In a recent development, hackers have developed a way to jailbreak the latest iOS devices, including the relatively new iPhone X. Forbes reported that the jailbreak, called checkra1n, was released on November 11. The report emphasized that Apple will have to way of fixing the bug.
The hack exploits a vulnerability in the bootrom or “the part of the processor that contains the initial lines of code executed by the processor as its powers on.” This means that the issue lies in a physical component of iOS devices. According to hacker axiomX, the bug in iOS devices’ bootrom cannot be fixed by the tech giant once the device reaches the hands of buyers.
Forbes noted that the jailbreak can affect millions of iPhone units. It primarily targets older releases including the iPhone X, but not the XR and XS models.
What is jailbreaking?
Manufacturers place restricting measures on their devices in order to protect the device and to ensure the use of their official application stores when installing apps. These restrictions prevent the installation of pirated and unsafe apps on devices. Apple is known for strictly implementing these limitations.
Because of this, hobbyists turn to jailbreaks in order to gain full control of their devices. This allows them to install unscreened apps, customize the device, access the iOS file system and access privileges disabled by Apple’s restrictions.
axiomX and a team of hackers first discovered the bug back in September. Initially, they called the vulnerability checkm8. They then developed a jailbreak using this bug.
The team released a website for jailbreaking users’ iOS systems, which can only be used on macOS computers. However, Forbes warns users that while this exploit does not pose the danger of permanent damage, it can lead to data loss.
Moreover, the report noted that the bug can leave millions of devices vulnerable to cyberattacks. This is why users with sensitive data including activists, politicians, and journalists are advised to upgrade devices.
axiomX stated that the use of a strong alphanumeric password can help. He added that “most people’s risk has not increased. The passcode will protect the data on the device on all modern iPhones.”
However, there have been reports of iPhones being remotely attacked by malicious parties. An example of this is the surveillance app Spyware, which gives hackers the ability to access all communication avenues in the device, including turning on the mic.