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Hacker rattles 21,000 iPhone unlockers

Claiming moral high ground

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Hackers have mailed 21,000 customers of iPhoneUnlockUK to remind them the company uses unlicensed software, and that their details have been compromised.

E-mails were sent out to customers of the iPhone unlocking service, with claims that iPhoneUnlockUK is guilty of stealing software and selling it illegally. The mail goes on to recommend that customers demand their money back from the company.

iPhoneUnlockUK did have its servers hacked back in February, at which time customer details including e-mail and physical addresses were copied and the website was defaced. Since then the company has changed hosts (from Fasthosts to Rackspace) and tells us that it hasn't suffered any further breaches.

Credit card transactions are handled by a separate company so no financial details were compromised. But those e-mail addresses do provide access to the user's accounts, which are not password protected. That means a list of handset serial numbers, and when they were unlocked.

iPhoneUnlockUK provides an unlocking service for iPhones, but utilises software created by volunteers known as the iPhone Dev Team. The licence for that software prohibits commercial use, and the company admits it shouldn't have made use of it initially but that since then its attempts to work with the Dev Team have been rebuffed.

The company claims to provide a value-added service, technical support and suchlike, to those who don't want the complexity of downloading and running the software themselves. The Dev Team sees the company as parasites lining their pockets with the work of others while pretending to have developed the software themselves.

The hacker, who emphasises the Dev Team aren't involved with the mailing, has obviously got bored trying to think of something more interesting to do with the data so has mailed everyone to let them know that they spent money on something that they could have got for free. ®

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