Apple quietly kills jailbreak detection API in iOS

By on December 11, 2010, 6:19 PM
Less than six months after introducing it, Apple has quietly disabled its jailbreak detection API in iOS. The programming interface was used by developers to detect whether or not an iOS device had been jailbroken, according to Network World. The API could ask the device itself whether it has been jailbroken or not because jailbreaking changes specific files used by the operating system.

The functionality was introduced in June as part of a mobile device management (MDM) bundle for iOS 4.0, intended to be used by enterprise applications for businesses. Once an iPhone declared itself jailbroken via Apple's API, an enterprise application could take actions to prevent the possibly unsecure device from connecting to a corporate network or e-mail server. In version 4.2, however, the API has been removed, leaving vendors perplexed as to why. Third-party MDM vendors had created their own utilities to check for jailbreaks, but Apple's jailbreak detection API allowed MDM applications direct access to iOS system information.

Jailbreaking allows users to install applications that haven't gone through Apple's App Store screening process and that potentially can take advantage of APIs typically reserved for built-in iOS applications. The process has been a major concern for Apple since users do so to pirate App Store software or to use their device on other carriers. Although doing so voids Apple's warranty, the US government recently legalized jailbreaking. Nevertheless, Cupertino has found itself in a kind of cat-and-mouse game with hackers: as soon as the company implements a new method for protecting its phones, someone always finds a way to work around the new code.





User Comments: 13

Got something to say? Post a comment
princeton princeton said:

Maybe they should stop wasting their time making updates solely for the purpose of breaking jailbreaks. Someone always finds a way around. And once someone finds a bootrom exploit there's nothing they can do anyways.

Staff
Jesse Jesse said:

... that's pretty much what the article said they did princeton.

bakape said:

Not a very intelligent comment:

haha pwnt!

p51d007 said:

About time Apple just give up. Out of the hundreds of thousands of iphones sold, what percentage are jail broken? 1,2,3 percent? Most people don't even know what it is, other than the hacker/enthusiast community. Those that jail break/unlock are just trying to squeeze a little more out of their device, and to thumb their nose at a corporation who wants to control how you use a device, be it Apple, Microsoft, Google or anyone else. Heck, I bet 1/3 of the innovations of devices come from places like Modaco or XDA LOL. Their roms are most of the time superior to the carrier versions (mainly because they remove the bloat).

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

princeton said:

Maybe they should stop wasting their time making updates solely for the purpose of breaking jailbreaks. Someone always finds a way around. And once someone finds a bootrom exploit there's nothing they can do anyways.

^Lol.

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

Apple has never released an update solely for the purpose of breaking jailbreaks.

princeton princeton said:

bakape said:

Not a very intelligent comment:

haha pwnt!

prismatics said:

... that's pretty much what the article said they did princeton.

Not even remotely. My comment points out the factor of bootrom exploits. Nowhere did the article even reference those.

Aww looks like I just "pwnt" you.

princeton princeton said:

marioestrada said:

Apple has never released an update solely for the purpose of breaking jailbreaks.

This, this is hilarious. how about 3.1 to 3.1.2? It added very little new functionality if any at all. What it did do is patch jailbreaks.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

princeton said:

bakape said:

Not a very intelligent comment:

haha pwnt!

prismatics said:

... that's pretty much what the article said they did princeton.

Not even remotely. My comment points out the factor of bootrom exploits. Nowhere did the article even reference those.

Aww looks like I just "pwnt" you.

Actually princeton, you did pretty much say what the article said. It said they are no longer releasing updates to break jailbreaks. You said:

Maybe they should stop wasting their time making updates solely for the purpose of breaking jailbreaks.

Therefore, you did say what the article said. Sure, It didn't say anything about the bootrom exploits you mentioned, but you did repeat what the article said other than that.

And can we please drop the crappy "pwn" stuff? Why can't people just say "owned" anymore? "pwn" makes you look like a *****. (this isn't directed to you, princeton, as I know you were just playing along since you put "pwnt" in quotes, lol).

bakape said:

That one was intended to sound idiotic, and it did.

princeton princeton said:

matrix86 said:

princeton said:

bakape said:

Not a very intelligent comment:

haha pwnt!

prismatics said:

... that's pretty much what the article said they did princeton.

Not even remotely. My comment points out the factor of bootrom exploits. Nowhere did the article even reference those.

Aww looks like I just "pwnt" you.

Actually princeton, you did pretty much say what the article said. It said they are no longer releasing updates to break jailbreaks. You said:

Maybe they should stop wasting their time making updates solely for the purpose of breaking jailbreaks.

Therefore, you did say what the article said. Sure, It didn't say anything about the bootrom exploits you mentioned, but you did repeat what the article said other than that.

And can we please drop the crappy "pwn" stuff? Why can't people just say "owned" anymore? "pwn" makes you look like a *****. (this isn't directed to you, princeton, as I know you were just playing along since you put "pwnt" in quotes, lol).

I hate the term pwn. Also am I the only one who notices the majority of posts like "LOL U GOT PWND" come from users with under 100 posts.

realista69 said:

Computer code is nothing more than a calculation. For every variable there is always a solution to 0. No one can protect computers, they are inherently broken. One day even the 256 encryption will be broken into..just a matter of time and science!

Det Det said:

princeton, do you really have to respond to every comment? You lost already. Shit happens but life goes on.

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