Adam and Eve by Albrecht Dürer (1507)
The latest jailbreak has been just released, after a long wait and an unusual teasing. But the exploit revealed it always provoke the same awe: it’s a marvel of reverse engineering, how do these guys find their way to the root of the iPhone file system?
Bullet Apple this Time - Again
This time it has a particular flavour, as the Librarian of Congress has rendered unlocking illegal - unlocking is not synonymous to jailbreaking - but suddenly jailbreaking regains the rogue appeal it lost over time.
As we all began fiddling with the iPhone back in the days jailbreaking was a not only a way to explore the new machine and expand it’s capacity. It was certainly stating a sense of freedom, we were cyber punks breaking in the system, we were adopting the technology by hacking it. And Geohot was the legend.
Geohot at 19
How many nights have I spent turning my friends and family’s iPhones into bricks, reviving them and render them free I can’t remember, but I certainly recall the aura that gave me. Coworkers would shamefully walk to my desk and ask whispering “can you unlock my phone?” Whether it was for switching carriers or just this cool springboard theme.
Over time this feeling vanished (for most)?
Probably because the successive iterations of iOS widened the existing interactions - who remembers iOS 1.0 could not even copy/paste - and greatly lowered the UI constraints (there was no background image before 3.2).
I believe that most likely one lost interest because over time the iPhone became mainstream. It is not carrying then luster it used to have, the appeal to the “early adopters”, the geeks, the leaders of the technology opinion anymore.
We share a part of the burden too as developers I must confess (boasting) when we rendered the access to the file system without SSH using DiskAid. That contributed to render the whole thing secure - SSH is the primary security threat associated with jailbreaking, but it was not a necessary evil anymore ever since.
Almost every serious Apple fan blogger has given his opinion on the matter since. Chris Breen has reaffirmed his stance with consistence and details. Many contribute to the discussion with very good, reasonable and pretty cool arguments.
So What is it About, now?
This time it is special again, thanks to this obscure and apparently immensely powerful library “clerk”. This time it also took more time - it’s actually taking more time for each iOS generation, incidentally. So it’s a long awaited frolic.
The jailbreaking team Evad3rs have explained how complex the process was in an interview with Andy Greenberg at Forbes - yeah , Forbes! This hints that Apple is continuously making it harder to break out of their closed OS design, but the passionate developers overcome the computer giant Apple.
We will keep on jailbreaking
If not for any specific usage or technical reason just because I love Apple I will continue to jailbreak the iPhone. I’m sure a lot of others will do too. We all prefer to be on the side of David against Goliath, we want the prophecy “Think Different” to realise, we will remain rebels to the establishment and we will keep breaking the barriers.
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
We make tools for these kinds of people.
While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
Vic - DigiDNA Team
PS: Don’t jailbreak - it’s bad and it will void your Apple warranty.