The UnC0ver team took advantage of an iOS flaw patched in January in its latest tool allowing developers and other enthusiasts to hack into their own devices.
Hackers behind previous iPhone jailbreak tools have released a jailbreak update based on a recently discovered and patched iPhone vulnerability. According to iPhone jailbreakers at UnC0ver, the tool allows users to take full control over unpatched iPhones.
The jailbreak—which UnC0ver said works on iOS versions 11.0 to 14.3–exploits the kernel vulnerability CVE-2021-1782, one of three iOS flaws for which Apple released an emergency update, iOS 14.4, last month. At the time the company said the vulnerabilities potentially were being exploited in the wild.
With the release of 14.4, a number of devices already will have been updated, which means the jailbreak won’t work. However, anyone with a device running 14.3 or earlier version of iOS can use the tool to hack into their iPhone, according to UnC0ver.
UnC0ver shared its discovery on Twitter, announcing UnC0ver v6.0.0, after one of the group’s members, Pwn20wnd, who put out several teaser tweets about the imminent arrival of the jailbreak tool before its release.
“Tweet your device model and why you will be jailbreaking your device on iOS 14 with the hashtag #unc0ver!” Pwn20wnd tweeted on Feb. 27 before releasing the tool, with other enthusiasts echoing the call to spread the news.
What Exactly is a Jailbreak Tool?
Jailbreak tools are software that take advantage of vulnerabilities in iOS to allow users root access and full control of their device. Jailbreaking bypasses DRM restrictions, allowing users to run unauthorized and custom software as well as make other tweaks to iOS.
Apple’s iOS and other OSes for its products are notoriously closed-source, which has irked developers that like to peer under the hood and play with the code on their devices. The company historically has cited security reasons for not permitting its users tinker with the proprietary code for iOS.
Jailbreaks like the ones unC0ver has become notorious for releasing have become popular ways for iOS developers and users to hack into their own devices to make custom changes to their devices, and are typically met with enthusiasm from iPhone aficionados.
“It’s great to see #unc0ver after such a long wait for a iOS 14 jailbreak on newer devices. even better that it was a complete surprise!” tweeted Jamie Bishop, a software engineer and self-proclaimed iOS hacker.
However, some enthusiasts grumbled that they wish they’d had prior warning that a jailbreak was going to be released, because their devices had already updated to iOS 14.4 and so the tool was rendered useless to them.
It’s been a little more than 10 months since UnC0ver released its last iPhone jailbreak tool. That one came in May 2020, which allowed people to break into devices up to iOS 13.5, which was then the latest release. Apple quietly released a patch for the jailbreak not long after.