Apple has fixed a vulnerability in the latest iPhone operating system that made it possible for hackers to “jailbreak” a device running that version of iOS.
The technology company released the patch on Monday, roughly a week after a security researcher known as Pwn20wnd published a technique that would allow outsiders to obtain root access to devices running iOS 12.4. Jailbreaking allows users to install unauthorized software on a device, a process that can make phones more vulnerable to hacking.
It is exceedingly rare for a jailbreak of the latest iOS to be made public.
Apple previously had fixed the same bug earlier this year after a Google researcher flagged the bug in a prior version of iOS. Patrick Wardle, principal security researcher at Jamf, a company focused on Apple device security, told CyberScoop that Apple’s reintroduction of the bug was “inexcusable, as it puts millions of iOS users at risk.”
Smartphone customers long have sought methods of removing their device from the jurisdiction of a single company. The U.S. Department of Justice unsealed an indictment earlier this month that detailed an elaborate, years-long scheme in which the suspects allegedly paid AT&T employees thousands of dollars to unlock iPhones from AT&T’s control.