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New iPhone jailbreak exploit draws attention to rising smartphone security risks

New iPhone jailbreak exploit draws attention to rising smartphone security risks
  • Jailbreaking involves the use of exploits to remove the manufacture’s restrictions from a device.
  • The latest jailbreaking exploit dubbed ‘Checkm8’ targets iOS devices, ranging from iPhone 4S (A5 chip) to iPhone 8 and iPhone X.

Context

Over the years, several jailbreaking tools have been released for exploiting the iOS devices. A jailbreak involves the use of exploits to remove the manufacture’s restrictions from a device. The exploit usually involves running a privilege escalation attack on a user’s iOS device to replace Apple’s default OS with a custom kernel.

List of jailbreaking tools

Some of the prominent jailbreaking tools include,

  • Unc0ver - Unc0ver is a semi-untethered jailbreaking tool for iOS 12 that was developed by the pwn20wnd team. It supports almost all iPhones and iPads running iOS 12. Unc0ver provides the ability to reboot an iOS device on its own.
  • Chimera - Chimera is a semi-untethered jailbreak for A7-A11 iOS devices. This program was developed by the Electra team.
  • Electra - Electra is a jailbreak for all iOS devices running 11.0 - 11.4.1. There are two versions of Electra, with one supporting iOS 11.0 - 11.1.2, and the other supporting iOS 11.2 - 11.4.1 and tvOS 11.0 - 11.4.1.
  • P0sixspwn - P0sixspwn is an untethered jailbreaking tool for iOS devices 6.1.3 to 6.1.6. This tool was developed by winocm, iH8sn0w and SquiffyPwn.
  • Evasi0n - evasi0n is a jailbreak tool for iOS devices 6.0 to 6.1.2. It was released by evad3rs, and is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux (x86 and x86_64).

The latest chink in the armor

The latest jailbreaking tool dubbed ‘Checkm8’ has been released by an iOS security researcher who goes under the name ‘Axi0mX’. Checkm8 supports Mac and Linux. This tool exploits iOS devices, ranging from iPhone 4S (A5 chip) to iPhone 8 and iPhone X (A11 chip). This vulnerability cannot be exploited remotely and attackers need to have physical access to the device.

The researcher tweeted that this tool is a permanent unpatchable bootrom exploit for hundreds of millions of iOS devices.

“EPIC JAILBREAK: Introducing checkm8 (read "checkmate"), a permanent unpatchable bootrom exploit for hundreds of millions of iOS devices. Most generations of iPhones and iPads are vulnerable: from iPhone 4S (A5 chip) to iPhone 8 and iPhone X (A11 chip),” the tweet read.

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