As forecasted, Apple update cripples iPhone

An Apple software update is disabling iPhones that have been unlocked by owners who wanted to choose which mobile network to use.

Earlier this week Apple said a planned update would leave the device "permanently inoperable".

Thousands of iPhone owners hacked their expensive gadget in order to unlock it for use with other mobile carriers and to run a host of unsupported programs.

There are also reports of the update causing issues with unaltered iPhones.

News source: BBC Technology News

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All I can say is Apple should have seen this coming. By forcing users to choose only one lousy service provider on an appealing new product, they created plenty of temptation. Lots of users hate AT&T. I'm a Mac user but I won't buy an iPhone until I can choose from a variety of providers and get 3G instead of edge. Also exchangeable batteries and permitting users to add things like custom ringtones legitimately should be there now! I don't want to choose from the few crappy songs available at the iTunes store. I want to be able to fart into a mike and turn it into a ringtone if I so choose. It's a free country isn't it!

Anyone who thinks that this wasn't all Apple is ridiculous. AT&T doesn't brick any of their other phones, all of which can be used on another GSM network.

Ok so now scores are equal Apple 1 "Fixers" 1. Round 2 follows... as usual all of us know the result of cat and mouse game. The only difference it will be a while for the "fixers" to be one up.

Sp3ctranova said,
iPwnd

haha, awesome!

This is quite disappointing. It is upsetting that even now after 10 years the cell phone industry STILL forces its customers into buying equipment SOULY through them. The cost of these devices would cost 1/2 as much if Cell Phone companies did not have exclusivity over these kinds of products. I buy it, I own it, not my cell company if I choose to leave my cell company and go somewhere else, my phone is MINE and I can do so. I have been unlocking phones for years, even though I have had Cingluar /at for quite some time, just the fact that I CAN go anywhere I want with my phone is comforting.

I feel that the concept of locking and branding a cell phone is just as archaic as windows 3.11, it s a poor business strategy and a disappointment to someone who has been in the industry for years. If I buy a phone I want to be able to use ALL of its features, not just the ones that my provider thinks I should have.

Needless to say, I have a windows mobile device, I have unlocked, and I will never use an apple product again after my iPOD experience. Yet another crappy proprietary product from apple that I am happy I didn’t buy

~Og

This is actually a good thing for iPod Touch owners. There are a good deal more people who will be re-hacking the updated iPhone. Since the iPhone and iPod Touch now have the same (or even more similar) software and firmware, any hack to unlock and allow application uploads to the iPhone should also work on the iPod Touch. Here's to hoping...

Bah next week someone will find a new hack to get around this little problem... Actually id be surprised if it took that long.

I don't understand why people complain about companies protecting their investments and calling them greedy for doing so. They are businesses, their number one objective is to be as profitable as possible. Those who have other agendas with more humanitarian notions are called charities. Apple nor AT&T are charities. Sure, everyone loves the iPhone, everyone would love to use it on their existing carrier without penalty or consequence, but that's not the way it works. Suck it up and move on.

Shane Pitman said,
I don't understand why people complain about companies protecting their investments and calling them greedy for doing so. They are businesses, their number one objective is to be as profitable as possible. Those who have other agendas with more humanitarian notions are called charities. Apple nor AT&T are charities. Sure, everyone loves the iPhone, everyone would love to use it on their existing carrier without penalty or consequence, but that's not the way it works. Suck it up and move on.

You are right about the first part, however I neither love my iphone nor do I ever plan on using it. That would make me an alien since according to your statement everyones loves it? I am pretty happy with my mix of Treo, Blackjack and Blackberry.

Thanks

I'm with you, Shane.

At the risk of getting flamed for injecting politics into this discussion, there's a saying I am quite fond of:

The liberal definition of rich: anyone that earns more than I do.

As applied to this discussion:

The liberal definition of greed: the act of charging more than I can afford, for a product I wish to own.

Blame the contract AT&T signed to get the iphone contract. Doesnt anyone remember all the providers complaining about the contract costing too much? After reading the article, I'd guess AT&T knew something like this would both be possible and actually done, figuring out the cost is outweighed by having locked in customers.

Why do they ?

Apple might not have the best products offered on the market, but they are highly visible because of all the marketing (advertisements, apparent superiority of the products over the others) that influence the average non-tech savvy to purchase their products.

The average user doesn't want to bother with a product with extensible functionnalities. They want to use something that works, that is intuitive according to the level of knowledge they have.

