iOS 6 jailbroken on A4 devices, newer ones will take more time

By on September 20, 2012, 5:00 PM

While iOS 6 has been busy finding its way to iDevices everywhere, hackers too have been busy circumventing Apple's latest round of security measures. Redmond Pie reports that those efforts have apparently paid off, producing a tethered jailbreak for the iPhone 4, 3GS and iPod Touch (fourth-gen).

Devices which are not yet officially jailbroken include all iPads and anything that runs an A5 or A6 CPU -- in other words, the iPhone 4S and 5, for certain.

"Tethered" jailbreaks are different from untethered ones because once the device is rebooted; it must be reconnected to a host computer in order to reapply the jailbreak. If history is any indicator, it is very likely an untethered jailbreak will follow soon, however.

In this nerdy game of cat and mouse, it seems Apple has gradually become disproportionately cunning. Functional DIY jailbreaks would frequently appear just days after major iOS releases, but since the introduction of the game-changing A5 processor (e.g. iPhone 4S and iPad 2), hackers have been forced to spend thousands of man hours reverse-engineering and circumventing its hardware-based security features. And while iPhone devs managed to jump that hurdle earlier this year, the A5 is once again a thorn in their side following the launch of iOS 6.

Possibly worse than the A5 though, is the A6 -- Apple's latest, heavily customized silicon. This latest system-on-a-chip will power iPhone 5 handsets (and possibly future iPads) when they arrive, posing a potentially fresh set of challenges for iPhone hackers.

Aside from those esoteric issues though, hackers face some physical difficulties as well. Unlike the traditional 30-pin dock connector found on virtually all iDevices made in the past decade, Apple's new Lightning connector isn't expected to include dedicated serial bus pins. This means crackers may need to do some extra leg work in order to physically interface with the device for access to kernel debugging information -- an necessity for jailbreak architects.

For instructions on applying this untethered jailbreak with redsn0w 0.9.13dev4, visit Redmond Pie. For more on what it takes to jailbreak the iPhone 5, read this interesting article at Extremetech.

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