evasi0n7 iOS 7 jailbreak : Controversial race to malware

The jailbreak for iOS 7 is now available for download here, but before you download it and start tweaking your iOS device, you should know that it’s quite buggy and there’s a possibility that the jailbreak will come with malware and a backdoor.

evasi0n7 is the iOS 7.x jailbreak released by evad3rs, who is known for cracking previous versions of the iOS to make it compatible with non-Apple app stores.  The jailbreak is touted as compatible with “all iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and iPad mini models running iOS 7.0 through 7.0.4.”

Unfortunately, just hours after the release, many have expressed concern with evasi0n7 stating that it is not compatible with some of the apps offered in Cydia, the go-to app store for jailbroken iOS devices.  This is due to the fact that the version of Cydia that comes with evasi0n7 is that it’s not the official iOS 7 version.  evad3rs used an unofficial build of Cydia that works with iOS 7 so it’s too early to tell which apps will work with with evasi0n7.

“Please always backup your phone before installing new tweaks from Cydia as your iPhone could be stuck in the boot process,” the evad3rs warn. “The situation will improve as developers will update their software.”

Ongoing issues and controversy


Jay Freeman @saurik, the founder of Cydia, was surprised with the early release of evasi0n7.  According to his posts on Twitter, he had “no lead time on evasi0n7, nor was I asked for an official iOS 7 Cydia; I was not given builds, nor was I asked for things to test,” and added that “@evad3rs didn’t even try my testing build of Substrate I gave core developers, so they didn’t notice a fundamental incompatibility,” so he doesn’t have a clue as to what works and what doesn’t.

Another issue with evasi0n7 is that the Chinese version comes with TaiG, a Chinese app store that seems to be pushing pirated apps.  evad3rs confirmed in its blog post that they were approached by the company to have TaiG come bundled with the jailbreak Chinese version.  Unfortunately, TaiG comes with pirated version of paid apps.  evad3rs do not support piracy, stating that no pirated apps should be in the store as they believe it’s not right for developers to not get paid for all their hard work in building the apps.

“We are very upset that despite our agreement and review by their team, piracy was found in the store. It was not acceptable and they have been strenuously working to resolve the problem in good faith, and have removed all instances of it that we have brought to their attention. We are happy that it was not overlooked by the community. We’ve been so heads down working on the code that we didn’t see this. We are sorry. We will continue to monitor this issue and work to resolve it completely. Taig will be pulled from the jailbreak if it cannot be resolved,” evad3rs wrote.

Freeman tweeted that he was not surprised with the TaiG partnership, just the early release of evasion.  He revealed that he knew about the deal and even warned evad3rs that it’s sketchy, there will be piracy, and even tried to find them a better deal.

As for the early release of evasi0n, evad3rs wrote on its blog that they did it to beat Freeman.  When they were approached by TaiG, they informed Freeman that they accepted the offer.  Freeman allegedly offered a counter but negotiations didn’t work out.  evad3rs allegedly received information that Freeman was working with another group to release the jailbreak earlier, thus they decided to release their version early.

Race to the jailbreak


Why the race?  The first to release a jailbreak always gets financially compensated, so being the first is very important.  No information as to how much evad3rs got for releasing the jailbreak.

“Yes, we have benefitted financially from our work, just as many others in the jailbreak community have, including tweak developers, repo owners, etc. Any jailbreak from us will always be free to the users but we believe we have a right to be compensated in an ethical way, just as any other developer. However, the interests of the community will always be the most important thing to us. When releasing the jailbreak, we pledged all our donations to foundations supporting the interests of the community. We are deeply upset at how we have inadvertently distressed the community and we are focused on fixing it,” evad3rs wrote.

For more information and updates regarding evasion, follow this Reddit thread.

photo credit: Marco Wessel via photopin cc

About Mellisa Tolentino

Mellisa is a staff writer for SiliconAngle, covering social and mobile news. She is fascinated by technology and loves imparting what she learns through her journey as a writer. Got a news story or tip? Send it to mellisa@siliconangle.com