As most of you know, while we were waiting for an iOS 6, 6.1 untethered jailbreak for iPhone 5 and other non-jailbroken devices to emerge I was pretty much plastered to Twitter, checking updates from the iPhone and Chronic Dev team members and poaching interviews wherever possible. Since the release of evasi0n, the iOS 6 jailbreak we are currently enjoying, I've written little beyond some review of popular or best tweaks/apps and themes found in the Cydia store. This is all fine and dandy but I have to admit I sort of miss having something to report about on these fellows. Well I was just checking in on Twitter and happened to notice around 2:30 p.m., EST, on Thursday, @planetbeing posted a tweet which I believe would be of interest to many who are as consumed as I was by the details as of jaibreaking.
Here is what he said:
"I'm doing an AMA in this thread on Reddit:
Though these things never get really popular in my experience. :P"
So if you are unsure of what an AMA is, it basically stands for "ask me anything." If you visit the link provided above, you will be taken to a chat of sorts where questions are submitted and then can be commented on or replied to. If you simply want to go and read what is out there about jailbreaking that's fine, or to participate you simply need to register with a username and password, which takes no time at all.
This is a one-time opportunity to get those burning jailbreak questions answered by the leading developer on the recent iOS 6 untethered jailbreak. Do join now if you have the time, or return to this post later as I will be adding all the best questions and answers later this afternoon.
Questions Answered So Far:
Q.) Hi Planetbeing, I would like to know why do you personally jailbreak. What tweaks do you use on your devices that are essential?
A.)The biggest thing for me is openssh. I also use IntelliScreenX a lot. Sometimes I install My3G if that becomes necessary for something. The thing is, I restore my devices a lot in the course of testing so it'd be annoying for me to restore a heavily customized setup every single time that happens.
The things I most use on my phone is probably Alien Blue, MobileSafari and MobileMail, though. :P IntelliScreenX helps with the mail part, but the other two don't really need the jailbreak.
Q.How do you feel the future of jailbreaking looks based on how long this release took? Do you think Apple will ever just release an open iOS?
A.)It's hard to say. Apple has successfully mitigated many vectors of attack in iOS 6. In this current jailbreak, we "evaded" Apple's mitigations in the userland with several vulnerabilities I would perhaps characterize as "lame," since these mistakes are a throwback to earlier days of iOS jailbreaking where we primarily used file system tricks. We only attacked Apple's hardened security head-on in the kernel. "Lame" vulnerabilities tend to be hard to find, however, so it's likely the next jailbreak will be tougher. That said, we also retain a few tricks that may or may not help in the future. Who knows what the weight of each factor should be when trying to determine how long the next jailbreak will take.
I think the ship has sailed for Apple to consider shipping an open iOS. The furthest they might have gone was perhaps allowing you to unlock the bootloader like the Google Nexus phones. However, I don't think they currently have a compelling reason to.
Q. ) OK so why iOS? I mean would it not be easier to develop Android apps and such rather than going through the hassle of finding exploits in iOS (jailbreak) just to have the freedoms already available to you on Android? Also, as an iOS junkie I can't thank you enough for what you guys have done.
A.) Inertia? :P I started on iOS when I bought an iOS device and it has remained fun throughout the years. I hacked on iOS because I owned one and I owned one because it was by far the best mobile platform in 2007. The landscape may have changed now but I don't have a compelling reason to switch to Android. I mean, I don't know much about Android in the first place. For some reason, I'm much less voraciously into researching and wanting to buy new gadgets than I was back in college when I started this stuff.
Q.) What is your opinion on what future iOS versions will bring? Mainly thinking of widgets supported naively (similar to Android).
A.) When I first saw the SBWeeApp interface and Notification Center, I thought for sure they'd have some way to let AppStore apps add to it. However, the primary issue is that all the widgets currently reside in a single process, which means they're very likely to be able to interfere with each other. In something like the AppStore ecosystem, the probability approaches 1 and there could be a lot of problems. Compounded with this is the fact that that process is SpringBoard, which is the entire shell for iOS, so any problems are rather catastrophic (tweaks crashing SpringBoard is never fun!).
However, they are apparently working on compartmentalizing SpringBoard (it used to be the window manager for the OS as well) and perhaps there's a way to host different views that are actually controlled by separate processes, so it might be possible in the future. Another possibility is some widgets that are primarily determined by property lists or something, similar to how the Settings app works.
Q.) Has Apple ever contacted you, or the evad3rs, for any reason (outside of regular business that Apple conducts with its customers/developers)
A.) Yes. I got a job offer once. As far as . I know, all jailbreaker interactions with Apple have been pretty positive, especially in contrast with what companies like Sony apparently do ..I didn't take it for personal and logistical reasons. At the time I was in Canada with a complicated visa situation. It wasn't a solid offer anyway. I'm sure I'd've had to interview, etc., first but I didn't choose to get much into the process at all.
Q.) Big fan of jailbreaking for a long time.
- Where do jailbreaks usually begin? Is it methodical as in "let's look for a foot in the door"? Or something such as "We have these vulnerabilities, what do we need to get something working?" Or just fuzzing.
- What tools are involved in the jailbreak development process?
- For someone who would like to "get into" jailbreaking because of interest what would be a good place to start? (As far as articles and books go)
A.) Honestly, for me, it's usually when someone drops a lead in my lap or pod2g chases me down and asks me to do some work improving something he's already got. This recent iteration I found a lot of stuff on accident in the process of trying to get other stuff to work. Finding vulnerabilities is not usually fun for me though, exploitation is.
- fxr.watson.org, opensource.apple.com, IDA, vim, clang, an existing jailbreak with OpenSSH.
- Start by reading about existing jailbreaks and how they work. Perhaps try to rewrite an existing exploit another way, or improving it somehow. (I know the kernel exploit still can be improved, I'm planning to get to it one of these weekends). Make small achievable goals and work/study hard to accomplish those. There's going to a lot of stuff you won't understand at first, but there's also a lot of publicly available information, and the process of piecing that together and/or experimenting until you get it is more helpful than if someone just told you.
Q.) What do you see for YOUR future? Do you plan on getting a job doing security stuff? Or Do you plan to start a company? Do you find any of your IRL friends who you can talk with about jailbreaking. Or is most of this stuff over their heads?
A.) A job doing security stuff sounds fun but I'm committed to finishing my current projects at the moment. I do talk to some of my friends about jailbreaking. Some of them are pretty into it, others don't care/have Android devices. I do like randomly braindumping my current progress on people who don't have any interest in iOS at all since it's not like they'll leak anything. I could talk to the other evad3rs about it, but sometimes I feel like I'm going crazy working at some crazy hour, talking to myself in an empty IRC channel. :P
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