If you look carefully, most power users / system administrators doesn't use Apple products, because they are well informed and confident with their technical skills. They are willing to do more to have complete control of their products, not the other way around.

Most of time, ease of use mean to cut advanced functionnalities (perfect example: MS Paint VS Adobe Photoshop) to avoid confusing the user who want to do a simple task.

As an example, look at the iPod VS a generic flash based audio player. iTunes manage the audio library and transfer the file in a way to avoid complicated steps / potential errors from the average users. With a flash based audio player, you can do it by doing copy and paste operations (but don't ask that to a computer newbie, he'll be confused at first, because there is no clear guideline for him to follow).

In conclusion, Apple is dominating the multimedia market for 2 major reasons: marketing, and user-friendly device. As a tech-aware user, that is why I will never purchase a product from Apple: because I know how their products works and I don't want to have a software control the way I use a product that I paid for.

Actually a lot of tech-savvy "influencers" are switching to Mac because it gives them both the lickable veneer and the command line for when they want to dig around the nuts and bolts.

How will this work in the UK? Ofcom regulations stipulate the service prodiver must supply an unlock code on request.....

That's a very good point you know. O2 will HAVE to provide people with unlock codes when requested, it's the law... Apple can't do squat about or, OR disable the device either...

They probably get around it by adding special services tot he O2 network and claiming that the iPhone is a phone designed specifically for the O2 network and not the regular GSM net.

Sem82 said,
is the updated forced
i would have thought you can turn off automatic updating or something

TITLE:
Apple iPhone Multiple Vulnerabilities

SECUNIA ADVISORY ID:
SA26983

VERIFY ADVISORY:
http://secunia.com/advisories/26983/

CRITICAL:
Moderately critical

IMPACT:
Hijacking, Security Bypass, Cross Site Scripting, Exposure of
sensitive information, DoS, System access

WHERE:
From remote

OPERATING SYSTEM:
Apple iPhone 1.x
http://secunia.com/product/15128/

DESCRIPTION:
Some vulnerabilities, security issues, and a weakness have been
reported in the Apple iPhone, which can be exploited by malicious
people to conduct cross-site scripting attacks, disclose sensitive
information, bypass certain security restrictions, cause a DoS
(Denial of Service), or to compromise a vulnerable system.

1) An input validation error when handling SDP (Service Discovery
Protocol) packets exists in the iPhone's Bluetooth server. This can
be exploited by an attacker in Bluetooth range to cause the
application to crash or to execute arbitrary code by sending
specially crafted SDP packets.

Successful exploitation requires that Bluetooth is enabled.

2) The problem is that users are not notified about changes of mail
servers' identities when Mail is configured to use SSL for incoming
and outgoing connections. This can be exploited e.g. to impersonate
the user's mail server and obtain the user's email credentials.

Successful exploitation requires a MitM (Man-in-the-Middle) attack.

3) It is possible to cause the iPhone to call a phone number without
user confirmation by enticing a user to follow a "tel:" link in a
mail message.

4) An error in Safari in the handling of new browser windows can be
exploited to disclose the URL of an unrelated page.

For more information see vulnerability #2 in:
SA23893

5) An error in Safari in the handling of "tel:" links can be
exploited to cause the iPhone to dial a different number than the one
being displayed in the confirmation dialog. Exiting Safari during the
confirmation process may result in unintentional confirmation.

6) An error in Safari can be exploited to set Javascript window
properties of pages served from other websites when a malicious web
site is viewed.

7) Disabling Javascript in Safari does not take effect until Safari
is restarted.

8) An error in Safari allows a malicious website to bypass the
same-origin policy using "frame" tags. This can be exploited to
execute Javascript code in the context of another site when a user
visits a malicious web page.

9) An error in Safari allows Javascript events to be associated with
the wrong frame. This can be exploited to execute Javascript code in
context of another site when a user visits a malicious web page.

10) An error in Safari allows content served over HTTP to alter or
access content served over HTTPS in the same domain. This can be
exploited to execute Javascript code in context of HTTPS web pages in
that domain when a user visits a malicious web page.

Let me tell you this: Apple will not be coerced by AT&T. They are WAY too arrogant for something like that to happen. This was Steve Jobs and his group of monkies together. He has some hidden agenda. I guess he makes more money because I vaguely remember something about a percentage of sales from AT&T (which he can't get if people use the phone illegally on another network).

So all you Apple yuppies out there... Apple ain't so cool any more, are they? :P

Just another greedy company that is getting greedier by the day. I think Apple needs to go back to the drawing board and really invent something. I am getting sick of the milking of the iPod. It is about time we got over it.

