Feeds

Hackers saw through iPhone AT&T shackles

But global roaming still some way off

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Hackers have succeeded in (partially) unlocking the iPhone so Apple's much-hyped device can be used on at least one network other than AT&T.

Although the iPhone Development Project team has broken the shackles tying the device and AT&T directly, there are still limitations that mean customers can use pre-paid SIMs from Cingular, for example, but not yet use any SIM of their choice.

A tool called iASign will unlock the iPhone allowing it to be used with any Cingular or AT&T SIM with FULL functionality of the iPhone, avoiding the need to use the iPhone-specific SIM that comes with the device. Virtual network operator pre-paid SIMs also work, providing these operators piggy-back on AT&T's network.

Using alternative SIMs provides several advantages. In the case of a Cingular SIM, there's no need to sign up to a new two-year contract. Those whose businesses subscribe to Cingular can use company SIMs on personally-bought iPhones. Finally, those not wishing to tie themselves to a contract can use pre-paid SIMs.

Hackers have been hard at work trying to unlock the functionality of the iPhone since the devices were released in the US earlier this month. Reverse engineer Jon Lech Johansen (DVD Jon) discovered a way to get iPod and Wi-Fi - though not the phone - features of the device working without signing up to AT&T within three days of its release.

The iPhone Development Project has taken the work further with an ambitious programme of goals, including the ability to unlock the phone (partially achieved with the development of IASign) and run third party applications on the device.

Last year, the US copyright office ruled that it was legal for consumers to unlock their mobile phones in order to use them with other carriers, a decision AT&T and Apple may seek to contest, but one which gives hackers (and commercial firms) some leeway.

Unconfirmed reports suggest an unnamed UK punter succeeded in getting an iPhone bought from eBay working on Vodafone's network, again using the iASign tool.

SIM numbers are network specific and users who've tried a similar trick in Germany and Canada have failed, so we're a bit skeptical that this is a genuine runner. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Reddit users discover iOS malware threat
'Unflod Baby Panda' looks to snatch Apple IDs
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.