There was quite a long lull in the jailbreaking scene after the release of iOS 6 and the iPhone 5, until recently when the evad3rs team released evasi0n, the first untethered jailbreak for all iOS devices running iOS 6.
The prolonged lull gave rise to fears that jailbreaking was dead, and these fears continue to exist as Apple continues to make iOS more secure version-over-version.
But there’s some good news, David Wang aka planetbeing, member of the evad3rs dev team in a conversation with Forbes revealed that they still have few more exploits, which could be used for future jailbreaks:
“Even if we could only find another one or two more [bugs], we’d still have at least one more jailbreak left in us. It’s getting harder. But there are still a lot of vulnerabilities left.”
Although recent releases of iOS have really tightened security, Wang says that combining a number of seemingly harmless bugs can lead to a jailbreak:
“It was just a question of being able to cleverly chain all these [bugs] together. These small bugs demonstrably can lead to compromise of the entire operating system.”
For instance, evasi0n uses 5 different bugs, and out of which, the one that executes unauthorised code in the kernel was critical. The others were “redundant,” that is the team has backup bugs that establish the same functions if the current ones are patched. In fact this is the reason the team delayed the release of evasi0n — to replace the critical bugs with less valuable ones.
Famous iOS hacker Charlie Miller had notably said a few days ago that evasi0n could be the last public jailbreak, reasoning that exploits are getting harder to find, and even the ones that are found can fetch as much as $250,000 when sold to law enforcement agencies.
Over the last few years we have seen famous hackers like comex leave the jailbreaking community after they were hired by Apple. But thankfully planetbeing has no such plans:
“If you go work for Apple, you’ll be on the defense. And playing defense in this game is always much more difficult and much less fun than playing offense.”
Hopefully the donations and the goodwill the evad3rs team get from the community, would be high enough to give them enough incentive to continue researching into iOS security, and releasing iOS jailbreaks in the future.
If there’s one thing that evasi0n’s shown us is that there’s definitely a huge demand for a jailbreak. As we reported earlier, evasi0n has been used to jailbreak nearly 7 million iOS devices in just four days, making it the most popular jailbreak ever.