The release of iOS 4.2.1 for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch was important not only for the new features like multitasking and folders for the iPad, and AirPlay & AirPrint for all iDevices, but also because it plugged over 40 security holes in the OS.
Most of the vulnerabilities (at least 27) are within the Safari WebKit-based browser engine, these holes had previously left iOS open to remote code execution attacks, which means that victims needed only to visit a specially crafted web site to be infected with malware.
It is essential for all iDevice users to update to iOS 4.2.1 as soon as possible to remain safe and secure while using their devices for web browsing.
However, it hasn’t taken long for hackers to jailbreak this new version of iOS. It is now being reported that the Redsn0w jailbreak is already live for iOS 4.2.1 on all devices (including the iPad). The current range of jailbreaking tools all use a vulnerability in the boot rom, which can’t be fixed by a software patch (only shipping new devices with a new boot rom will close the hole). In short this means that all all iOS devices are capable of being jailbroken using this same single method.
But with iOS 4.2.1 fresh out of the door, peculation has already begun about version iOS 4.3. The whispers are that 4.3 could be out during December and add app subscriptions, which would allow recurring charges for magazine publishers and other periodical content providers.