Opinion: iOS 10.2 Jailbreak Possibilities, Prometheus and Pangu/PP Status

Thanks for tuning in for a quick post about Jailbreak that I have not been talking for quite a while. But looking at the recent hype for open-sourced Jailbreak codes, iOS 10.1.1 Jailbreak release and fast-pace development on related matters, I decided to share what I think about the current situation and try to combine broken pieces into one based on my personal speculations.

iOS 10.2 Possibilities

It appears that only the talented Italian iOS hacker Luca Todesco and his team have been working hard for a jailbreak and eventually he dismissed all the skepticism by releasing Yalu Jailbreak for iOS 10.1.1.

Luca did warn the community, before he released iOS 10.1.1 jailbreak, that iOS 10.2 is more secure to make it more difficult to jailbreak. However, famous iOS hacker and security researcher Stefan Esser (a.k.a. @i0n1c) came up and hinted that iOS 10.2 Jailbreak could be coming sooner or later.

Antony Leather from the Forbe also reported that there could be some other teams who may wish to release a jailbreak tool for iOS 10.2, which led to the community to speculate over TaiG or Pangu jailbreak teams from China who were very active and aggressive in achieving impossible jailbreak work in history. Do they still get a chance or have they given up already?

Edit #2: Luca Todesco recommended users to save iOS 10.1 / 10.2 shsh2 blobs as a jailbreak for pre-iPhone 7 64-bit devices is coming soon. You can check out the tutorial on GitHub how to save the blobs using TSS Checker tool.

Where are Pangu and PP Jailbreak Teams?

The Pangu and PP Jailbreak Teams, who released the iOS 9.3.3 Jailbreak and teased iOS 10 Jailbreak at very early stage, have been very quiet and appeared to be off track from working on jailbreak that have gain quite a bit of hate from the Chinese community.

pangu ios 10 jailbreak mosec.jpg

Looking at the recent posts on their Chinese social media Weibo, the Pangu Team has been accredited by China National Vulnerability Database of Information Security (CNNVD) as a national security research company. It may look disappointing to the community that they seems no longer interested in having a bigger vision on information security rather than sticking with a single platform, say iOS jailbreaking.

Image.jpeg

On another hand, PP has been posting quite a bit irrelevant contents on Weibo but the community has been chasing them from behind and asking the progress of iOS 10.2 Jailbreak. And PP’s responses were pretty much canned but still worth noting. In summary:

Please understand that iOS 10.X cannot be jailbroken yet (by PP/Pangu tools), nor we have been notified on this. But our technical guys have been working hard researching on it. Please be patient and stay tuned with PP’s official form and social media for jailbreak news updates.

Despite the fact that PP still keeps up the hope for future jailbreaks, looking at Pangu’s move, it is not too optimistic if PP is the only team fighting alone.

Edit #3: How about TaiG Jailbreak Team?

The TaiG Jailbreak has basically disappeared from the jailbreak community after releasing the iOS 8.4 jailbreak tool. According to a recent post on Weibo, sources claimed that the TaiG has disbanded and switched focus to drones instead of mobile security.

Image.jpeg

On another hand, their official partner for iOS 8.4 Jailbreak, 3K (currently known as Kuaiyong), has been inactive since their rebranding and their mobile app is dated already. Despite the fact that they are still sharing jailbreak news including Luca’s iOS 10.1.1 jailbreak, they are basically not interested in participating in the game here.

Apple closes the door for Prometheus downgrade tool

For those who have been following closely with Jailbreak Subreddit, you should have already known that Apple actively making changes and shutted down the TSS Server and none of the firmwire is currently signing. It is unknown when it will be back on or Apple has patched this against Prometheus. There seems to be a glimse hope that users who missed the chance and upgrade or downgrade their iOS via iTunes if they catch the time advanage, provided that this is true and does happen.

downgrade iOS.jpg

But some Redditors have bright eyes that, based on history, once the TSS Server has been back on, all unsigned firmwire may be signed for a short while. However, not everyone agrees on this and seeing Apple fixed this loophole instead of shutting down the server and no chance for a reboot there. Anyhow, none of the experts has come up and explained on this and only time will tell what is right or wrong.

Edit #1: Thimstar confirms Apple didn’t shut down TSS servers and some developers confirmed that Apple didn’t fix the downgrade and it will come back.

 

The future?

May be you are one of those like me – I consider myself unlucky to have failed to catch the iOS 10.1.1 downgrade and jailbreak opporunity, but at the same time, I still have my test device jailbroken on iOS 9.3.3 which runs in a stable manner as of today. I am very unsure if the Prometheus downgrade tool will be still usable in future consider that Apple might actually have fixed / patched it.

ios 9.3 jailbreak.jpg

Unless there is a jailbreak for iOS 10.2 release right now, it could be quite difficult to upgrade or downgrade for a working jailbreak if the firmwire is not longer being signed by Apple.Apple is definitely taking a more proactive role against jailbreak, which aligns with their strategy to make iOS a more secure OS to use. And Apple has been very actively stopping signing window once they release a stable build of iOS update.

It really depends on which side you are standing at, it could be either good or bad. It also depends on if you are satisfied with what Apple offers. Unless there’s a major breakthrough like in the old days with LimeRa1n/Redsn0w, jailbreak appears to be a diminishing thing as Apple recklessly chases to kill it before it is born, with a number of effort or measures like offering monetary bounties to security researches for bugs and exploits.

ios-11-concept

There is nothing wrong about which side you support, either jailbreak or mainstream. But the latter one definitely has a brighter future with more opportunities being opened up by Apple to release more freedom to developers. This is going to be a trend for sure, that the relative niche, or say less general jailbreak community might seems powerless to fight back against the current.

What do you think about the future of jailbreak? Let me know in the comments.

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Stephen Chan

iOS Specialist, Apple Watch Band Collector, Owns and plays on both Apple and Android devices. Listed as: Top Experts on Twitter, Apple Techies, Top Tech Geeks, Mobile Tech Tweeters, Apple Watch Experts, Influential Tech Tweeps, Product Hunter, Best Apple Fans (listed by Apple Insider), Tech Experts, Tech People to Follow, Interesting Tech Folks

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