Is jailbreaking a phone dangerous?

iPad / iPhone Jailbreaking iPhone: Everything You Need to Know

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When the first iPhone came onto the market in 2007, Apple had forgotten an essential feature: There was no app store, so there was no way to expand the smartphone, which was very powerful at the time. There was a telephone function, SMS, web browser and e-mail client, but that already largely exhausted the functions. It was also tied to a provider.

Software hobbyists - "positive" hackers, if you will - quickly realized that the iPhone was actually a small computer on which any software could be installed. Apple had not made the most of its performance potential. Unfortunately, the manufacturer has the iPhone operating system, unlike for example MacOS or Windows, protected against changes by third parties. It is “trapped” and it is still so today. This is exactly where the so-called jailbreak comes into play.

With the jailbreak came the expandability

The first jailbreak was published about half a year after the iPhone was released by the hacking group iPhone Dev Team: Er opened the operating system for changes and at the same time brought a first app store - the Cydia store - onto the system. Interested users could, for example, deactivate the provider connection or install new apps on the device by means of a jailbreak. Since then, numerous groups of hackers have been working on jailbreaks. A fine thing - if only Apple wouldn't mind. And so began a game of cat and mouse that continues to this day.

iPhone jailbreak: this is how it works

The iPhone jailbreak always takes place in three steps: Apple publishes an new operating system version from iOS. The hackers analyze it Vulnerabilitiesthat allow code to be smuggled in. This possibility is exploited by means of a small tool or a special website. A distinction is made between so-called Tethered and Untethered Jailbreaks differentiated: the former require a PC or Mac, the latter can be carried out directly on the iPhone. The tethered variant is usually the simpler one for the layman:

  1. The iPhone is connected to the PC or Mac connected.
  2. A Jailbreak tool is started on the computer.
  3. The iPhone is used by the user in the so-called DFU mode offset.
  4. The Jailbreak tool unlocks the iPhone with a modified firmware and installed the Cydia store.
  5. Subsequently reboots the iPhone and apart from root access, the Cydia store including Apple unwanted software and the ability to work deeply in the system, it is initially indistinguishable from a regular iPhone.
  6. As with Linux can Software also via terminal can be installed from any source - so-called repositories.
  7. The operating system is open after the jailbreak and can be changed. This is particularly interesting for developers.

Sounds good - but it's risky

Sounds great, doesn't it? Unfortunately, jailbreaking the iPhone has several disadvantages that cannot be dismissed out of hand:

  • By jailbreaking can any software get onto the device.
  • That also means that Viruses and Trojans the gate and door are open if used improperly.
  • The jailbreak may remove others Security mechanismsthat protect the device and the user from damage.
  • If an iPhone is unlocked via jailbreak, everything can be installed there - including immature or malicious softwarethat damaged the hardware.
  • The risk of it becoming such a damage comes is massively increased by the jailbreak.
  • If the iPhone breaks with the jailbreak installed, Apple may deny warranty and repair.

The last point in particular should generally deter iPhone owners from jailbreaking. Because if such a high-priced device breaks due to software tinkering, it is then only electronic scrap, which is very annoying. What is more serious, however, is the risk that attackers could use malicious software to pull access data to the cloud or credit card data from the device or otherwise spy on the user.

Those who jailbreak should know what they're doing

In other words: Anyone who jailbreak their iPhone must be aware of the risk involved at all times. Beginners and laypeople in particular tend to see only the advantages: Removal of the provider connection or the installation of software that Apple would never release in the app store, including terminal software, stolen apps or programs that enable pirated copies such as bit torrent Clients or video game emulators.

The jailbreak cat and mouse game

This is exactly why Apple wants to put a stop to jailbreaking: If there is a gap in the system that makes jailbreaking possible, it is guaranteed to be closed with the next iOS update. For jailbreakers, this means that they should not update their device: As soon as an update is regularly installed, the jailbreak will most likely be removed again. Since the hacker groups often take a while to develop a new jailbreak, this means for jailbreak users to wait with the updates. In addition, the complex jailbreak has to be carried out again every time. Apple and the jailbreak groups have been playing a game of cat and mouse for over ten years, but it seems to be slowly coming to an end.

Jailbreak no longer makes sense today

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Because the big "problems" that the first iPhone model had are long gone: The iPhoneOS 2.0 (now iOS) has been around for a long time official Apple app store - Apple simply adopted the hacker's idea. Software can therefore be installed later. Today several million apps are available in the store. The other major problem area of ​​provider connection is also history: since the iPhone 4 iPhones without a mobile phone contract or provider connection can easily be bought in the store. And last but not least, the iPhone can now also be used as a Cellular modem ("Personal Hotspot") - another reason why the devices were cracked in the early days. With these three steps, Apple made jailbreaking uninteresting for the general public: There is simply no longer any reason for ordinary users to crack the iPhone, unless they want to use copied software or are technically interested in the software. Inner workings. In addition, Apple adds new exciting features with every version of the operating system that melt away the desire for a jailbreak.

New security technologies prevent jailbreaking

In addition, most of the jailbreaking loopholes have been closed over the years. Apple now knows where the hackers usually start - and checks accordingly before the release. In addition, there is now also Hardware protection functions in the iPhonethat make a jailbreak much more difficult. As a result, the time span between the iOS update and the jailbreak release is getting longer and less interesting for normal users.

There are still hacker groups like Pangu8 who deal with jailbreaking, but jailbreaking is becoming increasingly academic - it simply no longer makes sense for normal users. By the way, we strongly advise against jailbreaking nowadays: The added value is simply no longer given.