He isn’t jailbreaking iOS devices, so don’t get too excited.
AndroidBeat reports that he has managed to gain root access to carrier variants of the Galaxy S5 and also the Note 3, Nexus 5 and possibly all other Android devices with a kernel build date of below June 3 via his ‘towel root’ exploit. The root exploit is scheduled to be released to the public at 10AM PDT on 15/6/14.
As AndroidBeat points out, KNOX, Samsung’s enterprise mobile security solution, has made it difficult to root Samsung devices released in the last one year or so.
While rooting them is possible, it will end up triggering the KNOX hardware switch, which effectively voids the warranty of the device. Since this is a hardware level switch, there is no way to reverse this process or fix it later on.
Worse, carriers in the United States lock down the bootloader on their devices, which makes it near impossible for developers to unlock the device.
Developers usually try to find an exploit via which they can gain root access on such Samsung devices, but with time, Android OEMs have patched most of them and finding new ones is an incredibly tough job. The AT&T and Verizon variant of the Galaxy S5 are a perfect example for this case and have a staggering $18,000+ bounty on offer for anyone who manages to root the handset.
Last year, amidst the controversy surrounding the iOS 7 jailbreak, a leaked audio recording had suggested that Geohot had tried to sell his iOS 7 jailbreak for a whopping $350,000. It is interesting to see him back in the limelight, though it seems unlikely he will release a jailbreak for iOS to the public after a not so pleasant experience.
Meanwhile, it is still status quo on the iOS 7.1.1 jailbreak. Even though several hackers have successfully jailbroken iOS 7.1.1, there hasn’t been any development that suggests a jailbreak will be released soon.
As promised, Geohot has released Towelroot for carrier variants of the Galaxy S5, and other Android devices.