We suspected this would happen, and it looks like I don’t have to eat my hat after all! It’s been two days since Apple released iOS 10.3.2 to the public, and there’s no sign of Pangu or its promised iOS 10.3.1 jailbreak on the horizon. There is now absolutely no reason for Pangu to delay releasing a JB tool, but there is absolutely no news about them anywhere. As of today, the Pangu iOS 10.3.1 has been one of the biggest lies in jailbreak history, and an incident that solely serves Apple’s interests.

Apple was keen on everyone moving to iOS 10.3.1 because of a major WiFi vulnerability that it patched from the iOS 10.3 release, which brought in some major security and optimization features. The vulnerability in question was discovered by a Google security researcher:

CVE-2017-6975: Gal Beniamini of Google Project Zero

Inadvertently, Apple got a significant portion of eligible iOS users from iPhone 5 and up to move to iOS 10.3.1. But that wasn’t enough. They piled on even more security updates across dozens of categories and have pushed that out as iOS 10.3.2.

iOS 10.3.2 is Out, Time for Pangu to Reveal Their iOS 10.3.1 Jailbreak

How does Pangu fit into all this?

One possibility is that Pangu was somehow “incentivized” to publicize a jailbreak that never really existed, just so even more eligible users would move their devices to iOS 10.3.1. Some unknowing users might have even given up their iOS 9 or iOS 10.2 jailbreaks without having saved their blobs, trusting that Pangu will really release one for iOS 10.3.1.

So, once Apple stopped signing iOS 10.3, unless users had saved their blobs, there would be no way to downgrade back to that version. Since there is no iOS 10.3 jailbreak, Apple secured that segment of its iOS ecosystem.

Now, they appear to have pulled off a coup with iOS 10.3.1 as well, assuming Pangu’s iOS 10.3.1 jailbreak is a big hoax. The resulting scenario is that now, Apple has secured iOS 10.3.1 as well, basically grabbing up almost 80% of the iOS install base.

That said, we have no way of knowing what’s going on behind the scenes. We do know that Pangu is already a part of Apple’s bug bounty program, and they’ve probably made good money by now.

One big question that lingers is this: why would Pangu entice users to upgrade to iOS 10.3.1 if they didn’t have a jailbreak for it in the first place? And that’s what leads us to suspect Apple’s hand in all this. Pangu doesn’t get anything by launching a hoax campaign, but Apple definitely stands to gain because it can effectively secure its iOS ecosystem by using such a ruse.

Did any money change hands? We don’t know, obviously.

Is it possible? Most definitely, since they already have a monetary relationship as part of the bug bounty program.

Now that we have a plausible explanation for why Pangu might have pulled off this elaborate hoax – making a video and pretending to be on the verge of releasing an iOS 10.3.1 jailbreak – the next question is: what does Apple have to gain?

In short, everything.

One of Apple’s pain points over the past few years is that it has been losing its shine on the security front. Multiple hacks on iCloud, a ton of vulnerabilities that get regularly reported and have to be patched, a bloated App Store with more than a few crappy apps, devices being hacked on a regular basis – all of this is bad PR for Apple.

At one time, Apple’s devices were considered among the most secure, because Microsoft’s ecosystem and even Google’s Android were far more susceptible to being compromised. While iOS and macOS are still very secure operating systems, jailbreakers have made a hobby of poking holes and finding ways to compromise devices through privilege escalation.

Apple cannot stop jailbreakers from finding even more vulnerabilities, but it can effectively close the door a little bit more with each new version of iOS. So, Apple has every reason to want to stifle the jailbreak community.

Seen from another viewpoint, jailbreakers actually help Apple plug security holes at a faster rate than otherwise possible. If they don’t work with security researchers, it would require a very, very expensive team of tens of thousands of security experts to keep things secure.

And even then, it won’t and can’t be 100% secure. So, by sidling up to jailbreakers and hackers, Apple is actually working alongside the “bad guys” to make its iOS ecosystem more secure. That’s something they definitively decide to do last year, when they announced the bug bounty program at Black Hat 2016.

Therefore, there is every reason for us to believe that the supposed iOS 10.3.1 jailbreak was a massive hoax. It’s purpose is only known to Apple, but its results are very clear – the majority of iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch 6th Gen users are now on iOS 10.3 and above, without a jailbreak in sight.

The only thorn in Apple’s side, for now, is the iOS 9 user base, which still makes up about 16% of all Apple iOS users. Earlier versions are at 5% of total install base, but I don’t think Apple is worried about that group of users at this point.

Unfortunately for Apple, and fortunately for iOS 9 jailbroken devices, nothing can be done about that.

Yet another pain point is the Yalu102 jailbreak for iOS 10.2, which appears to be the best option for jailbreaking an iOS 10 device, but only if you saved your blobs for that version while Apple was signing it, which they quickly stopped a week after iOS 10.2.1 was released.

What does it imply for the future of jailbreaking?

As it stands, there are relatively few iOS 10 devices that are jailbroken – on the Yalu102 that was updated to support all 64-bit devices from iPhone 5s and up.

See: Auto-re-sign the Yalu102 iOS 10.2 Jailbreak with Free Extender Installer, No More 7-Day Re-signing

Of course, Yalu102 does not support iPhone 7, which is exactly why people were so enthusiastic about the Pangu iOS 10.3.1 jailbreak – because it promised support for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

But we’re not losing hope for the future.

So what if Luca Todesco has openly given up jailbreaking? So what if Pangu has turned traitor and left us all in the lurch? Apple’s software is nowhere near unbreakable, as the recent barrage of security patches shows.

At some point, we believe that a new name will pop up out of the blue with a real jailbreak to offer the hungry jailbreak community – possibly not an untethered one, but at least a working jailbreak for future iOS versions.

