You Can Jailbreak iOS 12.4 on iPhone or iPad with unc0ver

Aug 19, 2019 - 4 Comments

unc0ver jailbreak for iOS 12.4

A jailbreak for iOS 12.4 has surfaced and is now available using an application called “unc0ver”. The jailbreak exploits could also be used for more nefarious purposes by unscrupulous individuals, and is therefore best to avoid for the vast majority of iPhone and iPad users.

The unc0ver application works to jailbreak any iPhone or iPad running iOS 12.4 with any A7 through A11 device, meaning any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch that has one of those processors and that is running iOS 12.4 can use the jailbreak on that device. That includes iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone SE, iPhone 5s, iPad (2017), the original iPad Pro models, iPad Air, and several other devices.

Jailbreaking an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch circumvents the on-device security to allow for modification of system software and installation of third party software, and it can cause various serious security issues, stability problems, and other problems with an iOS device, and is therefore not recommended.


You can read the reasons to not jailbreak an iPhone or iPad here as according to Apple. It’s important to note that Apple can deny a warranty service to a jailbroken device.

Jailbreaking is not recommended, nonetheless the prospect of jailbreaking devices retains some popularity with certain advanced iOS users, researchers, and information security professionals, thus it’s relevant to discuss the availability of a new jailbreak for iOS 12.4.

The jailbreak runs on the device itself as demonstrated in this screenshot:

The unc0ver jailbreak for iOS 12.4 shown on iPhone

The availability of the jailbreak was noticed by @pwn2own on Twitter, who is also one of the creators of the jailbreak. The story was later picked up and investigated by Vice.com Motherboard who quotes several researchers stating that the jailbreak could be used to install spyware onto an iPhone or iPad, or for other malicious purposes.

Apparently the iOS 12.4 jailbreak is actually an older jailbreak that was already patched, but for some reason or another (likely an error or mistake) the security patch that allowed for the jailbreak was not applied in iOS 12.4, thus re-opening the prospect of using the jailbreak utility again.

It’s important to point out the potential security ramifications of jailbreaks and software exploits. Another security researcher @i0n1c on Twitter has pointed out that it’s possible such a jailbreak could even sneak into the App Store (temporarily at least) by a developer willing to attempt to do so.

The availability of the jailbreak and security ramifications suggests that Apple will likely soon release iOS 12.4.1 to re-patch the exploit used by the jailbreak.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in News, Security

4 Comments

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  1. Zenith says:

    Telling people not to jailbreak is not very helpful. Advising people of the pitfalls (vs the benefits) is far more productive. Let people decide for themselves.

    There is a useful internet video on good reasons to jailbreak your IOS device. I recommend people watch it and make up their own mind. There are some very nice tweaks that would benefit many users.

    Do I have a jailbroken device? No. In that regard, I’m old school because I don’t believe people need to act or think like I do. I’ve never believed in telling people what to think or do. I’m aware that old school approaches have become far less popular in recent years.

  2. Sedgewick says:

    There is basically no purpose to jailbreak anymore, iOS is sufficient enough with the tweaks that used to be why you would jailbreak, like tethering, flashlight, etc. Not worth the risk at all.

  3. Rudi says:

    I thought the apps in the Apple app store are verified and checked?????

    And more security issues than Apple is listening via Siri and have people sitting elsewhere to analyse what is spoken are impossible. Does anybody ever wondered that you have talked to people about a certain theme and an hour later you either have an advertising mail or advertising in facebook regarding the theme? No?

    • Peter Knoke says:

      Apple does verify the App Store apps, the theory that @i0nic is mentioning is that if some unscrupulous developer buried the jailbreak into a crummy app then it might slip through the cracks. It’s a series of possibilities, it’s not a guarantee. How likely the possibilities are, who knows? It’s possible to get struck by lightning too, it is unlikely, but it is possible.

      And yes onto the broader topic you present, I know exactly what you mean by the conversations becoming ads… in person discussions turning into advertisements online is a commonly reproduced phenomena that I have tested myself many times over with friends and family, it has led many people to believe their phones are listening to them or at least that some of the apps are listening to them when open. Which it is I do not know, but every voice assistant listens to you as part of it’s feature so that could be a hint, for Google, Siri, Alexa, Cortana, et al. As for FaceBook, yikes, but keep in mind that Facebook is basically self-submitted surveillance as a service, and you are the product, privacy is not part of that equation, so why people use Facebook I do not know.

      Anyway, I’ve read too much of the news and too many old sci-fi books, all of this sounds eerily familiar…

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