Apple has pulled an app that told you if your iPhone was hacked

iPhone SE
Jessica Lee Star/Digital Trends
Do you think someone is watching you? Do you worry that your phone has been hacked, and is now sending telltale messages and information back to an anonymous source? If so, it’s apparently too bad. Apple has removed an app called System and Security Info, which was designed to tell you if your phone had been hacked, from the app store.

Apple has a history of being inconsistent when it comes to what can and cannot be available through the app store. According to tweets from the app’s creator, Stefan Esser, Apple went through three revisions of the app before finally deciding to kill the app on the fourth review. Esser believes Apple was waiting for the media hype to die down before pulling the app from the app store.

“The only reason our app is pulled and not the others that show system info/jailbreak status is because we put a dent in ‘unbreakable iOS,'” tweeted Esser.

According to Apple the app was pulled for providing “potentially inaccurate and misleading diagnostic functionality.”

Once installed on your iPhone, the app had to dig around deep inside to see if it could find evidence of a jailbreak, malware, or what it describes as ‘security anomalies.’ All the information it gathered was presented in a list, giving you an accurate picture of whether your phone was surreptitiously being used to spy on you.

Although jailbreaking an iPhone is usually purposely performed by the owner to give more access to the iPhone’s system than Apple allows, it could also be performed without your knowledge if a hacker had control of your phone for a short while. Done properly, it’s potentially very difficult to know it has happened, but it’s an essential part of any mission to spy on your smartphone activities. Why? Because spyware, and other nasty apps, have to be installed without going through the iTunes App Store, and that requires deeper control.

Before you start really worrying, it’s highly unlikely that your personal iPhone has been a jailbreak victim without you knowing. However, if the iPhone is one given to you by your work, or if it was purchased used, or even if it was lost and recovered, you may feel better checking to see if anything unpleasant had been installed while it was out of your possession. It’s then that the System and Security Info app would have come in handy. Other features include a list of running processes, memory and CPU usage, and an overview of memory use.

Updated on 05-16-2016 by Christian de Looper: Updated article to reflect that the app has been removed from the App Store.


Think iPhones can’t get viruses? Our expert explains why it could happen

If your iPhone has been acting strangely, then you may be concerned about the possibility it is infected with a virus or some malware. We take a look at just how likely that is and explain why iOS is considered relatively safe.

Apple’s AirPower wireless charging mat may be coming soon

At its September event in 2017, Apple unveiled the AirPower, a new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.

Rooting your Android device is risky. Do it right with our handy guide

Wondering whether to root your Android smartphone or stick with stock Android? Perhaps you’ve decided to do it and you just need to know how? Here, you'll find an explanation and a quick guide on how to root Android devices.

Hey Google, why did you kill off Allo, your best messaging app in years?

Allo, Google's messaging app, has shut down. I convinced my closest friends and family to switch to the app two-and-a-half years ago when it debuted, and we've been using it since. With its death, I'm feeling pain and sadness.

Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 20 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.

The latest Google Doodle lets you create Bach-like music of your own

Google is celebrating the life of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach, and to that end the company has released a new Google Doodle that allows you to create Bach-like melodies and harmonies of your own.
Product Review

With the S10e and S10 Plus, do we really need the Samsung Galaxy S10?

The Galaxy S10 is the middle child in this year’s Galaxy S10 range, between the Galaxy S10e, and the Galaxy S10 Plus. There’s no striking reason to buy it, but it’s still an excellent phone you’ll be happy with.

Amazon’s new Kindle has an adjustable light and costs less than $100

Amazon has taken the wraps off of a new Kindle model, which boasts a number of great features and comes at a very affordable price. Perhaps the best thing about the new Kindle is that the device has an adjustable.

Apple iPad Air vs. iPad (2018): Which Apple tablet is right for you?

The new iPad Air replaces the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, but it doesn't pack quite the same punch. It is a fair bit cheaper, starting at $500, but it's a lot more expensive than Apple's 9.7-inch iPad which starts at $330. If you're shopping for…
Social Media

Facebook Messenger adds quoted replies to better organize group chats

Facebook is rolling out a feature that should help make group chats a whole lot more organized. The feature allows you to reply to specific messages within a group chat, so others will be able to tell what you're replying to.

The 2018 iPad is often the best iPad for most people — and now it’s only $250

Apple may have recently taken the wraps off of a new iPad Air and iPad Mini, but it's still the standard iPad that is best for most people. Now, the standard iPad has gotten a pretty significant discount -- it's down from $330 to $250.

Looking to keep prying eyes at bay? Here's how to hide photos on your iPhone

People take tons of photos using their smartphones, but not all are meant to be shared or seen. Luckily, hiding photos on your iOS device is easy, whether you want to use built-in utilities or apps with added security.

Fitbit Versa Lite tips and tricks to get started with your new smartwatch

Got your hands on a Fitbit Versa Lite? The smartwatch may be the pared down version of the more expensive Fitbit Versa, but there's still plenty for you to tweak in the settings. Here are our Fitbit Versa Lite tips and tricks.
Smart Home

Postmates now offers a way to get free delivery on meal orders

Postmates is offering customers the chance to order meals with free delivery. But you'll have to be cool with the idea of waiting a little longer, as the delivery driver will be carrying other meals for different customers.