Apple Stepped Up Their Game to Combat Jailbreaking in iOS 5

By , Jun 27, 2011

When Apple announced iOS 5 a few weeks ago, there was some speculation that its hundreds of new features would deter a lot of folks from jailbreaking . In fact, iOS 5 was thought by some to be a jailbreak killer.

While it doesn’t look like the promise of new features has phased the jailbreak community, there are some things in iOS 5 that are troubling. The Dev Team recently posted a report on some things they are seeing in iOS 5 that are making them nervous…

The team of iDevice hackers posted “Blob Monster” on their blog to give the community a heads up on some things they have found in iOS 5 so far.

Remember how we’ve always told you to save your blobs before you upgrade? Apparently that old trick doesn’t work anymore.

“The LLB and iBoot stages of the boot sequence are being refined to depend on the authenticity of the APTicket, which is uniquely generated at each and every restore (in other words, it doesn’t merely depend on your ECID and firmware version… it changes every time you restore, based partly on a random number). This APTicket authentication will happen every boot, not just at restore time. Because only Apple has the crypto keys to properly sign the per-restore APTicket, replayed APTickets are useless.”

Did you catch all that? Essentially, saved blobs worked because restores could happen based on your device’s ECID number. Apple has changed this sequence so that restores now require a key that only they have.

The good news is that all of this crazy new stuff happens after GeoHot’s limera1n exploit occurs in the boot process, so tethered jailbreaks will still be possible for susceptible devices. Restoring to older firmwares will also still be possible, but you might end up needing older versions of iTunes to do it.

The group ends the note by saying:

“Although it’s always been just “a matter of time” before Apple started doing this, it’s still a significant move on Apple’s part… although there may still be ways to combat this, a beta period is really not the time or place to discuss them. We’re just letting you know what Apple has already done in their existing beta releases — they’ve stepped up their game!”

The bottom line is that jailbreaking iOS 5 is still possible. It’s just that restoring devices back to older versions of firmware might get a bit tricky. However, it does seem like Apple is getting a lot more aggressive with its fight against jailbreaking, and these next few months could get rather interesting.

What do you think?

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  • Aleks

    Just bring it!

  • babeh

    based that, look like i and many others stepped out to buy next ios devices…

  • James

    I think since 98% of what I jailbreak for is now stock, I might be able to live without the jailbreak anyway.

    • Jon Garrett

      its only now stock thanks to jailbreaking !!!

    • http://twitter.com/jmarsh5 Justin

      If only 2% of your phone is used for jailbroken material what is it that your using? I would assume a notification tweak like MobileNotifier or LockInfo. What else that is going to be stock now? I don’t know if there was that much new in iOS 5 that you can do jailbroken. Just curious.

      • William

        I think what James says is that 98% of the jailbreak stuff he used prior to iOS 5 are now part of iOS 5, thus he doesn’t see the point of jailbreaking iOS 5. I agree, but I also see there’ll always be potential for new cool tweak to be created, after all, iOS can never be “perfect”. At the end of day, to jailbreak or not to, it all depends on what stuffs you care about.

  • James

    What does blobs have to do with jailbreaking? They are stepping up their game with downgrading not jailbreaking.

    • Gabriel Féo

      Sometimes when Apple releases a new fw, an untethered jailbreak takes some time to show up in the jailbreak community. I registered my UDID for iOS 5, updated my iPad and jailbroke “him” (he’s like a pet to me). But unfortunately, the jailbreak was freaking tethered, and I can’t stand those. I had to downgrade to 4.3.3 so that I could enjoy jailbreak without having to plug him to my PC every time I rebooted. I believe a lot more people are just like me. Anyway, that’s what downgrading has to do with jailbreaking. ;D

  • Suphi İlhan

    C,mon! Be more serious.. this move of Apple only causes problem about downgrading NOT jailbreaking. Hope you be more careful about your topics…

    • Fred

      Most people make sure first that they can do restore before jailbreaking their iphone because errors are common during the process. Get it professor?

      • Mripod64

        LOL :P

    • Ernesto Castellanos

      @Suphi İlhan,
      Downgrading is very important when it comes to jailbreaking an iDevice. U don’t have to comment on this article if u don’t like it.

  • Eldaria

    Easy, my contract will expire in October, I’m planning to replace it with whatever iPhone is coming 4S or 5.
    If i’m not able to jailbreak, I will move to Android, My wife won’t care about JB so she can take over my 3GS, or my 2 year old can use it as a toy.
    I have paid thousands for various apps over the two years I had the phone, including several cydia apps.
    But Apples continuing effort to make a legal action difficult, is getting boring.

    • Mick

      Have fun on Android, the OS might be ok but the handsets are nasty plastic things and I personally wouldn’t entertain any of them until they improve them aesthetically.

