Apple TV owners who wish to jailbreak their Apple-branded set top boxes are in for a bout of good news this Wednesday afternoon, as an all-new Apple TV-centric jailbreak tool dubbed Blackb0x appears to have been released to the public.
Citing the project’s official GitHub page, the Blackb0x jailbreak fills an important niche by setting its sights on older Apple TV models such as second and third-generation units running various versions of tvOS. The support is a little complicated, which is why we’ll be outlining that in more detail below.
About a month ago, Guardian Firewall VPN founder and CEO Will Strafach, a former member of the Chronic Dev Team, shared a particularly exciting announcement in that nitoTV (now going by @freenitoTV on Twitter) had gotten VPN connections working on the Apple TV platform for the very first time; albeit with a jailbreak.
The aforementioned jaw-dropping feat demanded tons of complicated hackery, but after lots of research, development, testing, and refinement, the project, officially dubbed “vpnd,” is now available for jailbreakers who might want to try their hand at configuring a VPN connection on their own Apple TV.
For a company that appears to tout privacy as much as they do, it’s both astounding and questionable as to why Apple doesn’t permit VPN functionality on its Apple TV platform out of the box. Fascinatingly, VPNs can be installed and used on almost every other Apple device aside from the Apple Watch, including the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and even the Mac.
There’s no question that this silly limitation has brushed some Apple TV users the wrong way. On the other hand, there may be hope for those holding out. In a teaser Tweet shared this Thursday afternoon, Guardian Firewall founder and CEO Will Strafach said that the first VPN (and firewall) for tvOS is in the works and could be released for jailbroken Apple TVs in the future:
The unc0ver Team has released a third public beta of its unc0ver for TV jailbreak tool for the Apple TV 4 and Apple TV 4K this week with a number of critical bug fixes and performance improvements, as well as updated bundled software.
The latest updated beta build was announced late last night via the unc0ver Team’s official Twitter account:
Just yesterday, the unc0ver Team launched the first unc0ver for TV v5.1.0 beta, permitting Apple TV owners on the latest version of tvOS to jailbreak their Apple-branded set top box. The news came just a few days after unc0ver picked up support for iOS and iPadOS 13.5.
Early Wednesday morning, however, the unc0ver Team published a second beta of unc0ver for TV v5.1.0. The announcement was shared early Wednesday morning via the official unc0ver Team Twitter page:
Team unc0ver has launched yet another iteration of its novel jailbreak, this time focusing on support for the latest versions of tvOS for the Apple TV. Unc0ver for TV is a separate fork from the traditional unc0ver jailbreak and begins at version 5.1.0 beta 1.
News regarding the new unc0ver for TV release was shared first by the unc0ver Team via Twitter Tuesday afternoon:
In case you missed it, the unc0ver jailbreak added support for iOS/iPadOS 13.5 over Memorial Day weekend via a new 0-day exploit from Pwn20wnd, which conveniently also happens to be the latest available firmware version for iPhones and iPads from Apple. So yes, you can literally update your iOS/iPadOS devices to the latest version and jailbreak it, folks!
But if you paid any attention to team unc0ver’s announcements when the first update (v5.0.1) dropped, you might’ve noticed that the team is planning near-future support for the latest version of tvOS, and it seems some rather interesting things could be coming to the platform.
One of the most substantial things to happen in the jailbreak community in the past decade was the release of @axi0mX’s hardware-based checkm8 bootrom exploit. This exploit can’t be patched by Apple in a software update, and it essentially guarantees the jailbreakability of several of Apple’s devices using the A5-A11 SoC for life.
While checkm8 is already being used in the checkra1n jailbreak for handsets ranging from the iPhone 5s to the iPhone X, it’s also true that the same exploit can be used to jailbreak compatible Apple TV units. The newest Apple TV, on the other hand, purportedly sports a hidden Lightning port that would necessitate a special adapter to utilize for such an exploit.
Much of this past week’s news has been all about the newfangled checkra1n jailbreak for certain iOS devices affected by the checkm8 bootrom exploit, but was anyone wondering about the progress on support for Apple TV? If you answered ‘yes’ to that question, then wonder no longer.
It would now seem that an official fork of the checkra1n jailbreak tool dubbed checkra1n tv was soft released as a public beta on the checkra1n team’s official website Wednesday evening. The news was shared first by Apple TV jailbreak mastermind @nitoTV on Twitter:
A special Lightning connector for debugging has been found embedded inside the Ethernet port of the latest Apple TV 4K model, according to reports this past weekend.
Earlier today, the Electra Team released version 1.3.6 of the iOS 12-centric Chimera jailbreak with improvements for the Sock Puppet exploit and a fix for random crashes after jailbreaking, and as it would seem, they’ve just now pushed a similar update for the tvOS-centric ChimeraTV jailbreak.
The Electra Team announced ChimeraTV v1.3.6 via Twitter just a few minutes ago:
The Electra Team released updated versions of both the iOS-centric Chimera jailbreak tool and the tvOS-centric ChimeraTV jailbreak tool Wednesday evening, bringing both tools up to version 1.3.4 on the official Chimera download page.
The Electra Team announced these new updates just a few minutes ago via Twitter, denoting some of the changes that came with each new iteration: