Is the iPhone 5 Already Jailbroken?

Over the weekend, we exposed what we felt was a suspect claim that the iPhone 5–and iOS 6.0.1–had been jailbroken and that an app that would make it possible for all was there for the purchasing. It turns out that we may have been correct to be skeptical.

With every new iPhone, and every upgrade of iOS, a hacker somewhere in the world is dedicated to jailbreaking it.  That’s true, it seems, with the iPhone 5, at least according to a report published by TechCrunch.

The website cited a hacker who was identified as David Wang was cited as writing, “[t]he fact is, I have an untethered iOS 6.0.2 JB running on my iPhone 5 right now.”

The questionable (at best) claim appeared on the Reddit website, which doesn’t require email verification for a new account. Because of that lack of first-level identity verification, we must remind our readers to take this claim with a grain of salt.

If the Reddit thread in question rings true, then Wang has the hack. He just doesn’t want you to have it, at least not right now.

The reason for the secrecy may not be so that he–and others like him–can design a method to gain monetarily, though one would have to wonder why one would go through all the effort necessary to develop a jailbreak without attempting to profit from those efforts.

No, the reason for the lack of proof appears to be a hacker’s self-preservation: once a method of jailbreaking an iPhone is made public by hackers, anyone can see it, including Apple. Once they see it, of course, they’d issue a fix, and that would make for some unhappy pandas in the hacker realms.

So yes, a jailbreak for iPhone 5 does seem to exist, if the author of the Reddit thread is who he says he is, and if he’s telling the truth.

We just have no way to verify either claim.

We are journalists here at iPhone Alley, We like, you know, proof. Absent that, we can’t say one way or the other that the claims ring true. All we can do is report the rumors that are, for whatever reason, being perpetuated by reliable sources such as TechCrunch.

We would repeat a word to the wise that jailbreaking an iPhone can bring benefits, but it can also bring heartache and misery should the device–a potentially expensive device–be “bricked.”

What we can say is that the way to jailbreak a device won’t be found on websites belonging to tiny newspapers in Indiana and Colorado.

TechCrunch reports that the hacking community has banded together, sort of, to work towards a common, if not questionable, goal: jailbreaking that device.

Apple successfully closed a hole known as the “bootrom,” which allowed a hacker to seize full control of an iPhone regardless of the version of iOS that powered that device. Gone are those days.

Gone, too, are the days when a hacker could see the where in the memory the kernel was located. The introduction iOS6 eliminated that method of hacking.

Of course, the absence of a bootrom, and the removal of the ability to exploit the kernel won’t send a message to hackers that it’s time to, you know, let Apple control the devices they make. All it means is that it will take longer to develop a jailbreak, which is the scenario that we appear to be seeing here.

We’d definitely recommend holding onto the money one would need to purchase the purported methods listed in those ostensibly legitimate–but highly suspect–”newspaper articles.”

[via: TechCrunch]