Yesterday at the Hack in the Box security conference in Kuala Lumpur three of the world's best hackers delivered speeches, saying they were drawing close to jailbreaking Apple's redesigned iOS 6 and iPhone 5, but that in the end it often comes down to luck, ITWorld reported.
Each of the three hackers who held the stage at Hack in the Box this year have won fame and acclaim for jailbreaking previous iPhone 5 and iOS designs. The term jailbreak describes the act of essentially unlocking the iPhone, and giving the user access to apps and services that are banned from Apple's carefully cultivated app market. While the practice is completely legal, it does void an iPhone's warranty and is frowned on by Apple.
It's no secret that Apple is doing everything it can to curb jailbreaking, including building some of the most popular jailbeak features into each new iPhone design as well as simply making each new iPhone harder to hack and unlock.
Among the speakers at Hack in the Box was French jailbreaker Cyril (best known by his Twitter handle @pod2g), who admitted that for the time being the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 software design is proving impenetrable.
"At the moment, I'm kind of stuck ... but it could change in a week," said Cyril. "It's luck, I think." He later added tha he believed a jailbreak would be finalized in "the next few weeks."
This may not be the best news for the huddle masses waiting to jailbreak their brand new iPhones, but it's a drastic improvement from the speech he gave at JailBreakCon just last month. At the time he stated that an iPhone 5 jailbreak was likely months away.
Cyril was joined onstage by famous hacker David Wang in a panel discussing the specifics of jailbreaking the iPhone 5. According to Wang luck has nothing to do with it. He noted that jailbreaking the iPhone 5 is like breaking into a fortress with multiple layers of protection requiring different tactics for each one.
"We still have a few tricks up our sleeves," Wang said, exuding he confidence of a practiced bank robber.
Following the panel, Wang explained that the iPhone 5 jailbreak was just a matter of going through the practiced motions.
"We think we have something that's working under a certain set of conditions," he told ITWorld. "It's a very technical, very boring set of steps. The overall technique works," he said. "We think we have the flow for it."
Hack in the Box's third jailbreak expert was Mark Dowd, the founder of Azimuth security and a man who's done extensive research into the iPhone 5's internal system.
According to ITWorld, Dowd has already successfully installed Cydia, an unapproved app market, on an iOS 6 device, though his success won't transfer over towards a working iPhone 5 jailbreak.
Dowd also noted that Apple's redesign of the iOS 6 and iPhone 5 have made jailbreaking harder than ever before.
"All the previous techniques that have been used have basically been made for the most part useless," he said. "But there's still room to move and it's still possible to exploit the kernel in iOS6, but the bar has definitely been raised."