Jailbreaking will remain for a long time a catalyst that has helped Apple to develop the iPhone as we have known it to be today. Through iPhone jailbreaking, the company has tightened security practices and developed foolproof engineering paths. But really happen if you jailbreak iPhone?
Why People do Jailbreak iPhone?
It is sometimes called hacking, a practice that gives a user access to an iPhone so much so that new programs can be written on the OS. This is achieved by bypassing the phone’s permissions so the new programs can run. An app store like Cydia is a place where users can get apps that would not be found on the traditional Apple app store.
Jailbreak iPhone has brought the world’s attention to some of the finest hackers in the world. Luca Todesco, iPhone Dev Team, Chronic Dev, evad3r, Pangu, and Taigi are some of the brilliant brains who have cut their teeth in the art of iPhone jailbreaking.
There have been calls to address an important question in the iPhone jailbreaking world. Is jailbreaking really dead? Jailbreaking, as of today, is not the lively scene it used to be a few years ago. Then, we had hackers who jailbroke iPhones to show their expertise. There were those who did it for money and a sort who did it for the fun of it.
Then Apple got smarter. It rigorously attempted to kill jailbreaking by patching the security vulnerabilities that are used for a iOS 11 and 10.
Not only that. Apple launched a bug-bounty initiative that sought to reward with as much as $200,000 for hackers who identify bugs on Apple’s different iOS. This won over a lot of hackers and few were left jailbreaking independently. LaterApple went as far as hiring some of the hackers. Together, they devised better security measures that are difficult to bypass on the iOS. With these developments, activities reduced significantly on the iPhone jailbreaking scene prompting many to conclude that it was dead.
Apple’s Bug Bounty Program – Anti iPhone Jailbreak
At the 2016 Black Hat Conference , it was announced by Apple’s head of security engineering Ivan Krstic that Apple would be launching its bug bounty program. This was unexpected given the company’s hesitation to introduce such program. Tech giants, Google and Microsoft, have such scheme in play to better their security levels. It took the company a long while, however, before it commenced paying money to individuals who identify security flaws in iOS.
Hackers will not be the only participants, researchers and cryptographers are welcome to offering help on how Apple’s security can improve. Researchers are expected to bag a sum of $200,000 based on the vulnerability that is discovered, $200,000 also for secure boot firmware components, while smaller discovered vulnerabilities will have $25,000.
For eligibility of participation, researchers are expected to provide proof-of-concept on the latest iOS versions. They will also need to provide proof-of-concept on Apple’s latest hardware. It is explained that the company will encourage researchers to donate proceedings to charity.
While the program deterred a good number of players in the independent jailbreaking community, others gave Apple a run for their money by constantly being a thorn in their flesh.
Effect of Bug Bounty Program in Jailbreaking an iPhone
The bug bounty program not only slowed down independent jailbreaking, Apple’s introduction on tweaks on iOS ensured the need to jailbreak iPhone significantly reduced. The features the company incorporated on updated iOS practically sufficed for attractions an average user will want to jailbreak his or her phone for. iOS 9.3.3’s last public jailbreak was released on July 18, 2016, as stated on a jailbreak report site. Doubtless, jailbreaking is fast becoming obscure.
Apple is a big company. It would not lie down easily. In recent years, it has intensified security measures that are effectively discouraging iPhone jailbreaking. Some of the best hackers are having a difficult time bypassing security unlike a decade ago when it was easy peasy. Ivan Krstic was impressed with this and boasted that”between five and ten distinct vulnerabilities in order to be able to defeat platform security mechanisms.”
“After a decade of its existence there has still not been a single piece of iOS malware affecting our users at scale,” Ivan Krstic exclaimed in 2016 at a WWDC talk. “Our users have been fantastically well protected for nearly 10 years”, he continued.
Things aren’t the same in iPhone Jailbreak
In early 2017, Luca Todesco, one of the world’s brightest hackers broke the news that his illustrious career in jailbreaking was over. In a sincere tweet, he said “PSA: I will stop all public iOS research after I drop that 10.2 thing. The idiocy of the jailbreak community is too much to handle for me,” Apparently, he has failed to see the glam that once brought him world attention.
He used to be in the forefront of the jailbreak struggle, it is now a time where Todesco no longer find pleasure in encouraging people to jailbreak their phones.
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