Apple warns iPhone OS users of jailbreaking risks

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple has posted a support document targeting iPhone jailbreaking, noting that "unauthorized modification of iPhone OS has been a major source of instability, disruption of services, and other issues," including compromised security.



The article addresses "adverse issues experienced by customers who have made unauthorized modifications to the iPhone OS (this hacking process is often called 'jailbreaking')."



The support note says, "as designed by Apple, the iPhone OS ensures that the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operate reliably. Some customers have not understood the risks of installing software that makes unauthorized modifications to the iPhone OS ("jailbreaking") on their iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Customers who have installed software that makes these modifications have encountered numerous problems in the operation of their hacked iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Examples of issues caused by these unauthorized modifications to the iPhone OS have included the following:



Device and application instability: Frequent and unexpected crashes of the device, crashes and freezes of built-in apps and third-party apps, and loss of data.



Unreliable voice and data: Dropped calls, slow or unreliable data connections, and delayed or inaccurate location data.



Disruption of services: Services such as Visual Voicemail, YouTube, Weather, and Stocks have been disrupted or no longer work on the device. Additionally, third-party apps that use the Apple Push Notification Service have had difficulty receiving notifications or received notifications that were intended for a different hacked device. Other push-based services such as MobileMe and Exchange have experienced problems synchronizing data with their respective servers.



Compromised security: Security compromises have been introduced by these modifications that could allow hackers to steal personal information, damage the device, attack the wireless network, or introduce malware or viruses.



Shortened battery life: The hacked software has caused an accelerated battery drain that shortens the operation of an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch on a single battery charge.



Inability to apply future software updates: Some unauthorized modifications have caused damage to the iPhone OS that is not repairable. This can result in the hacked iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch becoming permanently inoperable when a future Apple-supplied iPhone OS update is installed.



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



Apple fights for control of its App Store



Last year, Apple argued against claims filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation which proposed a legal exemption to the DMCA that could enable large scale commercial jailbreaking that could no longer be challenged under existing laws. The EFF argued such an exemption would allow more innovation and investment in creative works.



Apple argued that the "EFF apparently desires to use the rulemaking process to alter Apple?s business practices by negating DMCA protection for technologies that interfere with what EFF seems to assume would be a more socially desirable business model that is more 'open.' Specifically, it seeks through the proposed exemption to clear the path for those who would hack the iPhone?s operating system so that a proprietary mobile computing platform protected by copyright can be transformed into one on which any third party application can be run, without taking account of the undesirable consequences that would ensue from the transformation."



The company stated that its App Store market is a critical part of what has made the iPhone successful. "The platform provided by the OS has created positive feedback loops so that a large community of developers has been willing to invest in iPhone technologies, elevate the platform and the iPhone user experience, and benefit themselves, Apple and consumers alike." Apple also outlined the iPhone OS' security model as a potential casualty of any exemption.



It also cited the company's existing problems in dealing with millions of error reports from jailbroken phones, and cited the a variety of new issues it would have to deal with if the DMCA was relaxed to protect widespread commercial jailbreaking. Those factors included the unrestricted distribution of potentially harmful apps that could flood mobile networks, perform malicious actions, enable widespread piracy, and cause crashes or service degradation and stability problems.



The ruling on the DMCA exemption is still pending (and has been since late 2008). A ruling could be handed down at any time. However, any exemption granted would would only apply to the iPhone and not to the new iPad, since the EFF's original complaint did not anticipate its delivery when filing for an exemption to legally protect jailbreaking.



Apple has taken no legal action against individuals who jailbreak their iPhone OS devices, other than to issue warnings about potential problems this may cause and the possibility of a loss in warranty coverage that might result from software tampering.



The company's position against the EFF-proposed exemption appears to be targeted at preventing large scale commercial efforts to dismantle Apple's control over its own platform and replace it with a model more like Android Market, where there is less development, less commercial motivation to create apps, large security holes in how apps are installed, and no coherent strategy for progressively moving the platform ahead. The Android platform is in many respects similar to a jailbroken iPhone.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 69
    freddychfreddych Posts: 266member
    Hmmm. I haven't had any of these problems on my jailbroken iPhone.
  • Reply 2 of 69
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,560member
    Can't say that I've run into any of those problems, and I've actually increased my battery life by having quick access to turn off power-robbing features like Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth, and Location Services (GPS) when I don't need them.



    But go ahead AI, keep spreading Apple's fear-mongering!! I'll stick to my jailbroken 3GS complete with tethering and UI modifications.



  • Reply 3 of 69
    freddychfreddych Posts: 266member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    Can't say that I've run into any of those problems, and I've actually increased my battery life by having quick access to turn off power-robbing features like Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth, and Location Services (GPS) when I don't need them.



    But go ahead AI, keep spreading Apple's fear-mongering!! I'll stick to my jailbroken 3GS complete with tethering and UI modifications.







    Are there any third party apps that can turn off all wireless access except for GPS? Would be handy for taking my iPhone on camping trips, and using it instead of a handheld GPS.
  • Reply 4 of 69
    marikmarik Posts: 26member
    I'm glad that Apple didn't come right out and say "Don't do it" .



    It seems like their viewpoint is "If you do it, and get hurt, don't come crying to us".



    I wonder if this will have any effect on the cat and mouse game the hackers and Apple have been playing. This almost seems like Apple throwing in the towel and giving up. Maybe they consider it waste of resources having to run and block whatever means the hackers are exploiting in order to jailbreak the devices.
  • Reply 5 of 69
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,560member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by freddych View Post


    Are there any third party apps that can turn off all wireless access except for GPS? Would be handy for taking my iPhone on camping trips, and using it instead of a handheld GPS.



