Paul has posted a photo to his Twitter account purporting to show Cydia running on a brand new iPhone 5. Cydia is the name for both the most popular app store for non-approved apps, and the app that lets you access the store. The Cydia app is not available from Apple’s app store, and will consequently only run on a jailbroken device.
There are, however, two caveats. Firstly, the method used by Paul is not yet suitable for public release. The jailbreak has not, therefore, been tested and confirmed by third-parties. Secondly, all of the pictorial evidence provided by Paul could, in theory, have been forged via Photoshop.
Nevertheless, the general consensus is that the jailbreak is genuine. Paul operates the JailbreaKr website that provides advice on jailbreaking different devices (although at the time of writing it had nothing on his new iPhone 5 hack), and he was also part of the team that provided a Siri hack last year. At that time, Apple’s voice command system was available only for the iPhone 4S. Paul and Ryan Petrich developed a hack called Spire that allowed Siri to work on a jailbroken iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, third-gen iPod touch, fourth-gen iPod touch and first-gen iPad.
iOS 6, the operating system for the iPhone 5, has already been hacked. It was broken on an iPhone 4S last week at EUSecWest by two Dutch researchers; and it is believed that the same hack also works on the iPhone 6. Also last week the iPhone Dev-Team confirmed that it had got the redsn0w tethered jailbreak working on iOS 6 on the A4-powered iPhone 4, 3GS and 4th-gen iPod touch. It was thought that iOS 6 on the A5-powered iPhone 5 would prove more difficult.
Not according to Grant Paul. “I started working on it the day before the iPhone 5 was released, and I had my iPhone 4S jailbroken on iOS 6 in a few hours,” he told All Things D in an e-mail. “Then, once I got an iPhone 5, it was even easier; It took just about half an hour from first tuning it on to a jailbroken iPhone 5.”