Apple released iOS 4.3.4 last Friday to patch a PDF-related security flaw that hackers were using to jailbreak the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and in the process also broke other jailbreak methods, too. By Saturday afternoon, however, the iPhone Dev Team had already worked around the security update — at least to a degree.
The group’s efforts led to a beta update for the redsn0w jailbreak utility that requires a tethered connection, meaning every time users reboot their iOS device it must be connected to their computer via the sync cable to remain hacked.
iPhone jailbreaks limited to cable connections for now
Jailbreaking is a process where iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users hack their device so they can install third-party apps that aren’t available through Apple’s App Store. Apple doesn’t support jailbreaking and claims it can potentially lead to security and stability issues.
The iPhone Dev Team’s efforts are good news for iOS device owners that want to continue jailbreaking and use iOS 4.3.4, too. There’s a chance, however, that moving on to more convenient untethered jailbreak solutions might be much harder to accomplish.
Apparently Apple’s security update also patched an integer overflow-related bug, along with an incomplete code signing issue, that were being used for untethered jailbreaks, according to coder Stefan Esser. Those changes should make it much more difficult to build untethered jailbreak utilities, and for now limits users to less convenient tethered options.
While Apple’s update may take untethered jailbreaking off the table, it doesn’t necessarily mean cable-bound hacking will be the only option for iOS devices in the future. The iPhone Dev Team, as well as a long list of other coders, are a clever group and could come up with yet another untethered jailbreak option.
For now, iOS device hackers that don’t want to deal with tethered jailbreaks should avoid updating to iOS 4.3.4.
[Thanks to TiPb for the heads up on untethered jailbreaking issues.]