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Jailbreaking iOS7 “Likely” To Be More Difficult, Says PlanetBeing

And iOS marches on...

[Photo Credit: Gizmag]

The Evasi0n jailbreak was a huge success, with over 7 million downloads in its first three to four days. Who would ever imagine such a warm reception from iOS users — who are often told by Apple that jailbreaking is harmful to your iPhone software or that jailbreaking “voids your warranty”?

It was in the spirit of jailbreaking success that reporters sat down to talk with PlanetBeing this week about the success of the Evasi0n jailbreak. While he was thrilled about the success of the recent jailbreaking, he responded by saying the following:

“Apple has successfully mitigated many vectors of attack in iOS6. In this current jailbreak, we ‘evaded’ Apple’s mitigations in the userland with several vulnerabilities I would perhaps characterize as ‘lame’…’lame’ vulnerabilities tend to be hard to find, however, so it’s likely the next jailbreak will be tougher. That said, we also retain a few tricks that may or may not help in the future. Who knows what the weight of each factor should be when trying to determine how long the next jailbreak will take” (PlanetBeing quoted by John Brownlee, “Jailbreaker Hacker PlanetBeing: ‘It’s Likely” Jailbreaking iOS7 Will Be Harder”).

If you recall, it took jailbreakers some weeks on end before they found a possible way to jailbreak iOS6. Due to Apple’s increased security of its walled garden ecosystem, the hackers struggled to find a loophole they could exploit from which they could produce a jailbreak. Hacker PlanetBeing posted on his Twitter wall that he had found a loophole, but that he did not want to announce it before he saw Apple’s newest updates. He got to a point where he said he even had Cydia installed on his iPhone 5, but he thought it best to wait until iOS6.1 before he would unleash the jailbreak to the public. Before that, PlanetBeing had discovered a partial jailbreak but decided to keep it to himself until Apple updates and further work convinced him it was okay to announce it. He was the mastermind behind the evasi0n jailbreak. Although there seemed to be some positive energy surrounding Comex (aka Nicholas Allegra) after his release from his Apple contract, Allegra was probably under an NDA where he could not work on jailbreaks, at least for the next few years.

While iOS7 may be harder to jailbreak, I think it will still be jailbroken. Jailbreakers will always exist in the world, and the US Copyright Office says that jailbreaking an iPhone is a legal act. There is nothing illegal about the matter, and Apple must respect the rights of the jailbreaking community — even if it disagrees with the act itself. This means that, as long as iPhones are produced, jailbreakers will remain in business. I do think that the jailbreaking community learned something from the iOS6 problem: that is, the increasing difficulty by which hackers will be able to make their way into iOS7. Apple has shown that with the right amount of money and contracts, it holds the power of jailbreakers in its own hands. I don’t think that Apple intends to stop jailbreakers, but Cupertino clearly wants to show who’s in control — an act that I wouldn’t put past Apple.

A number of Apple tech sites across the Web publish articles about hacker malware on Android smartphones and talk about how easy it is to hack into an Android smartphone. At the same time, how many Android hackers do you see in existence? how many do you read about on a daily basis? Now take that number and contrast it with the large numbers of iOS hackers who have thrived off of iOS jailbreaks in the last few years. Isn’t it interesting that Android has all the supposed “malware,” but iOS is always the one getting hacked into? Why do you think Apple bumped up its internet OS security? And what about the recent passcode vulnerability awaiting iOS users who upgrade to iOS6.1? Now, with a little patience and a certain digit code, you can bypass anyone’s passcoded lock screen and make your way into their iPhone, unnoticed. Isn’t it interesting to think that iOS hacks can be downloaded onto any iPhone, but Android roots are few and far between? If anything, iOS devices are far more vulnerable than Android devices. Why is it that we don’t hear enough discussion about iOS vulnerabilities?