The MacDirtyCow bug, also known as CVE-2022-46689, has opened Pandora’s box for Apple on iOS & iPadOS 15.x-16.1.2 because it allows people to make system customizations on their non-jailbroken iPhones and iPads that they technically shouldn’t be allowed to make. It all works by sideloading a special app that exploits this bug.
MacDirtyCow works by allowing an app to write to all files that a sandboxed app can access on a particular device, which means that there are some far-reaching possibilities that this bug unlocks for those who aren’t yet able to jailbreak due to iOS & iPadOS 16’s latest anti-jailbreak security mitigations. Generally, these add-ons revert upon a reboot, but that’s a small tradeoff for someone who doesn’t power cycle their device all the time.
So if you have a compatible iOS or iPadOS 15 or 16 device at your disposal and you’re wondering what you should be installing to take better advantage of the MacDirtyCow bug on your handset, then you’ve come to the right place because we’ll be discussing some of what we believe are the best apps available for MacDirtyCow at the time of this writing.
Best MacDirtyCow apps
One of the first, and perhaps most popular add-ons for the MacDirtyCow bug is an app called WDBFontOverwrite, which upon being sideloaded, allows the end user to customize their system font.
This is something that ordinarily wouldn’t be possible without a jailbreak app called BytaFont, but with this handy app, you don’t even need a jailbreak if you’re running iOS or iPadOS 15.x-16.1.2.
You can find out more about WDBFontOverwrite in our full news post.
Only the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max handsets officially support the Dynamic Island – that pill-shaped screen cut-out that replaces the notch and dynamically adjusts to show information about what’s going on with your device in the background – but the DynamicCow add-on changes that.
With DynamicCow, you can enable Apple’s native Dynamic Island code on any unsupported iOS 16.0-16.1.2 device, whether it has a notch or not. It obviously looks better on some devices compared to others because of the notch’s location on the screen, but it’s still an awesome achievement at that.
Note: iOS 15 doesn’t have the system resources to support the Dynamic Island, so devices running this firmware aren’t supported.
You can learn more about DynamicCow and how it works in our full news post.
Many of the best add-ons for MacDirtyCow can be found in this all-in-one app called dirtycowapp by palera1n co-developer Mineek.
You can learn more about dirtycowapp and how it works in our full news post.
Having a file manager on your iPhone or iPad is generally a hallmark feature of being jailbroken, but with the Santander app for the MacDirtyCow bug, you can enjoy these same benefits – albeit with limitations.
Santander lets you browse and tinker with the device’s default filesystem. Obviously, you will want to be cautious not to change things that could damage your filesystem, just like if you were jailbroken.
You can learn more about Santander and how it works in our full news post.
Cowabunga is another do-all add-on for the MacDirtyCow bug that tries to offer a bunch of options in a single app so that you don’t need to sideload a bunch of them to make the same result.
This app supports features such as hiding the Dock and hiding the Home Bar, among various other things. New features are constantly being added by the committed developer behind the project.
You can learn more about Cowabunga and how it works in our full news post.
With TrollLock Reborn, you can customize the Face ID unlocking glyph that appears on the Lock Screen of supported handsets.
This add-on specifically replaces the padlock with an animated Troll Face that moves as you authenticate yourself on your device.
You can find out more about TrollLock Reborn in our full news post.
In some countries, it’s more difficult to disable your iPhone’s camera shutter sound when using the Camera app. This is generally because of laws and regulations that prevent up-skirting and other creepy or nefarious behavior.
But if you have another reason to disable your Camera app’s shutter sound, and aren’t breaking any laws, then you can use the NoCameraSound add-on for MacDirtyCow to permit exactly that.
You can learn more about NoCameraSound in our full news post.
That brings us to the end of this roundup, but we can assure you there will probably be a lot more MacDirtyCow apps in the future, especially given the revelation that Ian Beer’s MacDirtyCow proof-of-concept indicates how the bug may be more powerful than originally thought.
As always, keep it tuned to iDB to stay on top of all the latest updates and releases as they surface.