Apple Pounces on Hacked iPhones

Hacked your iPhone? Apple's latest iPhone patch is going to overwrite all your hard work. The patch is intended to fix a security problem that incidentally will be detailed at the Black Hat security conference currently taking place in Las Vegas. But that patch goes beyond merely fixing a security problem.

Shortly after the release of Apple's patch, iPhone hackers discovered that the installation process for the new patch checks to see if the firmware has been modified (probably by doing a simple checksum routine). If it has, the entire firmware is erased and reloaded from scratch. The patch also causes the iPhone to go through its activation process all over again.

Hackers have been working diligently to not only get out from under the requirement of using AT&T as the phone's cellular service provider but also to cause the phone to run custom programs. Some amount of success has been achieved, including the creation of a "Webshell" application that lets people connect to their iPhone and spawn a command shell without the use of a PC.

Much information is available on the iPhone Dev Wiki, a site where iPhone hackers publish information, tools, and notes about their endeavors. The operators of the Wiki have asked that media outlets not link directly to the Wiki because the servers aren't capable of handling a large influx of traffic. However, it's easy to find the iPhone Dev Wiki by using a search engine. Look for the results that link to the domain.

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