back to article Hackers unlock iPhone - again

Hackers have struck back against an iPhone software update from Apple that disabled unlocked phones. The iPhone Development Project has developed a method to install third-party apps and use upgraded iPhones on GSM networks other than AT&Ts, The Unofficial Apple Weblog reports. The latest hack allows users who've already …


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  1. Cormac

    lol its what a load of hassle for a a lump of rubbish

    Its obvious this is going to continue i just do not understand why anyone would buy one of these, just like a mac , its total garbage. go out and get ur self a E90 , now thats a brick that works ! :)

  2. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Sorely needs 3rd party apps

    While Steve Jobs likes minimalistic devices, others like the interface but want more features (MMS is sorely missing).

  3. carl

    Sony PSP anyone?

    This will sound all too familiar for anyone that has h**cked...erm 'enabled' their Play Station Portable to be able to play backups. Sony are constantly releasing updates to battle against previous firmware exploits. Looks like Apple are going to be wasting time and effort on the same problem.

    Maybe Apple and Sony need a wake up call.

  4. Alastair Dodd
    Jobs Horns

    bug in safari?

    never, it's a genius work of web browsing software that work with every proper standard out there

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Adam C


    Way to go!

    Apple: 0 - Consumers: 1

  7. Glenn Gilbert

    Just in time . . .

    Yippee; just in time to save a fortune in O2 bills!

  8. jonathan keith


    I'd like to use icons 11, 12, 13, 14 and 23 here (assuming "None" as zero).

    Why can't I? (In fact, add 8 and 9 to the list.)

  9. Darren Coleman
    Jobs Halo

    Unlock/jailbreak depends on vulnerability

    The ironic thing about the new mechanism for unlocking the iPhone is that it exploits a TIFF vulnerability in mobile Safari to do it. Ordinarily exploits are front-page news, but in this case it seems its taken a back seat to the primary objective of re-unlocking the phone.

    In any case Apple will patch this hole in 1.1.2 and they'll be back to where they started. It's like an arms race, and if the unlock/jailbreak depends on vulnerabilities you have to wonder whether or not Apple will ultimately win this war....

  10. Fluffykins Silver badge

    Can we have another new Icon - A special one for buyers of an iPhone?

    Maybe something along the line of a big "W" and a picture of an anchor.

  11. Acme Fixer

    Ya Know..

    Ya know, one would've thought that Apple had learned their lesson about trying to lock down their devices from the old Apple ][ and Apple //e days. Folks, it's just the same old stuff, different time.

  12. Anonymous Coward


    Erm.. don't you mean using homebrew rather than backups??

    Sony aren't adverse to homebrews it's the piracy of games that bothers them (which is beyond me as most of the older games can be bought for pound coins rather than notes)

    Also their firmwares add functionality (Remote Play) and stability.

    'nuff said

  13. Mectron

    @ Anonymous Coward

    Apple and Sony primiary objective with update is to keep an illegal lock on the hardware you LEGALY OWN. Sony artificialy crippple is PSP and Apple as made a desal with the devil to steal as much money as they can from you and preventing you from using the grappy (inferior overhyped) iPhone in a usefull way.

    Both Sony and Apple are proven criminal corporate who have lost all credibility. Whould you buy your next car from a inmate from a state prison?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PSP comment

    I agree with @Carl. Sony's reason to lock PSP are kind of fair in the fact that they are trying to stop Pirate gaming not homebrew. It is an unavoidable consequence (afaik) that homebrew is blocked by this. All (proper) homebrew devleopers discourage pirate gaming too...

  15. Ross Fleming

    @Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, it adds functionality, but with the likes of people out there dedicated to help write custom firmwares, Sony will lose out everytime.

    Problem is that the sledgehammer approach of preventing piracy has also crippled the potential of homebrew. Non-commercial development is how things move forward - can you imagine Skype being developed by BT and becoming successful? Were Sony/Apple to allow the minority to create useful applications, they would eventually buy them, or implement it themselves and make a bit of cash out of it.

    These battles between "hackers" and corporates go on for ages, eventually culminating in the hacker community coming up with a trump card - such as Pandora's Battery. Eventually the same will happen with the iPhone.

  16. Adrian Crooks

    Depends on the support agreement

    If you don't want your phone disabled after you hack it, then can you reject updates? If you reject the update then are you breaking your contract with AT&T? I can see the argument for saying you own the hardware, but unless the support agreement says they have to support hacks I don't see their updates as a problem.

    The problem I see is that they lock down your phones to AT&T. Once AT&T has their contract and you have paid them their money, I don't see why you should not be allowed to use YOUR device on another provider. It's plainly anti-competitive.

