iOS 8.3/8.4 Jailbreak UPDATE : iOS 9 “Rootless” Security

/8.4 Jailbreak UPDATE : “Rootless” Security Feature Could Push An Earlier Jailbreak Release


Ever since the iOS 8 jailbreak was patched back in January, users have wondered if a new jailbreak might release for iOS 8.2 and now iOS 8.3. While back in December TAIG appeared confident that an iOS 8.2 jailbreak would release, we never did see it surface. Now with and the release of the iOS 9 beta less than three weeks away it seems likely we won’t be seeing an iOS 8.3 jailbreak come to fruition – or will we?

Up until this point I felt fairly confident that we wouldn’t see the release of a new jailbreak until iOS 9 released. However, an interesting tidbit of information was reported by 9 to 5 Mac, which has me rethinking that theory. Now, before I proceed with the information I have, I want to make it clear that this article very heavily relies on my “gut” or speculation and should not be taken as definitive proof that an iOS 8.3 jailbreak is imminent. However, you may find my argument at least a little compelling. Here goes nothing.

So this week of 9 to 5 Mac revealed that Apple may be working on a new Kernel level security feature called “Rootless” which could make jailbreaking infinitely more difficult than it has been in the past. According to the report, Rootless is “a ‘huge,’ kernel-level feature for both OS X and iOS. 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.”

So what does this mean for jailbreaking? Well, few feel prepared to speculate on that yet, but in speaking with Evaders team member , he explained that this could mean that even with root, access to certain important features like the raw file system or calling a specific system function would be restricted.

“With rootless they would lock down the system so far that even if you would gain root you can’t do these things anymore,” said Bassen. “So even if your user has the highest possible privileges (i.e. normally being root) then the kernel would still have control over what is allowed and what not.”

When I asked him if he thought security of this kind could be broken, Bassen said it was “hard to say.”

Of course no one can truly know how difficult the new security may be until they have an opportunity to get their hands on the iOS 9 betas and see for themselves. But what does all this have to do with an iOS 8.3 jailbreak?

Here we go…

I have been told by a reliable but anonymous source that an iOS 8.2 and 8.3 jailbreak has been achieved but has been held from release due to the fact that key vulnerabilities were patched in iOS 8.4 betas.

Up to this point, the party holding the jailbreak has avoided releasing due to the fact it could be patched quite soon. However, if iOS 9 proves to be as difficult to jailbreak as the 9 to 5 Mac report indicates, then we just might see the release of that iOS 8.2 – 8.3 jailbreak in the near future.

I have to again emphasize that this is all my own speculation and cannot be taken as absolutely proof that a jailbreak is coming. I’m just sharing what I do know right now.

My advice of course would be that if an iOS 8.4 firmware releases, that you shouldn’t upgrade to it. I would also avoid testing iOS 9 betas in the case that you cannot downgrade back to iOS 8.3 later. Either could foil your chances of jailbreaking if an iOS 8.3 is in fact released.

As I mentioned in my last post, I have reached out to TAIG who said they are quite happy and willing to work with me and share any updates they have on future jailbreak releases. You’ll be seeing a piece from me in regarding what they are planning for future jailbreaks.

This is all for now. As usual, I’ll bring you more news whenever I have any.


Cammy Harbison – Tech Writer/Reporter For iDigitalTimes

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