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  1. #1
    Eruption
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    04.28.16 @ 08:41 PM
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    Default Teen unlocks Iphone from AT&T network

    NEW YORK - Armed with a soldering iron and a large supply of energy drinks, a slight, curly haired teenager has developed a way to make the iPhone, arguably the gadget of the year, available to a much wider audience.


    George Hotz of Glen Rock, N.J., spent his last summer before college figuring out how to "unlock" the iPhone, freeing it from being restricted to a single carrier, AT&T Inc.

    The procedure, which the 17-year-old posted on his blog Thursday, raises the possibility of a cottage industry springing up to buy iPhones, unlocking them and then selling them to people who don't want AT&T service or can't get it, particularly overseas.

    The phone, which combines an innovative touch-screen interface with the media-playing abilities of the iPod, is currently sold only in the U.S.

    An AP reporter was able to verify that an iPhone Hotz brought to the AP's headquarters on Friday was unlocked. Hotz placed the reporter's T-Mobile SIM card, a small chip that identifies a phone to the network, in the iPhone. It then connected to T-Mobile's network and placed calls using the reporter's account.

    T-Mobile is the only major U.S. carrier apart from AT&T that is compatible with the iPhone's cellular technology, but smaller carriers also use the technology, known as GSM. In Europe and Asia, GSM is the dominant network technology.

    The hack is complicated and requires skill with both soldering and software, and missteps may result in the iPhone becoming useless, so few people will be able to follow the instructions.

    "But that's the simplest I could make them," Hotz said.

    Technology blog Engadget on Friday reported successfully unlocking an iPhone using a different method that required no tinkering with the hardware. The software was supplied by an anonymous group of hackers that apparently plans to charge for it.

    AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel and Apple spokeswoman Jennifer Bowcock said their companies had no comment on Hotz' exploit. Hotz said the companies had not been in touch with him.

    Apple shares rose $4.23, or 3.2 percent, to close at $135.30 on Friday. AT&T shares gained 26 cents, or 0.7 percent, to close at $40.36.

    The iPhone has already been made to work on overseas networks using another method, which involves copying information from the SIM chip, or Subscriber Identity Module.

    The SIM-chip method does not involve any soldering, but does require special equipment, and it doesn't unlock the phone — each new SIM chip has to be reprogrammed for use on a particular iPhone.

    Both hacks leave intact the iPhone's many functions, including a built-in camera and the ability to access Wi-Fi networks. The only thing that won't work is the "visual voicemail" feature, which lists voice messages as if they were incoming e-mail.

    Since the details of both hacks are public, Apple may be able to modify the iPhone production line to make new phones invulnerable.

    Analysts said it's unlikely Apple would overhaul the iPhone's wiring to thwart the new hack because the difficulty of the procedure is likely to keep it confined to hardcore hobbyists.

    "I'm having a hard time figuring out where the real pain is going to come from in this," said David Chamberlain, principal analyst with market researcher In-Stat who follows mobile devices and services. "Just selling the piece of hardware, they've made a nice profit off that."

    Apple has said it plans to introduce the phone in Europe this year, but it hasn't set a date or identified carriers.

    There is apparently no U.S. law against unlocking cell phones. Last year, the Library of Congress specifically excluded cell-phone unlocking from coverage under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Among other things, the law has been used to prosecute people who modify game consoles to play a wider variety of games.

    Hotz collaborated online with a large number of people to develop the unlocking process. Of smaller core group, two were in Russia.

    "Then there are two guys who I think are somewhere U.S.-side," Hotz said. He knows them only by their online handles.

    Hotz himself spent about 500 hours on the project since the iPhone went on sale. On Thursday, he put the unlocked iPhone up for sale on eBay, where the high bid was at $12,600 late Friday. The model, with 4 gigabytes of memory, sells for $499 new.

    "Some of my friends think I wasted my summer but I think it was worth it," he told The Record of Bergen County, which reported Hotz's hack Friday.

    Hotz heads for college on Saturday. He plans to major in neuroscience — or "hacking the brain" as he puts it — at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

    ___

    Associated Press Writer Jordan Robertson in San Francisco contributed to this story.

  2. #2
    Sinner's Swing! the_atomic_punks_rule's Avatar
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    12.20.16 @ 03:09 PM
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    Not sure if I buy he cracked it. There is a lot of speculation it is fake. However, is that even legal? Either way, I say good for him. He will be able to move a ton of those phone at crazy prices. A summer well spent.

  3. #3
    Eruption
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    04.28.16 @ 08:41 PM
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    Default

    Apparently it is legal, since Congress left cell phone unlocking out of it's Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Then again that could change now that someone teen has beat Apple to a multi-network Iphone.

  4. #4
    Good Enough darthadv's Avatar
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    01.05.12 @ 09:51 PM
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    well, they could probably go after him somehow, because he is infringing on the exclusivity deal with AT&T, so i'm sure there's some smart lawyers out there trying to figure out how that's the same kind of stealing as illegal downloads... just because you figured out how to get around legitimately using something (iPhone, like music) doesn't mean that you get to do it with no consequences... i think they could figure out how to make the connection...

    i'm not against this kid... he's proven he's a good engineer, but i think he may be facing some potential trouble down the road...
    Runaround... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around... around...

