Not content to let Android enjoy security updates alone, the iPhone is about to get a new hacker-thwarting tool of its own, by way of the Antid0te memory reorganizer coming out December 14.
The tool uses Address Space Layout Randomization to rearrange the where programs and data live in the iPhone’s memory. Certain exploits work because hackers are able to expect where in memory key system components will be located. Once they’re able to slip in a bit of code due to a buffer overflow or similar vector, they know just where in memory their code needs to jump in order to do its nasty business. If every iPhone has its memory laid out in a different manner, that makes crafting a generic exploit a lot more difficult.
While attacks on smartphones aren’t nearly as common as PC-based malware, hackers have proven the iPhone to be vulnerable, so it may well be prudent to take steps to protect yourself. While Antid0te should help, it’s only going to be installable on jailbroken handsets. That alone is going to make Antid0te a bit of a hard sell; we can understand how it could seem odd that you first need to hack your own phone in order to make it less vulnerable to hackers. If Antid0te delivers as promised, it may be something worth Apple considering integrating into future iOS releases.