Rootless: Why jailbreaking iOS 9 will be nearly impossible

“Apple is working on a whole new level of security for both iOS and the Mac, according to a recently published report,” Oliver Haslam reports for Redmond Pie.With Apple continuing its fight against jailbreaking, the new security aims to strike a blow to that community as a whole.”

“The unnamed sources told the publication that the new system, which can apparently be disabled on the Mac but is mandatory on iOS, will deal a huge blow to jailbreaks with Apple said to be ‘particularly enthusiastic’” about its work,” Haslam reports. “The technology, named ‘Rootless’ inside Apple, is aimed at preventing even administrator-level users from gaining access to certain file systems on an iPhone, iPad or Mac – though it’s believed that it can be disabled on the company’s desktop OS.”

Read more in the full article here.

“To prevent malware, increase the safety of extensions, and preserve the security of sensitive data, Rootless will prevent even administrative-level users from being able to access certain protected files on Apple devices,” Mark Gurman reports for 9to5Mac. “Sources say that Rootless will be a heavy blow to the jailbreak community on iOS, though it can supposedly be disabled on OS X. Even with this Rootless feature coming to OS X, sources say that the standard Finder-based file system is not going away this year.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: With medical, payment, and other sensitive information now on our devices, security and privacy trump what is/would be lost without the ability to jailbreak devices.

21 Comments

    1. Ask any Android user: practically unlimited customization. Personally, I prefer stability, upgradability, and dependability. Android users seem to like to change for the sake of change and just because they can.

          1. The only way I know of doing that would be to create a dev account, download apps and then re-code-sign them and install with the dev tools. Hardly EASY!

            1. No, there’s a much easier way and it’s fairly popular in China, although through the years there have always been sites featuring easy to pirate apps around the world (including the US) using a variety of different methods.

              Here’s an article describing one site

              Usually, I don’t link to any information about this since I don’t want to promote piracy, but the only site this article mentions isn’t going to do much for someone other than give them Internet Herpes.

              Still it describes and shows how piracy is just as easy (if not easier) without jailbreaking.

              In the end, pirates gonna pirate regardless of the risks, hassles, diminished quality, and ethical issues involved.

  1. I love the way they characterize this in that first paragraph: “the new security aims to strike a blow to that community as a whole”. I’m pretty sure it is aimed to increase security, not to strike a blow at a community. I hate spin.

    1. Exactly, hacking iOS enables malicious code to run more easily. Giving people ignorant enough to root their device in the first place the misconception that iPhone performs poorly, and thus spreading false word of mouth and causing criminal damage to Apple.

  2. This really doesn’t make jailbreaking impossible. Some jailbreaks have done so without even using root. It may make things harder, but the “nearly impossible” was applied to iOS 6, and that didn’t really reduce jailbreaking.

    The bigger blow to jailbreaking has been Apple’s (roughly) quarterly feature updates with .X versions. Right now, people have to decide whether to be jailbroken or use an Apple Watch. Previously it was Apple Pay. Soon it may be the new music service.

    Apple seems to have shifted the way it releases iOS. iOS 9.0 seems likely to have mostly fixes and core changes like “rootless”, and if Apple moves to a quarterly feature update schedule, the jailbreak community will be severely diminished.

    This also goes hand in hand with iOS continuing to evolve to include functionality and features that were only once available via jailbreak.

    For a lot of people, the list of reasons to jailbreak keeps getting shorter and shorter while the trade-off keeps getting more significant.

    1. I found it interesting that the first article said that iOS 8.3 still hasn’t been jailbroken yet. I remember when the jailbreak community used to crow about breaking a new version of iOS a few weeks or less after it came out.

      Apple probably can’t make jailbreaking “impossible”. But they can make it “really really hard”, to the point where eventually it’s not worth the effort.

      ——RM

    1. MDN did say: security and privacy trump…

      Privacy IS freedom and liberty. It requires personal ‘security’ to maintain it.

      It’s still the same basic concept of the government SERVING We The People; Versus the dementia going on now which is the government RULING OVER the We The People, which is unacceptable. This ruling over is of course simply and extension of the mass CORPORATOCRACY attempting to take over the human world as evidenced by unconstitutional ‘Fast Track’ and the TTP and TTIP trade treaties being rammed down the world’s throats. *sigh*

      ∑ = MDN is not being inconsistent on this particular issue.

  3. Some jailbreak methods involve wiping the entire OS and replacing it with a version of iOS that is already rooted. Hopefully that could work around rootless. Apple devices are awesome for creative Unix hackers and it would be a shame if that whole community had to switch to some other platform.

  4. Whats the difference between perfect security and unlimited, covert access? User acceptance of assurances that their data is “safe”. Believe what you want, but IMO this is all theater. Apple, Google, FB, etc. sold your asses long ago.

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