The untethered workaround, dubbed evasi0n, is compatible with all iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and iPad mini models running iOS 6.0 through 6.1, and works on Linux, PC, Mac OS X, and Windows.
The jailbreak was posted online at 17:00 GMT by a group of hackers known as @evad3rs on Twitter, or @pimskeks, @planetbeing, @pod2g, and @MuscleNerd.
To get the jailbreak, go to www.evasi0n.com (due to technical difficulties we are unable to embed the link for your convenience).
Shortly after evasi0n hit the web, traffic spiked. "Err, wow, I signed up for a @BoxHQ business account thinking 2TB bandwidth would be enough, ate through 1TB already," @planetbeing tweeted. "Our files are all around ~10MB, so that would mean >100k downloads already."
The evad3rs team said the jailbreak will require "five minutes of your time," as well as a computer running a minimum of Windows XP, Mac OS X 10.5, or Linux x86/x86_64. Your iOS device must have iOS 6 or above installed, and you'll need a USB cable to connect the device to your computer.
Evad3rs warned users to back up all their files via iTunes or iCloud before executing the jailbreak. "If something breaks, you'll always be able to recover your data," the team said. While evasi0n is in progress, users should avoid any iOS and iTunes-related tasks. If anything freezes, you can reboot the device and rerun evasi0n.
"If you get an error on OS X 10.8 saying that evasi0n can't be opened, control-click (or right-click) the app and on the revealed context menu, choose 'Open.' On the ensuing dialogue box, choose 'Open' as well," evad3rs said.
Users are also urged to disable the lock passcode on their iOS device since "it can cause issues."
While jailbreaking smartphones is legal, it will void your Apple warranty, so you could end up with a brick.
In July 2010, the Copyright Office ruled that jailbreaking is permissible under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's (DMCA) fair use provisions. Jailbreaking is "innocuous at worst and beneficial at best," Librarian of Congress James H. Billington wrote at the time. This year, the Copyright Office renewed those rules, but declined to extend the rules to tablets just yet.