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iOS 7.1.1 jailbreak free to all who dare to try it

Chinese developers release an untethered jailbreak for the latest version of Apple's iOS, says Redmond Pie. But is it safe?

An untethered iOS 7.1.1 jailbreak courtesy of Chinese developers Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Those of you who want to apply an untethered jailbreak to your iOS 7.1.1 device now have a new source.

Cooked up by Chinese developers and packaged as a file called Pangu, the new jailbreak will reportedly hack its way into any device sporting iOS 7.1.1, including the latest iPhone 5S and iPad Air, tech site Redmond Pie said on Tuesday. The installation file currently supports only Windows but an OS X version is supposed to be on the way.

iOS 7.1.1 launched in April as just a minor update to the mobile operating system. But hackers continually attempt to outdo Apple by striving to jailbreak the latest version of iOS, a process that lets users customize their iOS devices and run unsupported apps. However, users take a risk when they jailbreak their devices as the practice is not sanctioned by Apple and could pose security risks. A jailbreak from Chinese developers raises a particular red flag given the current cyberspying frenzy between the US and China.

The tricks that conjured up the jailbreak reportedly came from one of the exploits used by security expert and known jailbreaker Stefan Esser, aka i0n1c. Esser even took to his Twitter account to express dismay over the adoption of his exploit, which was highlighted in a recent video and training session. In a later tweet, Esser called the Pangu people "thieves" and wished "everyone of my followers who installed Pangu much fun with malware from China."

Uh-oh. So is this jailbreak safe or not?

The jailbreak apparently installs popular third-party app installer Cydia, as expected, but also throws in an option to install a Chinese store with apps unsanctioned by Apple. However, fellow jailbreaker iH8sn0w has chimed in via Twitter to proclaim Pangu safe, advising that it doesn't have "spyware" or any malicious trails.

Still, users who want to attempt this jailbreak should proceed with caution. You may want to try it on a spare iOS device first before installing it on your core iPhone or iPad.