The forthcoming iPhone OS revision -- dubbed 2.0 by Apple but currently number 1.2 -- may soon leak to the public, iPhone Atlas has learned. The update is currently officially available only to those who have been accepted into Apple's $99 iPhone Developer program or who have been selected to beta test the revision's enterprise functionality.
Installation of the iPhone OS 1.2 beta generally requires a special signature from Apple, but an underground team has discovered a method for bypassing this signature and installing a modified edition of OS 1.2. This installation method requires the use of the "Pwnage," a tool that exploit found in the lower levels of the iPhone/iPod Touch bootloader. Exercising the exploit allows these devices to run unsigned code. With this capability in place, Pwnage can modify the iPhone OS 1.2 IPSW (installation file), pre-activating and pre-jailbreaking it.
Only iPhones that are already unlocked (not tethered to a sanctioned cellular network) can retain phone functionality after receiving the unauthorized 1.2 update.
Ominously, Apple's developer documentation states: "Once you install the pre-release iPhone OS on your device, such device may only be used for development and testing purposes until the final (GM) version of the iPhone OS is released. In addition, you will need to install new versions of the software from time to time throughout the beta period. Failure to install the most current version will, after a period of time, put your device in a deactivated state. Updating to the most current version will re-activate your device so that you may continue testing"
Apple also says that installing the pre-release software on unregistered iPhones will render the devices inoperable. With the custom firmware and unlock mechanisms currently available, it appears -- uncertainly -- that hacked iPhone OS 1.2 devices may be immune from this self-destruct mechanism.
According to our sources, we could see a public leak as early as this weekend.