History of Jailbreaking

Hey guys, it’s Greg with Apple Explained,
and today we’re going to explore the history of jailbreaking. We’ll start with some background information
– like what jailbreaking even is and why people would want to jailbreak their device
– and then we’ll take look at the different software used to jailbreak over the years. And finally, we’ll get Apple’s response
to this whole concept. This topic was the third place winner of last
weeks voting poll and if you didn’t get to vote, make sure you’re subscribed, that
way the voting polls will show up right in your activity feed and you can let me know
which video you’d like to see next. So, basically, jailbreaking is a type of “privilege
escalation.” Now that’s a pretty technical term so let
me break it down. User privilege refers to how much access a
user has to any given system, in this case iOS. And when you jailbreak your iPhone, you gain
additional access to parts of the operating system that were previously restricted – so
you’re achieving an escalated level of privilege on your device, so privilege escalation. And this is usually achieved by exploiting
some kind of design flaw or bug in the operating system. So to sum it up, jailbreaking is a way for
users to do a lot more with their iPhone than what was previously possible. The term “jailbreaking” originated with
iOS, which began pretty much as soon as iPhones were released, but it’s been used to describe
privilege escalation in other systems as well, like Playstation. Similar tools have been developed for other
systems in recent years. For example, “rooting” became a popular
process among Android phone and tablet users to escalate privileges on those devices. Thanks to a huge community of hackers, developers,
and coders that love to tinker with technology, there’s been a way to jailbreak pretty much
every iteration of iOS within a short time of their release. Now there are a few different types of jailbreaks:
untethered, which is the most desirable of them all since it allows you to run apps and
tweaks and reboot your device with no consequences. Tethered, which requires a computer each time
the device is rebooted. And semi-tethered, which allows you to reboot
your device, but you may not be able to run any jailbreak apps. More recently, semi-untethered jailbreaks
have become available, where the device needs to be jailbroken every time you reboot, but
it can be done by an app on the device instead of requiring a computer. So, there are several reasons why someone
would want to jailbreak their device. When the first iPhone was released, users
quickly noticed that they didn’t have administrator privileges – and this limited quite a few
functions of the device for more savvy individuals. Apple claimed good reason for these limitations
– which I’ll explain in detail later – but the pull towards unlimited access was too
strong. First, jailbreaking would allow users to fully
customize their devices. That meant installing alternative character
input systems, accessing the command-line for apps to make changes, and fully customizing
the interface. In addition to customizing apps already downloaded,
jailbreaking allowed users to download apps and software that weren’t available in the
App Store. Although most of the apps rejected from the
store contained harmful tools like malware and spyware, which meant you had to exercise
caution when downloading unauthorized apps from a jailbroken device. Finally, one of the biggest motivations for
jailbreaking was the lack of carrier compatibility for the original iPhone. Up until 2011, AT&T was the exclusive wireless
carrier for iPhones. And this was a problem for a lot of users,
who didn’t want to be locked into expensive contracts with an exclusive carrier, change
carriers from their existing plan, or had bad cell service with AT&T. Jailbreaking was the most effective way to
allow the iPhone to be used on different wireless networks. But users trying to escape AT&T still ran
into issues with early termination fees, importing “never locked” phones from other countries,
and being forced to activate a contract before leaving the store with their device. Despite attempts by Apple and various carriers
to prevent jailbreaking for this purpose, it was and still is used to allow the iPhone
to be activated with carriers outside of what’s officially available through Apple. Alright, so now I’m going to talk about
some of the early versions of jailbreaking software. The first jailbreak is credited to a young
man named George Hotz. He was seventeen years old at the time in
2007 and, using an eyeglasses screwdriver and a guitar pick, managed to remove the piece
of hardware that tied the carrier to the phone and use his first-generation iPhone with T-Mobile. Shortly after, a group of hackers uploaded
a Youtube video showing an iPhone playing a custom ringtone, proving that they’d successfully
accessed the protected operating system. Sparked by these two events, the jailbreaking
movement was born. And yet another hacker group called the iPhone
Dev Team released jailbreak software in October 2007 that allowed for minor adjustments and
hacks to be installed onto an iPhone. This version, called JailBreakMe or AppSnapp,
was accessible through JailBreakMe.com and just required the user to “Swipe to Jailbreak”
to start the process. At one point, hackers would simply walk into
the Apple store and jailbreak phones on display so often that Apple blocked the JailBreakMe
website on their in-store wifi. At this point, there was a lot of interest
in the jailbreaking community. Apple responded by discouraging users from
jailbreaking their devices, saying that it could cause significant harm and the company
released several updates to repair the vulnerability jailbreakers were exploiting. However, hackers were always quick to come
up with a new jailbreak shortly after a new iOS update was released. Steve Jobs referred to the constant back-and-forth
as a cat and mouse game – and he wasn’t sure if Apple was the cat or the mouse. The iPhone Dev Team released a new version
of what it then called “PwnageTool” for iPhone OS 2 in 2008, and with it introduced
