Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Iphone Privacy Security Apple

The Life, Death, and Legacy of iPhone Jailbreaking (vice.com) 150

From a Motherboard article: Jailbreaking is the art of hacking into Apple's ultra-secure iOS operating system and unlocking it -- and thus allowing users to customize the phone, and write or install any software unimpeded by Apple's restrictions. At the time I met with Todesco (a person who offered jailbreaking service), in December 2016, there was no known jailbreak (for the iPhone 7) -- no public knowledge of this hack -- for the latest iOS version that was installed on my iPhone (iOS 10.2). The world's first jailbreaking step-by-step procedure, discovered in 2007, was posted online for all to see. Subsequent jailbreaks were used by millions of people. At one point, there was even a website -- called jailbreakme.com -- that was free for all to use and jailbroke your phone simply by visiting it. [...] Ten years after the iPhone hit the sleek tables of Apple Stores worldwide, and the first-ever jailbreak, that Wild West is gone. There's now a professionalized, multi-million dollar industry of iPhone security research. It's a world where jailbreaking itself -- at least jailbreaking as we've come to know it -- might be over.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Life, Death, and Legacy of iPhone Jailbreaking

Comments Filter:
  • :-) Always do love a challenge. But if all this 'new' security benefits the user as much as the company, it's all good

  • I wish iOS had an advanced mode you could enable. Take down the "walls" and let me run ssh to customize things to my liking.

    • by mspohr ( 589790 )

      You can't be trusted with the phone. It's not really yours.Apple just licenses it to you.They own you.

    • by bn-7bc ( 909819 )
      That would be a great idea, with a code you got from apple, to avoid accidental unlocking. But I'm not certain the demand is big enugh for apple to consider implementing it, Shal wa start a peition?
    • -I wish iOS had an advanced mode you could enable.

      You mean like Palm/HP webOS's developer mode ? (type in the command "webOS2009060" in universal seach. Or for shit and giggles, you can also spell out literally the Konami code "upupdowndownleftrightleftrightbastart", but it's a bit longer to type) (Also the default remote-shell is a bit shitty ("novacom" - some adb-like thingy) buy you can install openssh)

      You mean like Jolla Sailfish OS developer mode ? (check in the "developer mode" box in the settings, it will even automatically download ssh for you).

      You

  • by Demena ( 966987 ) on Friday June 30, 2017 @06:54PM (#54722803)
    Apple has no restrictions on source code. Just download the development kit and compile your own apps from source. Always been that way. Apple is only a walled garden to people who cannot program for themselves.
    • You're basically saying, "that's not a wall, it's a high fence."
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 30, 2017 @07:48PM (#54722993)

        He also left out the part where the dev kit costs $100/year and that you need at least a $1500 Mac to run it on. So, sure, "anyone" can do that, at long as they're OK with paying out the nose for the "privilege".

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          You left out the part where you need electricity to power everything, a place to house the stuff. Oh, and sustenance and oxygen to breath.

          BTW, for personal use the dev account is free to use and deploy to iOS devices. I know it's hard to keep up with 2 year old news but please do try.

        • He also left out the part where the dev kit costs $100/year

          Probably because you don't need it. The dev tools are free to download and use. You only need a developer account if you want to sell your app in the App Store.

          and that you need at least a $1500 Mac to run it on.

          A $500 Mac mini bought brand new would suffice, or, even better, buy a used Mac for cheaper.

          Hell, I was given an early MacBook Air a few years back. It'd resale used for maybe $100 at this point, but it'd be more than enough if all you wanted to do was compile the occasional app. Given that you already paid $700+ for the phone, paying an extra $100 f

          • by Anonymous Coward

            He also left out the part where the dev kit costs $100/year

            Probably because you don't need it. The dev tools are free to download and use. You only need a developer account if you want to sell your app in the App Store.

            Is that true? I've never used iStuff, but at least it used to be the case that you needed to register as a developer in order to install programs that you have compiled on your own iPhone. That if you were not a registered developer, the only way to install software on your device was by usin

            • Is that true? I've never used iStuff, but at least it used to be the case that you needed to register as a developer in order to install programs that you have compiled on your own iPhone.

