KEY POINTS

  • Hackers claim they have an iOS jailbreak currently undergoing testing
  • iOS jailbreak can reportedly crack iOS 13.5
  • Apple may have overlooked some things on iOS 13.5

Since Apple clamped up and improved on releasing their mobile operating systems, iOS jailbreaks have simmered down. The Cupertino company was able to patch most of the loopholes of their mobile OS but it appears a hacking team knows something that Apple does not. The same team behind the "unc0ver" jailbreaking tool claims that they have a new version of the software and are currently conducting performance tests against all current iOS versions.

It appears that the group has used the discovery of a researcher known as "pwn2ownd" and worked from there. The unc0ver version 5.0 can allegedly jailbreak every signed iOS version on every device per their post on Twitter. The latest version of the jailbreak tool can crack devices running on iOS 11 up to iOS 13.5. For now, it remains to be seen when they will be releasing the said crack to the public.

Pwn2ownd is no stranger when it comes to coming up with iOS jailbreaks. In 2019, he released an unc0ver version for Apple phones running on iOS 12.4 after Apple failed to patch a critical vulnerability. However, the iOS jailbreak was short-lived because Apple released a fix not long after.

For those who may have come across iOS jailbreaks just now, it is something commonly used by Apple device owners to gain access to hardware and software features that are not readily accessible. It was a recourse used by most years back with hackers trying to exploit the bugs and exploits that were not addressed. The Cupertino company has improved immensely since then with iOS jailbreaks hardly being heard of until now.

Ironically, the revelation of an iOS jailbreak comes not long after the release of iOS 13.5. The latest Apple mobile operating system focused heavily on the COVID-19 pandemic. That included the exposure notification API that would support contact tracing apps from respective public health authorities. This was a feature developed in collaboration with Google, Apple Insider reported.

Other features on iOS 13.5 include simplified authentication when Face ID does not work, especially when iPhone owners wear face masks. iOS 13.5 will automatically take mask-wearing users to the Passcode Screen where they can unlock their phones.

The release of iOS 13.5 is a bit surprising considering iOS 13.4 was believed to be the last update for the iOS 13 series. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the minor improvements are helpful. But the recent claims of hackers on an iOS jailbreak hints that there may be something that programmers may have overlooked. Could there be another iOS 13 update looming over the horizon? Probably, especially if that alleged iOS jailbreak does come out.

Singapore is among the countries using contact-tracing smartphone apps to track the coronavirus. A collaboration between Google and Apple could enable these apps to be more effect by crossing over the iOS and Android mobile systems Singapore is among the countries using contact-tracing smartphone apps to track the coronavirus. A collaboration between Google and Apple could enable these apps to be more effect by crossing over the iOS and Android mobile systems Photo: AFP / Catherine LAI