iOS 9 Jailbreak Cydia

Recent reports are claiming that Apple’s upcoming iOS update—iOS 9—will make it more difficult to jailbreak iPhones and iPads going forward. Some are even stating that it will be nearly impossible to jailbreak an iPhone running iOS 9.

The reason? Rootless—the kernel-level security feature that was discussed earlier today. This new feature is said to prevent malware, increase the safety of extensions and preserve the security of sensitive data.

When it’s all said and done, Apple’s security efforts in iOS 9 appear to be its most prolific since iOS 5. It could make it more of a challenge for jailbreakers and hackers.

But impossible? There’s nothing that’s impossible when it comes to security. More difficult? Perhaps. More challenging? Maybe. But impossible?

History

Consider this: every single major version of iOS (it was called iPhone OS back in the version 1-3 days) has been jailbroken since the iPhone debuted. Every. Single. One. And that’s not due to a lack of effort by Apple to thwart jailbreakers.

Now consider this: The last three kernel exploits didn’t even use root. In fact, the last public jailbreak that used a root kernel exploit was evasi0n7, back in the winter of 2013.

If there’s one thing that we’ve learned over the past eight years, it’s that hackers love a good challenge. In fact, I’m sure that many of them are salivating at the idea of pulling off the so-called impossible.

It reminds me of the outrage that occurred when Apple implemented ASLR—a security technique that makes it more difficult to jump to a particular exploited function in memory—in iOS 4.3. Did jailbreaking suddenly stop after iOS 4.3? No, it kept going.

Did jailbreaking come to a halt due to lack of interest when Apple released iOS 5 with tons of new security fixes and features that were only once possible with a jailbreak? Nope.

Will jailbreaking suddenly die with iOS 9? Color me skeptical.

Potential issues

The one negative impact that could stem from this initiative has to do with apps that run as root. The most popular app, from a jailbreaking standpoint, that runs as root is Cydia.

Cydia always runs as root, so if root can’t be somehow restored, it may be an issue saurik will need to address. Other apps, like iFile, also run as root.

Motivation

The last thing you want to tell a group of determined hackers is that something can’t be compromised. That’s motivation folks; the sort of thing that hackers thrive on.

Long before the promise of riches became motivation for hackers and security researchers, it was the idea of doing the impossible that drove them to go the extra mile.

Speaking of money, jailbreaking is a big business. Sure, the iPhone business as a whole dwarfs the jailbreaking business a gazillion times over, but the money that’s to be made from jailbreaking is still nothing for us regular folks to scoff at.

And just the idea of making a large subset of users happy and obtaining legendary status (see: George Hotz) may be motivation enough to drive some hackers. The jailbreak community is large. Celebrities jailbreak, your mom might jailbreak. This isn’t some super-obscure subset of users. Lots of people jailbreak. Being revered by all of those people might motivate some.

But forget the money and forget the users.

Nothing beats doing something that you’re told can’t be done. Nothing.

If anyone thinks that this new technology—if it indeed comes to fruition in iOS 9—will make hacking an iPhone impossible, then I’ve got news for you.

Big thanks to @iH8sn0w for helping out and addressing some of these issues with me.

  • S2k03

    I really hope it comes soon. Big thanks to the peoples that make it all possible!

    • Antzboogie

      For real thank you to all and beyond for our current Jailbreaks I enjoy and use my Jailbroken iPhone 6 Plus to the max I also always purchase my Tweaks after I try them to support the Developers!

      • coLin

        I bought more tweaks and apps from Cydia than from the AppStore lol

      • chris

        same! and some themes are real artworks

  • You’re right Jeff (and iH8sn0w). Nothing is 100% secure. By definition nothing can be. Now I’m really glad I’m going to Jailbreakcon next month, to personally talk to everyone’s favorite hackers and tweakers.

    Anyone else going to Jailbreakcon, BTW?

    • TechToch

      No only you are going 🙂

  • Skraps

    All I’m gonna say is one thing to show that there is such thing as impossible or close to that the difference is irrelevant: Playstation (If you know… you know)

    • Hot12345

      ??,

    • In that case I got 3 words for you: HABIB, Rogero and Rebug

      • sickbigbrother

        He means that nothing newer than Firmware Version 3.55 has been cracked in PS3 universe (which includes all Superslims and most Slims because you can only downgrade to the Firmware version the PS3 was released with). At least from a software standpoint that is.

