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New Jersey teen hacks iPhone

well that did not take long

     
8:36 pm on Aug 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This kid is going to have a brilliant career. He has unlocked to iPhone to make it work on other networks. It is more of a hardware hack, if you want the instructions follow the link at the bottom, I wont post a direct link to his blog.

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NEW YORK A teenager in New Jersey has broken the lock that ties Apple's iPhone to AT&T's wireless network, freeing the most hyped cellphone ever for use on the networks of other carriers, including overseas ones.

George Hotz, 17, confirmed Friday that he had unlocked an iPhone and was using it on T-Mobile's network, the only major U.S. carrier apart from AT&T that is compatible with the iPhone's cellular technology.

While the possibility of switching from AT&T to T-Mobile may not be a major development for U.S. consumers, it opens up the iPhone for use on the networks of overseas carriers.

"That's the big thing," said Mr. Hotz, in a phone interview from his home in Glen Rock.

The phone, which combines an innovative touch-screen interface with the media-playing abilities of the iPod, is sold only in the U.S.

Calls to AT&T and Apple for comment were not immediately returned.

from [globeinvestor.com...]

[edited by: Rugles at 8:37 pm (utc) on Aug. 24, 2007]

9:53 pm on Aug 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Since the details are public, it seems likely that a small industry may spring up to buy U.S. iPhones, unlock them and send them overseas.

"That's exactly, like, what I don't want," Mr. Hotz said. "I don't want people making money off this."

Nevertheless, he's auctioning off his phone, current bid $10,200.

3:21 am on Aug 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The eventual response from Apple / AT&T will be that it invalidates the warranty. AT&T might add that it is a breach of the contract terms.

In the long run I believe this will speed up the release of the phone into other markets because if Apple doesn't make deals with other networks soon it won't have any bargaining power with which to do so given the availability of the phone without the need for the deal.

11:29 am on Aug 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Can't they go after the hacker under the DMCA, since the kid is on US soil, or did I miss something?
6:12 pm on Aug 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Can't they go after the hacker under the DMCA, since the kid is on US soil, or did I miss something?

what would 'they' charge him with? guy modified the phone he (or his friend) purchased. Apple / ATT might void the warranty but I don't see any basis for the charges (but I am not a lawyer nor I stayed at Holiday Inn last night).

By the same token, if I modify my car (put new wheels, or put a supercharger on it, etc) , can /should manufacturer of the car 'go after me'?

[edited by: Tastatura at 6:14 pm (utc) on Aug. 26, 2007]

10:06 pm on Aug 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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NO; but MV (in the USA) will go after you for modif original reg specs.
like for ex: install a 6 cyl where it used to be a 4 cyl. (I know.. I wanted it done!)
11:06 am on Aug 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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>>NO; but MV (in the USA) will go after you for modif original reg specs.
like for ex: install a 6 cyl where it used to be a 4 cyl. (I know.. I wanted it done!)


Bad analogy. If that were true, it would be provided for by law and would no doubt be related to public safety issues.

What state do you live in? It's difficult for me to imagine that to be true. Aftermarket modification of motor vehicles is a big industry.

12:50 pm on Aug 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Not sure why Apple would care. They are just going to sell more $600 phones .... and some replacement phones after people screw up the soldering.
12:55 pm on Aug 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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.... and some replacement phones after people screw up the soldering.

hehe, that is true.

. . . soldering has become a key hacking tool, but need to be done a bit carefully :)

2:12 pm on Aug 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It's gone...

"Terry Daidone, the founder of Certicell contacted me this morning, and offered to make a trade for the iPhone. I traded it for a sweet Nissan 350Z and 3 8GB iPhones"

Marshall

2:16 am on Aug 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I don't understand why apple is teasing people especially those outside the US. They don't want money?
2:59 am on Aug 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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> I traded it for a sweet Nissan 350Z and 3 8GB iPhones

So, is the kid going to share his booty with the other four people he collaborated with? Or, are his Russian friends going to feed him a little polonium for taking too much credit?

3:00 am on Aug 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I don't understand why apple is teasing people especially those outside the US. They don't want money?

They're taking a page from Yahoo publishers network book on how to lose market share and refuse money. Not everyone can cope with success.

3:50 am on Aug 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This seems eerily convenient for Apple, considering they signed a HUGE exclusivity contract with AT&T, and yet somehow they "missed" the ability for it to be hacked and used on other networks? Now they can blame the hacker, and still sell more phones while maintaining the contract.

