Jailbreak Overview Updated December 8, 2017

Jailbreak

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85 'Jailbreak' stories

June 2011 - December 2017


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 December 8

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

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

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

Spigen TEKA RA200 Airpods Earhooks Cover

Jailbreak Stories March 13

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

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

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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