But a lot of end users who do this, they don't even change the root password on their device. That's the problem: If you make an informed decision, it's like being on your laptop as administrator, which you have to be in order to install programs. But in iPhone, you can't do that [unless you jailbreak the device], and the phone is intended to take care of itself. If you change this by jailbreaking, you take on the responsibility for doing what the phone was doing for you.
So, I would say it is a big deal for end users to jailbreak their phones. But the result is not technically different from most of the other devices out there on the Internet today.
But I think if a user wants to bring their mobile devices into the corporate fold, they need to accept some things like not removing things that make your device more secure.
Q: Do third-party mobile management applications offer reliable jailbreak detection mechanisms?
A: Apple's mobile device management APIs have been released to these vendors, but they're under NDA. You or I can't see these, or how they're used. Apple doesn't even give this information to the Department of Defense.
The classic mechanism is to write an application that tries to do things it shouldn't be able to do. But the question is, will that still work in six months, with the hackers always one step ahead?
John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World.Twitter: http://twitter.com/johnwcoxnww. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Blog RSS feed: http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/2989/feed.
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