Hackers Successfully Jailbreak Apple iOS 12.1.3-12.2 But Public Release Highly Unlikely
Jailbreak fans will certainly welcome this as a piece of good news - that the tightly-secured Apple mobile operating system has been unlocked again following the showcasing of modified iOS 12.1.3 and 12.2 running on a liberated iPhone XS Max. But there is a catch as reports said public release of the tool is unlikely to happen, ever.
This latest solution was the handiwork of security researcher Liang Chen, who is known as part of famed developers KeenLabs. The group demoed the jailbreak at the Infiltrate 2019 and what was showcased was nothing short of impressive. It was a total working package that includes the important PAC and APRR bypass.
And to further convince that the jailbroken iOS 12.1.3-12.2 is indeed usable, its maker, Liang, showed off Cydia running on an iPhone XS Max. It was a solid proof that work is ready for deployment anytime and jailbreak fans can enjoy its full features and functionalities.
However, it is a big question mark if Liang intends to get the solution out for free access. The new exploit following the path of iOS 12 jailbreaks Electra and Unc0ver seems a remote possibility given the track record of KeenLabs, which is better known for their enterprising ventures.
What Liang has done was characterized as a mere technical exercise, exclusively meant to demonstrate that iOS 12 from versions 12.1.3 all the way to 12.2 are with existing exploits and therefore open for tinkering and manipulation.
Liang and KeenLabs though sharing their findings freely to iOS jailbreak fans will be out of character. Previously, the group's jailbreak efforts have been motivated by the promise of monetary rewards and this latest breakthrough will not deviate from their reputation.
The most likely scenario is KeenLabs will call Apple's attention on the discovered exploits, which means the iPhone maker will eventually close the door that was opened for a public jailbreak. In exchange, of course, the security research group will collect the corresponding reward.
It's possible too that the jailbreak from Liang is a commissioned work, indicating that a third-party that paid a hefty price was the intended beneficiary. If not, it should be easy for KeenLabs to auction off the product in order to maximize profit.
In the end, the new jailbreak will not lead to a public and freely accessible release. But the good thing is it has been proven anew that Apple's iOS security protocols can be pried open for vulnerabilities by those willing to dig deep enough. It only follows that perhaps in due time, a new iOS 12 jailbreak version will be shared at no cost to the world, courtesy of a more altruistic developer.