Cydia – a platform for finding, downloading, and installing software on jailbroken devices. Now, Cydia has been one of the most important
developments in jailbreaking history. It was developed by a guy named Jay Freeman,
and essentially became the first app marketplace. Cydia allowed users not only to download apps,
but to install tweaks, customize content, and use their iPhone like never before. Users could install ad blockers, change themes,
make calls outside of the AT&T network, and change up data storage settings. The partnership between Cydia and JailbreakMe
would remain strong for several years. Following Cydia’s release, the iPhone Dev
Team became a small community of hackers making pretty significant money. Their relationship with Apple was strained
and complicated, Freeman and other hackers would often show up to the Worldwide Developer’s
Conference and one of their team members, Ben Byer, actually turned out to be an Apple
employee himself. New iPhone releases continued to be hacked
within days of their release – iOS 3.1.3 and 3.2 came with the release of Spirit, a
one-click tool developed by Nicholas Allegra, who later released JailBreakMe 2.0 for the
iPhone 4 – another one-click tool that was accessible via the Safari browser. Other hackers entered the jailbreaking world
over the years, and several other software versions were created for new iOS and iPhone
releases. Some of these tools included Limera1n and
Absinthe. Nearly every release has had its own jailbreak,
and the same small group of hackers has usually had something to contribute. However, as time passed, jailbreaking became
less popular since Apple began integrating more jailbreak features into iOS and opened
up wireless contracts to more carriers. What was once a popular maneuver for almost
10% of iPhone users has now become mostly a hobby. Nonetheless, there are currently a few popular
tools out for jailbreaking iOS 11 – Electra, RootlessJB and LiberiOS. Electra is a semi-untethered jailbreak and
was developed by CoolStar for iOS 11 in January 2018 – but it didn’t initially support
Cydia. A new version was released in February of
2018 with Cydia support, and could be ran on iOS for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch as
well as tvOS on Apple TV. LiberiOS is another semi-untethered jailbreak
that came out just before Electra in December 2017. And Rootless JB was released later, in July
2018. Again, the popularity and functionality of
jailbreaking have declined significantly in recent years, but you can still expect to
see a new tool for every iOS version. Now, the legality of jailbreaking has always
been a gray area. After Cydia’s rise in popularity, Apple
officially declared jailbreaking illegal, citing copyright law. However, just one year later in 2009, the
Librarian of Congress ruled against that claim. But the battle didn’t end there. Apple continued year after year to fight jailbreaking
– both with patched iOS upgrades and with attempts for litigation. However, the hacking has proved far more difficult
to eliminate than Apple initially expected. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA,
is opened up every three years for the public to discuss exemptions like jailbreaking. In 2012, the U.S. Copyright Office accepted
a DMCA exemption for jailbreaking, stating that, while Apple is free to try countermeasures
against it, jailbreaking doesn’t actually violate any copyright laws. In 2015, that exemption was expanded to include
not just iPhones but tablets, as well. As Colombia Law professor Tim Wu stated in
2007, “unlocking Apple’s superphone is legal, ethical, and just plain fun.” Of course, not everyone thinks that jailbreaking
is fun. Apple obviously has had a problem with it
from day one, and that problem got bigger when revenues from the App Store were effected
because of pirated content from Cydia. As soon as people started hacking, Apple released
a statement claiming that jailbreaking causes serious issues for devices and users. Today, there’s a page on their support website
that says: “Unauthorized modification of iOS can cause security vulnerabilities, instability,
shortened battery life, and other issues, which include dropped calls, unreliable connections,
and disruption of services like iMessage and FaceTime.” While they may have some selfish reasons for
keeping people from hacking their mobile operating system, there is some truth to Apple’s claims
– there have been several data breaches of jailbroken iPhones, including a massive
leak of 220,000 Apple usernames, passwords, and device information in 2015. Others have voiced concerns that jailbroken
devices are susceptible to surveillance and tracking by government officials, including
local law enforcement agencies and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. But whether or not the government is tracking
jailbroken phones, one thing is for sure – jailbreaking voids your device warranty. Any iPad, iPhone, iPod, or Apple TV that has
been jailbroken can be denied service by Apple – regardless of when or from where you purchased
it. So, if you’re considering jailbreaking your
iOS device, it basically comes down to this – unlocking your iPhone, iPad, or iPod may
give you access to a few fun tweaks, free and blocked apps, or additional carrier options. But, most of its benefits have diminished
over the years as Apple has made iOS a much more fully featured and capable operating
system, not to mention that jailbreaking can open you up to some serious risk and exposure. On top of that, the DMCA exemption is up for
review this year – and jailbreaking may not remain legal forever. Overall, jailbreaking has a rich history that
was truly built from the ground up. Individual hackers and hobbyists with mostly
positive intentions have managed to outsmart Apple year after year, and each new iOS update
poses a new challenge to overcome. Cydia remains the largest and most popular
platform for jailbreak software management, and is now available in over a dozen languages. As the iOS 12 beta goes public, we can only
guess what new tools will be available to jailbreak future Apple devices. So that is the history of jailbreaking, and
if you want to vote for the next video topic, don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next