        But he’s only half right – You can install a Cobra ODE (Optical Drive Emulator) into every PS3 which gives you about the same benefits as a software jailbreak. Of course that’s much more expensive and a hassle to build into, especially for Superslims.

        Besides Rogero, HABIB and Rebug are custom Firmwares, the software exploit to be able to install those up to 3.55 was found by Geohot in 2010, four whole years after the PS3 was released and security got much tighter from there on (it’s very unlikely that something like that is ever gonna happen again with newer Playstations).

        I’m asking myself sometimes if iOS jailbreaks could ever come to the point the newer Playstations are (since you could only jailbreak iDevices with software additional hardware would be useless). I don’t have too much understanding when it gets hyper-technical (like programming, coding, etc.) so I don’t know why iOS jailbreaking seems to be easier than with Playstations. Just hope it’s here to stay.

        I love my iPad but couldn’t enjoy it half as much without a jailbreak and all my awesome Cydia tweaks. A lot of Apple’s restrictions are so ridiculous (I mean you can’t even change your default browser or attach anything else than pics and short videos to e-Mails without a jailbreak) that I’ll probably wouldn’t buy any iDevices anymore should jailbreaking die one day.

        P. S.: Apple TVs 3rd gen would probably be a better example when it comes to still unjailbroken devices

      • i got few info regarding why PS3 jailbreak is harder than iOS: it’s because the PS3 has this LV0 which is contacted only when you press the power button (almost same as PC BIOS) this LV0 contain security details of the ps3 and it’s read-only(can be modified with software update but signature check is crazy as hell), by jailbreaking it you render it R/W and edit its content.
        iOS on the other hand you just have to change the root to R/W which gets constantly contacted by the OS and apps and thus makes it easier for Cydia and other Jailbreak apps/tweaks to modify it.
        what recent versions jailbreak of the ps3 have is the same LV0 modified encryption from 3.55 and everything else from newer versions, that’s why you’re required to be on 3.55 to update your jailbreak up to 4.75

      • sickbigbrother

        That’s interesting. Haven’t played PS3 for a while now (only bought a used one for The Last of Us, the only PS3 game I’ve ever played through next to Red Dead Redemption) but I read a lot about jailbreaking before buying and it always bothered me that I couldn’t find a single site/forum entry about the difference between PS3/iOS jailbreaking (especially why the first one is so much harder). So, thanks for the info 🙂

  • Tommy Gumbs

    Whateves…..Apple Tv 3 still has yet to be jailbroken. There is a challenge for them.

    • Rowan09

      Yeah the ATV 3 must be the exception or people just lost interest.

    • Jordan

      BAM

    • Blip dude

      Is the ATV 3 really impossible to Jailbreak?? My assumption always was because it definitely much more challenging and the interest perhaps just isn’t as much as iPhone and iPad, I predict (keyword) that one may finally appear after the ATV 3’s cycle comes to end within the next year or 2 (unless the rumor of A5 getting iOS 9 turns out to be true). Again, these are all assumptions!!

      • Platy

        Yes because nothing runs on it.

        It’s not like mobile iOS where you can develop apps for it etc. The only reason Apple TV 2 was jailbroken was due to the bootrom exploit for A4 chips.

        Mobile iOS will always be different due to the App store, and if they bring out an Apple TV 4 at some point with an app store etc, I’m sure that will be jailbreakable.

      • Yazz

        It’s not impossible, just far more difficult because unlike the iPhone/iPad there’s not a ton of features to support and the very few apps available are all Apple released. very few services that allow network connections to be made also restricts the scope of where to find a vulnerability.
        —If anyone remembers satellite Smart Card hacking from the 90’s the security was defeated for many years and into 2000+ by a process of: “disrupting incoming power & clock signals for a short length of time (such as a millionth of a second) in order to cause the processor to skip an instruction”. Hardly clean or efficient, perhaps even ghetto but it got the job done in a way DirecTV probably never considered beforehand.

    • Apple Tv 2 with latest iOS has no jailbreak either.

  • DopamineAddicted

    Same here, 6+ 811

    • yea keep rubbing it in our faces 🙁

      • Slifur

        I want my slong to rub on your face. Jk

      • Manuel Molina

        You can, but luckly for her, it can only reason the screen due to length issues. 🙂

      • Fazbear Entertainment

        I’m on IOS 9 🙁 no jailbreak 🙁

    • JayDee917

      Sadly upgraded to 8.3 for the Apple Watch yesterday, I miss my jailbreak so much already!

