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Apple, a company founded by a pair of ex-hackers, continues to turn its back on its roots

Microsoft took a lot of flak for recently banning the Xbox Live accounts of customers who modified their hardware in violation of the unit's EULA.  The move for many brought back not-so-fond memories of Apple's attempt to "brick" unlocked iPhones in 2007.

Now things have come full circle, with Apple reportedly moving to crack down on iPhone hacking by banning hackers iTunes accounts. 

One hacker, Sherif Hashim recently boasted online about finding an exploit that could allow for the iPhone OS v3.1.3 to be unlocked (be made useable on any compatible GSM network, not just Apple's partners, i.e. in the U.S., AT&T).  Unfortunately, Hashim was foolish enough to use his screenname in his iTunes account email.  He discovered just days after his boast of the new unlock that his iTunes account had been disabled.

He tweets:
Your Apple ID was banned for security reasons", that’s what i get when i try to go to the app store, they must be really angry :) ))))
and guess what my apple ID was, "sherif_hashim@yahoo.com", what a fool was me not to notice :) )), can’t help laughing, they are babies :) ))
Another iPhone hacker, iH8sn0w, who produces sn0wbreeze, also reports being banned by identical means, tweeting, "@sherif_hashim lol, they did that to my ih8sn0wyday[@t]googmail.com too. (right after I posted XEMN)…"

The interesting part about the ban on Sherif Hashim, though, is that he didn't even release his exploit, which has been confirmed to work by the team of hackers known as the iPhone Dev Team.  Still, Apple showed little mercy in sparing his account once they discovered his claims.

The recent round of bans show Apple's reaffirmed commitment to maintaining a closed platform.  The message seems clear -- if you hack, it will try to ban you, and it may even succeed if you're foolish enough to use your hacker name on your account information.  That said, the risk to the average consumer or savvier hackers seems minimal for now.




"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein
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