Apple's iOS Updates Kill Only iPad 2 Jailbreak
July 18, 2011 8:45 AM
comment(s) - last by
(Source: Pinoy Tutorial)
The new update conveniently blocks the only route of jailbreaking to the iPad 2.
OS update also closes a significant security hole
Jailbreaking phones -- removing operating system makers' restrictions on things like OS themes and allowed programs -- is today
Library of Congress
amendments to the
Digital Millennium Copyright Act
[PDF] (DMCA). But just because it's legal to jailbreak, doesn't mean Apple, Inc. (
) will allow it.
Apple argued unsuccessfully to the U.S. government that jailbreaking could allow
terrorists to turn their iPhones into digital weapons
, and could assist drug dealers. Apple refuses to give users an open path to jailbreaking their phones, so users are forced to discover exploits that allow unauthorized code to be run. This is very convenient for Apple as it can justify closing the jailbreak route as a "security fix".
Thus is the case with iOS 4.3.4. The updates' only real action is to fix the mishandling of fonts in PDF files, which previously allowed for jailbreaking -- or malicious code execution.
Users can find the update here, for various devices:
iPhone 4 (GSM)
iPad 2 WiFi
iPad 2 GSM
iPad 2 CDMA
iPod touch 3G
iPod touch 4G
The update is significant as it cripples JailbreakMe 3.0, currently
the only way to jailbreak
Apple's new iPad 2 tablet. Jailbreaks are generally divided into boot-related jailbreaks and injection jailbreaks. Thus far no boot-level jailbreaks work on the iPad 2, due to its new A5 dual-core CPU. And the only injection-based jailbreaks currently in action relied on the PDF exploit.
The original iPad and present iPhone lineup is still jailbreakable via boot-level jailbreaks, such as redsn0w, PwnageTool and sn0wbreeze. There's little Apple can do to prevent these jailbreak routes, much to chief executive Steven P. Jobs chagrin. Mr. Jobs has expressed a
strong dislike for jailbreakers
in past interviews.
While Apple can claim the recent update was to "protect" users, in reality it will only add additional safety to the most careless of users. After all, a program called "PDF Patcher 2" was widely available via the Cydia app store and other sources. The PDF Patcher 2 does pretty much the exact same thing as iOS 4.3.4, but does so
the user has jailbroken.
It is presumable that most users who are knowledgeable enough to jailbreak in the first place would properly protect their phones against malicious code by adding the patch post-jailbreak, especially since the
instructs the user to do so.
So it looks like Apple has won this round. One of its devices is yet again unjailbreakable -- at least for now.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
7/18/2011 9:40:08 AM
Despite all the spin, the fact remains that the PDF vulnerability used by JailbreakMe is a very dangerous security risk if just visiting a website can alter OS files. As such, Apple had to close it, unless you actually prefer them to leave it open?
You point out the only change in iOS 4.3.4 is that it closes the PDF exploit preventing JailbreakMe. That really makes it one of the more jailbreaker friendly iOS updates. Why? Because if you say people who jailbreak are smart enough to patch the PDF exploit themselves after jailbreaking then they should be smart enough not to update to iOS 4.3.4. And since the only change in iOS 4.3.4 was closing the PDF exploit, iOS 4.3.3 jailbreakers are losing nothing by not jailbreaking. In contrast, if iOS 4.3.4 had added a bunch of new features or other important fixes, then jailbreakers would have to choose between getting those new features or retaining their jailbreak, which would be a suboptimal dilemma.
As such, iOS 4.3.4 closes the PDF security vulnerability for non-jailbreakers while jailbreakers lose nothing by staying with iOS 4.3.3. While the philosophy of jailbreaking is worthy of debate, iOS 4.3.4 itself is pretty much a non-issue for jailbreakers.
"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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