Caveat Emptor! The App Store Gets Its Very Own, Very Scammy Jailbreak App

Caveat Emptor! The App Store Gets Its Very Own, Very Scammy Jailbreak App

For years, Apple has been warning would-be jailbreakers that jailbreaking their iPhones could lead to them getting ripped off. How rich, then, that the latest jailbreaking scam originates in Apple’s App Store itself: a new, approved iOS app simply called Jailbreak that definitely does not do what it says on the tin.

The Jailbreak app was originally admitted into the App Store on October 25th, and costs $9.99. If you download it, Jailbreak turns out to be nothing but a crappy 2D scrolling game, probably something pretty similar to the developer’s other game, Angry Bugs.

Naturally, Jailbreak doesn’t actually jailbreak anything, but you’ve got to admire developer RiiSoft’s chutzpah. Here’s the app’s official description, which strongly implies that it jailbreaks pretty much every iOS version and iDevice ever while never actually saying it does.

Jailbreak for all iPhones, iPods Touch & iPads.
Let’s do it right now!

FEATURES:
● Support of all firmwares from 3.0 to 5.0
(5.0, 4.3.5, 4.3.4, 4.3.3, 4.3.2, 4.3.1, 4.3, 4.2.1, 4.1, 4.0.2, 4.0.1, 4.0, 3.1.3, 3.1.2, 3.1, 3.0.1, 3.0)

● Support of all iPhones
(iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, iPhone Original)

● Support of all iPads WIFI+3G and WIFI only
(iPad 1, iPad 2)

● Support of all iPod Touch
(iPod Touch 1G, iPod Touch 2G, iPod Touch 3G and iPod Touch 4G)

Clever. Not a single mention of Cydia or redsn0w, yet the whole app still screams “We’ll jailbreak your iPhone!”

It doesn’t take a genius to see how this will turn out. Alerted to the scam by it popping up on blog posts, Apple is going to swoop in a few hours from now and pull the app. Somehow I doubt, though, that the many outraged customers in the App Store reviews section will get that refund they are clamoring for. Cupertino doesn’t tend to be very sympathetic towards jailbreakers. Caveat emptor!

  • Gabriel Dornier

    Hum, the three comment are looking staged….
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app
    I guess someone will have to buy it to “prove” it doesn’t work…

  • CharliK

    Given that nowhere does it say it will jailbreak your phone I wouldn’t be shocked if Apple left it. 

    If users are stupid enough to think that is what the app does and die hard anti jail breaking Apple would allow it in the store, they deserve what they get.

  • Jeff Fiorello

    Not to mention that the screenshots clearly show a scroller game of a person trying to break out of jail…  

    Seriously C.O.M.?  This is a serious story to you?  

  • Al

    On the iTunes website it does, but *not* on the iOS App Store for some reason.

  • otko_

    It clearly implies in such a heavy way that it is capable of jailbreaking your device. Listing all of the firmwares, the usage of ‘Jailbreak for all xx! Let’s do it right now!’. And the cherry on top? Charging $10 for this. That really makes it seem like it’s something other than a silly game.

    And the iPhone is available around the world. I’m sure many people wander into the App Store and see this, read the firmwares (universal), and are duped.

  • joshfofer

    The app’s description and screenshots have now completely changed, as if it’s just a regular side-scrolling game.  Still $9.99 though.

    Given how many issues we’ve had with the Store’s approval process… how does an app like this get through the gates in the first place?  And now, it’s been updated with an “accurate” description and screenshots… the developers get off scott-free?  And both they and Apple get to keep their ill-gotten $$$?

    This smells bad to me.

  • joshfofer

    The screenshots (and description) changed within the last few hours or so.  It was exactly as C.O.M. is reporting FOR A FEW WEEKS.

    So yes, this is a serious story.  A scam app made it’s way to the App Store.   Money was made by the developers and Apple and folks got ripped off.

  • Concerned

    Keep in mind that a developer can change the description of the app at anytime. Meaning the description could have been honest during review but then changed to this after it was approved.

  • nthnm

    People that fall for something like this really shouldn’t be jailbreaking their iPhones anyway.

  • Jake

    The app description was very accurate. It says supports all firmwares and hardwares but it doesn’t say for what. It never mention “Jailbreaking an iOS device” in that description. Still a very big scam that dumb people fall for.

  • prometheus1981

    Do a review :)

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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