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  (Source: Bloomberg)
Apple won't be able to fix this one without hardware changes

Greenpois0n is about to land.  The Chronic Dev Team, a group of iPhone firmware hacking enthusiasts and affiliates of the well-known iPhone Dev Team, announced via Twitter that the new software is progressing nicely and should be released this Sunday -- 10/10/10.  So what is greenpois0n and why should you care?

This clever piece of software, like the iPhone Dev Team's redsn0w, which preceded it, takes jailbreakers' war against zealously-restrictive Apple to new heights.  It allows another unbreakable path to removing Apple's restrictions in the short term, applicable to the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch devices running on iOS 4.1.

Apple has long begrudged purchasers of its devices the right to run software it finds annoying or morally offensive.  From the Flash multimedia player to entertainment apps like a South Park app, many pieces of software have been banned from Apple's tightly locked App Store ecosystem.

Many technology enthusiasts appreciate Apple's mobile hardware, but don't appreciate Apple making these decisions for them, so they've worked together to defeat the software protections that Apple has installed to prevent free software installation.  This process is known as jailbreaking (not to be confused with unlocking, which is freeing the phone of its carrier restrictions, e.g. AT&T in the U.S.).

Jailbreaking was long a legal gray area, but recent amendments to 1998's Digital Millenium Copyright Act have formally legalized it.

Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs has expressed a fervent disdain for these actions that borders on hatred.  He has committed his company to "a cat and mouse war" with the jailbreakers.  He complains that jailbreaking ruins his company's "magical" experience and his personal campaign to offer customers "freedom" from many evils such as pornography and poor performance.

If previous jailbreaking efforts irked Mr. Jobs, greenpois0n should be a worse blow.  Most past efforts focused on exploiting the device's software (such as a previous exploit that used a PDF vulnerability in the Safari web browser to execute arbitrary code) or its firmware. 

However, the new hack will directly use an exploit of the bootrom, first discovered by the iPhone Dev Team.  Since Apple can't alter the bootrom, it will be powerless to stop its users from gaining freedom (well not Apple's definition of "freedom", but freedom in a typical sense), barring a hardware update.  In other words, current model phones/iDevices should be permanently jailbroken.

About the only thing Apple could do is to try to roll out an update that detects jailbroken phones and breaks them.  Apple has tried this approach in the past and has been beaten back by lawsuits.  And such a measure would likely draw a public backlash, which is the last thing Apple given its fierce battle with a surging Android OS.

Ultimately, for Apple the new jailbreak is made more bitter in that they draw attention to the company's poor software and security performance.  Among security professionals Apple's software has long been considered buggy and easily exploitable; Apple devices are only "more secure" in that they have traditionally either had a small market share or are entering into new markets which have not drawn significant exploitation interest yet.

So for Apple greenpois0n may be quite a bitter pill to swallow, but for customers it is a sweet and long awaited pathway to freedom.

Notes:
The key difference between greenpois0n and the previous redsn0w is that greenpois0n can jailbreak the iPhone 4, iPod Touch 4G and Apple TV.  Redsn0w uses the SAME bootrom vulnerability, but can only jailbreak the older iPhone 3G, iPod Touch 2G.  Greenpois0n also adds linux support.

Also another very important note -- beware torrents purporting to be greenpois0n.  Antivirus software vendor Kapersky reports that hackers have cooked up fake "greenpois0n" torrents and downloads that really contain Trojan viruses.


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This will reduce the Freedom of Apple users
By MrTeal on 10/8/2010 10:54:14 AM , Rating: 5
Users are not meant to have these choices. All jailbreaks are ungood. Users should not engage in crimethink.

Jobs is unpleased.




RE: This will reduce the Freedom of Apple users
By kmmatney on 10/8/2010 11:07:50 AM , Rating: 2
??

