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The iPhone unlocking software in action  (Source: Engadget)
iPhoneSimfree frees the iPhone to accept SIM cards from other walks of life

In less than two following the release of the iPhone, hackers were finally able to crack open the carrier lock on the Apple device to free it from its AT&T shackles. iPhoneSimfree.com made claims during late August that its software would unlock the device to run on any compatible GSM carrier. Those claims were verified as Engadget ran its iPhone unit on the T-Mobile network.

After several delays, the iPhoneSimfree software is now available for purchase. Currently, four online retailers in the world hold licenses for the unlocking software: Wireless Imports in the US, iPhoneWorldwideUnlock in Australia, 1digitalphone in Germany, and iPhone4arab in Saudi Arabia. Current prices for a single unlocking process range from $50 to $100.

Although an unlocked iPhone can run on any able GSM network, certain special features associated with the device may only be available on AT&T’s service. For example, visual voicemail will not appear on unlocked iPhones running on T-Mobile, as the feature is an AT&T network-specific feature.

For further details on the software iPhone unlocking solution, Engadget has posted an HD video detailing the entire unlocking process from start to finish.

The iPhoneSimfree method of unlocking is completely software-based. For those not afraid of a little wetwork, George Hotz, a 17 year old from Glen Rock, New Jersey, has discovered and documented a way to unlock the iPhone using a mix of internal soldering and software. For Hotz’s inventiveness and bravery, he scored three new 8GB iPhones and a Nissan 350Z.



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Apple Security
By ArenaNinja on 9/10/2007 7:54:00 PM , Rating: 2
What surprises me is that no one has pointed out how weak Apple's security has been. Doesn't Apple tout MS for their security? Didn't their system just get fully violated two months after release?

I believe this goes to all Mac fanboys with their Apple Kool-Aid. When you get popular, you're a target. Apple's (and Linux) increased "security" is really nothing than a false sense of such, as growing popularity will find the OS to be more of a target. This, in turn, will bring to light existing flaws.

With the exception of Paris Hilton's Sidekick, I believe this is the first time I hear of a phone being hacked.

Again, popularity.




RE: Apple Security
By Oregonian2 on 9/10/2007 8:26:09 PM , Rating: 2
AFAIK most all cell phones have their locks breakable, with one usually able to buy the unlock code (it's just a code one has to type into the handset somewhere). Carriers also say that they'll give out the code after a period of time if they're requested with the right procedure. Personally I just bought unlocked phones and put AT&T SIM cards into them (doing it the other way around). My Motorola phones came from overseas and are unlocked to begin with (and have no vendor logos on them other than Motorola's logo). Got them that way so I could use them overseas on trips. Previous phone was Verizon which worked fine, but not useful in a GSM world.


RE: Apple Security
By ChristopherO on 9/10/2007 10:06:04 PM , Rating: 2
Actually the locks haven’t been hacked... Almost all manufacturers sell unlocking/flashing/test equipment that goes out to the respective service centers. The online un-locking places have simply acquired this equipment via gray market sources. You pay for the privilege of running your IMEI through their device. In many cases the un-locking shop has built a phone emulator (it pretends to be your phone attached to the machine). The device then reads the unlock code as issued by whatever device it is attached to.

That's just one of the many methods employed. To the best of my knowledge, none of the widely available unlocks were the result of hacks. It just isn't needed... With the exception of Apple none of the manufacturers seem to be so tight lipped about their codes. I’m guessing Apple probably doesn’t care (especially if it results in sales they wouldn't have otherwise had). I’m also not sure if AT&T would, since if you're so gung-ho for an unlock, you probably wouldn't sign-up for their service anyway.


RE: Apple Security
By rmaharaj on 9/10/2007 10:18:31 PM , Rating: 2
It is a general rule in security that if someone has unlimited physical access to the device, there is no security measure that cannot be circumvented with sufficient time. While your point is well taken I don't believe this case says anything the security of Apple products from remote exploits.

Just another reason why all this DRM is a waste of everyone's time and money.


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

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