New in iOS 6.1.3: Does Apple Hate Jailbreakers?
Does Apple love or loathe jailbreakers? The answer might be a little bit of both and a security note that accompanied iOS 6.1.3 to market contains a clue. What else is new in this latest mobile operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch? Step inside.
Apple has released iOS 6.1.3 and, by all appearances, this is a very minor update:
• Fixes a bug that could allow someone to bypass the passcode and access the Phone app
— A person with physical access to the device may be able to bypass the screen lock
— Visiting a maliciously crafted website may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution
— A local user may be able to execute arbitrary code in the kernel
— A local user may be able to change permissions on arbitrary files
— A local user may be able to execute unsigned code
— A local user may be able to determine the address of structures in the kernel
• Improvements to Maps in Japan”
• Security content
That said, a developer mailing list has published meaty descriptions (APPLE-SA-2013-03-19-1 iOS 6.1.3) of the six security vulnerabilities patched by iOS 6.1.3. Therein, Apple credits the evad3r jailbreakers with finding four out of the six issues.
iOS 6 Security: Not Vindictive
In patching those vulnerabilities, and breaking current iOS 6 jailbreaking tools, is Apple trying to thwart jailbreakers specifically? Personally, I rather doubt that the mothership thinks about it in that way — fundamentally, however noisy and annoying they are, the existential threat to iOS security isn’t jailbreakers.
In the present case, the evad3r jailbreakers provided, in a sense, a service to Apple that the company would be foolish to brush aside — evad3r uncovered and documented rather clearly four security vulnerabilities in iOS 6.
Whereas the jailbreakers aim to “stick it to the man” in the name of freedom (and free apps), Apple’s overriding concern has to be the underlying security of the platform. Yes, the commerce of app sales is important, but it’s just one piece of a much larger pie.
Lest anyone forget, Apple is a hardware company…
What’s your take?