Is Apple Banning iPhone Hackers?

At least two of them sure seem to think so! Jailbreak scenesters Sherif Hashim and iH8sn0w are both reporting bannings—by Apple ID, strangely—following their latest hacks. Is Apple attacking jailbreak from the bottom up? Maybe.

Both Sherif Hashim and iH8sn0w were behind the discovery of recent iPhone exploits, and both are currently receiving a "This Apple ID has been banned for security purposes" notification whenever they try to log into the (actual) App Store to download an app. But. But! While Sherif's exploit was publicly documented, IH8sn0w's was shared only with the Dev Team. So: Is Apple somehow detecting certain exploits and banning automatically? Unlikely. Are the keeping an ear to the ground and banning active jailbreak scene hackers? Possibly, but that would be petty, and it wouldn't really stop them from doing their work. Is something incidental happening here? Probably.

The content of the error message is telling: It's the same dialog that pops up in OS X apps that use your Apple ID when said ID has been locked out due to a suspicious number of failed login attempts. My guess, though it's firmly a guess, is that some behavior or glitch associated with the hacks these people are attempting triggers some kind of heuristic response from Apple's servers, not explicitly because a phone is hacked or owned by hackers, but because something's just off.

Then again, this could go the other way, and signal a future in which jailbreakers—not just hackers—risk blacklisting their Apple IDs should they crack their phones. That'd be a terrible PR move on Apple's part, but it could be one of the easiest ways to quell the massive rise of piracy outside the App store. This would be kind of terrible! But I wouldn't rule it out. [Redmond Pie via BGR]