New exploit could lead to permanent jailbreak on iPhone X and older

What you need to know

  • An exploit called checkm8 has been released for iPhone 4S through iPhone X.
  • The exploit could potentially lead to a permanent jailbreak.
  • Work still needs to be done for a jailbreak to happen.

The days of jailbreaking are long gone — or so we thought. An exploit was shared on Friday that reports say could lead to a permanent jailbreak on devices with an A5 chip (iPhone 4S) to an A11 chip (iPhone X).

The exploit was revealed on Twitter by user axi0mX, who shared a link on Github.

The tool shared by axi0mX isn't a full jailbreak — that would require additional work. Rather, it's just an exploit. But according to axi0mX, it could mean a whole host of things.

"Researchers and developers can use it to dump SecureROM, decrypt keybags with AES engine, and demote the device to enable JTAG," axi0mX said.

The iPhone 4 was the last iOS device with a public bootrom exploit, so this is potentially big news in the jailbreak community. According to axi0mX, the exploit can only be triggered over USB and can't be performed remotely.

On Github where checkm8 was shared, axi0mX provides a disclaimer that the tool could potentially brick your device, so it isn't for the faint of heart.

Recently, a public jailbreak was released when Apple mistakenly reversed a vulnerability on newer iPhones. Apple has since fixed that with an update. Today's exploit, however, could lead to a permanent jailbreak on devices as recent as the iPhone X.

Axi0mX said releasing the bootrom exploit makes "iOS better for everyone," because it could ultimately mean more vulnerabilities will get reported to Apple more quickly.

Brandon Russell