Up to Speed

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So, all of this sounds intimidating. Jailbreak, sign, secpack, unlock, baseband, iBoot, seczone, JailbreakMe, pwnage - there are lots of terms to learn, but most of them are defined here on the wiki. The basics:

  • Activation - to bypass the required iTunes signup.
  • Jailbreak - to allow full write and execute privileges on the iPhone, iPod touch, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad and iPad2.
  • Unlock - to allow the use of any mobile phone carrier's SIM.

Think of iPhone as a little computer, even though Apple doesn't want you to. It has a processor, RAM, a "hard drive", an operating system, and a cellular modem on the serial port.

Ways to learn about how jailbreaks work

  • Read iOS Hacker's Handbook, published in May 2012: "The award-winning author team, experts in Mac and iOS security, examines the vulnerabilities and the internals of iOS to show how attacks can be mitigated. The book explains how the operating system works, its overall security architecture, and the security risks associated with it, as well as exploits, rootkits, and other payloads developed for it."
  • Read fuzzing for some explanation of how that technique has been used on iOS, and read how to reverse for some inspiration.
  • If you want to really get started, learn assembler for ARM processors. Open Security Training has "Introduction to ARM" materials, for example.