The important thing now is to keep saving your blobs as Apple releases each new iOS version. It doesn’t matter whether or not there’s a jailbreak being promised for that version. What’s important is that you save the blobs, in the hope that a jailbreak will eventually come. That’s an excellent practice that a lot of jailbreak enthusiasts don’t actually follow.

Who knows, maybe we’ll even get one that supports iPhone 7 or even iPhone 8 in the future.

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28 COMMENTS

  1. Quick question , I have an ip7+ currently on 10.2, I missed the window to save blobs for 10.2 but I think I saved blobs for 10.2.1 while it was still being singed, in a scenario if the blobs for 10.2.1 are saved correctly on my computer and lets say if I do decide to jump ship and move on to 10.3.1, can I downgrade to 10.2.1 when ever I like?

  2. The Chinese team never explicitly said they will release their exploit. At the Janus security conference, they showed a vulnerability which then they sold to Apple for 1.25 million. Releasing a jailbreak would break their contract. The CEO roughly translated “We aren’t a jailbreaking company, we just wanted to show the world that we have the ability to do it. Our company’s purpose isn’t solely on jailbreaking, but to show that we are great security engineers.”

    • In other words, they are Double Edged Swords. They “hurt” Apple in the first place until 9.3.3 and then now they are on Apple’s side, all because of the Bug Bounty program. Yup. Money does change people’s thoughts. The root of all evil. Assuming what you said is the indirect truth of silent Pangu’s so don’t quote me on that.

      • Would you give up 1.25 million just so that people can pirate apps? And please don’t kid yourself. The majority of jailbreakers are doing it to pirate apps. Tweaks are just icing on the cake.

    • Once you go there, you can’t go back, unfortunately, unless you saved the blobs. Should have at the least stayed on iOS 10 up to 10.2 in order to use the now stable Yalu102 jailbreak (hardly crashes for me) and wait there until 10.3.1 or so actually have jailbreak tools.

  3. Considering ios jailbreaks prompt future adds in the ios, I don’t see why they would want it sealed off. I have been hearing this since ios 6, there will be more even if it is not pangu, it will be apple who intentionally leaves a nugget behind to allow this. It would save alot of fustration if Apple just let us make our own decisions how we want our phones to be setup.

  4. This. This is what I have been thinking on what’s going on. So far, Pangu refused to speak up and tell the truth, leading to jailbreak fans to continue being delusional and giving them false hope.
    We’ll give Pangu a deadline. When Apple stops signing 10.3.2 and Pangu still has not released the so called promised 10.3.1 jailbreak tool, that will be the absolute proof that Pangu either long gave up and moved on or is part of Apple’s bounty program and all that.

  5. I Have been an apple user since they first started and had the very first iphone,ipad etc onwards but as much as I admire apple for trying to keep ios as secure as possible I think they should let people choose whether they want to jailbreak or not.They are only going to loose ios device sales by going down this path.
    I for one and a few people in my family etc have moved to android due to not being able to jailbreak easily anymore.I personally want to be able to install whatever I like on my expensive device and don’t want to be dictated too by apple.

  6. Pangu maybe install 10.3.2 in 2 or 3 weeks there is no any news about pangu he maybe install it or maybe no we will see what pangu will do

    • Most likely no. The Pangu Team didn’t begin any jailbreaking tools at all. It’s all false hopes, luring people to update to iOS 10.3.1.

      It’s said that they will release iOS 10.3.1 jailbreak tool immediately after Apple releases 10.3.2 but it never happened.
      Apple will stop signing iOS 10.3.1 at least around 1 week later.
      If still nothing from Pangu, then it’s all just a hoax and one big lie.
      Yet, fans continue being delusional, thinking that Pangu will release a jailbreak tool.

  7. A good reason for not releasing the JB right now, could be, that the holes it uses are still not fixed in iOS 10.3.2 and why should they release them while they are still usable to JB?!

  8. Awesome post. I didn’t realize saving blobs worked after ios 6, that’s nice to know. I thought apple had done something to prevent it from working in ios 7. I’m using an iphone 5c with ios 8.1.2 jailbroken of course and I probably will never update it. I found this site because one of my friends has an ipad that I jailbroke for them and it’s running ios 9.x.x…. I can’t remember the exact version but his kid entered the wrong passcode too many times and has disabled the device. I’m hoping I can connect to it with ssh and fix it. I think I installed openssh on it.. I hope. I hate to see him lose his jailbreak. Something else I’ve noticed is that the jailbreak community is dying right now or at least it seems like it. The rate of cydia tweaks being released has declined a lot. I remember dozens of new tweaks being released almost daily and now there’s only a tweak or two every couple of days being released. I’ve thought about developing some new tweaks for ios 8 and I have a development environment setup on my Mac along with plenty of debugging utilities but I’ve not had the time to sit down and try.

  9. What do you mean saved a blob? I’m still on iOS still waiting for a jailbreak but maybe that ship has sailed? Should I just go ahead an upgrade to ? Thanks

  10. I’m done with all apple products. Sick of this lying bullshit with apple and pangu. This whole jailbreak thing was a total hoax. You have idiot uploaders on YouTube promoting fake jailbreaks for 10.3.1 and 3.2. It’s nothing but malware being installed and a bunch of fake accounts talking about how great the jailbreak is. Don’t fall for that shit! They are fake accounts. I’m going android from now on. The apple App Store is a total joke anyway. I can’t even get game emulators like nes.emu without a jailbreak. On the play store they are all there. Jail breaking is a thing of the past now. People need to sell off there apple devices and quit buying them. Maybe then apple will realize they fucked up.

  11. Pangu maybe install iOS 10.3.1 in 2 or 3 weeks and maybe he will not install it we will see what he will do

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