The Apple TV 3 Is Going To A B@$%h To Jailbreak


The Apple TV 2 was easily jailbroken, but not so the third-gen model.
The Apple TV 2 was easily jailbroken, but not so the third-gen model.

If you like keeping your Apple TV jailbroken, bad news. While it’s not outright impossible that a jailbreak will be found for the third-generation, 1080p Apple TV, it’s going to be a lot more complicated than the one that was exploited for the second-gen version.

What’s the problem? Over on the official greenpois0n blog, they’ve posted some thoughts on the challenges ahead of hackers in cracking open Apple’s latest puck-sized STB.

I’m sure mostly everyone reading this article has probably heard MuscleNerds thought’s on jailbreaking the AppleTV 3, I echo his sentiments. I believe he said the “attack surface” is much smaller, I couldn’t have put it better. There is no built in default web browser, there are less services running, with no web browser and less services running there are fewer places to smoke/fuzz out a vulnerability. For instance, even if the AppleTV 3 was out before the iPad 2 and 4S were jailbroken with absinthe, it would not have been applicable, no mobilebackup to exploit for part of the injection vector. I’m not saying the AppleTV 3 is hopeless, however, without an A5 bootrom exploit being found, each AppleTV 3 jailbreak (after the first one happens) will be an uphill battle. Nothing earth shattering here, wish I had better news on this front.

This makes sense. Even on the iPhone 4S and iPad 2, the systems couldn’t be cracked until a userland exploit was found via JailbreakMe v3.0. On something like the Apple TV, though, where there’s only a single app running — — there’s much less of userland from which a jailbreaker can stage his attack. Of course, by the same token, these same facets make an Apple TV much less useful as a jailbroken device than an iPhone or iPad, so it goes both ways.