Jailbreaking is a term used to describe a process that will allow users to run third party software on their iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. This then unlocks the operating system and allows the user to download many different applications from providers other than Apple, while still allowing use of iTunes and the Apple store.
The legality of jailbreaking phones is a little unclear, although Apple are clear that by jailbreaking a phone the warranty becomes void, citing the protection of the user and quality of the device as a reason for this. This poses an interesting dilemma for our investigators as certain investigation tools, such as XRY, require the phone to be jailbroken in order to allow a full investigation of the device. This isn’t a problem in criminal prosecution cases as a forensic investigation in this case would be working with the law. The area becomes more murky with corporate investigation work or defence work, especially with regards to data protection.
Interestingly, the US Library of Congress recently ruled that jailbreaking iPhones does not breach copyright law, although a similar ruling has yet to be introduced in the EU.