Hackers Move Closer to Unlocking iPhone

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Date: Thursday, July 5th, 2007, 08:05
Category: iPhone

iphone.jpg
Apple’s iPhone has been out for almost a week now and has received ample feedback, both positive and negative. One of the most prominent complaints about the handset was the fact that it would be locked to the AT&T EDGE network and would be unable to work with other providers.
Generally, when a cell phone is locked into a single network, the effort is focused towards helping the provider recoup the costs involved with subsidizing the handsets for their customers. In AT&T’s case, Apple has taken on the costs involved, AT&T having become involved in a five-year agreement to function as the sole iPhone provider in the United States.
According to Macworld News, a group of hackers is currently involved with the process of unlocking the iPhone in order to allow it to function with other wireless carriers. As of Monday, members of the group posted that progress had been made in this effort.
The first major obstacle that’s been focused on is circumventing the authentication process in Apple’s iTunes software that allows users to sign up for an AT&T service plan as well as activate the handset’s features, such as its camera and music player.
One group member, identified as “gj” on the iPhone Dev Wiki (the site is apparently locked down at this point) commented that “We have been fairly successful in spoofing iTunes activation processes. This should allow us to activate the phone.”
Progress made to data apparently allows to group to set and read data on an iPhone as well as query as to whether or not an iPhone has been activated. “The rest of our work is legwork really, in understanding how certain functions operate with the rest of the phone,” commented one poster on the forums. The post also mentioned that the group was close to the ability to browse file systems on the iPhone.
Other questions facing the group concern how iTunes will react when faced with a phone that hasn’t been activated for use with the AT&T network as well as how the rest of the handset functions. This process is aided by the fact that the iPhone uses a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) smart card which contains data such as a user’s phone number as well as storage space for contacts and messages, as opposed to a system that hardwires this data directly into the phone. Apple’s use of a removable SIM cards allows for the firmware to be more easily cracked.
If you have any thoughts, ideas or workarounds regarding this, let us know.


iphone.jpg
Apple’s iPhone has been out for almost a week now and has received ample feedback, both positive and negative. One of the most prominent complaints about the handset was the fact that it would be locked to the AT&T EDGE network and would be unable to work with other providers.
Generally, when a cell phone is locked into a single network, the effort is focused towards helping the provider recoup the costs involved with subsidizing the handsets for their customers. In AT&T’s case, Apple has taken on the costs involved, AT&T having become involved in a five-year agreement to function as the sole iPhone provider in the United States.
According to Macworld News, a group of hackers is currently involved with the process of unlocking the iPhone in order to allow it to function with other wireless carriers. As of Monday, members of the group posted that progress had been made in this effort.
The first major obstacle that’s been focused on is circumventing the authentication process in Apple’s iTunes software that allows users to sign up for an AT&T service plan as well as activate the handset’s features, such as its camera and music player.
One group member, identified as “gj” on the iPhone Dev Wiki (the site is apparently locked down at this point) commented that “We have been fairly successful in spoofing iTunes activation processes. This should allow us to activate the phone.”
Progress made to data apparently allows to group to set and read data on an iPhone as well as query as to whether or not an iPhone has been activated. “The rest of our work is legwork really, in understanding how certain functions operate with the rest of the phone,” commented one poster on the forums. The post also mentioned that the group was close to the ability to browse file systems on the iPhone.
Other questions facing the group concern how iTunes will react when faced with a phone that hasn’t been activated for use with the AT&T network as well as how the rest of the handset functions. This process is aided by the fact that the iPhone uses a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) smart card which contains data such as a user’s phone number as well as storage space for contacts and messages, as opposed to a system that hardwires this data directly into the phone. Apple’s use of a removable SIM cards allows for the firmware to be more easily cracked.
If you have any thoughts, ideas or workarounds regarding this, let us know.

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