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First HomePod Jailbreak Stokes Speculation About Smart Speaker's Hacking Potential

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Apr 12, 2001
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The team behind the "Checkra1n" jailbreaking tool for iOS claims to have used it to successfully jailbreak Apple's HomePod, although it's unclear what that could mean for the smart speaker in terms of hacking potential.


The news was announced by Twitter user L1ngL1ng, who shared a screenshot of a macOS Terminal window that appears to show command line root access to the HomePod over a secure shell (SSH) connection.

The command line grab suggests the device in question is an original 2018 HomePod model (with the identifier AudioAccessory 1,1) rather than Apple's new HomePod mini (AudioAccessory 5,1). The original HomePod runs on an Apple-designed A8 chip, which is the same chip that was first introduced with the iPhone 6.

The development is a novel one indeed, but the practical utility of jailbreaking a HomePod is largely unknown, although that hasn't stopped commenters on the r/jailbreak subreddit from speculating on the possibilities.


So far ideas have included opening up the speaker's locked-down Bluetooth connectivity, changing Siri to a rival virtual assistant, displaying custom colors on the top screen, and enabling support for more third-party streaming services.

The checkm8 bootrom exploit that powers the checkra1n jailbreak has previously been demonstrated to be capable of hacking Apple's T2 Security chip present in new Macs, which could theoretically open the door to circumventing disk encryption, firmware passwords, and the whole T2 security verification chain.

Article Link: First HomePod Jailbreak Stokes Speculation About Smart Speaker's Hacking Potential
 
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Kobayagi

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2012
824
1,831
Wish Apple just opened up this thing on their own, so stuff like this wouldn't even be considered. Especially for something simple as connecting to it with bluetooth to play music, something the cheapest wireless speakers can do. I'm sure they would sell more of them too then. Their ''my way or the highway'' approach is what often turns off a lot of potential customers.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,167
15,133
Central U.S.
The checkm8 bootrom exploit that powers the checkra1n jailbreak has previously been demonstrated to be capable of hacking Apple's T2 Security chip present in new Macs, which could theoretically open the door to circumventing disk encryption, firmware passwords, and the whole T2 security verification chain.
Ok, I definitely don’t like that. Can we go back to regular old disk encryption? I don’t think it was vulnerable like this?
 

az431

macrumors 68000
Sep 13, 2008
1,906
5,369
Portland, OR
Wish Apple just opened up this thing on their own, so stuff like this wouldn't even be considered. Especially for something simple as connecting to it with bluetooth to play music, something the cheapest wireless speakers can do. I'm sure they would sell more of them too then. Their ''my way or the highway'' approach is what often turns off a lot of potential customers.
I’m missing what Bluetooth would allow that you can’t already do.
 

MauiPa

macrumors 65816
Apr 18, 2018
1,354
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Wish Apple just opened up this thing on their own, so stuff like this wouldn't even be considered. Especially for something simple as connecting to it with bluetooth to play music, something the cheapest wireless speakers can do. I'm sure they would sell more of them too then. Their ''my way or the highway'' approach is what often turns off a lot of potential customers.
But it runs airplay perfectly, so what is the point? Airplay is far superior to bluetooth
 

MauiPa

macrumors 65816
Apr 18, 2018
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Ok, I definitely don’t like that. Can we go back to regular old disk encryption? I don’t think it was vulnerable like this?
LOL, that is funny. Regular old disk encryption could be hacked. Remember the old Windows encryption? Pop the disk out of the computer and into another one - boom, there it is! The T2 flaw requires physical access, as with many flaws on any OS, if your computer is in the hands of others, it can be hacked, period
 

MauiPa

macrumors 65816
Apr 18, 2018
1,354
1,684
Me neither. But if Apple refuses to expand the supported languages... After 3 years and with many languages supported on iPhones, iPads and MacOS it should be about time.
They support 21 languages, about half of what google does and way more than Alexa's 8.

 

grjj

macrumors regular
Apr 5, 2014
138
267
Funny how all these listening devices get hacked... just saying 🙄
I don't know the details yet but this most likely requires someone on your wifi network and access to the HomePod.
This isn't like some random person in Sri Lanka can hack your HomePod. You or someone you generally trust has to do it.
 
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MauiPa

macrumors 65816
Apr 18, 2018
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"and enabling support for more third-party streaming services". you mean, like they have already done? You can lead Spotify to support, but you can't make them support anything (not bad for the largest streaming service the world that doesn't pay artists and doesn't hire programmers). I currently use Pandora and iheartradio on mine, more as a test because I still prefer Apple Music. But come on Spotify, grow up!
 

MauiPa

macrumors 65816
Apr 18, 2018
1,354
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So you don’t have to use an Apple product (via Airplay).
or get an app that supports Airplay. I can airplay to a fire TV, last I checked Toshiba is not an Apple product, and it works fine, simple free app download. I can't imagine that Android apps aren't available after I listen to all the robodudes exclaiming how great it is (I personally don't know)
 

steve23094

macrumors 68030
Apr 23, 2013
2,783
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or get an app that supports Airplay. I can airplay to a fire TV, last I checked Toshiba is not an Apple product, and it works fine, simple free app download. I can't imagine that Android apps aren't available after I listen to all the robodudes exclaiming how great it is (I personally don't know)

‘Robodudes’ 😆

Yeah, look, I don’t use android. I’m on macrumors because like a lot of people here I use Apple stuff. A very quick scan of what’s on the Google Play store you have to pay for. I guess if you spend that much on a speaker than a few more bucks doesn’t matter much in the scheme of things. But whether it’s reliable, I have no idea. Perhaps an Android user could comment?
 
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Xmitman

macrumors newbie
Nov 20, 2020
1
1
Connecticut
The lack of simple Bluetooth connectivity makes these devices have limited functionality for me. I just picked up the mini yesterday and I am very disappointed that I can’t connect so many devices to use as a speaker. Even my 4th gen Apple TV devices don’t work. I only have a single device that works with it, a 4K Apple TV which I do not need connected to the mini as it is fully amped through my living room TV. I don’t use my phone or iPad for external sound, only use through AirPods once in awhile. Just disappointed in Apple locking down Bluetooth. So I welcome this hack that may open up a feature that should have been a default for all users. Apple open up your Bluetooth now!
 

mnsportsgeek

macrumors 68030
Feb 24, 2009
2,694
2,869
Seriously. About the only thing I can think of is bluetooth accessibility would make it easier for androids to stream music to it. As has been pointed out, IOS and Macs have airplay for streaming to it. So what else?
Ya, you got it. Good job. Some people have friends, and it would be nice for them to be able to share a playlist if they want when they come over. And believe it or not, there are people out there who have other products besides Apple in their house that they'd like to use their homepod with.
 
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