Here we go again, Apple’s newest version of iOS, has been jailbroken. The Chinese iOS hacker group Pangu has brought iOS users the jailbreak they’ve been waiting for. For those that don’t know what jailbreaking is, Popular Science http://www.popsci.com/ios-9-untethered-jailbreak-is-out gives a nice little definition
“For the uninitiated: jailbreaking allows iOS users to install apps and tweaks to your iPhone that Apple normally wouldn’t allow due to their limitations. Apps like f.lux (which makes the screen easier on your eyes at night) or NoSlowAnimations (which speeds up animations that normally slow down the flow of using one’s phone) suddenly became an option. And then there are apps like Activator, which provide so much Apple-unapproved functionality it could fill an entire post.”
In other words, for an iPhone user, jailbreaking does something that is desperately needed with an iPhone. It makes it useful. By breaking the shackles that Apple places on the iPhone, it allows users a level of functionality you just can’t achieve out of the box with an iPhone. Unfortunately, that’s not all it does.
Jailbreaking is very nice term for what it’s actually doing. It makes sense that iPhone users would call it jailbreaking, as by doing this process users are very much breaking the shackles that Apple imposes on them. It frees them from many of the limitations of the iPhone, and allows them a level of functionality that you simply can’t get out of the box on an iPhone. But let’s not romanticize it. There’s no way around it. It’s rooting the iPhone. The core security of the OS is ripped cracked, hacked, and thrown open for anyone that likes.
Why should we care though? The users are doing this to their own phones? Is it really a hack if someone is choosing to do this to their own phone? Of course it is! And what many don’t seem to understand or care is that the vast majority, not all by any means, but the majority of iPhone hacks occur on jailbroken devices, so a user hacking their own device leaves their phone wide open for other hacks and malware.
I suppose we should give Apple credit. This jailbreak took weeks to surface. It was overnight for iOS 8. Now, we must ask, how much faith can we place in Apple security, when after 8 years and 9 major releases, they still can’t secure their own OS?