      • DopamineAddicted

        Is the watch worth getting?

      • bdone

        jailbreak for 8.3 is out. good luck

  • iKhalil

    Jailbreak rules!

  • john diaz

    It’s always the same thing when theres a new iOS version it seems impossible to jailbreak until someone does it!! so in other words don’t worry people.

    • therealjjohnson

      Well…8.3 is still not jailbroken. Haven’t had a jailbreak at all on this 6Plus.

      • Blip dude

        And you are still speaking too soon. Why the hell release a jailbreak for 8.3 now when Apple will patch it yet again with 8.4 which is scheduled to be released within the next 3-4 weeks, and then possibly make this same statement again.

      • Hot12345

        Yeah so what? We have at least then a jailbreak.

        It’s like, if I’m buying a TV, but the next day is a better TV, so.. I don’t buy a tv, never ever, because the TV gets old.

      • Blip dude

        And then what happens when you get a Jailbreak for whatever reason one must restore to 8.4?? How many will complain then??

      • therealjjohnson

        So I can expect a 8.3 jaikbreak when 9.0 comes out? Who wants that. If you can’t jaikbreak a device in the lifespan of that OS then they are correct, it’s virtually impossible.

        Apple gave the release schedule to all the upgrades. The whole, there is about to be another release is useles because they told you when they we’re going to. Stopping you from even trying. When they stop its time for 9.0 and still no jailbreaks. I thinks it’s over guys.

      • Blip dude

        Last comment I’m going to make here: Did you even read what I wrote correctly?? Did I say an 8.3 Jailbreak will come when iOS 9 arrives!?!? NO!!! I said that it will be released when 8.4 comes out. A jailbreak for 8.2 and 8.3 is in the works, that has been confirmed. iOS 9 does not come out until Fall!! iOS 8.4 is scheduled to be released in June!!! That’s when you can expect a Jailbreak!! Does that make sense now!?!?

        There is no such thing a Perfect OS!!!! This has never existed, because every release of any OS comes with some issue that was missed and people will ALWAYS find a way around security measures, even if it takes a long time. You sound like those people who taught Jailbreaking would end when ASLR was introduced in iOS 4.3 and 3 months later, BOOM a jailbreak, a userland exploit to add to that, which meant the device could be Jailbroken without the use of a computer.

      • therealjjohnson

        I read what you wrote. Correctly. What I wrote was my opinion. You say a jaikbreak is coming…by the time it comes out I won’t care anymore. And judging by the adoption rates of new iOS releases (they keep increasing) most people don’t either.

        Like Was alluding to before, if you jaikbreak a OS that no one has anymore (if you bought a new iPhone in the last 6 months) then it’s useless. I don’t want an ios8 jaikbreak after the new one comes out. I know 9 is in the fall. But I don’t have faith that after 8.4 there will be an 8.3. That’s just me.

      • h4nd0fg0d

        A very tiresome read. Lame

      • Shining Jade

        Wow ok now you are ether new to iOS Jailbreaking or just spoiled and want everything asap -_-
        Know this there will be times that theres no jailbreak for a set iOS version or it will take a long time .. you learn to adapt to the JB life and flow or you leave it and go back to Apples strict flow and life … many have older iOS version thank you very much! Theres a few I know still on 6 and 7 ….Those who have been with the jailbreaking community learn to accept ether A having a jailbreak and all its lovely features, or going with the flow and jumping straight to the next OS …iOS 9 is saddest update probably bringing barely any new features but support for older devices.. Oh and many new security fixes with rootless ..yea no Apple can’t (thankfully) force users to update its called 3rd party apps and eventually Semi restore will be updated for the latest Jailbreak!I am lucky to even be on 8 the “Geniuses” screwed me on that one..
        so I will stay and only update when a newer jailbreak update comes …
        I go with the jailbreaking flow not Apples anymore -_- I have a old 1st gen iPad Mini with issues with apps crashing not working etc… Jailbreaking and removing a few default things that run my memory up saved this device … I will never go back to vanilla …

      • therealjjohnson

        Well I guess they have old phones too then. Cause if your on iOS 6 and 7 you more than likely don’t have an iPhone 6 or 6Plus. I like to buy new iPhones. So keeping old OS’s doesn’t work for me. For me, I’ll choose not to be 3 years behind. We didn’t use to wait this long. Why is the wait longer? Because Apple stepped up on their end. It’s really simple to understand. And if they are changing it now and not loading from root then it’s effectively ended jailbreaks. The number of people jail broken right now is probably a lot less than in the past. Every new iPhone loses people who jailbreak. the end is coming. Not saying specifically this is the exact end. But it’s coming.