              Yup, it's true. You're correct that it used to require a paid account, but we haven't needed paid accounts to compile and sideload apps [9to5mac.com] since Xcode 7 launched in mid-2015.

              One point of clarification: you do need a developer account, just not a paid one. Getting a free developer is as simple as visiting Apple's developer site, logging in with your Apple ID, and agreeing to their developer terms. That's it. Once you do, it'll unlock access to the developer tools for your Apple ID, including the ability to side

            • by Demena ( 966987 )
              It waa NEVER the case you needed to pay for the development kit. You do need to register to obtain it.
              Even so, have people not heard of the command line and utilities to edit, compile and link?
              It has aways been possible to distribute free software without jailbreaking via source code.

              The 'walled garden' just keeps out the wankers.
        • by Demena ( 966987 )
          If they have started charging for the devout, that is new to me. And it runs on a mac mini. Why are you so bigoted?
      • by Demena ( 966987 )
        No, I am saying Apple's walled garden is about six inches high. The only bitch one could have is that they do not supply the source code for the OS and Applications they write. Darwin itself is open source though.
        • It's six inches high for someone who is already an iOS dev. For the average iPhone user, it might as well be six hundred feet high. I'm sorry, but I've spent years hearing people whine endlessly at the mere possibility of having to compile something on Linux, and you are now claiming that writing and compiling your own software is only a minor barrier?
          • by Demena ( 966987 )

            My feeling is that it is six inches for anyone who knows the language they are using and that language is available in the development kit. A person off the street? They will not understand very much. But the audience here, well, I would not expect to many non-programmers here. SO, yes, I expect the audience to be able to compile and link and rapidly find out how to do so on any new system. That is why it is a six inch barrier. If you are competent to program, there is no real issue. The documentatio

            • The audience of slashdot is simply "technology nerds," which is a significantly different demographic than programmers, let alone Objective-C programmers. Even assuming that the /. audience was primarily programmers, a competent programmer is not necessarily a competent QA tester, or competent at design, or doing the entire process themselves. Now, granted, a lot of apps are little more than glorified websites in their scope, but if you want anything past significantly past that, you do need a much more d
              • by Demena ( 966987 )

                Now, granted, a lot of apps are little more than glorified websites in their scope, but if you want anything past significantly past that, you do need a much more diverse skill set.

                Well that is a bit mealy mouthed, but thank you for the retraction and conceding the argument. Since you now agree with me I can consider this done.

                • I didn't retract anything. I'm saying that it's a walled garden, and you're argument that it's not a walled garden because it can be circumvented by a decent portion of slashdot is utter bullshit, because slashdot doesn't represent the general public, and a decent portion of slashdot can circumvent many things (like DRM, for example) with far less difficulty.

                  Wikipedia defines a walled garden [wikipedia.org] as "a software system where the carrier or service provider has control over applications, content, and media, and

                  • by Demena ( 966987 )

                    The factually correct statement that I made and that you are objecting to was "Apple is only a walled garden to people who cannot program for themselves". Nothing you have said makes that statement inaccurate. It wasn't about the general public or even the readers of slashdot just "those who can program for themselves". Go play with your own straw men please.

                    You want to play with logic you do not know how to use? Fine.
                    1. OS X does not have control over applications since you can compile your own or cop

                    • Yeah, I can't win the argument unless I insist on the definition of walled garden being the one that the entire world does. I'm not saying that you aren't right about the exception, but you called it a fucking "six inches high" wall, when even for a programmer, it's a pain in the ass, meaning it's a walled garden. Therefore, no strawman, just your idiocy in insisting that the world use your ridiculous definition. Consoles are the epitome of a walled garden, and running homebrew apps is less work on most o
                    • by Demena ( 966987 )

                      Nope. For any competent programmer it is no barrier at all. That is my point. However if YOU want to change the definition of a programmer to remove the required skills of compiling and linking. I am not inclined to agree with your personal redefinition of 'programmer'. Which is the bigger idiot?

