Jailbreak Overview Updated July 18, 2022

Jailbreak

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100 'Jailbreak' stories

June 2011 - July 2022


Jailbreaking generally refers to the removal of iOS software restrictions on Apple devices by means of software exploits. Jailbreaking affords root access to the iOS file system, allowing users to install tweaks and utilities that provide extensive functionality to iOS.

Jailbreak tools vary from jailbreak to jailbreak. Some tools consist of tiny utilities that must be executed from a Mac or Windows machine, while other jailbreak methods can be executed right on device without needing to connect to a computer.

Jailbreaks have been released for all iOS hardware categories, including the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV. The most recent Apple TV jailbreak, made available for the 4th generation Apple TV, required users to stay on an earlier version of tvOS. Of all iOS-related devices to date, only the third-generation Apple TV never saw a jailbreak during its lifetime.

Since jailbreaking takes advantage of security vulnerabilities, Apple works hard to patch these vulnerabilities. Once a vulnerability is patched, a new version of iOS is released and the signing window for previous susceptible versions are closed, making it impossible for users to upgrade or downgrade to the vulnerable version of iOS.

Cydia, a third-party app and tweak resource, is frequently mentioned in the same breath as jailbreaking, although it has nothing to do with the exploits responsible for the jailbreak itself. Cydia is by far the most popular way for jailbroken users to acquire apps and tweaks to modify their jailbroken devices.

The most recent jailbreak is from Chinese hacking team, Pangu. Pangu’s jailbreak works with iOS versions 9.3.3, 9.3.2, 9.3.1, 9.3, 9.2.1, and 9.2. The Pangu jailbreak is available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. At the moment, Pangu’s official iOS 9.3.3 jailbreak is Windows-only, and available in Chinese.

Jailbreak Stories July 18

Back in the days of iOS 13, a group of hackers found an “unpatchable” exploit that enabled permanent jailbreak on iPhone and iPad based on all A-series chips up to the A11 Bionic. In 2021, another jailbreak tool brought support for newer devices like iPhone 12 running iOS 14. Now it seems that we’re getting close to the first iOS 15 compatible jailbreak tool.

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Jailbreak Stories July 7, 2021

‘Blackb0x’ is a new jailbreak tool for older Apple TV models

Apple dropped support for old generations of Apple TVs without tvOS a long time ago, but that doesn’t mean that there are no more people using these models. If that’s the case for you, a new tool called “Blackb0x” was released this week for jailbreaking older Apple TV models.

Jailbreak Stories March 1, 2021

A new Unc0ver jailbreak tool works on almost every iPhone, including the iPhone 12. It is based on the same vulnerability Apple said may have been been actively exploited by hackers.

The approach works on iPhones running iOS 11 through to iOS 14.3, as Apple patched the flaws in iOS 14.4…

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Jailbreak Stories January 11, 2021

The jailbreak process lets users run several tweaks and other iOS modifications, but one user recently decided to go further and install the Ubuntu operating system on an iPhone. The experiment was shared by the user identified as “newhacker1746” on Reddit.

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Jailbreak Stories September 22, 2020

An iOS 14 jailbreak is now available for older devices, and the team says that it will likely support some newer ones soon.

It’s from the team behind the ‘unpatchable’ checkm8 exploit which enabled a jailbreak for almost every iPhone from the iPhone 5s to the iPhone X …

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Jailbreak Stories June 1, 2020

Apple has just released iOS 13.5.1 to the public with “important security updates.” Now the company has revealed more details about today’s update, which in fact patches the exploit found by unc0ver Team that allowed a jailbreak for all devices running iOS 13.5.

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Jailbreak Stories May 28, 2020

Earlier this week we posted a tutorial showcasing how to jailbreak iOS 13.5 on macOS, but we realize that not all iPhone users are Mac users. In today’s tutorial, I’d like to show you how to jailbreak iOS 13.5 using a Windows machine.

This tutorial also showcases how to fix the pesky Could not find AltServer error message. Watch the full video for the details.