I would highly recommend Jailbreaking the iPhone. I mainly did it for free wireless tethering, but it also allows for a lot of customization of the UI. It does not impede the normal operation of the phone in any way - the App store still works as normal, but you get access to the Cydia store as well. Awesome deal.


By superPC on 10/8/2010 11:09:11 AM , Rating: 5
i think the sarcasm escapes you...


By JasonMick (blog) on 10/8/2010 12:00:52 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I would highly recommend Jailbreaking the iPhone. I mainly did it for free wireless tethering, but it also allows for a lot of customization of the UI. It does not impede the normal operation of the phone in any way - the App store still works as normal, but you get access to the Cydia store as well. Awesome deal.


I don't care about any of that. It is an iPhone. But its the best phone. I can download apps to it.


By chick0n on 10/9/2010 12:03:04 AM , Rating: 4
Your stupidity has killed me. Now my cat is fucking homeless. are you happy now ? :P


By AstroCreep on 10/8/2010 11:41:09 AM , Rating: 2
Crimethink = "Think Different"?


RE: This will reduce the Freedom of Apple users
By robertisaar on 10/8/2010 1:52:08 PM , Rating: 5
everyone who missed your awesome and obvious 1984 reference needs to pick up the book and read until they get the Two Minutes Hate.


By foolsgambit11 on 10/10/2010 12:36:52 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the reference is especially poignant given the original Apple commercial with its 1984 imagery. Apparently, to mix literary references, Steve Jobs now thinks, "four legs good, two legs better!"


RE: This will reduce the Freedom of Apple users
By Tony Swash on 10/8/10, Rating: -1
By The Raven on 10/8/2010 3:49:53 PM , Rating: 2
Back when the first iPhone came out, MOST of my friends who had them, jailbroke them. Just my POV, and I don't know if college-age males are the typical iPhone carrrying demographic, but I'm just saying it hasn't seemed that uncommon from what I see.

But I don't know if they still do since I don't live near them anymore, and people here in the mid-west aren't as trendy as the people in SoCal so I'm not seeing as many iPhones here.

I still talk to them and I could find out, but I don't want to bring up something that they won't shut up about ;-).

quote:
Do you really think he cares?

Why else would he put out weak updates?

quote:
basically as far as I can see Apple's attitude is "if you want to f--- about with your iPhone don't come to us whining when it stops working".

Don't you go to your carrier, err... I mean ATT for that? Can't you just get a protection plan for the phone?


RE: This will reduce the Freedom of Apple users
By omnicronx on 10/8/2010 4:14:14 PM , Rating: 2
Its estimated that over 10% of iOS devices are jailbroken.

Thats hardly nothing.

You also seem to have completely skipped over the entire article. Did you even read it?

This is a bootrom exploit, and with the recent supreme court judgement that essentially makes jailbreaking legal, Apple will get the crap sued out of them if they try and intentionally break jailbroken devices based on the shatter exploit.

This is not like the previous jailbreakme exploit that Apple indeed needed to patch as it was a legitimate exploit in the software, even for non jailbroken devices and would have been taken advantage of.

This exploit is completely different as Apple can't merely patch the issue at the source because its the bootrom, which is also hardly a true security threat. They would have to truly add something into iOS that flags the device as being jailbroken to disable it. That would appear to violate recent court rulings on jailbreaking, putting Apple in a very hard position.

I don't know about you, but I would not want 10+ million people on my tail joining a class action suite in which they currently have legal standing.


By trajan on 10/9/2010 12:37:15 PM , Rating: 2
It wasn't a Supreme Court decision that legalized jailbreaking, if I recall it was a rule promulgated by a committee at the library of congress (pursuant to authority they were granted in the Digital Copyright Act).

Anyone interested in the free use of technology should be aware of this -- the (recent) legal basis for jailbreaking is really rather tenuous. Congress or (more likely) the courts could reverse that protection at any time, unfortunately.