                    • "For any competent programmer" is a fucking barrier, you dolt. If that's six inches, how would you describe a one-click jailbreak, or a two page mod process for homebrew? A planck-length fence? Step outside of your own fucking head for a second, and stop defining things in your own, made up terms.
                    • by Demena ( 966987 )

                      Dolt? Pot calling the kettle black.

                      To write a program or app you need to be able to program? Why can you not get this through your head? It is inherent in the term. It is not a "made up" term. It is the reality. So, no, there is no real barrier. That is reality.
                      Well, I'm stepping out of my own head right now an looking at your own. Pretty unpleasant swamp you live in. Illogic, ad hominems, arguments from authority and you seem to think that trumps both definition and usage. Why don't you just clai

                    • But this isn't an argument about WRITING a program, it's an argument about INSTALLING a program. You keep insisting that walled garden is a term primarily relative to programmers, which is a crock of shit you just made up.
                    • by Demena ( 966987 )
                      Nop-e, never was. Go back and read. You have failed in your argument (because it is false) and now you are retreating from the argument and making it about something else. Standard tactic - which didn't work either.
                    • From the start, you framed your argument in your own bullshit definition of what you could call a walled garden. If you do that, the term walled garden is completely meaningless. Yes, you were consistent in your bullshit, but it was bullshit nonetheless. It's like saying "if you don't count red meat or fish, I'm a vegetarian." I don't know if there's anything that could be called a walled garden by your gaping exceptions, or ones of a relatively similar magnitude.

                    • by Demena ( 966987 )
                      It is completely meaningless to the competent. Those who have not earned their chops have some difficulty. The rest of what you have to say is garbage. You have failed to counter my original statement because it is correct. I have refused to let you straw man me

                      You lost an argument, no big deal, but the way you are reacting to it is pathetic.
                    • I never disagreed with you on your technical claims of what can be done, only disputing your ridiculous claims, just like your latest that it's completely meaningless to the competent. Competent programmers tend to prefer the path of least resistance. It's completely possible to the subset of competent familiar with Objective-C and the iOS API, but having to compile from source is a pain in the ass.

                      I disagreed with on your abuse of terminology, which renders the term "walled garden" completely meaningle

                    • by Demena ( 966987 )

                      I never disagreed with you on your technical claims of what can be done, only disputing your ridiculous claims, just like your latest that it's completely meaningless to the competent. Competent programmers tend to prefer the path of least resistance. It's completely possible to the subset of competent familiar with Objective-C and the iOS API, but having to compile from source is a pain in the ass.

                      A competent programmer is prepared to learn something new to achieve his ends and that usually is the path of least resistance. If you are writing something new then you are likely to learn something new. One of the joys of programming.

                      I disagreed with on your abuse of terminology, which renders the term "walled garden" completely meaningless. 99% of the general population can't do it (something you don't disagree with me on), which means it's a walled garden. If I lost the argument, then name what you consider some actual walled gardens. If some other means of adding unapproved software is less trivial, it's not a valid argument. So, you can't name any console with homebrew without negating your own argument.

                      Ninety-nine per cent of the population (your number) probably cannot program. But pretty much anyone can follow a set of instructions. "Put this file in that place, start the IDE, select the file, compile and execute....
                      So it takes a programmer to write the app but pre

  • by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Friday June 30, 2017 @06:58PM (#54722813)
    Jailbreaking the iphone back in the day, like my 3GS, it made sense.

    Why the heck did Apple decide you could only have a black background anyway? And only three text tones? No hiding iconseither. It wasn't like they sold background apps or SMS tones for a fee, they just said "no, not your phone."

    It's obsolete now because... you can just get an android. And apple decided to give users some control over things like the background.
  • Yep... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by XSportSeeker ( 4641865 ) on Friday June 30, 2017 @06:58PM (#54722815)

    Jailbreaking, both for Android and iOS, came to be and became popular because it enable several things users were asking for and either the OSs couldn't do it, didn't want you to do, or just simply weren't high enough in the list of priorities for the companies.