Sounds like a clever win-win for Apple if you ask me...

4:22 am on Aug 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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[arstechnica.com...]

"The newest list of exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is out, and the Register of Copyrights is recommending six exemptions this time around."

"Exemptions are allowed for .... 5) cell phone firmware that ties a phone to a specific wireless network"

4:28 am on Aug 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Apple won't care, AT&T sure will, especially after Apple had AT&T develop a new voicemail system.

I own my cell phone, and I am free to do with it as I please...currently. However, for that car analogy, in the majority of states, the modifications you make to your car are regulated by laws (emissions, inspection, safety...) I can't go and throw on a twin turbo kit and 5% window tint and expect to pass inspection, but I am free to do it and use it for off-road use.

I have a feeling, at some point in the near future, hacking a cell phone is going to be described as being the same as stealing cable. Just a hunch, but I see it coming, as ridiculous as it sounds.

6:22 am on Aug 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It was only a matter of time before this happened. If AT&T goes after the kid, they'll have to deal with the negative PR that rightfully comes when one bullies around a geeky 17-year old that's trying to earn a few bucks for college.

If I were AT&T, i'd be focusing energy on building value-added services that make their network the preferred one for iphones. They need to make it so good that no one will want to leave.

fire the lawyers and hire as many talented engineers as possible. Build, build, build.

1:47 pm on Aug 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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fire the lawyers and hire as many talented engineers as possible. Build, build, build.

That is crazy talk!

2:19 pm on Aug 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This kid is going to have a brilliant career

iPhone has been hacked in numerous countries already, including Europe and Russia for certain (press releases in major newspapers). I am sure lots of folks posted info online. The kid is smart, no doubt, but no genius, he can just interpret instructions well.

If they go after him legally - I don't really see a point in it as phone is hacked all over the world and NOTHING they can do - it would be just plain revenge against poor fella, not because they'd be able to protect anything.

4:07 pm on Aug 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It's called REVERSE ENGINEERING and most software and hardware you buy has a contract attached to it that forbids reverse engineering.

OK, you hack if for private use only, probably nothing will happen.

Make the whole issue public, you're flirting with disaster.

Sell that hacked unit, then it's no longer for "personal use" and the lawyers could descend on you like a swarm of locusts.

1:51 pm on Aug 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I would like to shake this kid's hand, LOL. I despise AT&T and their monopolistic tactics. I had Bellsouth and they were bad enough and now they are even worse after AT&T bought them out. I am left with no choice of service as they have a monopoly in the area, it really pisses me off. GOOD JOB, on cracking the iPhone, dude!

:)

2:16 pm on Aug 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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they have a monopoly in the area

are we still talking about a nice cell phone? Nice, but still a cell phone. Nothing else.

What's really funny about this whole story is that the owner of the company knows quite a lot about "handling" phone companies' services ... remember: blue box .....

10:15 pm on Aug 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Well, Apple would probably prefer to hire him than to sue him ;)

And, correct me if I'm wrong, the only way to get iPhone right now is to sign the contract with AT&T, right? There is no 'clear' iPhone in stores anywhere? So it's still good deal for AT&T, because ppl will need to buy it anyway from them and pay for it for two years or whatever. It's just that they won't talk using that network.

10:46 pm on Aug 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It's just that they won't talk using that network

Which is where the money's at.
11:06 pm on Aug 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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IPhone hackers could face legal battle

NEW YORK - Hackers have figured out how to unleash Apple's iPhone from AT&T's cellular network, but people hoping to make money from the procedure could face legal problems.
ADVERTISEMENT

At least one of the companies hoping to make money by unlocking iPhones said it is hesitating after calls from lawyers representing the phone company.

Unlocking the phone for one's own use, for instance to place calls with a different carrier, appears to be legal. But if it's done for financial gain, the legality is less certain.

"Whether people can make profits from software that hacks the iPhone is going to depend very much on exactly what was done to develop that software and what does that software do," said Bart Showalter, head of the Intellectual Property practice group at law firm Baker Botts in Dallas.

Associated Press [news.yahoo.com]

1:10 am on Sept 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Do y'all think it's coincidence that the iphone could be unlocked by a 17 year old kid and such a simple wire crossing?

It almost looks as though Apple intentionally made it this simple... = higher sales :p