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Apple disables jailbreaking interface in new operating system

by Kelly MacNeil on December 13, 2010

As part of its operating system update that was launched this summer, the iOS 4, Apple included an application programming interface that made it possible to detect when a device had been jailbroken. However, just six months after the detection API was introduced, it has been removed. The company will now need to find a new way to prevent jailbreaks, NetworkWorld reports.

The move is interesting given the fact that Apple has often been at odds with hackers who are looking to circumvent any measures put in place by manufacturers to prevent jailbreaks, which can occur on iPads, iPhones and iPod touches. Specifically the term jailbreak refers to when a user is able to remove any access limitations set by Apple. Doing so allows users to perform tasks and add applications that they may not have been able to do otherwise.

"I always stress, heavily, [the importance of] educating users about the risks of jailbreaking," technology consultant Jeremy Allen told the news source. "I feel that organizations must outline, in formal policy, that jailbreaking is not permitted. Many users are simply unaware of the risks associated with operating a jailbroken device."

The most recent jailbreak detection program essentially made it possible to ask the device whether or not it had been jailbroken by looking for changes in files and codes most often associated with the process.

The company has yet to give no reason for the change in policy, but experts believe that it may have been too complicated to be put into practice. Many hackers likely would have changed the portion of the OS that made it possible to detect when a jailbreak occurred before attempting any such action.

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