    Time passed and a whole ton of features, functionalities and customization options that came first from the jailbreak community were adopted and sometimes appropriated by the official OSs. So it's not only because security has hardened on iOS or Android, but more because these days there are not many people needing extra features that a jailbreak would enable.

    How branding went through all these years also helped to estabilish proper markets I guess... Hardware is pretty much the same these days for Android phones and iPhones, and it's plenty estabilished that people who wants to be tinkering with their phones going beyond mainstream capabilities will flock towards Android anyways, so it just doesn't make that much sense for someone who intends to mess and customize their phones to the limits would get an iPhone for it anymore.

    • Jailbreaking for android is still a significant thing, but major cellphone vendors are still actually enabling it. Motorola uses the opportunity to print a warning to you about losing your warranty, which is an open violation of the Magnusson-Moss act, but at least they provide you a simple mechanism for performing the unlock.

  • Apple ... just works. It makes calls and runs popular apps. And nothing else.

    Funny how history repeats itself - Android is the new IBM PCs, while early iphone was the Apple II - last apple open to tinkering, if in somewhat awkward fashion.

    In short, Android displaced iPhone in the tinkerer market niche, and the decline of jailbreaking strongly correlates with android eating up Apple's market. The article, oddly, doesn't make any mention of this.
    • by Corbets ( 169101 )

      The media doesn’t mention market share because a) its off topic and b) perhaps they actually understand apple’s market better than you. Apple isn’t going to be the only cell phone manufacturer and doesn’t want to even be the phone used by the majority; they want to be the cell phone of choice amongst people with high disposable income. That’s a small subset of buyers who generate the huge pile of cash Apple is sleeping on.

      Everything else is just gravy.

  • by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Friday June 30, 2017 @07:15PM (#54722871)
    Let me remove apps I never use. Facebook, snapchat, dropbox et all, I'm looking at you. I don't have infinite storage on my phone, and as Android now encrypts SDCC cards it's not easy to upgrade said card.

    20 years ago we called this crap shovelware, and when we bought a new PC we spent a few hours looking at everything pre-installed, trying to figure out if we needed/wanted it (pre google), and deleting the ones we didn't want. Had a vendor back then been stupid enough to disallow you to remove this crap the outcry would have been amazing, and the vendor would be out of business in 6 months.
  • by Stormwatch ( 703920 ) <rodrigogiraoNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Friday June 30, 2017 @07:35PM (#54722951) Homepage

    Android can do anything that iOS does, but the same flexibility of a jailbreak can be had out of the box. So why even look at the iPhone?

    • by Balial ( 39889 )

      If it were just about features, surely Amazon's fire phone would have taken over the world. But it flopped. As have so many "iPhone Killers". People seem to assume that users line up a set of check boxes and buy the one with more ticks. 10 years on, that's still not how folks buy phones.

      • Did the Fire have any actual compelling feature? That 3D-ish interface was cute, but it was just a gimmick. Amazon fucked up by trying to create their own ecosystem when people were already hooked on Google's.

    • it's practically a social network; and one you only get with an iPhone. Android's never managed to come up with anything like it. I think mostly because the various handset manufacturers all wanted to do it themselves. You need a single standard for that.
    • by watice ( 1347709 )
      because I don't want my apps running with permissions outside of a sandbox, and certainly not with root privs. This is insanely insecure, and I used to try to actively discourage jailbreaking but if you're stupid enough to do it, you'll mess up eventually anyway.
  • Jailbreaking is the art of hacking into Apple's ultra-secure iOS operating system and unlocking it.

    VS

    there was even a website -- called jailbreakme.com -- that was free for all to use and jailbroke your phone simply by visiting it.

    One of these must be wrong...

  • I think there's a been a bit of a change, reducing the more obvious reasons why root & jailbreak is useful:

    1) Root brought us a lot of innovation over the years (night screen, swipe keyboards, permissions... etc). It took Apple a long time to implement some of these, but they have now. When we were rooting before we never thought the likes of Apple and Google would actually help us with app permissions.

    2) Root extends the life of your phone considerably. Even if you're an iphone7+ user this affects you.

"Money is the root of all money." -- the moving finger

Working...