Comments 100

  • Hey guys! We are about to pass 80,000 subs on this channel… The growth of this community has been incredible and I cannot thank you all enough. I deeply appreciate all your love and support!

  • I got a t mobile ad for a iphone…

  • i still jailbreak so that i can hack my games to have inf health and other random crap

  • so…it is like rooting an iphone

  • Is interesting, but I want to make notice of the fact that the bugs that were used for jailbreak can be used from hackers to steal data ecc… So Apple thinking is ridiculous. And is ridiculous that is illegal, the phone is mine, why I have to use like a guest user and not as root? Think about that…

  • My iPhone XS Max is jailbroken and I can confidently say, jailbreaking isn’t just a hobby, or something that just makes your device more flashy. It adds seriously useful and innovative features you use every day. Tweaks like Eclipse, Tapvideoconfig, barmoji, Xen HTML, floatingdock plus, etc that make the phone more productive and just an overall better experience.

  • working

  • Fun fact: claim about jailbreak voiding warranty isn't strictly true in the EU.

    EU directive 1999/44/EC mandates 2 years of warranty, which cannot be voided by "agreements" that were made prior to fault being communicated to the seller. (I.e. just because you agreed to their terms of use, which prohibit jailbreaks, doesn't withdraw their responsibility to ensure the quality of their products )
    There are few key things to point out. Warranty only covers faults the product, such as battery dropping to 40% maximum capacity within 2 months of use. That means they do not cover damage that YOU cause by misuse, natural wear and such. If they want to void your warranty on grounds of jailbreak they have to prove that the damage was a direct result of the jailbreak.

  • I have a rooted Android


  • How to fix jaikbreaking?
    Apple makes their own tweak store with free and paid tweaks

  • That’s it? No substrate, no substitute, no pangu, yalu, no kernel. This is trash

  • Fuck IOS. Went from an android to an iPhone and I regret it. The limitations are so annoying, I literally can't do shit. A simple transfer of music from my PC to phone, now takes an extra 3 steps on iPhone. Smh.

  • Simple solution to not being able to jailbreak: buy an Android device

  • now we cant in new IOS, thanks a lot apple! Goin to google now. F*** you apple

  • lmao i remember jailbreaking ipod touches at bestbuy using jailbreakme.
    “i like this one better than the other”
    as i proceed to look at every single device 😂

  • How 'bout a link to that video mentioned at 4:17?

  • Tweakbox fam anyone?