  17. Joe K

    Never mind the iphone!

    This works for the iTouch too.

    So our pricey MP3 gadget may actually get a calendar that works, and an ebook reader would be nice too.

    I'll wait till they refine the hack, as its a nightmare to get going,

  18. Will Godfrey Silver badge


    While reading this comment you have the nagging suspicion its only function is to support trial of the new funky icons

  19. heystoopid

    Not a good year for God

    Not a good year for God !

    But since most Apple products are between fifty to eighty percent overpriced , over hyped and a number of built in design defects so that only a limited number fanatics would buy their product !

    Leave the hackers alone , for you just cannot buy the amount of free publicity , air , Internet Google page ranking and advertising they generate and thus widen the narrow market and thus increase sales and market penetration in a very tight mobile phone sector where the competition is cut throat to say the least !

    But then again it could be a ploy by Apple to do that in order to generate the free publicity though to gain the extra market share with minimal cost outlay !

    So may be God planned it that way ?

    Or perhaps will the Open Source version "Openmoko" steal his thunder when it finally comes down the line ?

  20. yeah, right.

    rejecting updates.

    Updates contain changes to the terms and conditions. If they don't allow you to reject these changes, is that legal? If they do let you reject the changes, then they probably aren't going to let you update.

    So the question is, does iTunes forbid any more transfers to the iPhone once a new update has been detected but refused? Guess I would need to check a more Mac friendly area if I really gave a shit. Which I don't.

  21. Fran Taylor


    This really blows a hole in that iPhone lawsuit. Any claims for damages are moot because people can just download the new hack and be on their way.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    iBone, Pee S Pee

    I love the PSP. I hate the iPhone. What do these two devices have in common though??? Sony and Apple trying to root out homebrew. Mind you, but it is pretty clear since the beginning that Sony wants to kick out homebrew, regardless of piracy issues. Why? Because games *pay back* to Sony for licensing. Homebrew doesn't.

    Anyway, Apple doesn't even have that, so blocking out third-apps isn't even needed, it just gimps an otherwise good smartphone. It doesn't even have MIDP. "AJAX WebApps" are an oxymoron, there is no such thing as an "AJAX APP", most of that crap wouldn't run if there were no Java/ASP/whatever backend.

    Software is binary, software is installed locally, executed locally. Web apps are installed on servers, executed on servers, and spit out HTML to clients. AJAX Webapps are ... not installable ... executed locally by buggy browsers.


  23. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Am I alone?

    All I want is a phone, you know, to talk to people. Text is OK but not essential. I don't want ANY of the other crud. I don't even want storage. I've already got a secure non-copyable storage system - it's between my ears.

    You've heard of the campaign for real ale, what about a campaign for real phones?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    seems to me....

    either all of you don't realize, or would rather forget that apple signed a deal with AT&T.

    i don't think apple honestly cares that the iphone is constantly being hacked..

    Also it seems to me that these pointless patches are nothing more then a friendly gesture to at&t to keep them quiet.

    feel free to flame me and then go back to your ranting about the establishment.

  25. Sam Therapy
    Thumb Up

    @ Will Godfrey

    Yay! I'm not the only one in the world, then.

  26. t3h

    You can refuse the update

    >So the question is, does iTunes forbid any more transfers to the iPhone once a new update has been detected but refused?

    You can refuse the update. It says something like "A new update has been detected" (I don't have one, and can't remember...)

    You are not forced to apply it.

  27. Christopher Woods

    Chuckles galore

    You know, for all the dissing it gets from the Mac camps, my little Hermes (Vario 2) hasn't needed hacking or jailbreaking once.

    It just works, and lets me put all that lovely third-party software on it, and it's never complained once. My network unlocked it for me, but it's trivial enough to download a small app to make the device SuperCID (and network-unlocked), which I guess is the extent of hackery required if you're too stingy to pay for unlocking your device (if your network even charges you for it!)

    So while all this drama goes on around the iPhone... I just sit here looking slightly smug all the time :D

  28. Anonymous Coward

    RE:iBone, Pee S Pee

    JavaScript is a dynamic, weakly typed, prototype-based language with first-class functions

    It is a full programming language and the fact that most users (and probably you) don't understand how to use it properly makes it no less of one.

    Perhaps you should become less ignorant before posting

  29. Danny Thompson

    @Will and Sam

    No need for a Campaign for ReAl Phones (hereinafter known as CRAP). There are plenty of those out there to buy. So it makes no sense to carp (an anagram of CRAP) on about the iPhone not being a real phone. It is, but it also does other stuff which, if you don't want, you can easily avoid by buying a simple basic phone (Nokia 1100 would probably do you both).

