Apple disables jailbreak detection API in iOS 4.2

For those of us who have jailbroken iOS devices, like an iPhone or iPad, news of a jailbreak detection API was a little worrisome when it was dropped a few months ago. But when 4.2 was released, so was the jailbreak detecting API — it was either disabled or removed by Apple for no apparent reason. While Apple has declined to comment on the matter, IT departments seem to be finding reason to worry.

Network World says:

This detection API let the [Mobile Device Management] applications in effect ask the operating system if it had been compromised. Jailbreak exploits typically change a number of operating system files, and exploit one or another low-level OS features to let users directly load their own or third-party applications.

Enterprise security is what’s probably at risk here since mobile device management software relied on the API to check for malware or corrupted applications. Now those MDM makers are going to have to revert back to their alternative methods of detecting files and applications that may pose some kind of security threat.

The report continues:

“We used it when it was available, but as an adjunct,” says Joe Owen, vice president of engineering at Sybase, which offers the Afaria device management software. “I’m not sure what motivated their removing that….I’ve not had anyone [at enterprise customer sites] talk to me about this API being present or being removed.”

We’re sure Apple has its reasons for removing or disabling the API, and perhaps it’s even temporary. As we see above, most MDM companies – like Good Technology –  seem to be running perfectly fine without Apple’s help, and are accustomed to running a battery of checks on the OS when scanning for jailbroken devices. But until Apple responds, MDM companies will just have to go back to the way things were before Apple introduced the API to make life a little easier on those MDM apps.

[Via: Network World]

  • Joejoe

    The reason why they left it out is because Android is taking over. Apple is finally getting with the program and let ppl jailbreak them.

Back to top ▴