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Famed hacker betters Apple, cracks the latest iPhone 3GS and iPod touch

Nov. 4, 2009 (5:35 pm) By: Christian Zibreg

iPhone jailbreak pumpkinA then teenager who made headlines with the first-ever hack of the original iPhone is back with an updated software that can jailbreak and unlock the latest iPhone 3GS and iPod touch hardware.

A hacker known as George Hotz has updated its ingenious software tool dubbed “blacksn0w” earlier this week. The new version of the free of charge app, available for Windows and OS X, lets you easily unlock and jailbreak the iPhone 3G and 3GS, in addition to the iPod touch.

More importantly, the program can successfully jailbreak and unlock the iPhone 3GS running the iPhone OS 3.1.2 and baseband version 05.11.07, including a slightly revised iPhone 3GS and iPod touch models that Apple shipped last month. Due to hardware changes made to the October 2009 iPhone 3GS and iPod touch units, the procedure involves a so-called “tethered jailbreak.” As a result, Hotz said, users can only hardware-reset their jailbroken device by connecting it to a computer via USB.

Read more at George Hotz’s blog.

Christian’s Opinion

blacksnow_screenshot_001Jailbreaking is a procedure that counters Apple’s software measures in the iPhone OS designed to block unsigned third-party apps from reaching the homescreen. Jailbroken devices can run Apple-sanctioned apps, both free and paid, that can be found on the web. Unlocking tackles the so-called baseband software on the device that prevents its use with unauthorized carriers.

Apple is warning users that jailbreaking and unlocking voids their warranty. The company had refused to service jailbroken and unlocked iPhones in the past. Jailbreaking had been hugely popular prior to the App Store, when you could only put unofficial programs on your iPhone. After Apple had released the iPhone SDK in March 2008 and opened the floodgate for third-party apps, the interest in jailbreaking amongst average users has subdued.

However, Apple is aware that a certain percentage of iPhone users unlock their phones for use on other networks, while others only jailbreak their device to run sanctioned apps. That’s why the company is still actively engaged in a cat and mouse game with hackers, namely George Hotz and the iPhone Dev Team. I have no doubt in my mind that Apple will update both the iPhone OS and the BootROM in order to address the latest version of the “blacksn0w” tool.

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