      • 5723alex .

        Why jailbreak iOS 8.4 when Apple will patch it in iOS 9 ?
        You may stay on iOS 8.1.1 forever.

      • Shining Jade

        When Jailbreak comes out all you gotta do is get a Cydia Patch that blocks OS updates and use iFunbox and Syncios etc to sync and such and just stay on 8.4 remember eventually there will be a time where apple will leave behind a device and I would rather be left behind on a Version that can be Jailbroken ..wouldn’t you? What if say 9 is not Jailbreakable but 9.01 is ? Then they state that such and such devices can’t be updates to said new update what do you do then .. you just jumped to 9 and now can’t go back the JB community gave up on a ios 9 JB and goes to the newer one ..yea ..just go with the flow if you like JBing then wait for one to come out before jumping ..

  • pnh

    Let’s stay in the present. How about an 8.3 Jailbreak for us watch-wearers?

  • iPodDroid

    I will never stop believing in the jailbreak community. If there’s a will, there’s a way.

    • Antzboogie

      Well said I back and support all Jailbreakers and hackers everywhere. My iPhone 6 Plus wouldn’t be the beast it is today without the Jailbreak!!!!

      • Hot12345

        What kind of tweaks you have installed on you 6+?

  • TotallySerious

    Very motivating article Jeff 🙂 Long live the jailbreak community!

  • Digitalfeind

    Maybe now these hackers will work together and not for the money. Or maybe i0nic will have his exploits stolen from the Chinese again. Hahaha

    • h4nd0fg0d

      Shut up. And ya, I’m on pa-troll.

  • It’ll happen; if just for the bragging rights….

  • Kevin Chen

    Basically, Apple cant win the Chinese

  • Kevin Chen

    I am going to miss my jailbreak so much. I am right now jailbroken on IOS 8.1.2. however my camra got a hardware issue where it wont focus. I had to bring it into apple for replacement. therefore I must remove my jailbreak.

    • Eni

      You can fix it by yourself m8

      • Kevin Chen

        I can’t. It’s an hardware issue. Not software. I tried everything.

  • Luis Finke

    are we seriously going to run this same article every single time a new iOS version comes out? jesus

    • Nothing about this report or the rumors about iOS 9 are like anything we’ve ever seen.

      • Luis Finke

        Right, but neither was iOS 8, or iOS 7, etc. There’s never going to be “perfect” security on apple’s end. There are always going to be loopholes, unless apple does away with almost all the things that make their iOS run.

      • And you just made the case for me posting this. Others were saying it was nearly impossible; I was clarifying.

      • h4nd0fg0d

        Wldnt have even responded to tht bs, Jeff. Just sayin

      • Joshua The-Legend Wiebe

        So you got all the words typed out except wouldn’t, that, and saying.. Just saying.

    • Alberto Espinal

      What? Are you serious here dude? Did I just read what you just said, what are you 12?

      • Luis Finke

        Am I 12? No, and I’m assuming you did read what I wrote, so I don’t really know why you’re asking me. “This might be the end of jailbreaking!” article gets posted every single time apple comes out with a new version of iOS.

      • h4nd0fg0d

        You’re as tiresome as the day is long. Shut it

  • Personally I’m OK on 8.1 but it’s been too long now without even a hint of a new jailbreak on the horizon for 8.1.3 + So I don’t know how you could have that much hope for an iOS 9 J/B knowing how much tighter it’s gonna be locked down. I really hope I am proven wrong going forward.

  • Poporopo00

    I’m not sure if i did good or bad but i decided to stay on IOS 7.1.2 since my 5S is still running awesome. Something i know, i won’t buy another IOS device if there is not jailbreak (unless i really need to).

    • Digitalfeind

      Stay on iOS 7.1.2 as long as you can. There really no difference in iOS 8. 7.1.2 runs faster on the 5s. The only benefit of I have seen from upgrading my 5s to iOS 8 is that Touch ID works a bit better.

  • throttle clutch e brake

    how do you know celebrities jailbreak? their there only community yet to reveal such info about their devices

    • Because I’ve talked to them.

    • h4nd0fg0d

      Shut up

      • throttle clutch e brake

        Ok your a piece of shit as well fucker!

