iPhone Jailbreaking


Photo from Cult Of Mac

Devlin Barth, Staff

iOS jailbreaking; a term used to describe bypassing security on Apple’s flagship phone, the iPhone. Jailbreaking has existed ever since the first iPhones began to roll out onto the market. Jailbreaking usually involves finding an exploit in the phone that can give the user who finds it much more accessible than Apple would ever want to give you. The earliest jailbreaking exploits date back to 2007, which is when the iPhone 2G was released, running the first-ever release of iOS; iOS 1.0. This OS was broken in a mere 11 days, with iOS 2.0 rolling out the next year, it would take hackers a bit more effort to crack Apple’s latest phones and firmware. Just kidding. With the “PwnageTool”, iOS 2.0 was cracked in about 9 days. Throughout the years, more exploits would be found with the introduction of new operating systems made by Apple. The longest amount of time without an exploit for an operating system belongs to iOS 8.4.1 with a record 768 days. The reason doesn’t seem to be due to difficulty, but because of a lack of purpose. With iOS 9 coming out only a month after iOS 8.4.1, most deemed it unnecessary to try and crack this specific iOS version. That, and the fact that iOS 8.4 had been cracked much earlier so those who had already jailbroken had no reason to update to an iOS that introduced so little and rendered their jailbreak useless. So, now the question is, why jailbreak? Well, back when the iPhone was introduced, lots of features were missing that are almost a given on modern phones nowadays. Features like copy-and-paste and downloading third-party apps were not available on older versions of iOS. With the introduction of iOS Jailbreaking, users were able to not only download programs that allowed copy-and-paste but also download any other programs they wanted to. However, most people who jailbreak do it for the sake of piracy. Downloading data that would be on the no-fly list under a normal Apple phone. Matter of fact, jailbreaking isn’t perfectly fine in Apple’s eyes, either. Your warranty will most likely get voided if you jailbreak your phone, and Apple is not liable for any damage that happens to your phone, regardless if it was because of the jailbreak or not. Fast-forward to September 27, 2019, with the introduction of “checkm8”, a new jailbreak tool that could be “unpatchable”, meaning Apple would not be able to fix this on any device that is vulnerable to it. The tool exploits the code that runs when the iPhone boots up and this allows full access to the phone. As of October 1, this tool has not been released to the public yet.