Six months to jailbreak the iPhone 5S? If history is anything to go by, yep.
It seems like every year it takes longer and longer to jailbreak the latest iPhone… which is because, ever since the release of the iPhone 3G, it has been true. To date, the number of days it takes for jailbreakers to release a public jailbreak for the latest iPhone has increased by an average of 67.58% every year… and the recent evasi0n jailbreak for all iOS 6.1 devices landed a record 136 days after the iPhone 5 went on sale.
Looking forward, we were curious what that meant for the iPhone 5S. Given historic trends, how long will it take jailbreakers to release a public jailbreak for Apple’s next phone? Here’s what we found.
George Hotz is known to his legions of online fans as “geohot,” the infamous hacker who was the first to unlock the iPhone and crack the Sony PS3. Hotz has been flying under the radar lately, but he’s about to make his first foray into the App Store with a new iPhone app.
The app is called Reactions, and it’s currently being reviewed by Apple. The idea is relatively simple, and it has the potential to either be a massive flop or make it big. It’s photo sharing with a twist.
To prep for JailbreakCon this weekend, sit down with Cult of Mac and take a look back at the history of jailbreaking.
Back in 2007, Steve Jobs used a famous quote from ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky to summarize Apple’s commitment to innovation: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” That’s long been true for Apple and products like the iPhone and iPad. But for more than four years, jailbeaking has pushed the boundaries of iOS even farther.
If Apple skates to where the puck is going to be, then jailbreakers have usually already been there and left. The hackers and tinkerers that find security loopholes in Apple’s software are some of the most brilliant, innovative minds in the tech world.
We’ll be covering JailbreakCon 2012 this weekend in San Francisco, the world’s first convention dedicated solely to the jailbreak community. What better way to get ready for the future of jailbreaking than to examine the past? Let’s start from the beginning:
There is perhaps no name in the world of hacking as legendary as Geohot. George Hotz was the first person to unlock the original iPhone back in 2007. He was 17 years old at the time. He also released multiple jailbreaks, including “purplera1n” for the iPhone 3GS. Hotz later went on to hack the PlayStation 3 and battle Sony in a high-profile lawsuit.
In a recent profile by The New Yorker, we get a fascinating look at Hotz and several stories from his career as a prolific, self-taught hacker.
It's hard to believe a clean cut, law abiding youth like this would smoke marijuana, isn't it?
You only need to look at the bloodshot eyes, crunchy appearance and tossled hair of famed PS3 and iPhone hacker George “geohot” Hotz to realize that this is a mind which works best when jerkied in the cannabinoid vapours inhaled from a tightly packed magic jaybone. He’s a viper from birth, and we wouldn’t have him any other way.
But the cops would. That’s why they arrested him for cannabis possession while driving to SXSW to deliver a speech on hacking.
You may or may not be familiar with George Hotz, a.k.a “Geohot.” Whether you know his name or not, Hotz’s influence as a hacker is monumental. He unlocked the iPhone for the first time back in 2008, and was responsible for several of the early iOS jailbreaks. His exploits have haunted Apple for years, and he was recently sued by Sony for jailbreaking the PlayStation 3.
Hotz was hired by Facebook last summer to presumably work on the social juggernaut’s security team, but he apparently no longer works for Zuckerberg. Now Hotz been spotted back in his natural environment: a hackathon.
iPhone and PS3 hacker extraordinaire George Hotz, also known as GeoHot, has gone establishment, but the Limera1n hacker wasn’t scooped up by Apple or Sony: instead, the famously anti-establishment jailbreaker is now employed at Facebook. Say what?
Come iOS 5, Apple might finally win the war against jailbreakers. Even if the Dev Team prevails, though, Apple still might succeed in limiting jailbreaking to tethered exploits only, as well as finally axe the ability for users to downgrade to older versions of iOS.
Speaking of jailbreaks, check out this trailer for Unlocked, a mock biopic in the style of The Social Network incorporating footage from his various media appearances as well as a movie starring The Wire’s Ziggy that I’d be pleased if you guys would identify for me in the comments.
The iPhone jailbreaking community likes to maintain solidarity within its ranks. After all, while hackers love being the first to discover a new technique or exploit, the jailbreaking community has an enemy — Apple — who would like nothing more than to shut them down for the count.
That threat, in turn, has made the jailbreaking community a pretty tight-knit bunch: at any given time, there are a few working exploits that hackers are sitting on, waiting for Apple to invalidate a currently working jailbreak technique through a software patch before they release the next one. Why? Because the world doesn’t need more than one jailbreak at a time, and if all the known exploits are all in the wild at the same time, Apple can fix them all at once, leaving jailbreakers with nothing up their sleeves.
That’s why the jailbreaking community is so steamed up about the surprise Limera1n jailbreak geohot released over the weekend… the day before the Dev Team released their own highly publicized 4.1 jailbreak that used a totally different exploit. Geohot essentially barged ahead in line by releasing his jailbreak exploit unannounced, which risked alerting Apple to the methodology used in the Dev Team’s exploit.