In the jailbreak community, Luca Todesco is a superstar. If tennis has Rafael Nadal and NASCAR has Dale Earnhardt Jr., the Italian iPhone hacker is the best in his field. His reputation as the world's preeminent security researcher remains unparalleled.
This 19-year-old belongs to Apple's bug bounty program, which is a very exclusive group of security experts chosen by the Cupertino-company. Apple initiated this project to raise the curtain cloaking its security architecture. Bounties of up to $200,000 are available for researchers who can unveil the flaws in Apple products.
Luca released the Mach_Portal+Yalu iOS 10.1.1 jailbreak for select 64-bit Apple devices. This public jailbreak for iOS 10 took inspiration from Google's Project Zero exploits, which was published by Brit hacker Ian Beer. It is applicable on iPhone 7, 7 Plus on 10.1.1, and iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, iPhone SE, and iPad Pro. Apple's 32-bit iOS devices such as the iPhone 5, 5c, 4s, 32-bit iPad and iPod touch devices are excluded.
The subsequent yalu102 jailbreak for iOS 10.2 came earlier this month and is still in the beta stage. This latest hack included updates and added support for the iPhone 5, the iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad Mini. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are excluded.
Many are asking if jailbreak for iOS 10.2.1 and 10.3 (beta) users will be available. Todesco's hacking skills are without question an envy of many. But he is facing a steep challenge to releasing a jailbreak for iOS 10.1.1-10.2 and iOS 10.2.1-10.3. Apple's new File System APFS will be a huge hurdle for him and his colleagues. He also announced on Twitter that he would be taking a break from all public iOS research work after the 10.2 jailbreak.
iOS jailbraking traces its roots to the original iPhone in July 2007. Apple tolerates this activity as long as it does not infringe on copyrights. It welcomes new researchers who provide useful disclosures. Todesco and company have not received any lawsuits, with Apple responding to their hacks with updates to iOS patching and with new hardware.