Tool from Chinese hackers lets you modify newest version of iOS

Designed to hack Apple iOS version 7.1.1, the Pangu jailbreak tool also supports version 7.1.2 released Monday, according to tech blog Redmond Pie.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

The Pangu jailbreak tool Pangu/Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

A new, untethered jailbreak cooked up by Chinese hackers apparently works on the latest version of Apple's iOS, namely 7.1.2.

Unveiled last week, Pangu was engineered to perform an untethered jailbreak on any device running iOS version 7.1.1, including the latest iPhone 5S and iPad Air. Unlike a tethered jailbreak, an untethered one eliminates the need to connect your mobile device to your computer each time you restart it. Jailbreaking itself allows you to make changes to iOS and to install apps not found or permitted in the Apple App Store, a practice that Apple continually tries to stamp out.

According to testing done by tech blog Redmond Pie, you can upgrade your iOS device to 7.1.2 and still install and use the Pangu jailbreak tool. That's not especially surprising. Released Monday, iOS 7.1.2 is a relatively minor update to Apple's mobile OS, offering mostly security patches and bug fixes. So it's unlikely Apple would have tinkered with the core OS, or kernel, in a way that would stifle any current jailbreak methods.

The true challenge for jailbreakers will be to hack into the final version of iOS 8, which is already available in beta mode for developers and is expected to reach users in September. At least one hacker has already tweaked the Pangu jailbreak to support iOS 8 beta 2 running on an iPod Touch. But as more iOS exploits become public through jailbreaking tools, Apple can find and patch those holes, challenging jailbreakers to hunt for new vulnerabilities in the OS.