Though the device just began shipping this week, members of the iPhone Dev Team have been able to use existing jailbreaking tools to jailbreak Apple TV. In a blog post, the hacking group said that it was able to use an exploit called SHAtter to decrypt firmware for the Apple TV that was released by Apple in advance of the device’s release.
“Even though the new Apple TV isn’t yet in people’s homes,” the group said, “the firmware is available on Apple’s normal public distribution servers and SHAtter has been used to decrypt its keys!”
What exactly people will do with a jailbroken Apple TV remains to be seen. For one thing, there is no market for unapproved Apple TV apps in that there are, as yet, no Apple TV apps. Of course, a jailbroken Apple TV could be made to run iPhone or iPad apps, assuming the enterprising user could find a way to actually control them.
Also, no one is going to be making phone calls on an Apple TV since it doesn’t have any cellular capabilities. Being able to unlock an iPhone in order to move it another carrier is one of the primary reasons (though not the only reason) many jailbreakers hack their devices.
Nonetheless, tinkerers love tinkering and it looks as if the Apple TV is going to join the cat-and-mouse games played by the jailbreaking community and Apple.