  • I have unc0ver 12.1.2 on my iphone SE & 12.1.1 on my ipad pro. Only problems i have with them are the random resprings. Not reboots, just resprings. Every 3-4 hours or so. But other than that the tweaks are great. Better than i expected for this new jb

  • Who's watching this with a jailbroken iphone??

  • 2:10 RedSn0w, who remembers that!?

  • I remember when I had my first gen iPad, I would always try to get free Minecraft. I was weird back then.

  • I've disabled updates on my 12.1.2 iDevice and am patiently waiting for a new tool. 🙂 I want to escape from The Walled Garden.

  • How do I jailbreak 12.3.1

  • Green Poison….Red Snow….

  • Replay buttons for sale! 1 like = 1 replay.
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  • Just don't buy Apple products. You don't have to worry about Apple crying and running to tell Uncle Sam about it if you just don't give them your money in the first place.

    Just saying. I'll see myself out.

  • 7:05 “Usually always.”

  • I won't jailbreak because then the garranty for iPhone Will end and and it cost so I won't jailbreak a iPhone

  • I started on iOS 7.1.2 after getting my first iPad Air. Golden days back then. I remember when it was considered a long time for the ios8 jailbreak(2-4weeks). I havn’t enjoyed jailbreaking after ios9. Then came those annoying semi untethered jb. Still rocking an iPhone 5 on iOS 10 and 8

  • Hasnt Cydia already been shut down by Jay Freeman?

  • Uhhh, AT&T was and still is the largest GSM carrier in the US. Jail breaking because of coverage reasons was pretty much a non issue.

  • I have a iPhone 4 which has a country lock. I know it seems dumb, but I want to use it as my backup device. How can I unlock it by myself?

  • i think you should more mention before 2010 era because after 2010 everyone familiar

  • I think there’s a grey area with not getting high privileges like having it be your choice to jailbreak your own phone

  • Well good thing you can restart the original os prior to jailbreak

  • Now it’s incredibly difficult to find a legit jailbreak that doesn’t ask you for a human verification

  • Who remembers moviebox 😂

  • 0:47 that is just wrong, a 5s running iOS 6

  • Moved to Android. No need for jailbreaking

  • can u jailbreak 12.3.1 because i cant find a tutorial that works

  • Wait so should I like or dislike jailbreaking I am currently against it

  • Damm I remember jailbreaking my iPod touch ,I was scared tho because I hear bad things aha

  • Welcome to Apple, where jailbreaking is copyright infringement and refurbishing is counterfeit.

    Also, unauthorized modification can cause security vulnerabilities, instability, shortened battery life, and other issues, but just ignore literally all the hardware defects with Apple computers and phones. They only affect a "small percentage" of devices. Only a "small number". Just a "very small percentage".

  • Jailbreak in other words your iphone is no longer aae virgin…..

  • Apple makes shit overpriced products

  • When iOS users spoiled by Android Freedom

  • 10:23 ha I don't give a fuck.

  • Downvoted due to you nagging us viewers for a subscription!

  • I still have cydia. I dont know why. I didnt originally install it, my brother did. Now it's outdated and can't really use it but never deleted it.

  • This brings back so many memories, I wonder if I still have my old device somewhere.

  • One of the bs things is not be able to have custom ringtones we all know it’s so you have to pay for ringtones

  • Yy was y

  • One reason for jailbreaking that not many are aware of is that the iPhone headphone jack is limited to 83% max output voltage in the EU, thanks to the french, btw…

  • I simply jailbreaked my i-device because I was appalled that I couldn't access the files that I had transferred with my computer from my device!

  • Honestly apple can slam their anti jailbreaking update up their fat ass

  • Literally no need for jailbreaking nowadays just need to use enterprise or alternative is a website that does it for you much cheaper… all legit no need for jailbreaking. Search build store or build io

  • RIP tutu it dead

  • Even if someone doesn´t want to jailbreak her or his device it´s a good thing because Apple is under pressure to make their OS safer.

  • Basically a root for iphone, but not really "root" just freedom. move to android

  • Apple story "A Fight For Freedom"

  • Hello I have an iPhone 7 on iOS 12.0 no computer can I jailbreak it does anyone know please

  • they should just do what EA does. gives you the option to mod and change what you want and it will be on you if it breaks

  • I'm surprised jailbreaking is still a thing

  • New tweak- bypassing apples no charging feature.

