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iPhone unlocked by 17-year-old hacker

George Hotz remembers taking apart his first computer, an Apple II, when he was 4 or 5 years old. He cracked open an answering machine, remote control, vacuum cleaner and more computers. He scavenged for more products to tinker with on trash night in his neighborhood. Now the 17-year-old from Glen Rock, N.J., has reached the big leagues of hacking. He says he has “unlocked” the iPhone, finding a way to get around the device’s restrictions and allow it to be used not only on AT&T’s cell phone network but also on T-Mobile’s network and overseas. Until now, however, the iPhone has come with a catch. Because of a revenue-sharing agreement between Apple and AT&T, the iPhone operates only on AT&T’s network and requires a two-year subscription.

Hackers have spent the better part of the summer tackling that challenge. Hotz said it took him nearly 500 hours – about eight hours a day – to figure out how to make calls on his iPhone through T-Mobile. “It wasn’t to be rich,” Hotz said. “I wanted to use it with T-Mobile.” Holz published step-by-step directions on his blog at iphonejtag.blogspot.com. Another group, known as iPhoneSimFree.com, said on its site that it also had found a way to get around Apple’s locks and connect to T-Mobile. It offered proof to Engadget, a popular technology blog, which published a video demonstration, and said it plans to sell the software. In general, scores of hackers have been working on a way to make the iPhone compatible with other services since the phone debuted. AT&T and Apple officials declined to comment. But it’s highly doubtful Apple will let the hacking continue. Your lesson? Everything can be beaten these days…

Source: SFgate, Salon

Comments

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  1. check
    August 25th, 2007 | 10:59

    nice

  2. skeev
    August 25th, 2007 | 11:04

    Good – Let us use this on what network we want that`l learn em to try and be clever !

    As much as this looks like the cool device to have – some other phones have more and better if not different features.

    But for the iPeople out there this is the monkey I guess.

    At first I was blown away the the iphone – now I want it to to stuff like record video and be able to use your own .mp3 as a ring tone….

    Thats pretty standard on some phones now.

    Still this is the first one..UK gets it in Dec is it? ready for crimbo

  3. Sven
    August 25th, 2007 | 12:02

    One Macedonian was first to unlock iPhone…

  4. August 25th, 2007 | 12:19

    so much hate for the iphone, I can see their point but would you really say no if someone offered you one of these?

    Still a great phone that looks very nice, and has some interesting features.

  5. TheDoctor
    August 25th, 2007 | 12:30

    You can use your own mp3 for the ring-tone, it is pretty easy to mod your iPhone, hit modmyiphone.com or a similar site, they even have brainless one click software to upload ring-tones, However, yeah, you can’t just do it through iTunes, but go get yourself a copy of iFuntastic and your set.

  6. Dan
    August 25th, 2007 | 12:41

    So does this mean I can use it here in New Zealand on the Vodafone network?

  7. rogue
    August 25th, 2007 | 13:05

    uhm.. DVD Jon already did this some months ago..

    http://blog.wired.com/music/2007/07/dvd-jons-iphone.html

  8. Marc
    August 25th, 2007 | 13:27

    1. dvd john didnt unlock the Iphone to use on other Carriers.

    2. GeorgeHotz that 17 year old guy from finding jtag wasn’t really the cracker behind the newest crack. He had a bunch of guys who were working together. That 17-year old was more of a Webmaster who started the project, but all the stupid press of course has to make him the 17-year old cracker. LOL.

    Here is a quote from his blog-entry “Postmortem”:

    “This has been a great community and has been a great trip. I hope I was a positive influence on the community. Thanks so much everyone, I have learned so much. Coming into this project I didn’t know that cell phones used at commands, or that there was a distinction between kernel/user space. I had once in my life looked at ida before this, and found it too confusing. I still can’t reverse well, but this is definitely something I want to learn. Thanks again everyone.”

  9. August 25th, 2007 | 14:34

    thanks for ‘what really happened’ marc. here’s to martin for posting the cool article :)

  10. Bako1
    August 25th, 2007 | 16:30

    this is awsome sick people keep up the good work..just stop fighting over who was first and start fighting over whether it really works or not ,..i have t-mobile..and i know a guy who will go crazy over this

  11. 666666666666
    August 25th, 2007 | 16:53

    Marc is right- Hotz was working with 4 other hackers. 2 from Russia & 2 believed 2 be from the US.

    all i can say is any1 who pays $600 for that piece of shit needs their head examined.

  12. Ruff McGruff
    August 25th, 2007 | 16:57

    thats pretty kool. i saw his youtube video, alot of hate going on over there. cant we all just get along? lol. good job to this guy and his crew.

  13. Anon
    August 25th, 2007 | 20:35

    So they finally removed the DRM from the iCrap?

    Remember kids, $pple DRM = good, Anyone else’s DRM = bad.

  14. Predator04
    August 25th, 2007 | 21:23

    to #7 rogue

    Are you a idiot? he never unlocked the iphone. w0w people are fucking stupid

  15. Mike
    August 26th, 2007 | 10:29

    I’m working to hack the upcoming Motorola phone that will allow me to vacation on Neptune without all the surcharges like last year

  16. Ian from www.thenewsroom.com
    August 26th, 2007 | 19:21
  17. r
    August 27th, 2007 | 04:22

    I read some where his hacked iPhone went for 12k on ebay or something like that… and also to hack the phone they had to open up the casing and solder shit… why would you pay 12k for a iPhone, if you’ve got that much money for it, you may aswell spend 600 just pay your AT&T bill…

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    September 30th, 2009 | 03:54

    The simplest solution I have found was http://softunlock.com

    It worked and it was free.

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