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Apple and its CEO Steve Jobs can gloat -- they've once again foiled iPhone unlockers via a firmware update, this time to the bootrom shipping on new units.  (Source: Telegraph UK)

A screenshot of the new bootrom was posted by unlocker Mathieulh. The new bootrom began shipping this week.  (Source: iClarified)
Apple's strikes again, sending jailbreakers on their heels

Apple plays what its CEO Steve Jobs once likened to a game of "cat and mouse" with iPhone unlockers and jailbreakers.  Jailbreakers, like the iPhone Dev Team, try to release the iPhone from being limited to the official iTunes app store and other firmware restrictions, while unlockers, such as George Hotz, use the jailbreaks and other techniques to unlock the phone, allowing it to run on any hardware-supported network.

Usually the unlockers/jailbreakers seize the day, but occasionally Apple will win a round.  Apple has tried many approaches -- everything from "bricking" unlocked iPhones to denying jailbroken iPhones access to the iTunes store -- to halt the spread of unlocking in the U.S. and force people to use AT&T, despite the hardware being capable of working on other carriers such as T-Mobile.

Now, Apple has managed to gain an upper hand over the persistent hackers according to iClarified, thanks to the release of a new bootrom, iBoot-359.3.2.  The phone firmware, which shipped on new iPhone 3GSs starting this week, closes previously used doors to exploits.

A user named "Mathieulh" first noticed the new bootrom and took a screenshot.  It was subsequently confirmed by Muscle Nerd of the iPhone Dev Team that the loss of the 24kpwn exploit would render the iPhone unjailbreakable for the time being.  This means that the unlocking fixes, such as the utility released by George Hotz, also won't work anymore as they rely on jailbreaking as a preliminary step.

For users wishing to jailbreak, iPhone jailbreakers are hard at work trying to find alternative exploits that could be used to unlock the phone.  They suggest, in the meantime, that users purchase older stock of iPhones or buy refurbished units.

The iPhone 3GS was unlocked as soon as it was released, thanks to unlockers with iPhone Developer connections.  George Hotz used the iPhone Dev Team's exploit, along with his own methods, to publish a route to jailbreaking the phone just weeks later.

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RE: Correction
By mmntech on 10/14/2009 10:57:36 AM , Rating: 1
SACD is a good example of that. It's supposedly uncrackable. Nobody has succeeded so far.

I can't help but wonder how much money Apple waste fighting this though versus royalties "lost" through iTunes. It's not as if OS X is a closed platform.

RE: Correction
By Dribble on 10/14/2009 11:21:33 AM , Rating: 3
That's mostly because no one can be bothered.

RE: Correction
By Goty on 10/14/2009 11:23:33 AM , Rating: 2
There difference there (and it's a big one) is that there isn't much drive to crack SACD copy protection. There are relatively few SACD players on the market and even fewer people who actually buy SACDs. Honestly, outside of Audiophiles and some tech enthusiasts, most people don't even know what SACD is.

Compare this situation to that of the iPhone, where everyone and his brother has and wants to unlock their phone. There's a much larger demand for the crack and probably at least an order of magnitude more people working on the problem.

RE: Correction
By lazylazyjoe on 10/16/2009 11:12:40 PM , Rating: 2
DVD audio is cracked though. Similar tech. 192/96

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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