  • I remember it took forever for 3.1.3 took to get a jailbreak.

  • Just got my first ios device (an iPad) and found out they don't allow torrent clients. Guess I'll be jail breaking it. Already miss Android. This bloody apple pencil better be worth it…

  • Jailbroken phones rock, they are so much better in every way. The last few years I went to android tho, I just got a new 6S+ to mess with. So I have both. If you want to see what amazing tweaks and programs you can do, look at my completely tricked out 4s from 6 years ago. On YouTube search Stripervince1 iPhone 4S

  • I know some people may disagree with me. But I’ve never thought jailbreaking your device was right I’ve never done it and never will

  • Isn't jail break a roblox game?

  • i remember trying to change my texturepack and skin on minecraft pe

  • egf

  • Legally, for Apple to refuse service to a device it must prove that jailbreaking directly caused a malfunction to the device under the 1975 Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. Voiding warranty just because of a jailbreak is illegal just like voiding warranty just by opening up a device.

  • 0:19 69%

  • What about the split view screenshot from Apple website??? This feature never made it to official release, or did it???

  • i had iphone 3g, i member!

  • Jailbreaking was super popular in 2010-2015 I’d say. Once iOS 10 was released, no one really cared anymore.

  • I've proudly jailbroken all the iphones i've had, from the 3GS to the X

  • I remember using IAP free and IAP cracker to hack my games and use IGameguardian
    Man I love hacking coins on Pixel Gun when I was younger
    And I love using Vshare to download paid games for fre

    But now I’m worried about JailBreaking destroying my new shiny device

  • The only reason I like apple now is because my device has 128 GB of storage

    In comparison to my past reliable Android that I messed with by installing paid apps for free and doing cheats on games and MOD apks It only has 8 GB of storage and its slow and laggy probably after so many shit it has been through and probably because there are too many apps for it to handle and the battery life was greatly diminished for some reason it takes like 6 hours for a 50% charge and a lot of time my 30% can jump down to 1% and shut down…….

  • I remember cydia 😭

  • Jay FREEman, nice last name, fits the purpose. 😉

  • Ah The Good Old Times!

  • If your going to pay upwards of 1000 dollars for an iPhone just to jailbreak it. why even get an iPhone since most of the reasons why you would want to buy something from Apple is iOS and MacOS

  • I remember the jail break community when I was a part from about 2011-2015. Ever since then, it got too hard to do.

  • Damn I remember Jailbreaking the hell out of my iPod touch with iOS 4

  • 8:42 they’re a bts Jin stan!!!!

  • I still have cydia on my old ipad

  • 7:19 those e-mailsssss oof.

  • I’m using panda Helper it’s working just fine on my IPhone lol

  • Apple needs to ask itself "why are people doing this?" I'll answer for you Apple…. because we're tried of the same old look & the same old "restrictions." The iPhone basically still look the same way it did 12 years ago. With jailbreaking,I can change that look. Apple won't let you "move" photos from one album to the next without "copying" it first. Now I have a bunch of duplicates on my phone & it's taking up space, with jailbreaking I can "move" my photos to any album I want without having to "copy" it first. That's just a couple of examples of why people jailbreak their phones. We pay over a $1,000 for this phone, but we can't customize it. It's the same old dull looking phone. Hey Apple, how would you feel if your wife told you you could only do the SAME position on her everytime yeah had sex??? Would you try to "jailbreak" her???😂😂😂 Get with the program Apple! You guys set the standard but now you keep falling behind!! It took y'all how many years to add pictures in your text messages?? It took you how many years to get a bigger screen???? SMH 🙄

  • Nostalgia 🥺

  • This shit was absolutely essential back in the day. Watching this brought me back to so many memories with some jailbreaks being incredibly complicated and lengthy.

  • I remember letting my big bro jailbreak my iPod 5 back in 2014, it lasted a few years before it went to shit and got in a bootloop. Now I switched to Android, but the future of Android is getting scary for rooting….

  • I used to jailbreak my friends iphones xD i'm italian

  • Why does Apple care about jail breaking? You’ve already bought the phone and given them the money.

  • I JailBreak My iPhone XS I get Unlimited BP On PUBGM

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