      • http://twitter.com/jmarsh5 Justin

        I agree. The OS is obviously good, but one thing that I do is watch phone reviews a lot of YouTube and the thing the deters me away from Android is the plasticy build and stale look (for the most part.) I love the Andord OS but a jailbroken iPhone is much better than any Android device.

  • bushbabyky

    From what I understand it has everything to do with jailbreaking. They said this authentification process happens everytime you reboot your phone so unless they find a way around this we might never see another untethered jailbreak again only tethered ones. At least that’s the way I understood it if I am wrong could somebody correct me please.

  • Morgan

    I might be legal, but Apple doesn’t have to make it easy. However, I’d like to see an Apple JB app that would allow the installation of JB apps from Cydia after users free Apple from any liability for JBed device servicing. To get any service done, the user would have to restore it to pure Apple.

  • YoMamma

    Couldnt care less since im still waiting for the unlock on i4!!!!!

  • http://aldowynsmusings.tk abujaffer

    If the iOS becomes un-jailbreakable (which probably won’t happen anytime soon) most people will just move to Android where they don’t even need to jailbreak!

    • Emre SUMENGEN

      That would be MY absolute move, which I wouldn’t want, but do whatsoever! :)

  • Painman

    I don’t see the problem here. Use TU to preserve your baseband when you upgrade the software. If you find you need to downgrade, download iTunes 10.3 and restore to iOS4.(whatever) and JB with your tool of choice. You’re then in exactly the same position you are now. We all should know about remaining on the JailBreak train by now guys!!

    • Emre SUMENGEN

      But, who says they can’t implement a baseband check that would -at best- hard to bypass? Then the question would be “Would I use my iPhone with IOS 5 UN-jailbroken, or would I stick to iOS 4?” There comes the thought of alternatives for some of us, at least…

  • Painman

    I hear what you are saying and, under those circumstances, we would all have to make a choice. I hope that any inhibitors to jailbreaking are easily overcome and I don’t have to make a choice….

  • Leon_Live

    The main reason why I jailbreak is to break the limit on the number of apps per folder by using FolderEnhancer, of course I have installed some other tweaks but for me those are not important as FolderEnhancer, but looks like I’m back with 3 to 5 folders for my games =S

    Does anyone know if the 12 apps per folder limit still on iOS 5??

  • Ken

    My main reasons for jailbreaking my on-its-last-legs 3G are for BiteSMS and iBlacklist. Is Apple EVER going to give us a real way to block unwanted calls?

  • DomPerignon

    Say good bye to untethered jailbreak and all the tweaks that modify the screens. A lot of people will think twice before jailbreaking their iDevice, due to the restriction to downgrade the firmware. We all know that iOS 5 is a very good and cool firmware and we better start accepting that Apple won the cat and mouse race.

    • c0edx

      What do you mean by saying “tweaks that modify the screens”?

      I still think that you can drop back down from iOS 5 to 4.3.3 with older version of iTunes. I just hope they don’t disabel DFU mode. I also feel like the Jailbreak movement is coming to a stop. I hope Everything becomes normal when iOS 5 is released. I love iOS 5 I just don’t like the stock icons, I’m a theme lover so it feel empty without themes. I feel like all the Dev’s are getting bored with the iOS. Let’s hope this does not end like this.

      • DomPerignon

        No jailbreaking implies no theme mods.

  • Applefanboylee

    Apple has won nothing there will always be bugz and ways in all the devs are goner love it make hacker iPhone more intersting

  • DomPerignon

    I hope your are righ,t but I am not as optimistic as you are. Software bugs are ALWAYS fixed. Let’s hope for a hardware bug which are not fixable. Remember, we have our devices jailbroken NOW due to a hardware bug.

  • Cheerios32

    Now we can just jailbreak for the little tweaks we need like whatever iOS notifications they enhance or ofcourse installous guyss Free Apps

  • Anon

    I love reading this blog daily, but I really wish you guys didn’t end every post with a cheesy question. They don’t add to anything and are rather stupid after reading the useful information you post.

    • http://www.iphonedownloadblog.com Cody

      The questions at the end are merely a way to engage new or casual readers into conversation. But I agree, most of the time they are rather cheesy!

      Thanks for reading!

  • Manuel

    I just won’t update my phone. What every iOS 5 has, I’ll get through Cydia. If I update, why risk the chance of not going back to iOS 4? I use installous as well, so I don’t want to deal with no jail break. iOS 5 still doesn’t have what I use, so it doesn’t bother me at all.

    • Raz

      + 1

      I’m going to stick with iOS 4 as well, installous + bitesms FTW.

  • Meni

    If I cannot JB, I am done with the Apple’s evil empire.

    • Navs08

      I agree,without jail-breaking,it just becomes another phone and you have to keep paying for all the apps you wish to have,I hope the DEV’s find out some way to around this.