Saturday night was a hot one in the jailbreak community as, with it, came the groundbreaking update iOS 6 jailbreak hopefuls from around the globe had been waiting 3 months to hear: An iOS 6.0.2 fully untethered jailbreak for iPhone 5/4S was not only ready but running actively on iPhone Dev Team member @planetbeing's iPhone 5. Still though many are curious when will the iOS 6 jailbreak release date be anounced?
In a post on Reddit, the long-time jailbreak hacker and part-time Intelleborn developer, who was key in the design of popular Cydia app IntelleSceenX, let followers know there was nothing to be gloomy about--the jailbreak scene, and the attemptto kailbreak iOS 6 was far from dead:
"Yeah, I'm not really sure what all the doom and gloom is about. The fact is, I have an untethered iOS 6.0.2 JB running on my iPhone 5 right now."
He then went on to tell the jailbreak community what the hold-up was on the iOS 6 untethered jailbreak for iPhone 5 release:
"The reasons it's not released are because
(1.) Releasing it would burn an exploit we want to save for ourselves so we can always get in to look at new firmware and help JB in the future,
(2.) iOS 6.1 is coming very soon and will likely break a small part of it anyway, there's no point in sacrificing the many bugs it won't break.
Anyway, where there are 4+ bugs (that it took to get this to work), there's gotta be one or two more so while jailbreaking is getting harder, reports of its death are highly exaggerated.
This is not stuff I want to say over Twitter with 140 characters because I'm afraid of starting some sort of riot, but I like the smaller /r/jailbreak community more."
Of course, even since posting it seems that "smaller" reddit community is growing, as already the forum has been flooded with positive comments and questions concerning the iOS 6 jailbreak progess for one of the founding fathers of the jailbreak scene, and have been answered both by iPhone Dev Team member @planetbeing as well as Cydia creator Saurik.
Indeed, the interaction of the Devs have served to lift the spirits of many within the community who now feel holding out for an iOS 6 jailbreak won't be so hard after all. In the words of Reddit user, Tario70,
"I think the best thing is actually hearing that work is going on behind the scenes. Too often I think many of the JB Devs believe that we want detailed status updates, but I know for me that isn't the case at all. Even just something that states 'Hey we're still working over here. Still exploring.'"
As many have noted, this time in the jailbreak unfolding saga the devs have been unusually quiet, but yes the work continues and will continue in the future of iOS.
Over on Twitter however, another weighty voice began throwing out commentary which had some in the jailbreak community worried that, though an iOS 6.0.2 untethered jailbreak for iPhone 5 was ready and running on @planetbeing's iPhone 5, perhaps this was all the more we would ever hear about it. That perhaps a release was just a myth.
The voice in question was Stefan Esser, a well-respected one in the jailbreak community as he was responsible for providing the exploit for iOS 4.3 which was handed over to the iPhone Dev Team for release in one of their jailbreak tools. However, since then, Essler has exited the jailbreak community after withholding a 5.1 exploit he held which would have successfully jailbroken the iPad 2, citing some frustrations with the community. He is a leader in PHP security research and the co-author of the iOS Hacker's Handbook
Here is some of the commentary from Esser on Sunday after @planetbeing's reddit post:
So @planetbeing has an untethered jailbreak since he flew back from Germany. Damn did someone leak my stuff again?
— Stefan Esser (@i0n1c) January 5, 2013
Heheh or maybe @planetbeing got owned in Germany and someone else is posting as him on reddit. Cause he didn't mention it on Twitter :P
— Stefan Esser (@i0n1c) January 5, 2013
It is funny how people get so excited over the same news they had 3 months ago: there is a JB based on vulns the dev teams will not release.
— Stefan Esser (@i0n1c) January 5, 2013
Of course reading these tweets, many assumed this to mean that the iOS 6, 6.0.1, 6.0.2 or even 6.1 jailbreak they were hoping for was merely a myth and would never be released for the public.
After reading these comments, it seems @planetbeing saw it the perfect time to set the record straight, and clear up misconceptions read into Esser's statement.
Here is what he posted on Twitter Sunday afternoon,
"Learning new contradictory facts about jb teams from Twitter: (1.) we have all exploits/bugs done for us (2.) but we slave away for months (3.) we're fools because other people are getting rich off us and we aren't (4.) we're super-rich from the jb...None of it is true. :P Well, maybe #3, who knows, none of us have ever sold a bug, but it was never about money anyway."
Then on Wednesday morning he added this to his statements:
"I don't know why people think waiting for 6.1 is the only reason not to release. I clearly stated two in my Reddit post...First reason was more important: Don't eat your seed corn...If Apple released 6.1 today, the first reason would still be valid. We always want at least one bug unreleased, in reserve."
For those who have difficulty interpreting this, basically, there is one key exploit the devs have held onto for several of their jailbreaks. One that has gone unpatched by Apple and is kept very carefully sequestered within the inner circle. As we know exploits are precious and the leak of an essential one has more than once become the center of major controversy within the community (sHAtter anyone?)
In making this comment, @planetbeing was not in any way confirming the fact that a jailbreak for iOS 6, 6.01, 6.02 or 6.1 would not be released. In an answer to this question, here is what he had to say on Twitter Wednesday:
@planetbeing: "I don't know why people think waiting for 6.1 is the only reason not to release. I clearly stated two in my Reddit post."
@_jmie: But it will be released eventually, yes?
@planetbeing: "I expect so. In the worst case that there are no more bugs left, there'd be no point in hanging onto it."
Still I know someone will ask, why doesn't planetbeing just come out and say it already-a jailbreak will be released.
Well here's why. Like a true team player, he realizes it is not his decision alone.
In the jailbreak thread on reddit albertbertal8 was found asking this question:
"Just wondering, how often does apple fix bugs that you guys find but save in favor of a future jailbreak or for yourselves?"
To which planetbeing responded:
"Sometimes they do. It depends on the type of bug. It's a risk. That's of course a drawback with sitting on things like this, but I was not the discoverer of all of the bugs I used so not releasing is a collective call."
Of course we don't know the details of who all is involved in the work @planetbeing is doing with the iOS 6 untethered jailbreak for iPhone 5/4S and other non-jailbroken devices, but recently Saurik has come forward to confirm he and @pod2g are definitely in the mix.
When someone asked @planetbeing about @pod2g's return the fellow Dream Team member had this to say:
"He [pod2g] told me last night he looked into a couple of bugs (without much success) recently, after basically not being around since WWJC, so that's cool. I doubt he wants to promise he'll be around working on this full time however. I haven't worked on any jailbreak stuff for a couple of months as well, not until basically I was flying back from 29C3 in Germany and realized/remembered I actually know about enough bugs to put together an entire untethered jailbreak."
To which Saurik added this comment:
"I actually was working with pod2g (albeit with a worse headache than I've had in at least a year, so mostly as a "gdb test monkey"), and can thereby personally attest that he didn't just say it, he actually did it."
So there you have it people, 3 powerhouses within the jailbreak community at work on an iOS 6, 6.0.1,6.0.2 or 6.1 untethered jailbreak for iPhone 5 the community cannot lose.
As always, stay patient, stay hopeful. The jailbreak scene is alive and well, with the jailbreak for iOS 6 release date well on its way.