One of the main questions raised in the wake of Monday’s demo of iOS 8 is whether Apple’s new mobile OS can be jailbroken. For one perspective on that, let’s tune into the latest tweets of known hacker and security researcher Stefan Esser.
On Monday, Esser, aka i0n1c, tweeted his initial findings following his download of the iOS 8 beta: “Download finished. Initial tests show that iOS 8 beta does not fix anything. Dumped kernel fine, but code changed and patches are not found.”
A follow-up tweet noted: “I guess tomorrow I need a few hours in the office to fix the code and then the JB [jailbreak] should be iOS 8 beta compatible.” Another tweet posed the question of whether the Cydia software that lets users find and download apps for their jailbroken devices will run in iOS 8.
Overall, the initial prognosis seemed promising for all those who plan to jailbreak their iOS 8 devices. But the game appears to still be afoot.
A tweet posted by Esser on Tuesday revealed a monkey wrench in that “iOS 8 seems to have new root filesystem protections 😛 Or some of my patches go horribly wrong.” A follow-up tweet notes that Apple has apparently changed the directory structure for containers, which store files native to the OS.
So what does all this mean exactly?
The whole effort to jailbreak iOS devices plays like a cat-and-mouse game between Apple and the hacking community. Apple attempts to shore up the guts of iOS in an effort to prevent jailbreaking, which it considers a violation of the end-user software license agreement. Hackers try to circumvent those built-in defenses to jailbreak the iPhone and iPad, a process that lets users customize their iOS devices and run unsupported apps. A new version of iOS, especially a beta version, represents a tasty treat to hackers, who quickly vie to be the first out with a fresh jailbreak.
Known as one of the top iOS hackers, Esser has applied his skills to jailbreak the past several versions of Apple’s mobile OS. And though iOS 8 apparently offers new challenges, hardcore hackers typically don’t give up until they’ve found a way around them.