Rogue DMCA takedowns wrongfully targeted the jailbreak community [updated]

It’s never a dull moment for the jailbreak community, and this week, the spotlight isn’t so much on jailbreak tool releases as it is on a series of baseless DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) take-downs that appear to be targeting jailbreak-oriented software and iOS security research.

All the hubbub began with a simple Tweet shared by respected community hacker @siguza, which contained an iPhone encryption key. This key was comprised of a long string of randomized letters and numbers and would have appeared as gibberish to most common folk. Shortly after the Tweet fell victim to one of these requests, threads on the popular /r/jailbreak subreddit regarding checkra1n and unc0ver became victimized by similar activity:

New teaser shows checkra1n jailbreak running Cydia and Zebra

With a resource as powerful as @axi0mX’s checkm8 bootrom exploit floating around in the wild, it’s should come as no surprise to anyone that prominent members of the jailbreak community are actively working on tools that take advantage of it. One of the most significant of those is checkra1n, a project that is currently being spearheaded by renowned hacker and Yalu jailbreak lead developer Luca Todesco.

It’s been a little over a week since we last heard anything new about checkra1n, but based on what we saw at the time, it would seem things are falling into place quite nicely. Now, a new Tweet shared Sunday afternoon by the official checkra1n Twitter page reveals what appears to be working package managers installed on an iPhone X, iPhone SE, and a seventh-generation iPod touch.

CoolStar to shift focus away from A12(X) in favor of new checkm8 exploit

Chimera Banner Image.

The recent launch of the checkm8 bootrom exploit for A5-A11 devices certainly piqued the interest of many, and perhaps a lot more than some people would like.

Electra Team lead developer CoolStar took to Discord over the weekend to announce that he would be shifting focus away from A12(X) jailbreak development on iOS 12.1.3 and later and more toward experimenting with and developing around the checkm8 exploit:

Axi0mX showcases verbose boot on iPhone X with iOS 13.1.1 via checkm8

The tides of the jailbreak community forever changed for the better on Friday when hacker and security researcher @axi0mX released checkm8, the first publicly-released bootrom exploit for iOS-powered devices since the iPhone 4 in 2010. Captivatingly, checkm8 works on a significant number of handsets ranging from the antiquated iPhone 4s to the not-so-old iPhone X.

Checkm8 is, in and of itself, an exploit. That said, it’s not a jailbreak, but rather a powerful tool that jailbreak developers could use to devise a USB-based tethered or semi-tethered jailbreak tool for A5-A11 devices. Given how recently checkm8 was released, it should come as no surprise to anyone that public jailbreak tools don’t yet utilize the exploit, but that hasn’t stopped some talented hackers from flexing their l33t dexterities:

New checkm8 bootrom exploit ensures lifetime jailbreakability for A5-A11 devices

Matrix code hacked iPhone.

It’s an exciting time to be an active member of the jailbreak community. Security researcher axi0mX has released a powerful new bootrom exploit targeting A5-A11 devices, and for veteran jailbreakers who remember the action-packed limera1n days of yore, this might feel like a blast from the past.

Axi0mx announced his new bootrom exploit, dubbed checkm8, via Twitter just this morning, noting that it would work on all iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches from the iPhone 4s to the iPhone X: