Pangu creates official Reddit account, tweets public statement on recent hack claims

By , Jul 31, 2016

Pangu iOS 7.1.1

Pangu was recently subjected to trust issues after a thread made it to Reddit claiming that some users had unauthorized charges from Beijing on their PayPal account after jailbreaking, others had their Facebook account show login attempts from various Asian countries, but mostly from China.

Despite all of the confusion, Pangu has made an official statement, and we have the scoop.

What exactly happened?

Over the weekend, a disgruntled jailbreaker took to Reddit claiming that he had jailbroken one of his devices with the Pangu jailbreak tool for iOS 9.3.3 with a burner Apple ID. After an hour or so later, he claimed he had noticed charges on his PayPal account originating from Beijing with an unknown email address.

The same person also claimed he wasn’t using any piracy stores or repositories, and the Beijing origin certainly seemed incriminating for 25PP, considering that the 25PP jailbreak originally came with a Beijing enterprise developer certificate. Within the following minutes and hours, other users also chimed in, noting they had some of their online accounts hacked as well.

Some people claimed having their debit/credit card accounts hacked after jailbreaking, while some go as far as to say their Facebook accounts were hacked following their jailbreak. For those were finances were involved, charges were as little as $50 and went up from there, with one person claiming 600 individual charges on their credit card.

The post got tons and tons of up-votes, as one of peoples’ main concerns from Chinese jailbreaks are their security and legitimacy. After all, when you can’t read what a jailbreak tool is saying, you never really know what you’re agreeing to or clicking on. The post effectively fed off of everyone’s worst fears and quickly made to the top the /r/jailbreak sub-reddit.

Saurik later hopped onto the same thread to chime in. He had noted that he’s not particularly excited about the way the PP jailbreak tool handles stuff. Nevertheless, he created Cydia Impactor as a safe way to jailbreak your devices because it sends your Apple ID directly to Apple and no one else.

I don’t particularly like the concept of installing the 25PP tool (edit: this sentence used to say “trust”, but I think that was confusing), as Chinese companies tend to have software that is pretty intrusive and even “combative” against competitor’s software, and in general I am concerned about the way people do signature stuff (as it is just so much easier to do the signing on a server…) which is why I worked so hard to make Impactor be able to do all the signing and communication locally. That said, 25PP’s profit model would probably benefit from local signature work, so I can see them having the existing expertise and taking the time to do that “correctly”.

Does that mean 25PP sends your Apple ID information off to third-party sources? Well, that’s a tricky question to answer, and no one really knows. That’s why we recommend avoiding it and using the English version of the jailbreak from Pangu instead.

Despite what seems like a gloomy conversation, Saurik comes back saying that he trusts the Pangu jailbreak team, despite the mystery surrounding the joint 25PP/Pangu jailbreak app and the Chinese Windows tool.

I will also say I trust Pangu a lot… but I don’t know if the Chinese version of their app was only touched by them. I bet the English one was their work only, though you are downloading it from 25PP, which opens some issues: do you trust the employees at 25PP with control over their servers? I would say that it would be dumb to do quickly be trying to attack people rather than racking up more credentials before anyone becomes suspicious. You have to remember that there are millions of people who jailbreak. And Pangu specifically listed this subreddit on their website as a place to talk to people about their issues, so we are going to be seeing tons of people. Do we really have evidence that this is an issue with the jailbreak process as opposed to a string of random attacks that are being noticed here because we are all being extremely suspicious this week?

If anything, I bet there was just some website, maybe it was even one we all use more often than other people (like reddit! ;P) which was hacked in some way, and people were sharing passwords between there and PayPal, and that hack just happens to have happened at about the same time the jailbreak came out.

According to Saurik, there’s just not enough evidence that 25PP was actually the root cause of the unauthorized charges on the user’s PayPal account.

To be completely fair, it may have been a complete coincidence. The person may have even bought something online from a company that originated from the same location, or may have had a virus on his PC when he accessed his PayPal account from it. For all we know, maybe he actually was running pirated software on his device despite what he said.

There are too many unknowns to know for sure. And it’s just not wise to start pointing fingers, especially at those who bring jailbreaks to us free of charge.

To top things off, Pangu on Sunday made the decision to make a public statement on Twitter that defends their position from a lot of the criticism and slander they’ve faced from this ordeal.

In what appears to be a relatively frustrated response with this Reddit post and users’ reactions to it, Pangu clearly notes that they do not take money (nor does 25PP) as it would be “stupid.” They also wish to find out what really happened so the fears originating from confusion can be cleared up.

Pangu also appears to have made an official Reddit account to take a more active role in making postings and answering questions.

This might help foster trust with jailbreakers in the future, especially those who have lots of questions about the security and legitimacy about Chinese jailbreaks.

Is it safe?

Currently, no iDB team members have had any accounts compromised or have seen any unauthorized charges to our financial accounts. Moreover, our devices are running perfectly fine with our favorite jailbreak tweaks.

