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Monday, February 04, 2013, 11:40 am PT (02:40 pm ET)

iOS 6 jailbreak arrives; URL detection bug crashes most OS X apps

Hackers on Monday released a long-awaited untethered software "jailbreak" of Apple's iOS 6. Separately, a newly discovered bug causes most Mountain Lion applications to crash by typing in just 8 characters.

'Evasi0n' brings jailbreak to iPhone 5, iPad mini



Jailbreak


For the first time ever, iPhone 5 and iPad mini owners can jailbreak their device with the release of Evasi0n, the new jailbreak for Apple's iOS 6 mobile operating system. The software hack is available to implement via OS X, Windows, and Linux.

The new jailbreak is untethered, which means users will not have to reconnect their device to a computer to restart it. The hack is compatible with all iPhone, iPad and iPod touch models running iOS 6.0 through iOS 6.1.

Users are advised to backup their device through iTunes or iCloud before beginning the jailbreak process. It's also recommended to disable any passcode locks on an iOS device, as they can cause issues.

Jailbreaking is a legal but warranty voiding process that utilizes exploits in the iOS software to allow users to run unauthorized code. By jailbreaking an iPhone or iPad, users can add features and software not allowed by Apple, such as custom themes or user interface tweaks.

Apple advises against jailbreaking iOS devices, as the unauthorized modification could lead to system instability, compromised security, shortened battery life, and other potential issues.

Minor OS X crashing bug gains attention



OS X


Last week, a URL detection flaw discovered in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion was publicized and gained attention for the ease with which users can cause almost any Mac application to crash. This can be accomplished by entering "file:///", with an uppercase 'F', into a standard text input space.

Doing this will cause a number of OS X applications, such as TextEdit, to automatically crash. The issue arises from the ability of OS X to detect that the user has input a URL.

Apple's Advanced Technology Group invented "data detectors" in the mid-1990s. The feature fist appeared in the Mac operating system, and allowed the OS to recognized formatted data, like a phone number, within an unstructured document, enabling a user to take action upon the data recognized.

While the bug is interesting because of the ease with which it causes an application to crash, the specific issue is unlikely to have much of an effect on users.