iOS 10.3.3 Jailbreak Status: Is Jailbreaking Dead?

BY Gautam Prabhu

Published 23 Jul 2017

Jailbreak iOS 10.3.3

Apple released iOS 10.3.3 a few days back which includes a number of bug fixes and security improvements including a fix for a vulnerability that could allow a hacker to execute code in the iPhone’s Wi-Fi chip.

Since this is probably the last iOS software update for iOS 10 with iOS 11 just around the corner, it would be a perfect time to release the elusive jailbreak for iOS 10.3.3 – iOS 10.2.1.

So in this post, we will take a look at the latest status of iOS jailbreak.

iOS 10 Jailbreak Status

In case you’re new to the jailbreaking world, the first jailbreak for iOS 10 known as Yalu (formerly Yalu + Mach Portal) was released on December 21, 2016, by well-known hacker Luca Todesco, famous by his Twitter handle qwertyoruiop. The Yalu jailbreak made use of Ian Beer’s, of Google Project Zero, mach_portal exploit. It supported select 64-bit devices such as the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Read:  How to Jailbreak iOS 10.1, iOS 10.1.1 on iPhone or iPad Using Yalu Jailbreak and Cydia Impactor

Todesco then released a more stable version of the Yalu jailbreak tool for iOS 10.2 by using Ian Beer’s, extra_recipe exploit with the help of Marco Grassi on January 26, 2017. It supported all 64-bit devices except for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

You have to use a computer application known as Cydia Impactor to install the Yalu jailbreak. The jailbreak is a semi-untethered jailbreak, which means that when the iOS device boots, it will no longer have a patched kernel. You are required to run the Yalu app again, to re-jailbreak your iOS device. The other limitation of the jailbreak is that the Yalu app certificate expires seven days, so you have to reinstall it again using Cydia Impactor to renew it for another 7 days.

Read: How to Jailbreak iOS 10.2 on iPhone or iPad Using Yalu Jailbreak and Cydia Impactor

Can I jailbreak iOS 10.3.3?

The exploits that were used in Yalu iOS 10.2 jailbreak have all been patched by Apple in iOS 10.2.1 and iOS 10.3, which means that if your device is running on any of these firmwares, then it cannot be jailbroken.

Downgrading to iOS 10.2 from iOS 10.2.1 or iOS 10.3

Apple closed the signing window for iOS 10.2 a couple of weeks after it was released. This means that you can no longer downgrade to this firmware using iTunes.

If you have saved the SHSH blob for iOS 10.2, there are alternative downgrade methods such as Prometheus. But they’re quite complicated and there’s no guarantee that it will work.

Jailbreak iOS 10.3.3 Status Update

As I mentioned earlier, since this is probably the last iOS software update for iOS 10 with iOS 11 just around the corner, it would be a perfect time to release the elusive jailbreak for iOS 10.3.3. But unfortunately, Todesco, the developer of Yalu jailbreak quit jailbreaking in March, so it is unlikely that he will release a jailbreak.

Luca Todesco aka qwertyoruiop

Luca Todesco aka qwertyoruiopz, well-known hacker and developer of Yalu Jailbreak. Photo credit: Motherboard

We got excited and carried away when the Pangu team demoed an iOS 10.3.1 jailbreak at the Janus conference at the Mercedes Benz Arena, on Expo Avenue in Shanghai in April. However, they haven’t announced any plans of releasing Pangu jailbreak tool for iOS 10.3.3 – iOS 10.2.1. It has been speculated that the Pangu Jailbreak would support all 64-bit devices including the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, something that the Yalu 10.2 Jailbreak was not capable of doing. But it can’t be completely ruled out as Pangu team had released a jailbreak for iOS 9.3.3 the last software update for iOS 9 in July as well.

So there hasn’t been any news or development on the jailbreaking front since April to indicate an iOS 10.3.3 jailbreak will be released soon.

Is Jailbreaking Dead?

This brings me to a much-debated question these days about whether jailbreaking is dead. Motherboard has a wonderful story which talks about the life, death, and legacy of jailbreaking, which has sparked off the debate that jailbreaking is probably dead.

It is a valid concern when you consider that it has been more than 6 months since a jailbreak has been released. They are several reasons why the jailbreaking scene is not as active as it used to be.

Apple has tried to kill jailbreaking by first aggressively patching the security vulnerabilities that are or could be used for a jailbreak to make it even more difficult to jailbreak, and by adding features that were the primary reason to jailbreak your iPhone. Even in iOS 11, at least 10 features were inspired by jailbreak apps and tweaks. So slowly Apple has been reducing the need for someone to jailbreak their device. Apple has then tried to poach the hackers behind the jailbreaks by hiring them or launching an invite-only bug bounty program where it was offering security researchers and hackers up to $200,000 for disclosing bugs in iOS.

We initially thought that was the reason why the jailbreak community has been quiet. But Apple’s bounty program seems to have failed to take off as companies like Zerodium pay a much higher rate for the exploits than Apple. Zerodium has offered up to $1.5 million for exploits that can jailbreak the iPhone.

The iPhone jailbreaking scene has been blessed with some of the best hackers of our generation with hacking teams such as Geohot, Comex, iPhone Dev team, Chronic Dev, evad3r, Pangu, TaiG, and Luca Todesco, but most of them are no longer active in the jailbreaking scene anymore. I wouldn’t blame them if they have decided to go underground to cash in on the lucrative business of selling exploits to companies like Zerodium.

But when it comes to hacking or jailbreaking, you can never say never. There are hackers who do it for the money, and there are some who do it for the thrill of breaking into one of the most secure platforms in the world. It is also a great platform to show your skill as a hacker, and get visibility. So I wouldn’t say jailbreaking is dead. I won’t be surprised if an unknown hacker or a group of hackers will release a jailbreak for iOS 10.3.3 or iOS 11 in the future.

Are you eagerly waiting for iOS 10.3.3 jailbreak or have you given up? Please share some of the reasons why you still want to jailbreak your iPhone.