Skip to main content

Apple’s iOS 12.4 apparently unpatched a security flaw and enabled a jailbreak

It looks like the rollout of iOS 12.4 may not have been as smooth as Apple would have liked. According to a new report from Motherboard, Apple accidentally unpatched a security vulnerability with the release of iOS 12.4 — and that has lead to the first jailbreak for an up-to-date version of iOS in a number of years.

The bug itself was originally patched just one version before it, in iOS 12.3 — and as a result of the unpatching, any phone with iOS 12.4 can be jailbroken. In fact, a jailbreak for iOS 12.4 was publicly released to Github by Pwn20wnd, a security researcher known for developing iOS jailbreaks. Jailbreaking was still possible before, but you couldn’t be running the most recent version of iOS to do it.

Related Videos

A number of users on Twitter claimed that they successfully jailbroke their iPhone.

Of course, while a jailbreak is available, it’s generally not recommended to jailbreak your iPhone. Jailbroken devices are more susceptible to hacking in general, and as security researchers noted in the Motherboard report, hackers could even create malware that would allow them to put spyware on jailbroken devices.

It’s likely Apple is already working on a fix for the security bug, and will release it with iOS 12.4.1. It should be even easier for Apple to patch the issue than it normally would considering the fact that the bug was previously already patched.

So what does the security issue mean for the average user who doesn’t want to jailbreak their phone? Well, not much, except that you should be a little more careful downloading apps. While Apple’s App Store guidelines should keep users relatively safe, because the jailbreak is public, any app could have a copy of it in their code, according to security researcher Stefan Esser. It’s also a good idea to try and stick with well-known and reputable websites — as it’s possible that the exploit could be used on malicious web pages and paired with a browser exploit, according to Pwn20wnd in the Motherboard report.

As mentioned, it likely won’t take long before a patch is released — but until then, it’s worth being careful about what apps you download and websites you visit.

Editors' Recommendations

Android does this one thing so much better than iOS, and it drives me crazy
Individual volume control sliders on a Samsung Galaxy S23

I’ve long been an iPhone user and always will be — it's just what's in my blood. Even though I’ve been dipping my toes into various Android devices since I started here at Digital Trends, my primary device is still an iPhone 14 Pro. There are a few reasons behind this decision: I’m heavily vested in the Apple ecosystem already, I bought the 1TB model to not worry about storage, and some apps I use don’t have a good enough Android equivalent.

Despite my personal choice of using iOS primarily, the more time I spend with Android, the more I notice things that it does way better than Apple’s iOS. And one of those things is how Android handles volume controls compared to iOS’ rather rudimentary and infuriating system. It may sound like a small thing to home in on, but it's something I just can't overlook.
Apple’s iOS volume controls are badly outdated

Read more
Our 5 favorite iPhone and Android apps by Black developers
An iPhone with apps from Black developers downloaded on it.

As we wrap up the celebration of 2023's Black History Month, it remains important to recognize and appreciate the contributions that Black people have made in various fields, including technology and the smartphone apps we use every day. From social media platforms to productivity tools, Black developers and other people of color have worked hard to create innovative, useful, and just plain fun apps.

Here, we're focusing on five helpful apps developed by Black people that you should check out. These iPhone and Android apps range from ones that help you discover and support Black-owned businesses to ones that provide legal assistance in case of an emergency to ones that curate and highlight sources of news and entertainment by Black creators.
We Read Too

Read more
The Pixel 7’s best camera trick is coming to the iPhone and all Android phones
Erasing items in Magic Eraser.

The Google Pixel series of phones, specifically the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7, have an exclusive feature called Magic Eraser. With Magic Eraser, you can get rid of unwanted objects in a photo, such as people in the background or things like power lines. As of today, Magic Eraser is becoming available to all Android phones and iPhone users through Google One.

Magic Eraser debuted on the Pixel 6 lineup, which includes the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and the more affordable Pixel 6a, which is still available to purchase (the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro have been discontinued). If you have a Pixel 7 or Pixel 7 Pro, you also have the Magic Eraser feature. One of the reasons I had always wanted a Pixel device is because of Magic Eraser, and it is something that I desperately wished Apple would implement.

Read more