RE: This will reduce the Freedom of Apple users
By themaster08 on 10/9/2010 4:38:55 AM , Rating: 1
Tony, you are the absolute epitome of a person blinded by fanboyism. There's absolutely no reasoning with you whatsoever.

Everything Apple does is gold. Apple can never do any wrong. Not once have you ever criticised or even acknowledged any of Apple's wrongdoings.

Yet you have the audacity to demean those that have valid criticisms or complaints, simply telling them that they have TAC or whatever other Apple biased crap you regurgitate time and time again.

At least Pirks can be reasonable at times and acknowledges some of Apple's shortcomings, and at least reader1 conceded altogether with a big fat f**k you followed by checking into the nearest mental institute.


RE: This will reduce the Freedom of Apple users
By Tony Swash on 10/9/10, Rating: 0
By themaster08 on 10/9/2010 2:48:14 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I didn't make myself clear.

My post was meant as a generalisation, not targeted towards that particular topic.

However jailbreaking is far more widespread than you presume.


By johnsonx on 10/9/2010 4:30:48 AM , Rating: 2
wow, it worries me when so few seem to grasp what should be a fairly inobscure reference. Perhaps this is why we find ourselves on the path we are on today: too few understand the danger presented by a government that controls too much.


hey apple, microsoft welcomed you to their world!
By superPC on 10/8/2010 11:03:35 AM , Rating: 2
and asking how you're doing in this seedy part of town...

not that i'm implying that our world is in the hand of microsoft. i meant a world where everyone try to exploit your hardware / software and find its weaknesses. in the past apple need not to worry about this because of ther small (compared to MS) user base. now that they held dominant position in 2 mobile computing market (iphone and ipad) lets see how they do now.

do they: a. ignore the problem and continue to believe apple dont get viruses, worms, or trojans.
or b. try to protect their costumer from viruses, trojan and worm




By superPC on 10/8/2010 11:07:55 AM , Rating: 2
or maybe there is an option c: protecting their hardware / software so they can continue to milk countless of mindless izombie out there without thinking to protect their costumer from security issues. oh wait i just realized that never think it could have security issues.


By Tony Swash on 10/9/2010 2:47:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
do they: a. ignore the problem and continue to believe apple dont get viruses, worms, or trojans.
or b. try to protect their costumer from viruses, trojan and worm


Of course at the moment Apple still don't get viruses, Trojans and worms.

99.9% of security problems (other than non-OS stuff like phishing) happens on the Windows platform. In a changing tech world that seems to be the one constant we can all rely on :)


By ninjaquick on 10/12/2010 1:19:35 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.macforensicslab.com/ProductsAndServices...

and

http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2008/03/vist...

and

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/apple_quietly...

and

http://blog.intego.com/2010/06/01/intego-security-...

Oh and then there is the fact that there is only 1 Windows 7 unique exploit, which is a bootstrap exploit. Most if not all malware for windows 7 requires the User to agree to run it. I don't have an AV on my win7 system, I run a scan every once in awhile to make sure all is well but so far no infections at all...

Lastly, where is this 99.9% of security problems info from?


Greenpois0n
By oakland6980 on 10/8/2010 11:13:09 AM , Rating: 2
greenpois0n is not an unlock. Meaning carrier unlock. That statement should be changed from the comparison to redsn0w. The work unlock should only be used in this meaning so for no confusion.




Question
By vol7ron on 10/8/2010 1:55:45 PM , Rating: 2
What about the 3GS? - it wasn't covered in the redsn0w or greenpois0n listing

Also, isn't 4.1.2 out now?




By VegasOPEFNET on 10/12/2010 2:55:18 AM , Rating: 2
If you need help or want to chat about the Jailbreak for iDevices join us on IRC (GOOGLE MIRC INSTANT CHAT IF YOU DONT KNOW WHAT IRC IS) were here along with developers of these cydia apps and hacks for Idevices.

Server EFNET Channel = #iphone

All are welcome.

Thank you!




“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith














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