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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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By G3iMacMan on 10/14/2009 11:43:43 AM , Rating: 2
Technology is based on ones and zeros. That is all that it is... On or Off. Because of that, there is ALWAYS a way around security. If you have the Hardware in your hand, and are willing to do extreme things to it, there is nothing that can be done to prevent a mod....

With enough time, technique, skill, or patients, even a bank can be broken into.

Someone will figure out how to do a data dump of the new bios (even if they have to rip it out of a new phone and wire it directly into a PC), figure out its logic and exploit it or overwrite it.

Until technology can think for itself, someone will ALWAYS be able to tell it to do something different.




By icanhascpu on 10/14/2009 8:53:43 PM , Rating: 2
The best way to fight this type of thing is to do the following

1. Make it as secure as you possibly can after being out in the public for several years and letting it become 'tempered'
2. Hire the top people actively doing the cracking.
3. Pay them to secure it further
4. See step 1


“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith














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