Knight85 said,
Let me tell you this: Apple will not be coerced by AT&T. They are WAY too arrogant for something like that to happen. This was Steve Jobs and his group of monkies together. He has some hidden agenda.

So do you have some proof of this, or is that tinfoil hat on a bit too tight today?

iCarry said,

So do you have some proof of this, or is that tinfoil hat on a bit too tight today?


Oh... there is a vision in my head... some douche Apple fanboy... oh yes, thats it!

Knight85 said,
Just another greedy company that is getting greedier by the day.

Greed and business often go hand in hand - after all, the main goal of a company is to make as much profit as possible. Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Sun, Novell, HP, Google etc. - they all do it. It's not a nice fact, but it's a fact nonetheless, and I think it's perhaps a little naive to think you can succeed with an altruistic attitude in the business world.

Knight85 said,
I am getting sick of the milking of the iPod. It is about time we got over it.

Isn't that why they did the iPhone? And the AppleTV? They aren't a one-trick pony like most PC makers.

i don't think so... because the iphone is already heading to the UK and europe soon too
AT&T doesn't have the exclusivity anymore

This is the problem with early unlocking tools on a 1st gen hardware. It's still a "Let's see if we can do this" period.

Just like 1st gen XBOXes got banned from Live. Like the 1st modchips for the Wii got it locked out of future updates.

Anyone who understood this would have seen this coming a mile off!

I say the phones aren't crippled because they were unlocked, or in terms Jobs understands, hacked. Rather, they were crippled because Apple crippled them intentionally, forced or willingly.

im sure apple isnt having its hand forced behinds its back by at&t on this one. Its not apple that needs at&t, its at&t that needs apple. apple could have any service provider it wanted im sure, so i bet they are behind this atleast 50%.

Steevie is behind this 100000% that's why he can shove the whole ISuxx line up his asstunel ! He won'tr see a single cent from me anytime !

Actually , Apple can't have everyprovider they want. BEcause not every provider is willing to hand apple 40% of the profits and lick the up their back if they are havign a bad day.


Aurope didn't exactly have service providers throwing themselves at the feet of apple.


yet interestingly when it comes to iTMS apple is supposedly the great savour who throws out the companies who want to charge to much for music and movies.... yet other shops aren't charging a premium for non DRM music... I think it's time peopel stopped puting a halo over the head of Apple and Jobs.

They didn't really expect they could change the operator without some errors did they?

I don't blame them really though- the tariffs are huge, at least in the UK. (apparently)

Well deserved? I'm not so sure.

People will blame Apple... but really they are forced encouraged to do this by AT&T

Similar to how Apple are "encouraged" to Apply DRM to music by music labels - if Apple don't cooperate how they want then whoops they loose rights to sell certain music... similarly if they didn't do this AT&T won't be happy.

That's funny, I had the pleasure of working on a customer's iPhone this week to set it up for internet access at work.

I live in Australia btw :P


Guess he wont be using his phone soon lol

Quote - [bear
said,#3.1]it's AT&T that put pressure on Apple to do this.

Of course it couldn't be "honest Steve's" fault....Apple have a deal that gives them a percentage of all call costs and line rental from iPhones used on AT&T (and indeed will have on all international deals - I believe O2 in the UK are handing over 40%!). So it is entirely in Apples interests to ensure that the iPhone is only used on the authorised networks. They want the iPhones to be used only on the networks they have deals with so that they can maintain their ongoing revenue streams.

Well, it's not exactly evil, it's just business. I'm not defending Apple in particular, of course Microsoft etc. all do apparently "evil" deeds, but if you were to put yourself in the position of a company whose primary goal is to make profit (i.e. most companies), you can't really pretend you'd do otherwise.

Of course, it's not exactly nice either, but when you go and unlock an iPhone when you know perfectly well Apple can and will try to brick your phone - well, what do you expect? There's plenty of good alternatives that don't tie you to a particular network.

As I said before, it's perfectly in their right to do this.


BUT, IU do find it dishonest of Apple to say that this was an unavoidable side-efffect of the update, Anyoen with half a brain realizes that Apple added in routines to find the hacks and brick and utilize it to disable the phone


and yeah I don't think Apple cares so much about AT%T as they care about their 40% of the profits from AT&T's subscriptions

lol, this was obviously coming...can't feel to sorry for anyone.

on a related note, I'm tired of my wireless carrier locking out features the phone has by default off the manufacturing line, and rebranding the hell out of the menus and themes.