Yesterday we told you that the beta version of iOS 6 fixed all the exploits that were used to jailbreak iOS 5.1, effectively killing the current jailbreak. While MuscleNerd was able to get his fourth-generation iPod Touch jailbroken, many things were broken by iOS 6, including Cydia. This, of course, came as no surprise: Apple regularly kills the exploits used in public jailbreaks when it updates iOS.
Unfortunately, though, the news got a little worse today. According to a tweet by pod2g, iOS 6 also fixes an exploit that devs have been using for two years to root iOS. This particular exploit wasn't found in any public jailbreak tool, as it requires an Apple Developer ID to work. Nevertheless, iOS 6 includes a patch rendering the exploit useless. Coincidentally, this particular exploit was discovered by a hacker called Comex (the person behind the JailbreakMe exploit from a few years ago). Comex, it seems, began working for Apple last fall as an intern. While it is, of course, possible that Apple happened to discover and patch this exploit less than a year after Comex began interning there, it's not terribly likely.
Here's pod2g's tweet about the situation:
R.I.P. the exploit used by developers to root the device. Found by @comex in 2010. A 2 years old bug closed with iOS 6.
Of course, as pod2g and other members of the Dev Team revealed a few weeks ago, they keep a few iOS exploits secret in order to get a jumpstart on each new version of iOS. That being the case, it's unclear what impact this development will have on the timeline for the iOS 6 jailbreak. Of course, in the same interview pod2g pointed out that they don't spend a lot of time trying to jailbreak beta versions of iOS firmware, lest later betas fix the exploits they use. That being the case, the iOS 6 jailbreak will almost certainly be coming a few months after the public release, just as with iOS 5 and iOS 5.1.1.