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk
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    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
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    Default

    IPhone Hackers Could Face Legal Battle

    IPhone Hackers Could Face Legal Battle

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Hackers have figured out how to unleash Apple's iPhone from AT&T's cellular network, but people hoping to make money from the procedure could face legal problems.


    At least one of the companies hoping to make money by unlocking iPhones said it is hesitating after calls from lawyers representing the phone company.

    Unlocking the phone for one's own use, for instance to place calls with a different carrier, appears to be legal. But if it's done for financial gain, the legality is less certain.

    "Whether people can make profits from software that hacks the iPhone is going to depend very much on exactly what was done to develop that software and what does that software do," said Bart Showalter, head of the Intellectual Property practice group at law firm Baker Botts in Dallas.

    John McLaughlin of Uniquephones.com, an outfit based in Northern Ireland, said in a phone interview Wednesday that its unlocking software for iPhones is ready, but the company is holding off while it gets legal advice.

    He said it had been contacted by lawyers from O'Melveny & Myers LLP, an international law firm representing AT&T, who told him the software contained material copyrighted by Apple Inc.

    "They don't have it, so therefore they can't actually threaten us," McLaughlin said. "It was 'friendly advice.'"

    AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel and Apple spokeswoman Jennifer Bowcock said their companies had nothing to say about the case.

    Uniquephones.com had planned to release the software via iphoneunlocking.com. The price for people on its mailing list, which contained just fewer than half a million addresses, would be $25 per iPhone, McLaughlin said.

    "From their e-mail addresses, they're from everywhere in the world," McLaughlin said. "Everybody is just waiting for it."

    The iPhone is sold only in the U.S., and only for use on the AT&T network, but it is compatible with cell phone technology used around the world, which means an unlocked phone can use an overseas account and number. In the U.S., T-Mobile is the only other major carrier compatible with the iPhone; Sprint and Verizon Wireless use different network technologies.

    Most U.S. phones are locked to their carrier when sold, because the carrier subsidizes the cost of the phone. The iPhone, however, is apparently not subsidized by AT&T.

    Some carriers provide the unlock codes on request when a subscriber's contract expires, but that doesn't apply to the iPhone, and in any case, the phone only went on sale two months ago, while the minimum contract length is two years.

    Another Web site, iphonesimfree.com, has said it plans to release iPhone unlocking software in a few days.

    The Copyright Office of the Library of Congress last year issued a statement that unlocking cell phones was not a violation of copyright under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. That law has been used to go after software that copies DVDs.

    But Tracfone Wireless LLC, a Florida-based company selling phones that use prepaid plans, won an injunction in February against a couple who bought its phones in large numbers and resold them unlocked.

    The U.S. District Court in Orlando found that the DMCA exception did not apply to those unlocking a phone with the intent to resell it.

    Bruce Sunstein, a patent lawyer with Boston-based Bromberg & Sunstein, said unlocking software could well stand up to a legal challenge.

    "They're aiding and abetting something that's completely legal ... the exemption the Copyright Office created does not state that it applies only to the user," Sunstein said.

    George Hotz, a 17-year-old in New Jersey who managed to unlock his iPhone last week, using both software and hardware modifications, tried to sell it on eBay but ended the auction after apparently fake bids send the price to $100 million.

    Instead, Hotz traded the unlocked phone for "a sweet Nissan 350Z" and three iPhones, according to his blog.

    Hotz made the deal with Terry Daidone, co-founder of CertiCell, a cell phone repair company in Louisville, Ky.

    In a statement on his Web site, Daidone said he was "keenly interested" in having the teenager help his engineers modify phones, but does not have any plans to commercialize Hotz's unlocking procedure.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  6. #6
    Sinner's Swing! InTheBeginning's Avatar
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    07.20.17 @ 05:17 PM
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    Default Three phones, a car and a job

    CertiCell Gets George Hotz's Unlocked iPhone


    Atlanta, GA 8/28/2007 4:12 PM GMT (FINDITT)
    George Hotz, the 17-year old computer whiz who unlocked the iPhone, has traded his phone for three 8 GB iPhones and a new Nissan 350Z. The recipient of this unlocked iPhone is Terry Diadone, founder of Certicell.

    Last week, Hotz unlocked the iPhone allowing him to use whatever carrier he desired to be attached to the phone. Apple has a strict deal with AT&T for the iPhone, enabling AT&T to be the only wireless carrier for the phone. However, Hotz unlocked the phone and is now using T-Mobile service through it. He then put the iPhone on eBay for the highest bidder.

    Certicell is a Louisville, KY, phone repair shop and parts seller that deals in refurbished and recycled cell phones. Hotz has said he'll give the iPhones to three online collaborators who helped him on his quest, which, all told, took 500 hours to complete. For his trouble, the 17-year-old Hotz is also walking away with a paid consulting job with CertiCell.

    A $100,000 reward has been offered by an anonymous source to the first person to give away an unlocking solution free to the masses. Since Hotz unlocked his iPhone, a few different unlocking methods have surfaced, most of which require you to pop open the iPhone and monkey around with the wiring. Two companies have come forward claiming to have developed software-only methods, though they're selling those secrets to the public for a fee.
    A little more volume in the headphones please.

 

 

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