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updated 1/3/2012 5:27:43 PM ET 2012-01-03T22:27:43

It may have taken longer than expected, but someone has finally released a jailbreak for iOS 5.0.1, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system.

All it takes is downloading free software to your Mac or PC, connecting your iDevice via a USB cable and then putting it into a special "device firmware upgrade" mode.

The catch? So far the new jailbreak, called "Corona," works only on older devices, not on the iPhone 4S or iPad 2. And it won't work on older versions of iOS, for which other jailbreak methods have already been released.

That limits it to the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, the original iPad and the third and fourth generations of the iPod Touch.

Jailbreaks enable smartphone and tablet users to install and run software not authorized by device manufacturers, such as interface modifications or apps that turn smartphones into Wi-Fi hotspots without a cellular carrier's knowledge.

Security experts generally warn against jailbreaking iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch's because they undermine iOS's main defense against malicious apps and cybercriminals.

The Corona jailbreak was largely the work of a hacker calling himself " pod2g." His exploit has been rolled into the latest version of redsn0w, a well-known series of iOS hacks, and pod2g says he's working on ways to jailbreak the iPhone 4s and iPad 2 running iOS 5.0.1.

"With some luck we could expect a release in a week," he tweeted Tuesday.

The useful-tech blog Lifehacker has instructions on how to install Corona, which Lifehacker says takes about 10 minutes to do.

© 2012 SecurityNewsDaily. All rights reserved

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