Apple patches bug that let hackers jailbreak iOS 12.4

It is rare for there to be a public jailbreak for the latest iOS.

Apple has fixed a vulnerability in the latest iPhone operating system that made it possible for hackers to “jailbreak” a device running that version of iOS.

The technology company released the patch on Monday, roughly a week after a security researcher known as Pwn20wnd published a technique that would allow outsiders to obtain root access to devices running iOS 12.4. Jailbreaking allows users to install unauthorized software on a device, a process that can make phones more vulnerable to hacking.

It is exceedingly rare for a jailbreak of the latest iOS to be made public.

Apple previously had fixed the same bug earlier this year after a Google researcher flagged the bug in a prior version of iOS. Patrick Wardle, principal security researcher at Jamf, a company focused on Apple device security, told CyberScoop that Apple’s reintroduction of the bug was “inexcusable, as it puts millions of iOS users at risk.”


Smartphone customers long have sought methods of removing their device from the jurisdiction of a single company. The U.S. Department of Justice unsealed an indictment earlier this month that detailed an elaborate, years-long scheme in which the suspects allegedly paid AT&T employees thousands of dollars to unlock iPhones from AT&T’s control.


Sean Lyngaas

Written by Sean Lyngaas

Sean Lyngaas is CyberScoop’s Senior Reporter covering the Department of Homeland Security and Congress. He was previously a freelance journalist in West Africa, where he covered everything from a presidential election in Ghana to military mutinies in Ivory Coast for The New York Times. Lyngaas’ reporting also has appeared in The Washington Post, The Economist and the BBC, among other outlets. His investigation of cybersecurity issues in the nuclear sector, backed by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, won plaudits from industrial security experts. He was previously a reporter with Federal Computer Week and, before that, with Smart Grid Today. Sean earned a B.A. in public policy from Duke University and an M.A. in International Relations from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

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