If you were interested in jailbreaking iOS 9.3.3, we see no reason not to, as the only major hurdles are side-loading the app on a weekly basis or semi-untethered booting your device after every reboot. One might also attempt to install the 1-year enterprise certificate on their jailbroken device to try and circumvent having to side-load their jailbreak app on a weekly basis.

When it comes right down to it, a jailbreak makes your device less secure. It opens your device up to more exploits because Apple’s security measures are no longer in control of your device; you are. I think the well-respected Luca Todesco says it best in this Tweet:

Every jailbreak is a trade-off between security and customization. But that’s not to say that the jailbreak was the cause for all these hacks. There isn’t enough evidence to blame the jailbreak for these people’s compromises, which may have in turn been caused by their own gross negligence.

Wrapping up

Although it seems scary, this kind of thing seems to pop up after every Chinese jailbreak is released. We’re not sure if it’s true or if people are just desperate for attention, but we can certainly say that nothing has happened to our personal accounts yet and we can also say that if Saurik vouches for Pangu, we do too.

One thing we will say is that if you jailbreak iOS 9.3.3 at all, you should use the English tool from Pangu and avoid the Chinese jailbreak tool for Windows that was a joint release between Pangu and 25PP. This will be your safest bet.

Also read:

What’s your opinion on the Pangu jailbreak for iOS 9.3.3? Share in the comments below.

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  • Michael Bemelmans

    I miss the good old days, but I’m glad there’s a jailbreak available.

    • Antzboogie

      Well said but we can not be greedy lets enjoy this Jailbreak and thank you to Saurik for clarifying things.

  • YaBoyLilMayo

    I doubt they would hack people for $50-60 theyre backed by billion dollar companies but either way I’m not jail breaking my phone this drop has been a huge mess and shlt load of bugs

    • tiltdown

      What do you mean by “shlt load of bugs” can you give some examples?

      • YaBoyLilMayo

        Go look on Reddit bro every few min someone’s phone is getting messed up

      • Bill

        They didn’t follow directions then. I jailbroke two devices without issue. In fact, I’ve never had an issue with any jailbreak ever.

      • YaBoyLilMayo

        Lol sure….read these comments even everyone’s having problems wether with bugs or passwords being changed ur just in denial. It’s not about following directions this was just a flop

      • Bill

        Then no one is following directions. Read my post again, noob.

      • YaBoyLilMayo

        Are u illiterate? Everyone jailbroke fine then accounts started being hacked or their phones went into boot loops or the app to rejailbreak stopped working hold this L dumb@ss ur getting butt hurt cause ur denial lmao go cry now

      • Antzboogie

        Exactly and thank you for saying it. People arent following directions at all.

      • Antzboogie

        People are not following directions and downloading pirated Tweaks I always pay for mine. I have been keeping myself updated with which Jailbreak to use aw well. No issues at all here.

  • TEchGeek2

    This is actually true and scary, i got emails from my bank saying my password was requested to be changed!

    • Willie Barthelemy

      Something is up with this new jailbreak I’ve got a few alerts from eBay on password change request!!

    • Eoin

      Got email notices from MS and Skype… Should I remove JB and restore?

      • TEchGeek2

        I deleted and untrusted the profile and did a fresh restore, that’s the best thing to do

      • Moe

        I got two e-mails from yahoo saying that someone tried to log in to my account twice, but it said it came from United States so i don’t know if it’s related to this.

  • Diego Milano

    I haven’t experienced any of this and I trust Pangu and I wouldn’t consider them being the culprit for any of these claims; I would also ask everyone to consider the fact Pangu has been around for years and that alone should be good enough to debunk any concerns, in other words, they aren’t the new kids on the block, these are old players and we know them.
    Another thing I will mention is my PayPal account is not linked to my Apple account so I can’t see any way of these to be connected in any way.
    Last but not least XIE XIE Pangu for all your hard work on this jailbreak!

    • Legend

      Means the download is binded with a RAT… They will KeyLogg you 😉

      • I highly doubt it.

      • Legend

        😉 you’re not from Hackforums. You wouldn’t understand. You think the Chinese are getting people’s info through mysterious means? no, they simply binded a FUD RAT to the 25PP Download… 😉 you guy all ate malware. They got you.

      • Antonakis Kipouros Nikopolidis

        And none of the other jailbreak creators who reverse engineer every jailbreak found it? RIIIIIIGHTTTTTT……..

      • 5723alex .

        No one has reversed engineered 25PP app.

    • Antzboogie

      Well said and lets appreciate this Jailbreak all the way!!

  • Rondog

    I believe that if Pangu wanted to hack any ones personal account they would have done so when they first came out with the older versions of jailbreaks, as I said before, they didn’t ask for any type of ID’s, and they shouldn’t have made a jailbreak linking use to Apple in the first place. Apple doesn’t give a rats ass about any body but themselves, and thus they can block our jailbreaks at will. Don’t get me wrong Anthony, you make great points in your blogs, but I know these great companies like Pangu and Taig CAN at will come out with their OWN jailbreak WITHOUT any body else involved. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE the jailbreak we have now, it’s just knowing that those IDIOTS at Apple can mess us up with those certificates that pisses me off. Great work by the way I always read your blogs, keep uo the good work.

