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Apple quietly removes jailbreak detection on iOS

Posted: , by Ken N.

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Apple quietly removes jailbreak detection on iOS
Jailbreaking the iPhone has become increasingly common, and Apple has been adamant about staying on top of it. Six months ago, they released a detection API. But they have now removed their jailbreak detection API, and have offered no explanation.

Apple's jailbreak detection API served as a means for device managers to easily check the status of their network's devices. The device managers would essentially ask the device if it was compromised, and it would alert the helpdesk, and exclude the potentially dangerous device from the Exchange Server.

This won't have much of an effect on the everyday iPhone user, but it will affect people using their iPhones as enterprise devices. MDMs, or Mobile Device Managers, won't be able to detect a jailbroken device. That jailbroken device could then unknowingly download malware, and put sensitive information at risk.

Jeremy Allen, the principal consultant with the Intrepidus Group security firm, explains that Apple's jailbreak detection was by no means foolproof: "It may be feasible to detect jailbreaks of a specific version or type, but they will still be trapped in the cat and mouse game they play with jailbreakers...it is a fairly intractable problem to solve 100%."

Maybe Apple recognized that their API was only providing a false sense of security, while jailbreakers were simply having to increase the frequency of their updates. In that case, perhaps device managers might prefer to use their own methods of detection, rather than a widely known API that is more easily circumvented.

source: Network World via Engadget

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posted on 13 Dec 2010, 08:29

1. ricking (Posts: 59; Member since: 10 Nov 2010)

they are doing this because of them losing the right to sell only to at&t

posted on 13 Dec 2010, 09:27

2. ecml (Posts: 129; Member since: 23 Mar 2010)

that makes no sense at all

posted on 14 Dec 2010, 00:56

4. skymitch89 (Posts: 1362; Member since: 05 Nov 2010)

You are thinking about unlocking not jailbreaking. Unlocking the phone lets you use it on another service provider other than what the phone is made for, and jailbreaking, is where apps other than Apple approved apps can be installed and gives more control of the phone to the user. I believe that you can jailbreak an iPhone without unlocking it, but you cannot unlock the phone without jailbreaking it.

posted on 14 Dec 2010, 00:51

3. skymitch89 (Posts: 1362; Member since: 05 Nov 2010)

They might be doing this because Apple is loosening up on what apps get approved and what don't.

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