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iPhone jailbreakers get clever for iOS 5, iPhone 4S

Noted iPhone hacker group and creator of the GreenPois0n jailbreaking tool, Chronic Dev Team, has announced a new tool that subverts the traditional crash reporting system in iOS, in order to find new exploits that can be used to jailbreak handsets.

Jailbreaking - a process analogous to 'rooting' in the Android community - allows third-party applications that haven't met with Apple's approval to run on iOS devices including the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

Although useful, the process is not in Apple's best interest - and it does all it can to prevent such use, blocking security vulnerabilities that can be used to escalate permissions and execute the jailbreaking process.

The result: as time goes on, it becomes increasingly difficult to find ways to jailbreak newer handsets and iOS versions.

To help get around this, Chronic Dev Team member Joshua 'p0sixninja' Hill has detailed a new tool - C-Dev Reporter - which alters users' handsets to send crash reports to the Chronic Dev Team, instead of Apple.

That helps his team's efforts in two ways: firstly, it gives them an early warning as to crashes that might indicate an underlying vulnerability that could be exploited to create a jailbreak; secondly, it prevents those same error reports from heading Apple's way and given the company a heads-up of the same issues.

The tool is in beta stages at present, but a full release is expected imminently and will help give the team a head-start on rival hacking groups.

The Chronic Dev Team will have to hurry, however: noted iPhone hacker MuscleNerd has posted to Twitter that a "very promising 4S unlock" has been discovered, which could lead to the first full tetherless unlock and jailbreak for Apple's iOS 5-powered iPhone 4S handset. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.