If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, and especially to this website, you know how much we’ve covered iOS 4.3.4, Apple’s emergency security update for iPod touches, iPhones and iPads. If you’re still thinking about installing it, there’s yet another reason you shouldn’t if you’re using an iPad 2: you can say goodbye to jailbreaking it altogether, at least until a new hack is found.
If you’re not yet aware, iOS 4.3.4 is a new update for iOS, perhaps the last one before iOS 5, that fixes a serious issue in Safari that was first uncovered when JailbreakMe 3.0 was released a few weeks ago. JailbreakMe is a jailbreaking method that takes advantage of an exploit in Mobile Safari to jailbreak any device running iOS 4.3.3 or under. More importantly, JailbreakMe was also the first ever sound method to successfully jailbreak the iPad 2. Without a similar exploit in iOS 4.3.4, what do you think will happen? You guessed it: say goodbye to Cydia on the iPad 2.
The iPad 2 has been a rather hard nut to crack, at least as far jailbreaking is concerned. Released nearly 6 months ago, there isn’t a reliable jailbreak for the device yet, other than the aforementioned JailbreakMe 3.0, since it didn’t require a computer connection to take control over the system. Unless a new browser exploit is found, there likely won’t be a tool like it anytime soon.
To make matters worse, yesterday we reported that i0n1c, a prominent developer of jailbreaking tools and author of a past untethered jailbreak, stated that an untethered jailbreak for iOS 4.3.4 would be a remote possibility, given some changes Apple has made in the latest firmware that have tightened up security and made vulnerabilities more difficult to exploit. That’s bad news for every iOS device owner, but especially for those who use the iPad 2, since tools like Redsn0w won’t even allow a tethered jailbreak on Apple’s 2nd generation tablet.
In short, if you’re planning to update your iPad 2 and enjoy your current jailbreak, stay away from 4.3.4. If you have already upgraded your non-3G iPad 2 (this won’t work with the 3G one, sorry folks), you can still downgrade back to 4.3.3, assuming that you’ve backed up your 4.3.3 SHSH blobs. If you haven’t, you’re absolutely out of luck, there’s nothing that can be done.
iOS 4.3.4 has definitely caught the jailbreak community off guard, which expected Apple not to make any changes to iOS 4, since the final version of iOS 5 is right around the corner. Instead of attempting to jailbreak 4.3.4, we speculated yesterday that the jailbreaking community might instead just hold off until iOS 5 is released in order to stop new vulnerabilities from being publicized and patched by Apple.