With efforts to of an iOS 5 untethered jailbreak having increased, the latest report from a prominent iOS hacker states that it has become a bit easier and possibly closer to being legal for hackers trying to bring Apple's digital personal assistant Siri to iOS devices other than the iPhone 4S.
Apple has now made it much more possible to port Siri to devices other than the iPhone 4S with the iOS 5.0.1 update. The new iOS update doesn’t encrypt the system files that are needed for Siri to work. The fact that those files are unencrypted means you can access them and port Siri much more easily. Earlier builds required complex decryption algorithms which required a frequently changed key to avoid detection.
MuscleNerd, a prominent figure in the jailbreaking and hacking community, recently tweeted that the iOS 5.0.1 update features decrypted ramdisks, making it possible to extract the necessary files for a Siri port without infringing on Apple’s copyright.
A hacker could more easily extract and copy the iPhone 4S's Siri files without resorting to piracy. Basically, Apple locked the door to the filesystem but left the keys hanging in the door handle. Previously, to get at the iOS filesystem, hackers had to use a series of decryption tools to get past Apple's software protections.
Hackers have issued a number of releases in recent weeks claiming to have cracked Siri for non-iPhone 4S jailbroken iOS devices. But all of them are either illegal or impractical. To run Siri properly, one would need access to an iPhone 4S unique identifier and that key would need to be switched off every 24 hours to avoid detection.
There is much speculation over why Apple would release an update with such an oversight. Whatever may be the exact reason, it is great news for the hacker community that can now work on ports without as much difficulty. It’s not clear if Apple has intentionally left the files unencrypted, or if this is just a temporary change in iOS 5.0.1.