What Is Jailbreaking an iPhone & Is Jailbreaking Safe?

iPhone

Since jailbreaking an iPhone, you’ve definitely heard your buddies brag about the awesome benefits they got. Now, you’re still curious to know what jailbreaking an iPhone entails and whether it’s a stable option. We will address the driving forces behind jailbreaking and its legal and security implications in this report.

What Is Jailbreaking?

Jailbreaking involves making illegal modifications to the default configurations of a computer without authorization from the manufacturer.

When people notice that the default mechanism of some software is limited, they jailbreak the system using certain resources. To tweak the default configurations, these applications are programmed to manipulate the flaws (bugs) of the device’s mechanism and operating system. You obtain administrator access to your computer by lifting limitations in order to perform the root level adjustments.

The term Jailbreaking is popular for iPhones. But any device can be jailbroken. For example,

  • Android Phone (it’s called Rooting)
  • PC, Laptop (MAC and Windows)
  • Tablet (iPad and Windows)
  • Smart Watch
  • Smart Television
  • Firestick
  • Kindle
  • Roku streaming box
  • Nintendo Switch

Warning: Jailbreaking an iPhone Voids Your Warranty

We want to raise our heads. If you think you can jailbreak an iPhone, guess wrong, without any repercussions. Apple is very clear that jailbreaking voids the promise of your iPhone.

Apple strongly cautions against installing any software that hacks iOS. It is also important to note that unauthorized modification of iOS is a violation of the iOS end-user software license agreement and because of this, Apple may deny service for an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch that has installed any unauthorized software.”

If you are not troubled by that, then keep reading. Not only can we learn about the positives of jailbreaking an iPhone, but the security problems and legal implications of doing so will also be addressed.

What Does Jailbreaking an iPhone Do?

What are the advantages of an iPhone jailbreak.

Install Unauthorized Apps via Jailbroken iPhones

To allow an application to be viewed in the Apple app store, iOS has stringent policies and robust verification procedures. That’s why, on iPhones, certain applications available on Android phones are not available. To get access to those otherwise inaccessible software, people jailbreak their iPhones.

Unlock Your Phone

A locked phone means that you can not change the carrier or wireless network operator of the system indefinitely or before the deal expires.

They jailbreak their phones and get rid of the default service providers when users are not satisfied with their service providers (due to network glitches, high fares, etc.). People often jailbreak their phones if they travel to another place or change the region, and in the new geographical location, their provider does not have the service.

It is important to remember, however, that if you rent it, there might be some legal dangers involved with jailbreaking an iPhone. For instance, jailbreaking can result in legal fines or impact your credit score if you pay for your computer in monthly instalments.

iOS Jailbreak Facilitates the Software Piracy

To view videos, download music, or use advanced functionality, certain programs need paying membership. Some individuals chose to use pirated (illegal) copies of these apps in order to obtain these rights without forking over capital. Apple, though, in their App Store, does not support pirated apps. Therefore, certain individuals jailbreak iPhones and run the applications’ pirated copies.

Any apps run their own shops to take advantage of the Developer Business Platform of Apple. The enterprise software requires enterprise licenses to be installed by companies, which allows them to create and distribute applications for internal use.

As piracy comes under the U.S. Copyright Act, make sure to verify the legal ramifications of using a pirated app and software in your jurisdiction.

Jailbreaking iPhones to Facilitate Mobile Tethering

Mobile tethering, also referred to as a mobile hotspot, is a feature that helps you to exchange internet access from your mobile with other users. Any service providers felt that with hotspot services and overuse of the internet, users misuse their “unlimited data plan”. That’s why some providers have added additional charges to their iPhones to allow the mobile hotspot capability. To stop paying those additional fees, however, some users jailbreak iPhones to enable their mobile hotspots.

Customize Your iPhone Settings

There are some in-built configurations on iPhones that you can’t alter. When you press some page, for example, it opens only in the Safari web browser. This means that you can’t identify your default browser as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

In the same way, you must order it from Apple’s sound shop if you wish to use any ringtone other than that offered by Apple. You can’t just download any ringtone from the web or crop any song and use it for free as a ringtone.

But when you jailbreak an iPhone, all these default settings can be changed and the handset can be personalized with the features you want.

Is Jailbreaking Safe?

The brief response is NO! Jailbreaking an iPhone is incredibly dangerous for the computer and data protection.

The below are the threats of an iPhone jailbreak.

Risks of Jailbreaking an iPhone on the Functionality Level

The applications and tools you need to use to jailbreak your computer can include:

  • Shorten the battery life of the unit,
  • Let your computer fail,
  • Some applications freeze,
  • Calls decline,
  • Disrupt other Apple services (such as iCloud, iMessage, FaceTime, Apple Pay, Temperature, Visual Voicemail, and Stocks), and
  • Harm the iOS such that updates to the operating system are no longer supported.

Data Theft and Unauthorized Usage

You give the jailbreaking app developers permission to access your phone’s email addresses, photo galleries, text messages, records, etc. to access all the jailbreaking components.

