Business Technology

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Apple to block record-breaking iOS jailbreak software

Apple is about to release an update to the iOS 6 operating system that will stop users hacking into their own iPhones and iPads and increasing the number of functions they can perform.

The practice - known as jailbreaking – is employed by users who want to run software that is not authorised by Apple.

It allows them to gain control of the device's operating system and download apps that are not available in the App Store. In a number of countries jailbreaking is illegal under copyright law.

The update aims to tackle popular jailbreak software by patching the bugs it targets.

Apple issued the iOS 6.1.3 beta update to developers last week, suggesting that a full update could be released to users within the next month, according to Forbes.

Earlier this month a program called evasiOn was released that worked on devices including the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini. It quickly became the most popular Apple jailbreak ever.

On of the creators of evasiOn, David Wang, told Forbes that he has tested the update and found that it patches at least one of the five bugs his software exploits.

"If one of the vulnerabilities doesn't work, evasi0n doesn't work," Mr Wang said. "We could replace that part with a different vulnerability, but [Apple] will probably fix most if not all of the bugs we've used when 6.1.3 comes out."  Forbes reports that up to seven million devices were running evasi0n in the first four days online, despite the users risking voiding their warranty by using it.

At over three weeks on the market, evasi0n has already lasted longer than most other iOS jailbreaks. In 2011, Apple took just nine days to release a fix for Jailbreakme 3.0, a popular jailbreak on the iPhone 4.

As well as fending off the jailbreaks, Apple's update is also expected to bring various new software features.

By Richard Holt

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