successful hacks of non-jailbroken iPhones generally only occur when hackers have physical access to the device they want to hack and can connect it to a computer. Jailbreaking makes devices much more vulnerable to hacking.

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