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Hacking the iPhone

“DVD” Jon Lech Johansen has released Phone Activation Server which, with some technical knowledge, can be used to activate an iPhone without AT&T’s involvement. Johansen says the result is that “The iPhone does not have phone capability, but the iPod and WiFi work.”

Johansen’s tool is for Windows only. Reports are circulating of other activation programs running on Mac OS X or Windows that require the use of a ‘token’ from an activated iPhone.

Where does that get you? Not very far, unless you just want the cachet of owning an iPhone and don’t want to talk on it. For example, a visitor to the US might buy an iPhone associated with a prepaid AT&T account, cancel the service within the grace period, then take the iPhone home for use as a fancy iPod and Wi-Fi Internet terminal.

But according to a PC World article, hackers are confident of finding within days a way to unlock the iPhone so it can be used with other carriers.

The story quoted someone involved in these efforts (identified only as “gj”) as saying “We are privately aware many of the iPhone engineers came from other handset manufacturers, and we understand their design techniques fairly well.”

If you’re interested in this sort of thing, the iPhone Dev Wiki might be worth a visit.

The Register
reports activity on several fronts, including a buffer overflow vulnerability in Safari (shared with the Windows version) that could allow the execution of arbitrary code (eg, to automatically dial premium-rate numbers), a Bluetooth-based Denial of Service attack, and the discovery of the password giving root access.

A software update for the iPhone is expected this week, and it could undo some of the work already completed to loosen the restrictions on the device.

Source: ITWire


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  1. July 6th, 2007 | 00:24

    Before you even think about hacking the iPhone, you have to be able to activate the damn thing, hehe. I watched a thing on the news saying that hundred of customers weren’t eable to activate because of server overloads.

  2. July 6th, 2007 | 00:26

    Yeah but its a matter of time .. since more and more cell phones are starting to be more and more like a computer and less like a cell phone.. so the hackers will have a field day using traditinal hacks on this Iphone.

  3. mono
    July 6th, 2007 | 00:42

    ReelFiles, hav u even read the article? i guess not

  4. Dam
    July 6th, 2007 | 00:56

    hmmm, if it can be hacked to allow pay as you go then I may be interested in getting one

  5. fabek
    July 6th, 2007 | 01:16

    this Jon is a real genious

  6. me
    July 6th, 2007 | 01:21

    people are not interested in AT&T service that oes with iphone its a steal, anyone knows if this support sim cards? hoppefully someone will get some hack to allow other providers, and support 2G also would be great cause i have a 2G sim card to make voice calls only and then in wifi areas i use the net apps freely

  7. July 6th, 2007 | 01:57

    I should have specified, that I meant activate it via phone, most people aren’t smart enough to hook up a phone to a pc, hell I get service calls for setting up printers.

  8. Blobster
    July 6th, 2007 | 02:52

    Wait a minute. You have to activate it to use the ipod part of the phone? That’s stupid. Apple “iwhatever” devices are overhyped….there good but overpriced compared to competitors

  9. Nick
    July 6th, 2007 | 03:05

    No, look.
    “The iPhone does not have phone capability, but the iPod and WiFi work.”

    ONLY the iPod and WiFi work.

  10. July 6th, 2007 | 04:28

    Haha, many ppl love and hate “DVD Jon” :D

  11. Blobster
    July 6th, 2007 | 04:29

    Nick you idiot. I’m talking about BEFORE you ever hacked it, just the actual product you purchased. Apparently the hack “activates” the ipod and WiFi portion of the iphone, meaning that those portions are unactivated at first purchase.

  12. ELCouz
    July 6th, 2007 | 05:33

    [quote]Apparently the hack “activates” the ipod and WiFi portion of the iphone, meaning that those portions are unactivated at first purchase.[/quote]

    Yep, you need to activate the phone with ATT… out of the box it’s just a useless piece of junk..

  13. Modafokka
    July 6th, 2007 | 06:27

    would it be possible to use this hack and then later activate it and use it as a normal phone, when those kind of services come to europe ?

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