The latest update to Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 4.1, brings with it new features such as Game Center, TV show rentals, iTunes’ "Ping" social music network, enhanced photo features, and more.
It’s also apparently been jailbroken already.
You’ll recall that the act of jailbreaking a phone—exploiting a software bug to open the handset’s operating system to install programs normally prohibited by carriers and hardware manufacturers–was recently declared legal.
However, that doesn’t mean that companies like Apple and AT&T are going to make it easy to jailbreak your iPhone. As such, each time Apple updates the iPhone’s operating system, hackers look for weaknesses in the software that can be exploited in order to jailbreak the handset.
With each subsequent update, Apple closes previously-discovered holes that have been used for jailbreaking, at which point hackers look for new ones. Wash, rinse, repeat, over and over again.
This time, however, reports indicate that the weakness leveraged to jailbreak the latest version of the operating system, iOS 4.1, were found in such a basic level of the code that "Apple won’t be able to stop jailbreakers without making significant hardware changes," according to the Register.
Theoretically, that means that the next update that Apple pushes out won’t revert jailbroken phones back to the closed operating system as it’s done in the past. What’s more, apparently the weakness is found in "all iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads that have shipped since November."
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