    I have no desire for an iPhone on O2 mostly because it is on O2. But also because it does not give me what I want in a top-of-the-range handset; MMS and 3G/HSDPA, Bluetooth and USB/Modem connectivity. The lack of any one of those would take the iPhone out of my "I want it" list.

    But it is amusing, nonetheless, to see the antics of Apple and the Unlock community going at it hammer and tongs. The iPhone is an anachronism in Apple's product portfolio. With the sole exception of the Touchscreen there is absolutely nothing current, let alone innovative, about it. EDGE is so five years ago, no MMS is even older than that. But the undoubtedly effective Apple marketing does for the iPhone what its technical prowess does not. And so a whole market is created out of thin air. We can expect to see commercial alternatives to Apple's lockdown becoming more common and available.

    Me? I'm quite enjoying the entertainment factor.

  30. J


    Who would buy the stoopid iPhone!? It does not even have a can opener, a measuring tape and/or a DVD player! I won't buy it until it offers all that essential functionality, period.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the old js

    Off topic but javascript is a scripting language not a programming language per say.

    Its a functional tool which when joint with more powerful applications benifit both server and client side eg. not needing to post back to validate, ajax if used correctly and also quite useful in the old client graphics circus.

    I use it quite a bit at work to limit server side processing to improve performance.

  32. Blain Hamon

    If you don't want one, don't buy one. What's the problem?

    I don't have an iPhone, mostly because I have a phone with telnet and ssh and I don't want AT&T. Does this mean that everyone has the exact same needs as me? No. For some, it's perfect.

    Before 1.1.1, Apple said, "The update might not work with mods." That was shorthand for "The update does a total wipe and reinstall because that's the best way to upgrade a known system. Don't install if you've hacked it." And the iPhone will work fine with 1.0.2 still; this wasn't a forced install at all.

    Apple said that they won't support mods. If I take an iPhone and drill a hole through it, it's perfectly within my rights. But it's within Apple's rights to void the warranty because of the drilling. If I take an iPhone and put sortware or confuse the firmware so it's an unknown state that's difficult to test against and an update depends on a known state to not brick, it's perfectly within my rights. But it's within Apple's rights to void the warranty because I destabilized the firmware.

    Do I want the iPhone to be hackable? Yes, heck yes. But until they do, I just don't buy one. No need to foam at the mouth at them. Dollars speak louder than words.

  33. Simon

    take note and learn...

    To this day i'm so proud of the hacking community, they have no understanding on how the closed code works, they spend time and a sh*t load of effort into achieving there goal....(reverse engineering.... wow) This is computing with a passion.. these guys want it to work and work very well... I think these people should be employed in making reliable and usable OS etc. Keep up the good work guys... unfortunatly keeping up the cost of such (over hyped rubbish) alive... Apple/Sony must spend millions of $'s a year on this... catch 22 i think! ... $$$$$$$$$$

  34. elder norm

    What a bunch of comments

    I see only three types of comments here.

    Normal intelligent people. Like it - buy it. Don't like it, don't buy it.

    Hackers. "I must own and break anything. " Mommy gets mad when I do that. :-)

    and MS trolls (paid or not). Who have to put down any Apple product with the most weird (and usually stupid) of statements. ie. "My puter dont have 4 wheel drive, so its a stupid puter." :-)

    And while I can understand the first two, the last group, which I am seeing more and more around, really worry me. I guess money will buy anything.


  35. Dave Edmondston
    Paris Hilton

    As I've asked before...

    What'll happen once the AT&T/O2 contracts are up? Surely Apple cannot, at that stage, publish 'malicious' patches that kills phones using other networks? The line they seem to be taking just now is that all phones have to use AT&T - what happens in another year when this will not be the case?

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iPhone icon

    Another vote here for an iPhone icon along the lines of a W and an anchor! Perleeeese!

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    re: @Carl and PSP comment

    A major reason Sony bought out the firmware updates WAS to stop PSP users running homebrew.

    Although hardware sales were initially great, six months after the PSP was released, the average user had bought two games for it... this is something of a problem when your entire business model is based games (and to a lesser extent UMD media sales).

    Sony was far from happy that a sizeable amount of consumers who weren't buying software, but running (predominantly free) homebrew instead. This is the main reason it's tried blocking users from doing this.

    Let's not forget that A LOT of homebrew are games from other platforms run using emulators - if you look at the various forums, that's what the bulk of people want to run. I'm sure a good proportion of it is stuff that you can't buy legally, but that don't mean it ain't illegal.

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