  • D2WWPG

    There’s no such thing as impossible? I’m still waiting for the first Atv3 jailbreak

    • I knew someone would bring up the atv3. Different beast all together, though. That would be a whole new post.

  • mp

    I commented in the Apple watch blog that it is unacceptable so many bugs are introduced that it should be possible with Apple’s fortunes to ship an o/s virtually bug free and an update virtually bug free. I’m told repeatedly that’s impossible. Apple et al states “anything is possible, nothing is impossible”. this folks is a true paradox.

  • Josh Venegas

    What about Apple TV 3. Why can’t that be jailbroken?

  • therealjjohnson

    This is bad. But good. Cant really be upset if there aren’t holes in the security of the most popular phone in the world.

  • fast432

    HERE COMES APPLE DEATHBLOWWW

    there will still be a way tho. DONT LOSE YOUR WAYYYYY

    • h4nd0fg0d

      You shld not be a motivational speaker.

  • What Apple think that jailbreakers use outdated methods…please!

  • ltcommander_data

    Apple doesn’t need to make it absolutely impossible to jailbreak, they only need to make it effectively impossible. Most previous iOS versions have tended to only have a single x.1 point update, but Apple seems to be moving toward more rapid releases with iOS 8 going up to iOS 8.4. So where previously there might have been months available to find a jailbreak in an iOS branch and get the community to upgrade to it while that iOS branch is being signed, now with rapid iOS releases, there might only be weeks available. Rootless isn’t going to eliminate the existence of security bugs that can be exploited for jailbreak, but it will probably slow the search. So if the jailbreak community is on say jailbroken iOS 8.4, by the time a jailbreak is found for iOS 9.0, Apple is already on iOS 9.2, and few people can take advantage of the new iOS 9.0 jailbreak because the signing window to upgrade has closed. Rootless alone won’t make jailbreaking impossible, but in combination with rapid iOS releases, it might make jailbreaking very difficult for users to take advantage of.

    • Victor

      ONE unsanitised input field. ONE buffer overflow exploit. ONE wrong privilege setting and you’re in. The jailbreak teams only need one. Even all those engineers at Apple can overlook a faulty line in the software. As long as those exploits are not wide spread, they can be presistant in x.1 releases…

  • Preben Faarkrog Hansen

    Apple, make a theme store and im DONE with jailbreak.

  • Kominimatchen

    Talk the talk but 8.3 is still locked as fort Knox …

  • spartan

    Hey does anyone know how I can manually remove activation lock password from my iphone 6 .

  • Femi Frederick Jacob

    Jailbreak is the best thing that ever happen to iphone, big ups to the jailbreak community, love you guys forever, just only sad at the moment cos i upgraded my jailbroken 8.1.1 to 8.3 because it crash. wish i know how to downgrade it.

  • JayDee917

    You spent $10,000+ on an Apple Watch Edition, but aren’t using it because you don’t want to lose your jailbreak? I call BS. That, or you’re, (as Sprint would say) stupid rich.

    • DopamineAddicted

      Lol i don’t own an apple watch just because i don’t want to lose my JB

  • mav3rick

    Now consider this: The last three kernel exploits didn’t even use root. In fact, the last public jailbreak that used a root kernel exploit was evasi0n7, back in the winter of 2013.

    This is misleading. Evad3rs were the last ones to use root access because of their hard work for months to find a way to release the Jailbreak not using some of the long time known exploits which could more easily lead to a Jailbreak and being not patched in a long time. Hoping this will give a chance for future Jailbreaks. They also said their work should guarantee only one more Jailbreak, which was evasi0n7. Evasi0n Jailbreaks were the most ingenious ones. The last 3 Jailbreaks used the last well known exploits. Rootless iOS and just a touch of will from the gardeners mostly to shut down Jailbreak for good or making the amount of time and work on it worthless.

  • Job Anson McKee

    Well, it IS 100% impossible to downgrade iOS, and it definitely wasn’t always. Why couldn’t jailbreaking potentially follow suite?

  • chris

    Hail for china our new master!!!

  • ChipCookie

    Well pangu beat the system, the jailbreak is out booooooooys!

  • The_El_Conquistador

    It’s not looking good folks, with the FBI wanting in and Apple deciding to lock it all down even further this may come to an end (Please leave your ego at the door, it will happen) Nobody has mentioned that it’s just another way to force users to get newer phones. The 5 & 5S will soon become outmoded and the newer OS’s will eventually no longer run on those, and since you cannot select the OS you want to run on a device that you own we may be forced out of the freedom to choose.