The team behind the “Checkra1n” jailbreaking tool for iOS claims to have used it to successfully jailbreak Apple’s HomePod, although it’s unclear what that could mean for the smart speaker in terms of hacking potential.
The news was announced by Twitter user L1ngL1ng, who shared a screenshot of a macOS Terminal window that appears to show command line root access to the HomePod over a secure shell (SSH) connection.
The command line grab suggests the device in question is an original 2018 HomePod model (with the identifier AudioAccessory 1,1) rather than Apple’s new HomePod mini (AudioAccessory 5,1). The original HomePod runs on an Apple-designed A8 chip, which is the same chip that was first introduced with the iPhone 6.
The development is a novel one indeed, but the practical utility of jailbreaking a HomePod is largely unknown, although that hasn’t stopped commenters on the r/jailbreak subreddit from speculating on the possibilities.
So far ideas have included opening up the speaker’s locked-down Bluetooth connectivity, changing Siri to a rival virtual assistant, displaying custom colors on the top screen, and enabling support for more third-party streaming services.
The checkm8 bootrom exploit that powers the checkra1n jailbreak has previously been demonstrated to be capable of hacking Apple’s T2 Security chip present in new Macs, which could theoretically open the door to circumventing disk encryption, firmware passwords, and the whole T2 security verification chain.