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Apple to hobble jailbreak tools with iOS update

26 Feb 2013
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Apple is reportedly seeking to develop an iOS firmware update which will thwart popular jailbreak tools.

Forbes cited developers familiar with the upcoming version of iOS in claiming that the Apple update will include components which will prevent users from running the automated procedures which open the phone for use with unauthorised applications.

The developers reported that the update will target a series of vulnerabilities which are used by the 'Evasion' unlock tool. Such a patch would prevent the automated process in which the tool disables software protections.

While the inability to automatically unlock handsets will annoy enthusiast users who want to circumvent Apple's tightly-controlled App Store environment, the patch would keep many iOS users safe from attack as it patches security vulnerabilities which could also be targeted for malware installations.

Though Apple has maintained that it never deliberately seeks to disable jailbreak tools or modified handsets, the company has a history of rendering jailbreaks ineffective. The automated tools in particular are prone to being locked out due to their reliance on unpatched operating system vulnerabilities.

The process of jailbreaking handsets has come under fire in recent months as the ability to customise devices has run up against vendor and carrier concerns. In the US, advocacy groups recently lobbied lawmakers to extend protections which protect the ability to jailbreak handsets.

Apple is currently finding itself under fire from rival Android and Windows Phone handset vendors who are unveiling their latest models at the MWC conference in Barcelona.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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