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.