But providing this kind of access to unknown individuals is not without risk. This access level helps creators of apps/software to intercept and steal confidential information that they may use to carry out a number of crimes, including:

  • Ransomware attacks,
  • Scams for Phishing,
  • Theft of personality, or
  • Financial scams. They can also sell the data on the black market to advertisers or cybercriminals.

Example: KeyRaider ransomware stole 225,000 legitimate Apple accounts and thousands of certificates, private keys and jailbroken iPhone receipts. Example:

The app developer can submit posts from your social media accounts or send phishing emails to your contacts when you authorize certain apps to access your email client or social media profiles. Such posts/emails may be in the form of ads or contain malware or links that redirect users to spam websites.

In order to do illegal purchases, money transfers, shopping, etc., hackers can also enter applications such as banking, e-commerce, bill payments, etc.

You May Inadvertently Install Malware on Your Device

This makes it possible for hackers to list their malicious software for consumers to download, since alternative app stores do not have stringent requirements for listing apps.

The jailbreaking program has already disabled your phone’s protection barrier, so hackers can use compromised applications to inject various forms of malware (viruses, worms, Trojan horses, rootkits, etc.). Your data can be intercepted, encrypted, erased, and transmitted by malware.

Adware is used with many Free Applications: some software creators sell free apps and make money from advertising. Too many times, when downloading free stuff or pirated software, users are bombarded with lots of commercials. Often, in their commercials, hackers piggyback on those applications to conceal malware. This is referred to as Malvertising.

In general, Apple bans applications that are considered to contain adware or malware (showing inappropriate popups). But if those applications are freely listed in alternative app stores, there is a high risk that you will unintentionally press on one of these malicious ads and unwittingly corrupt your iPhone.

How Does Jailbreaking work?

The jailbreaking of an iPhone requires three steps. In each step, the protection and privacy of your phone is breached.

Phase 1: Jailbreaking Software Installation

If you uninstall jailbreaking software (based on the form and operating system of your device), it removes the default protection layers of iOS, rendering it vulnerable to:

  • Insertion of Hacking and Malware
  • Attacks on the Network
  • Eavesdropping and intimate stealing of information.

Phase 2: Alternative App Store

They ask your permission to download the enterprise licenses to your iPhone when you download alternate app stores. Since the business software is made for the internal use of the company, it allows the developer full access to some of the data and functionality of the iPhone.

Phase 3: Downloading Banned Apps

Today, from these alternative app stores, you can download several applications, including some apps that are not available on the official iPhone app store. The key question is, in the first place, why did Apple prohibit or deny such apps? Currently, Apple refuses or forbids applications that:

  • Have malware included,
  • They’re being pirated,
  • Adware and malvertizing included,
  • To misguide people, use misleading names,
  • Have poor defense postures or protection vulnerabilities that can be quickly abused by hackers,
  • Have histories of hacking or misusing data from the smartphones of customers, or
    Possess a security risk of some sort.

In brief, anytime Apple views an app as a security threat to the computers of its customers, it excludes or forbids it. So, now, by installing applications that Apple considers a serious security threat, you’re taking a huge chance.

Is Jailbreaking Legal?

The jailbreaking of an iPhone in the United States is safe. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the legality of jailbreaking a computer falls (DMCA). Technological measures have been broken into two sections under DMCA Section 1201:

  • Measures to prevent unauthorized access to a work under copyright
  • Measures to prevent a copyrighted work from being “copied.”

According to the Act, “In certain circumstances, making or selling devices or services that are used to circumvent either category of a technological measure is prohibited.” Jailbreaking a computer is excluded from these requirements, nevertheless.

Turning to the second fair use factor, it is customary for operating systems – functional works – to enable third-party programs to interoperate with them. It does not and should not infringe any of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner to run an application program on a computer over the objections of the owner of the copyright in the computer’s operating system. Thus, if Apple sought to restrict the computer programs that could be run on its computers, there would be no basis for copyright law to assist Apple in protecting its restrictive business model.”

Jailbreaking is not all the fresh idea. In 2007, iPhones were first released, and soon afterward, hackers started jailbreaking Apple devices. And hackers have recently come up with a new way to jailbreak every iPhone, including iOS 13.5, but shortly afterwards, Apple was swift to fix the security flaw.

Final Words on Jailbreaking an iPhone

We all enjoy customizing our smartphones, but is it so important to get a new look or functionality that we’re willing to risk the security posture of the phone? Is it really worth voiding the contract or losing your invaluable data or identification being hacked to run a pirated app?

Hackers will use that as a means to install ransomware on your smartphone when you compromise the protection system of your phone by having unknown applications. Some kinds of ransomware are so sophisticated that they can’t be identified except by the phone’s antivirus and anti-malware programs. Plus, if you allow the jailbreaking program to mount an enterprise certificate on your computer, you happily give permission to the app developers to access those phone features and data. Are you aware of the data theft implications?

Therefore, you can ask yourself, “is jailbreaking really worth it” before jailbreaking an iPhone? We hope this article will help you determine if the protection and legal threats outweigh the advantages of jailbreaking.

Melina Richardson is a Cyber Security Enthusiast, Security Blogger, Technical Editor, Certified Ethical Hacker, Author at Cybers Guards & w-se. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.