    • Moe

      It could’ve been their master plan! Get every ones trust on the first couple times then get them later on so that we say they were good when they were really bad. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for the jailbreak and their hard work! You just never know what’s going on.

  • Willie Barthelemy

    Something is up with this new jailbreak I’ve got a few alerts from eBay on password change request

  • HamptonWalley

    I am shocked and terrified :(((

    • Well it takes double the work, according to Saurik, and most devices are 64-bit now, so I don’t really blame them. Another reason to keep my iPhone 5 at iOS 9.0.2 I guess :/

  • Picapollo

    Feels good to be stock! Not even worried!

  • TheShade247

    God Damit, where are the evad3rs at?

  • chjode

    With all these reports– justified or not (where there’s smoke, there’s fire)– I’ll wait for iOS 10. Even the process to install the jailbreak is semi-sketchy and with iOS 10 coming out in under 2 months, I’ll stick with 9.0.2 for now.

  • Legend

    See what happens when you try to get away from Apple’s safety bubble? You get bitten. Come back to your master. iOS 10 defeats any jailbreak purpose.

    • Bill

      Well Apple’s safety bubble had a giant hole in it, hence the ability to jailbreak and do it so easily. So what’s your response to that, sir or ma’am? 🙂

      • Legend

        It’s a pretty small hole. Our hold didn’t lead to malware.. your hole did 🙂 enjoy your hacked accounts.

      • Bill

        I have no malware, nor have I had any unauthorized account activity.

        Methinks you and most others saying otherwise are full of shit.

        Have a nice day bro. 🙂

        edit- I’ll add this- you say the hole in Apple’s bubble didn’t cause bad things, but if you are saying the thing it let in contained bad things…then Apple’s hole did in fact let bad things in. You can’t have it both ways.

        But again, I don’t believe any bad things were let in. So you can rest easy there. Take care.

      • Legend

        😉 so you think. The malware would be crap if you could detect it. It’s FUD crypted 😉 I’m from Hackforums. I infect noobs like you every day 😉

      • Bill

        Cool story, bro!

        And if you are in fact someone who messes with other people for your own little enjoyment, then you can kindly go F yourself. There is no excuse for that. YOU are a bad person, and one of these days karma will come around and take care of you. Keep your eyes peeled, child.

      • Legend

        Are you upset bill?

      • Bill

        Not really, actually. I think I’m going to go have some ice cream now and enjoy the beautiful weather we are having today. Won’t you join me? 🙂

      • Matt Foot

        This pleb is anything BUT a legend .

      • Matt Foot

        “My name is “Legend”, but you can call me “Captain Dingleberry” “

      • Apple’s hole led to the jailbreak. It’s a domino effect. Although there’s no proof of any malware, if there is, then Apple’s hole allowed this to happen. That’s how burden of responsibility in law works. There’s no, “well your hole” and “well my hole” argument to be had here.

    • 2008crna

      Troll Force is strong with this one….

  • Damian Makary

    I found a fix if your cydia crash after reboot! You just need to go to jailbreak app on your iPhone and then click on the circle. Then go to your home screen and go back to your jailbreak app. Do this few times until you see the circle (i think the jb app is just restarting after few times of clicking) and just click on te circle. Lock your screen and you will see a notification. I hope i helped you! Sorry for my bad english haha!

  • mahe

    I would also rob a few $$ from a few ppl when I have a bunch of data I can sell for a few more $$$$$ …
    Seems logic …
    (Disclaimer: this was a “in case of” scenario, I don’t say they have that data!)

    I can understand that ppl panic when they got “hacked” (well, actually they weren’t hacked), but I can’t understand why ppl don’t think about it before they start shouting nonsense…
    And as usual everyone with less knowledge jumps on that train … *head->desk*

  • n0ahcruz3

    This is one of the reasons I don’t jailbreak now, ever since Evasions collapsed.. And Pangu doing the jailbreak tool, i stopped. I just dont trust any chinese software.

    • Shaw

      It is good for you and for Pangu as well. At least one less person that may blame his own unsafe operation to Pangu or any other chinese software.

  • Melma

    my 6s nd 6plus running perfect thankYou Pangu, u nd others keeping de jailbreak alive.

  • Moe

    Guys please be cautious if you used your Apple ID to jailbreak your phone, I just received an e-mail from Apple saying that ” I made a change to my shipping and/or my billing address at 7:04:04 AM (GMT)” and the time where I am is 2:22 am CST. This is obvious it wasn’t me and I’m sure you guys can tell where GMT time zone is, Beijing…

    • Denial

      Fyi GMT = Greenwich Mean Time… as in Greenwich, London, UK, EUROPE.
      NOT Beijin, China, ASIA (China is GMT+8 btw).

      Google stuff up before you post.

    • queenren

      Do you normally go around posting your Apple ID on public websites (like you did now), because if you do, you are begging to get hacked. I hope that’s a burner for your sake…

  • Dirty Pepsi

    I as well experienced something strange after jailbreaking through the chinese version, someone was trying to reset the password on my walmart account, could just be coincidence? idk..