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Jailbreak Stories May 25, 2020

It’s been a long time since I’ve made a post about anything regarding jailbreaking, but this release is big. Thanks to a new 0day kernel vulnerability from @Pwn20wnd, all iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices that can run iOS 13.5 can be jailbroken.

In other words, that means that every modern iOS device that you have available to you today can be jailbroken. It wasn’t that long ago when some thought that jailbreaking was dead, but this release proves otherwise.

Watch our brief hands-on video walkthrough as I demonstrate how easy it is to jailbreak a device using the Unc0ver jailbreak tool.

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Jailbreak Stories May 20, 2020

Update 23/5: Version 5.0 of unc0ver is now available, allowing jailbreak to any device running iOS 13.5. You can read the original article below:

Jailbreak users had a big surprise last year with the announcement of checkm8, an exploit found on almost every chip made by Apple that allowed the jailbreak process on several devices running different versions of iOS. Now, jailbreak is coming for even more devices, as unc0ver team announced today a new tool that can patch “every signed iOS version on every device.”

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Jailbreak Stories December 30, 2019

The intensity of the lawsuit that Apple has filed against software virtualization company Corellium has reached another level as the latter’s CEO says a recent DMCA from Apple claims that it is “engaging in trafficking” and that Apple is trying to set a precedent to “eliminate public jailbreaks.” Corellium CEO Amanda Gorton has penned an open letter expressing her belief that “Apple’s latest filing against Corellium should give all security researchers, app developers, and jailbreakers reason to be concerned.”

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Jailbreak Stories November 11, 2019

Developer and hacker Axi0mX announced back in September a new exploit called “checkm8” that offers the possibility to jailbreak almost every Apple A-series CPU up to A11 Bionic chip. Today they’re releasing Checkra1n, the first public jailbreak tool compatible with iPhone and iPad running iOS 13.

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Jailbreak Stories September 29, 2019

Developer and hacker Axi0mX recently shared a new exploit called “checkm8” that offers the possibility to jailbreak almost every Apple A-series CPU up to A11 Bionic chip. Today, the developer has posted a video that shows an iPhone X (which runs on A11 chip) booting up in verbose mode — something that is only possible with more profound modifications to the core of the system.

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Jailbreak Stories September 27, 2019

Jailbreaks have decreased over the last few years. However, last month a mistake by Apple saw a jailbreak for modern iPhones released but it was quickly patched. Today, a security researcher has released what is claimed to be a “permanent unpatchable bootrom exploit” for iPhone 4s all the way up to iPhone X that could lead to a permanent jailbreak.

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Jailbreak Stories December 14, 2018

Purchases in the Cydia Store, available for jailbroken devices, no longer supported

After many years of being available to users as a way to fully customize the operating system, the backbone that handles purchases on Cydia (which was only available to jailbroken devices) is today shutting down.

Jailbreak Stories December 15, 2017

Security researches from Chinese company Alibaba claim to have successfully jalibroken the iPhone X running iOS 11.2.1. In a blog post, the researchers explained that they were originally able to successfully jailbreak iOS 11.2, the same jailbreak is also applicable to iOS 11.2.1, which was released just this week…

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Jailbreak Stories December 8, 2017

Google’s Project Zero, a team focused on discovering vulnerabilities in others companies’ software, appears set to release an exploit it recently found in iOS 11. While the vulnerability has been patched with iOS 11.2, the exploit may allow for the first publicly available jailbreak for iOS 11.

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Jailbreak Stories November 10, 2017

iPhone X jailbreak demoed on iOS 11.1.1, but release uncertain [Video]

For many people, using the stock iPhone with regular old iOS 11 is like living in a cage. For those who prefer the iOS platform, but despise the restrictions placed on you, there is a new hope. Our first demo of a jailbreak on a current iOS build has revealed itself.

