Apple Pulls Jailbreak Detection API From iOS

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    Late last week, Network World reported that Apple has quietly removed from iOS an application programming interface (API) that could detect jailbroken devices. The API had been used by several mobile device management applications to help corporate system administrators determine whether jailbroken devices that could pose a risk due to malware installation were running on their networks.
    The report notes that jailbreaking is a constant cat-and-mouse game that could have seen procedures developed to defeat Apple's API, and thus the addition may have been of limited utility. It remains unknown, however, why Apple chose to disable it in iOS 4.2.

    Jailbreaking is commonly employed to allow users to install unauthorized third-party applications to their devices or to make tweaks to their iOS systems. Due to the ability for jailbroken devices to have security features built into iOS circumvented, many corporate customers have been interested in keeping tabs on their employees' devices in order to ensure the integrity of their computing infrastructure. While third-party vendors have employed other means of working to detect jailbroken devices, Apple's removal of the dedicated API for revealing such information leaves questions about why the company has made such access more difficult.

    Article Link: Apple Pulls Jailbreak Detection API From iOS
  2. macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2009
    Hermitage, TN
    Ah, I knew there was a reason why Skype suddenly worked with Jailbreak
  3. macrumors 603


    Nov 5, 2009
    my Skype always has worked on my jb 3GS (except that one time w/ the mobile substrate thing that happened some months back that made multitasking fail on it)...
  4. macrumors 65816


    Jun 29, 2008
    New York, NY
    Apple doesn't care about jailbreak, the providers do. Apple knows it's restore function is rock solid and also that voiding a warranty is always less work for them.
  5. Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Hill Valley, California
    Perhaps Apple removed the API call because it gave corporate IT managers a false sense of security, thinking devices had been checked for jailbreaking when the API could be out of date in detecting the latest jailbreaking techniques.
  6. macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2010
    Almost Rock Solid
    Some other jailbreak detection scheme?

    Either Apple has determined that it's impossible to prevent jailbreaking without making iOS upgrades difficult, or they have found another way to prevent jailbreaking and don't think a public anti-JB API is necessary any more.

    I can't imagine Steve and Apple actually warming up to the idea of jailbreaking. Ever.
  7. macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2009
    Hermitage, TN
    Without jailbreaking we might not have gotten an App Store and various other functionality such as copy/paste. Though it's a hard argument because it's a bunch of what ifs.
  8. lilcosco08, Dec 13, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010

    macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2010
    I submitted this story last week!
    Where's the love MR? :p
  9. macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2010
    Maybe after loosing the Supreme Court case they realized that it might be an infringement to use an API like this and they found a better way to get things done.
  10. macrumors 601


    Jun 26, 2009
    long island NY
    at the time jailbreaking wasnt legal. (but wasnt illegal either) now it is......
  11. macrumors G3


    May 18, 2008
    Hartford, CT
    Jailbreaking was never illegal....
  12. macrumors regular


    Jan 9, 2008
    If Apple implement this API into their devices and remote update/wipe/brick iPhones or flag it as warranty voided, I will switch back to Windows.

    They're control freaks.
  13. macrumors member


    Jul 7, 2010
    San Francisco, California
    Did you just read the "Jailbreak Detection API" part of the title and wrote a comment?
  14. macrumors 65816

    Rajani Isa

    Jun 8, 2010
    Infringement? How?

    Illegal? Don't think so. As someone else mentioned, at this point it was probably to make sure there was no false sense of security among the corporate tech security heads.

    Actually, it was. Otherwise, there would not of been a need to insert an exception into the DMCA.

    Note, I mean the act of Jail-breaking. Remember, DMCA doesn't invalidate our Betamax rights, just makes it illegal to exercise them.

    And that's only for private use.

    In a corporate environment, it could be "illegal/bad idea" still, but as a breach of contract between you and your employer, not Apple.

    Reading Comprehension Fail

    And as a side note, if they had used this in response to jail-breaking, after the DMCA exception it would of been way to actionable. Not to mention, when I bought my phone, it never said they (Apple) would brick it for any reason. Flagging as warranty void? Completely legal though.

    Now it might be in reaction to pressure from consumers, but Apple has actually improved the warranty - mostly in this case I mean the new wet-sensor procedures. But still, better than most companies would do.
  15. macrumors regular


    Dec 18, 2010
    It's not illegal to JB that's the reason for the ruling, its Apple narrow focus on control and profits that requires such intervention by authorities.

    It is clear by the ruling that Apple would be in violation of current laws to circumvent JB by a user that wishes to buy and use software on an iPhone or iPad that was not purchased through apple. Last I checked that is a stance of being a monopoly, something that is not approved of by the current US gov.

    What I don't get is how people can defend Apple when they are clearly wrong and this behavior destroys free enterprise as well as competition.
    No it was needed to clarify what is meant by the law, it is commonly done in case law. A law is ruled upon and decided how it is implied. I read the ruling and the intention of the law is not to limit the use of a device. We go down that road and Macs and PC could be handcuffed to Apple and M$ whims to how we use them because we run "their os" talk about Big Brother!
    Just because I buy an IPhone and us e IOS to run it does mean I should now be limited to what I legally use it for to Apples liking, it's my phone I have a right to use it and install what I want legally.
  16. macrumors regular


    Dec 18, 2010
    The reason for the ruling, to inform Apple and all of us. If it was illegal it would have been so ruled. Courts do not write new laws just clarify how the existing law should be applied.
  17. macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2010
    It was illegal once but U.S Copyright Office ruled mid this year that jailbreaking an iPhone or other mobile device will no longer violate federal copyright law.
  18. macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    Business care as well in the enterprise system. Now apple has shown time and time again they do not care about the enterprise user and this os just another example of that fact and more proof blackberry is not going any where in that market. For security reasons companies would not want jail broken devices on their network. Romoving those API the iPhone is not going to be allowed in some companies networks end of story.
  19. macrumors 68000


    Oct 27, 2003
    I think this goes to show that Apple doesn't really give a crap about Jailbroken phones. Perhaps someone is amused by breaking comparability every so often, but it's not an active Apple endeavor.

    Why do I think that? Because this API is about handing OTHER people the ability to detect Jailbroken phones, which means that Apple has, and is still, able to detect them. If they wanted to do something really malicious, they could in an instant. They don't. This makes me think they don't really care, despite some people's tendencies towards conspiracy theories
  20. macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2009
    finally. at the apple store ages ago they declined to service my ipod because they were able to see that i had jailbroken my ipod
  21. macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2008
    If you paid for the car and crash it while racing on a racetrack, it is legal (assuming you are allowed on the track). But you cannot ask your insurance to pay damages because racing is excluded from your contract.

    Jailbreaking is legal - but it will still void your warranty. They have no right to brick your device just because it's jailbroken.

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