Over the years, Apple has patched countless holes that have been used to allow iOS devices to be jailbroken, and it seems that for every fix the company rolls out, there’s yet another way to get around it. Most of the known exploits remain firmly closed once Apple addresses them, but the surprising release of an iOS 12.4 jailbreak over the weekend highlights one of the rare cases in which Apple seems to have reopened a glaring hole itself.
As noted jailbreak developer GeoSn0w chronicles in a series of tweets and a YouTube video, it seems that the jailbreak community has stumbled upon a serious misstep by Apple, and an exploit that allowed for jailbreaking on devices running 12.1.2 — but was patched in 12.2 and 12.3 — somehow works again on iOS 12.4. Yikes.
Seriously Apple, how do you fuck up in a way that an old patched exploit that doesn't work on iOS 12.3 and 12.3.1 works on 12.4? Like WTF.
— GeoSn0w (@FCE365) August 18, 2019
The new (old) exploit has allowed for the release of new jailbreaks supporting the beloved Cydia app store, and it appears to be working flawlessly with one admittedly big exception.
The jailbreak does indeed work on iOS 12.4 devices, but not all of them. Bizarrely, the exploit loophole is wide open on A7-A11 devices (iPhone 5s through iPhone 8/X) but the jailbreak does not work on the latest generation of iPhones, meaning that your iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR will have to wait.
In his video covering the new jailbreak, GeoSn0w admits that he initially thought the claims that the exploit had reappeared were fake, highlighting how rare and strange this whole saga is. He also notes that it’s unclear if the jailbreak will affect how the iPhone handles its Apple Card features, so if that’s something you consider a deal-breaker it’s advisable to wait for confirmation that the Apple Card features in iOS 12.4 still work on jailbroken devices.