Is an iOS 7 evasi0n jailbreak in the works? iOS 7 is barely on Beta 3 with a release not expected till sometime in September, yet already the questions are flying: Has Apple updated its security significantly? Who is working on the next jailbreak? How long will it be before a jailbreak becomes available for iOS 7? Will iOS 6.1.3 or 6.1.4 get an untethered jailbreak if iOS 7 proves too hard?
I've addressed the iOS 7 jailbreak topic here and there on Twitter, but more and more people keep asking my "personal" opinion on how soon we can expect to see an iOS 7 jailbreak for iPhone 5, 4S iPad and iPad Mini. So here I post! My answer likely won't satisfy, but I'll take the time to discuss this issue we've all been wondering about.
Let's just discuss what we know so far. I'll attempt to be as factual as possible and avoid speculation for the sake of @MuscleNerd, but I imagine some might find its way in.
Fact #1: Evad3rs Do Plan To Work On An iOS 7 Jailbreak
I'm not sure why this question keeps coming up, but people seem to fear the Evad3rs are done working on iOS jailbreaks and that we are about to see the end of an era. At this point I would say that is decidedly untrue. Though the guys have made it clear and untethered jailbreak for iOS 6.1.3 or 6.1.4 is not in their minds ar all, this doesn't mean they are through. I realize that a month or so ago @pod2g made a comment that worried a few people when he declared that iOS 7 was so ugly that it was making him consider a switch to Android, but c'mon, now! Jailbreak development is by no means dead. I spoke to @pod2g after the comments exploded throughout the blogosphere, and we had a little laugh about it as he remarked, "Probably I shouldn't have said that — but well, it's what I felt!"
I really didn't want to press him at the time but when the final iOS 7 beta releases, we've agreed that we'll discuss his position on iOS 7 and how involved he intends to be in the next jailbreak. Even if, for some reason, @pod2g were to get out of the jailbreak scene, there are certainly others ready and willing to do the work.
After all, with the last jailbreak, @pod2g was very vocal in expressing that the main men behind the Evasi0n iOS 6 jailbreak were @planetbeing and @pimskeks. In an earlier interview, this is what he said to me, concerning the iOS 6 jailbreak:
"For your information and this is important to me that everybody knows about it also, this jailbreak will be @planetbeing and @pimskeks ... I arrived at the end, gave ideas that pushed them to their maximum, I kinda unblocked the situation, but it would certainly have happened without me helping ..."
David Wang, a.k.a. @planetbeing, has also made it clear through numerous interviews that he will be involved in the next jailbreak, and that the team had "at least one more jailbreak left in them."
David has probably been the most heavily involved in nearly every jailbreak, and had this to say when I interviewed him about his future plans:
"I love working on the jailbreak ... I will most likely continue helping out whenever I'm useful but honestly I'd be pretty happy as long as iOS was still being jailbroken, no matter who was doing it."
Add this to the fact that @MuscleNerd came out of a long silence last week, sharing on Twitter that jailbreaking was in no way dead. If you ask me, that's about all the proof anyone needs. Yes, there will be work done on the iOS 7 jailbreak. Take heart! You won't be stuck with those iOS 7 icons forever! Now on to my second point.
Fact # 2: Evad3rs and Other JB Teams Already Have Some Vulnerabilities Saved
Okay, so everyone here knows there are saved vulnerabilities running around out there. When I spoke to Cyril back in January he shared that,
"When trying to help them [evad3rs], I found other vulnerabilities, but we won't use them for this jailbreak. Next one certainly..."
In addition, we know there is another group is reportedly working on a iOS 7 untethered jailbreak as well. This would be Joshua Hill, a.k.a. @p0sixninja, who has recently been pretty vocal about his Open Jailbreak. The former Chronic-Dev team member announced last week that he has already secured a domain for his work.
I've spoken to Joshua some about his project, and though it is not the bootROM dump many assumed he was advertising, the former Chronic-Dev team member has claimed to have some saved vulnerabilities which he continues to test with each iOS Beta that releases to ensure they still work. The Greenp0ison jailbreak tool developer has shared that he still misses some pieces of the iOS 7 jailbreak, but says he is working diligently.
The takeaway point? More than one person has claimed to hold some vulnerabilities from iOS 6, and with that, we know we have a start on the iOS 7 jailbreak.
Fact #3 iOS 7 Dramatically Changes User Interaction — Expect More Bugs!
Okay, this is a point that may be frustrating and exciting all in one. Everyone is quite aware that iOS 7 involves some big changes to the UI/UX, and with changes often come new bugs which could be used in an iOS 7 untethered jailbreak.
As @MuscleNerd explained earlier this year, the only way for Apple to entirely patch all vulnerabilities is to remain static — with no changes or new features. This is certainly not the case in iOS 7 where the entire thing seems to have been flipped on its head. These changes — particularly to user interaction — may offer additional opportunities to find exploits, but by the same token, will also mean some setbacks.
Last fall in the HITB IOS/OSX panel discussion in Malaysia, @Musclenerd had this to say about estimated time of delivery on future jailbreaks.
"We'll continue [to make jailbreaks] as long as people continue to show interest in it ... but, I think it's unfair to expect a jailbreak on the .0 release of anything coming out of Apple. I think there are some things you wait until the .0 release to make public, but I think a lot of times .0 releases bring in so many changes you to sit back and see where you are before making anything."
This was certainly the case during the iOS 5 and iOS 6 untethered jailbreak and we should expect it for iOS 7 as well.
Fact # 4: The Wait Will Be Longer Than You Hope, But Remember Who's Working On The iOS 7 Jailbreak
Okay, so we've established work on an iOS 7 untethered jailbreak for iPhone, iPad and iPod will take place, there are already some vulnerabilities saved, and new ones may likely be found. The part most people hated reading was the "hurry up and wait" bit, I know.
As time passes and a jailbreak has yet to be released or the team goes silent for long periods of time, people have a tendency to grown antsy, becoming demanding or hostile. One thing you should remember, though, is who we have on our team.
Keep in mind here, these guys really enjoy tinkering with iOS and discovering its weakness. Also, both @pimskeks and @planetbeing are tweak developers themselves outside of the hacking they do. In the HITB Panel discussion last fall, @Planetbeing, @Pod2g and @MuscleNerd all shared the excitement of hacking iOS and why they do it.
"We do this for fun of course...it's challenging, it's like a puzzle, and it's really, really fun. We do this for the challenge" said @pod2g
"Yeah, It's really engrossing ... it's like doing a really complex Sudoku puzzle or crossword or something only 10 times harder... It's just entertaining to be able to use your brain in that way for a long time and that's really the only reason I do it" added @planetbeing.
"I do it for a few reasons. I am a hardware engineer by my day job and so that's why I've focused on the stuff that's at the iBoot level or the baseband level just because it's really interesting to me in just a geeky way to toy with these register that I should have access to ... it's fun to tinker with that. Secondly it's also interesting just to be able to play this game with Apple ... it's interesting to see them react to stuff you do, its really rewarding to see you do something that ends up making ... a fundamental change in things" said @MuscleNerd
In closing, while there's really no way to make an accurate estimate of just how long we might wait to see an iOS 7 untethered jailbreak release, rest assured, the work has begun.
If it was your choice which do you wish would happen? Use saved vunerabilites to jailbreak iOS 6.1.3 / 6.1.4 or see iOS 7 jailbroken? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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