iOS 12 Jailbreak Status Update: Here’s What You Need To Know

Want to jailbreak iOS 12.1, iOS 12.0.1 or even iOS 12 final version? Here’s what iPhone and iPad users upgrading from iOS 11 to iOS 12 need to know.

As you may already know, iOS 12 is out to public already. With that release comes a slew of device owners distributed all over the globe pondering about whether or not the move to iOS 12 is worth it. Apple’s latest iOS update really speaks for itself in terms of the features, functionality, and improvements that it offers but some iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch owners also need to pass in the variable of jailbreaking when making their decision.

Unfortunately, unlike many generations of iOS ago, the current jailbreak landscape isn’t as smooth and plain sailing as many would like it to be. With that in mind, it means that device owners really need to take a long, hard, and informed look at the landscape and ascertain whether or not it’s worth upgrading to iOS 12 and losing access to a jailbreakable version of iOS 11 or whether it makes sense to stay jailbroken on iOS 11 and forego all of the new iOS 12 improvements.

It’s a tough decision which requires being informed. Thankfully, in order to try and help, we are going to look at where the community appears to be as far as an iOS 12 jailbreak goes.

The Current Jailbreak Situation

Currently, pre-iOS 12, jailbreaking is actually in a relatively positive position. In the last twelve months, we have seen a lot of jailbreak-based activity which initially resulted in Electra (and later with unc0ver) being released for early versions of iOS 11 and then subsequently expanded on the back of a new vulnerability release to support devices running all the way up to iOS 11.3.1. Those same vulnerabilities have been patched by Apple in iOS 11.4 and beyond, meaning that iOS 11.3.1 is the furthest that Electra and unc0ver support goes for production firmware, but even that is enough to class jailbreaking as far as iOS 11 goes as a success giving the circumstances.

Apple’s Cat and Mouse Game

Apple doesn’t want iOS 12 to be jailbroken. In fact, Apple doesn’t want iOS jailbroken full-stop but, according to tweets by developer @nullriver, it seems that the company is putting at least some effort into trying to make iOS 12 harder to liberate. With iOS 12, Apple has introduced an initiative in the form of the CoreTrust framework which is tasked with checking and verifying all signatures to ensure that they come directly from Apple. There has also been work carried out under-the-hood to make sure that iOS 12 works in conjunction with the new A12 Bionic chip to make things harder for jailbreakers. Not show-stopping changes to the platform but certainly enough of an effort on Apple’s part to signify the company’s intent and to at least have developers performing in-depth research.

iOS 12 Jailbreak Timeline

Well, friends, that’s a wonderful question and one that is entirely easy to answer! Since June, when the first developer preview of iOS 12 was released, developers and security researchers with an interest in jailbreaking and cracking security have been hard at work on iOS 12. And, much to the delight of the community, some of that work has resulted in positive progress being shared publicly. So, let’s have a recap:

  • There was the early iOS 12 beta jailbreak shown off by Tencent Keen Labs: iOS 12 Beta Jailbreak On iPhone X Gets Video Demo By Keen Lab
  • The discovery of a 0day in Apple’s APFS: iOS 12 Jailbreak: CoolStar Discovers 0Day In APFS And Is Saving It For Next Major Firmware Release
  • Let’s not forget the remote iOS 12 jailbreak demonstrated at MOSEC 2018: Jailbreak iOS 11.4 And iOS 12 Beta Remote Liberation Demoed At MOSEC 2018
  • Oh yes, and that other 0day found which could be used going forward: iOS 12 Jailbreak: Another 0day Discovered Which Could Likely Be Used In A Future Public Jailbreak
  • One Electra team member then provided hope that there will be one iOS 12 jailbreak after all: Jailbreak iOS 12 Possibility: Electra Team Member Is “Pretty Sure” There Will Be One After Release.
  • It was then discovered that iOS 12 beta SEP was compatible with iOS 11.3.1: Jailbreak iOS 11.4.1 / 11.3.1: iOS 12 Beta 9 SEP Is Compatible With Electra Jailbreak Supported Firmware.
  • An Indian developer discovered what could be the start of yet another iOS 12 PoC: Jailbreak iOS 11.4.1 / iOS 12: Developer Teases Another Possible PoC
  • It was then perceived that iOS 12 jailbreak could be difficult to achieve than initially expected: iOS 12 Jailbreak Could Be More Difficult To Achieve Than Initially Expected.
  • Then the Italians managed to pwn iOS 12 and achieve Kernel R/W: iOS 12 Jailbreak Security Exploit Discovered, Read And Write Privilege Achieved
  • Not wanting to be outdone, Luca Todesco then announced his latest iOS 12 discovery: Jailbreak iOS 12 Gets Another Hope After Yalu Developer Demos Hack
  • Latest development has a team from Ali Security demoing an untethered iOS 12 jailbreak, on video. You can check it out here.

Should Jailbreakers Update To iOS 12 Today?

We’ve had very public acknowledgments that jailbreak developers are actively working on the platform. We’ve had the discovery of multiple 0day bugs within iOS 12. And we’ve had developers with jailbreak pedigree actively working on iOS 12 liberation. No-one has yet managed to demonstrate and showcase an end-to-end iOS 12 jailbreak that could be released to the public but we think it’s only a matter of time. Still, if you are some who is jailbroken on iOS 11 and relies a lot on jailbreaking, we will suggest staying away from iOS 12 update for now until there’s confirmation of one coming for public really soon. We will of course keep you updated on this situation as it develops. Stay tuned for more.

Update x1: Both Luca Todesco and a Chinese team managed to jailbreak iOS 12 as soon as the final version of released.

Update x2: Once iPhone XS was out, Pangu team was first to jailbreak it on iOS 12. You can find more info on it here.

Update x3: Umang Raghuvanshi claimed to have jailbroken iOS 12.0.1 and he will apparently release it once iOS 12.1 is public.

Update x4: In early October, Luca Todesco was back in action jailbreaking iOS 12.0.1 running on iPhone XS Max.

Update x5: On October 30, Apple released final version of iOS 12.1. There’s yet to be a claim by anybody jailbreaking iOS 12.1 successfully, with still no public jailbreak in sight for any version of iOS 12.


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