Jailbreak Stories May 19, 2017

Jailbreak developer Elias Limneos has accomplished a feat with his jailbroken device that some are hoping will eventually be a standard feature on iPhones. He’s made it so that his jailbroken iPhone responds to NFC-enabled devices. Thus far, Limneos has tested his hack with NFC-enabled tags, but the proof of concept holds promise for jailbroken iPhone users. expand full story

Jailbreak Stories March 13, 2017

Nintendo’s Switch is using an outdated version of WebKit leveraged in previous iOS jailbreak

The just-released Nintendo Switch is proving to be quite popular among gamers, but it has also caught the attention of hackers who may be interested in exploiting vulnerabilities present in the console. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time such a thing has occurred, as we think back on jailbreaks that were released for the PS3, the Nintendo Wii, and other popular game consoles.

It just so happens that a vulnerability discovered in the Nintendo Switch has a slight iOS correlation — the console uses an outdated version of WebKit, the same version of WebKit used to leverage an iOS 9.3.x jailbreak in the past. That’s not to say that a Nintendo Switch jailbreak is imminent or even in the cards at this time, but a known working exploit is available to make arbitrary code execution a possibility.

Jailbreak Stories September 22, 2016

iphone-7-vs-iphone-7-plus-cameras

The iPhone 7 hit the market just a week ago, but hackers have already started work on attempting to jailbreak the device. As noted by Motherboard, one teenage hacker has already had success in jailbreaking the iPhone 7 running iOS 10. In fact, the 19-year-old developer, Luca Todesco, claims to have successfully done so in just 24 hours…

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Jailbreak Stories August 29, 2016

Pangu jailbreak 9.3.3 English Cydia Impactor

Update: The app in question appears to be pulled about 40 minutes after news broke.

We haven’t test this on our own devices, but Reddit certainly seems to believe this App Store-approved app claiming to be a Dribbble client can jailbreak 64-bit iPhones running iOS 9.3.3. You’ll need to already be on iOS 9.3.3, however, and downgrading from iOS 9.3.4 or higher isn’t possible.

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Jailbreak Stories August 24, 2016

Cydia iOS 9.3.3 Pangu

Apple today stopped signing iOS 9.3.3, effectively ending user’s ability to either upgrade or downgrade to that version of iOS. Apple also today stopped signing iOS 9.3.2.

In most circumstances, such a signing closure wouldn’t be noteworthy, but since a jailbreak was released for iOS 9.3.3, it’s worth noting. expand full story

Jailbreak Stories August 18, 2016

AnsweringMachine YouTube

As someone who used to be heavily into jailbreaking, I’ve seen quite a few interesting and noteworthy tweaks come across my desk over the years.

Needless to say, after seven or eight years of jailbreaking, it takes a lot to impress me, but that’s exactly what developer Elias Limneos was able to do. In fact, his new tweak, entitled AnsweringMachine, looked so intriguing that it convinced me to jailbreak my iPhone just to take it for a test drive.

One feature of the tweak allows users to receive transcribed voicemails, similar to the Voicemail transcription feature in iOS 10. Have a look at our hands-on video to see it in action. expand full story

Jailbreak Stories August 4, 2016

Apple-black-hat-bug-bounties

Apple hasn’t often made appearances at the Black Hat hacker conference, but this year Cupertino is Thinking Different™ about security.  Head of Apple security, Ivan Krstic, today said the company would pay huge (up to $200K) bug bounties to invited researchers who find and report vulnerabilities in certain Apple software.

Screenshot 2016-08-04 21.04.28A quick breakdown of max. payments:

  • Secure boot firmware: $200,000
  • Extraction of confidential material protected by the Secure Enclave Processor: $100,000
  • Execution of arbitrary code w/kernel privs: $50,000
  • Unauthorized access to iCloud account data on Apple Servers: $50,000
  • Access from a sandboxed process to user data outside of that sandbox: $25,000

Earlier this year, the FBI paid out under $1M to extract the data from the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone. Perhaps Apple is trying to eliminate these lucrative back doors into its crown jewel software.  expand full story

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