    SBSettings will allow you to turn everything off one-by-one individually with a swipe and a few taps.



  • Reply 6 of 69
    freddychfreddych Posts: 266member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    SBSettings will allow you to turn everything off one-by-one individually with a swipe and a few taps.



    Hot, TYVM
  • Reply 7 of 69
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,888member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by marik View Post


    I'm glad that Apple didn't come right out and say "Don't do it" .



    It seems like their viewpoint is "If you do it, and get hurt, don't come crying to us".



    I wonder if this will have any effect on the cat and mouse game the hackers and Apple have been playing. This almost seems like Apple throwing in the towel and giving up. Maybe they consider it waste of resources having to run and block whatever means the hackers are exploiting in order to jailbreak the devices.



    That's funny -- I had the opposite thought. I wonder if this is a sign that Apple plans to be more aggressive in trying to shut down jail-breaking, and this is their shot across the pirates' bow.
  • Reply 8 of 69
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    Any person who jailbreaks a phone knows the risks. Nothing to see here, just Apple covering their ass.
  • Reply 9 of 69
    I am sure a significant percentage of people jailbreak their phones just so they can free themselves from AT&T.



    I pretty much had to jailbreak my phone because AT&T was unacceptably bad in my area. Slow data network, no coverage where I work, the list goes on. I am now on T-Mobile with my 2G and have good coverage everywhere I need to have coverage. Love it.



    If Apple was really and truly concerned about jailbroken phones and the risk they pose, they would enable the option that exists in iTunes to unlock phones (at the very least when your 2 year contract is up). They'd give customers a choice of provider, and they would fix a major reason why people jailbreak.



    If you look at other reasons why people jailbreak, like tethering...it's yet another feature that could be added but is inexplicably forbidden.
  • Reply 10 of 69
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    1984

    1984

    1984
  • Reply 11 of 69
    stonefreestonefree Posts: 242member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by freddych View Post


    Hmmm. I haven't had any of these problems on my jailbroken iPhone.



    My 3G isn't jailbroken but I definitely experience "Unreliable voice and data: Dropped calls, slow or unreliable data connections".
  • Reply 12 of 69
    sandausandau Posts: 1,230member
    Shortened battery life: The hacked software has caused an accelerated battery drain that shortens the operation of an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch on a single battery charge.



    Confirmed. Whenever I use MyWi my battery life suffers. it's worth it to be able to wirelessly tether.
  • Reply 13 of 69
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,888member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    Any person who jailbreaks a phone knows the risks. Nothing to see here, just Apple covering their ass.



    I'm not so sure that anyone who does it understands the risks. That might have been true initially, but as the process becomes easier, some users might wind up getting in over their heads and run crying to Apple when it blows up in their face.



    I think the message from Apple is really "we don't like jailbreaking, and we plan to crush it at some point, once we get around to it, so don't say we didn't warn you"
  • Reply 14 of 69
    In my opinion unlocking iPhone OS is very very very stupid
  • Reply 15 of 69
    ismofamismofam Posts: 41member
    I probably would not JB my phone if I could legally unlock it for travel oversees. You probably all heard about very costly "unexpected" roaming charges when you forget to turn the data service off, even in Canada. By having the phone unlocked legally I would still pay the AT&T bills here in US but also make use of the phone in other countries by getting prepaid SIMs. Everyone would be happy. As it stand right now the fear of loosing the warranty...? Well my original iPhone got water damage, and the replacement phone came with much shorter warranty which now expired... so no, loosing warranty is not a deterrent for me.

    Peace
  • Reply 16 of 69
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,560member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by giosaccone View Post


    In my opinion unlocking iPhone OS is very very very stupid



    I wouldn't say that it's stupid, but it's becoming less relevant with each and every new iPhone OS release.



    Apps

    Copy/Paste

    Multitasking

    Changeable backgrounds

    Tethering

    Bluetooth keyboard support

    etc.



    These are all features that were brought to the iPhone platform before Apple got around to doing it with iPhone OS 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0.



    So I'll repeat, jailbreaking will become more irrelevant once Apple releases new features, but until official tethering is supported by Apple/AT&T and multiple carriers are supported, the jailbreaking community will still be alive.
  • Reply 17 of 69
    freddychfreddych Posts: 266member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sandau View Post


    Shortened battery life: The hacked software has caused an accelerated battery drain that shortens the operation of an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch on a single battery charge.



    Confirmed. Whenever I use MyWi my battery life suffers. it's worth it to be able to wirelessly tether.



    Yeah, non-hacked software such as games seem to have that effect too. I wonder if its a defect.
  • Reply 18 of 69
    rob55rob55 Posts: 1,249member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Goldenclaw View Post


    I am sure a significant percentage of people jailbreak their phones just so they can free themselves from AT&T.



    I pretty much had to jailbreak my phone because AT&T was unacceptably bad in my area. Slow data network, no coverage where I work, the list goes on. I am now on T-Mobile with my 2G and have good coverage everywhere I need to have coverage. Love it.



    Wow! Can't believe you get better T-Mobile 2G coverage than even AT&T's 2G coverage.
  • Reply 19 of 69
    .mac.mac Posts: 44member
    i am happy with my jailbrocken iphone :d thanks for the infor Apple !! but no thanks
  • Reply 20 of 69
    stonefreestonefree Posts: 242member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by giosaccone View Post


    In my opinion unlocking iPhone OS is very very very stupid



    In my opinion taking everything Apple says as gospel is very very very stupid
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