Jailbreak Overview Updated November 11, 2019

Jailbreak

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90 'Jailbreak' stories

June 2011 - November 2019


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 November 11

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

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

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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