Since the launch of iOS 4.3 on March 10, the only tools able to jailbreak iOS-powered devices have been PwnageTool (for Mac) and sn0wbreeze (for Windows). While these tools will do the trick, they’re tethered, and require users to plug their devices to their computers every time they need to be restarted, or simply when they run out of battery.
While full, untethered jailbreak methods are not available just yet, recent findings seem to indicate that they are finally close to being released.
iPhone security expert Stefan Esser (aka xpl0n1c) managed to find a new exploit that could be used to jailbreak devices running iOS 4.3.1, and earlier today, Esser posted a video on YouTube to showcase the end result: his jailbroken fourth generation iPod touch running iOS 4.3.1 is able to boot without being tethered.
Esser does not build jailbreaks, so he patched sn0wbreeze to showcase his exploit instead. According to the security expert:
I repeatedly stated that I will not release a jailbreak tool – I will only give out the untether. I did not try yet, but if it is feasible the untether could be a cydia package. [...] While the vulnerability I use is in the iPad 2 kernel my untether will NOT SUPPORT the iPad 2, because there is no way to install it there (bootrom exploits fixed). – however Comex is working on that part.
Esser also mentions that while his exploit could be used in upcoming first generation iPad jailbreaks, the method will not work with the iPad 2, as Apple made significant changes to the device’s bootrom.
Apple built extra fail-safes within the device, and even when new exploits are found, Apple’s engineers patch them right away. For instance, Comex, the hacker behind jailbreakme, confirmed earlier today that the exploit he was planning to use for an upcoming iPad 2 jailbreak has already been patched by Apple via the iOS 4.3.1 update.