iPhone app can alert you if your device gets hacked

A new app dubbed System and Security Info will scope out your iPhone for potential security threats.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

This app can clue you in to potential security issues on your iPhone.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Worried that your iPhone may have been hacked? There's an app for that.

System and Security Info, which debuted over the weekend in Apple's App Store, provides a host of details about your iPhone. The app shows your CPU, memory and disk usage as well as a list of all running processes. On the security front, it can tell you if your device has been compromised or possibly infected by any malware.

Much of the information in the app is basic and easy to understand. A green light next to a specific item is good, as it means you're in the clear. A red light means there could be a potential security issue.

The app will also let you know if the device has been jailbroken, which is key if you've bought the phone used or have lent it to someone. A jailbroken device is one that has been modified to allow the installation of apps beyond those in the App Store. Jailbroken devices, though, are more susceptible to malware because their owners can install apps that bypass Apple's intense scrutiny.

Apple, Google and other software makers are constantly fighting to prevent malware-ridden apps from invading their respective app stores and devices. Apple's iOS operating system has generally been considered more secure than Google's Android because Apple offers a tighter vetting process to approve apps. But certain malware strains have infected Apple devices, even those that have not been jailbroken.

System and Security Info was developed by Stefan Esser, a German security researcher and iOS hacker who has in the past cooked up jailbreaks for various versions of iOS. With the new app, Esser said he "wanted to provide the public with a low cost solution that allows to find out if someone used one of the public jailbreak or a customized version to hack and backdoor your device." The app also determines if the programming code in iOS has been digitally signed by Apple itself to confirm that it not be altered by an outside party.

My iPhone received a clean bill of health, according to the app, meaning no jailbreaks or compromises. The only red flag came up under anomalies, which found injected libraries. However, Esser pointed to that as normal, saying that "because the accessibility features of iOS will inject unexpected libraries into our process, the app will mention this as a detected anomaly."

Esser promised a series of upcoming blog posts to further explain how the app works and what it means if it detects any issues on your iPhone.

Apple did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.