The iPhone Dev Team on Wednesday released the latest hack that allows a jailbroken iPhone 4 to be unlocked and used on any wireless carrier.
But to use it requires an iPhone that's been jailbroken. The same group released a jailbreak program for the iPhone 4 over the weekend by exploiting a security hole in the mobile version of the Safari browser. That jailbreak brought attention to the fact that navigating to a certain site via any iOS device can present the exploit as a simple PDF link, which requires no explicit user action short of clicking a link. It can then launch an exploit that takes advantage of the way the PDF viewer loads fonts, which could enable a program to have unrestricted access to the device. Apple says it is looking into the problem.
Jailbreaking an iPhone is still considered by Apple as a quick way to void the warranty since the act breaks the user agreement. But legally, it's now allowed. Last week the U.S. Copyright Office amended the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to allow consumers to bypass a handset manufacturer's protection mechanisms to allow "handsets to execute software applications."
But while handset owners are explicitly allowed to jailbreak their own phones, the Copyright Office did not appear to extend that to allow third parties to supply jailbreaking software in order to switch carriers.