Hackers Extract Main Key to iPhone Unlocking, Freedom Closer than Ever

Illustration for article titled Hackers Extract Main Key to iPhone Unlocking, Freedom Closer than Ever

Click to viewAfter uncovering its communications core's secrets, today hackers have reached a big milestone towards freeing the iPhone from the AT&T network: they extracted the full content of the radio memory. In other words: now they have the plans for the fucking Death Star —"the main key to achieve true unlock." Want to help the iPhone Dev Team but you are no expert? Keep reading.

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We hope you'll all enjoy this important step and we of course welcome any donations to encourage or to help us achieving the final goal. Please be assured that any donations are wisely spent, otherwise you can slap us.

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iPhone Dev Team, we like. If you do too, please send them your donations using PayPal. I don't care if they spend mine on pizza as soon as they unlock the phone. Their PayPal address is iphone.donations(at)gmail.com.

If you are a programming expert you can also help them. They have released the tool to get your own NOR memory dump, called NORDumper.tar.bz2. Get it from here. And to to the iPhone IRC channel to learn more about it.

We are pleased to announce that another big milestone toward the unlocking has been reached.

Just a couple of days ago we managed to extract the full content of the NOR memory (from the S-Gold2), which is the main key to achieving a true unlock. Releasing this dump would be of course illegal and risky, as it contains personal information and copyrighted code. That said, we're going to release the NOR Dumper binary to enable everyone else to continue working on the iPhone's unlocking. We'll release the source code at a later date when we feel it is mature enough to do so.

We hope you'll all enjoy this important step and we of course welcome any donations to encourage or to help us achieving the final goal. Please be assured that any donations are wisely spent, otherwise you can slap us :P

DOWNLOAD: http://www.deadbeef.cn/NORDumper.tar.bz2

To run this, copy it to /usr/bin and set the executable flag with chmod.

add Disabled

to /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.CommCenter.plist and reboot.

run: NORDumper dump.bin

Stay tuned, — the dev team

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DISCUSSION

Ok, some comments here about why the iPhone is desirable within the US, how "exclusive" AT&T features won't matter, and what will be done about iTunes syncing issues when requiring firmware updates.

a) Tmobile users, and any other SIM card carrier within the US will want the iPhone, for whatever reason (there's many). My friend bought one for less than $200 direct from a distributer, so it's possible the price will drop ala PS3 very soon.

b) The only feature AT&T offers the iPhone is automatically downloaded voicemail, removing the need for calling your voicemail provider. This can be easily replaced with a GrandCentral account — a Google service that gives you unlimited free incoming calls which can be paired to any phone number you want allowing even more than one ring at the same time (including a soft-phone called Gizmo). The important thing to note is missed calls go to a web-based voicemail, and that's something the iPhone does VERY well. This means you'll be able to use the iPhone's web browser to check and listen to your voicemail (it uses a Flash control to playback voicemail). More on this point in a minute.

c) Apple is releasing the iPhone SDK early next year, which will allow 3rd party developers, including hackers, to make applications for the iPhone. While it remains to be seen how far the SDK goes, there's been many claims from Apple that the iPhone runs a version of OS X, which is based on the open source operating system FreeBSD (Apple's build is Darwin). Should the SDK give enough information for developers to code the same way they currently do for OS X and Darwin (read Unix), hackers will be able to do the following:

- effectively replace iTunes with a program that can sync over the air with their internet-connected music servers running on their PCs, thus removing the worry that iTunes will require a firmware update bricking the device (perhaps via a plug-in to their PC or Mac installed iTunes that patches updates on the fly),

- create custom iTunes builds that remove the request for the update, ala the WiiBrickBlocker which does the same thing for Wii game releases which have firmware updates built into them,

- and customize the buttons and menus the iPhone displays allowing the creation of a custom control with direct access to GrandCentral voicemail without first having to open the internet application — in fact, Google may have already begun working on the SDK, since Apple is looking to key vendors to help them beta it now.

TMobile themselves may even get in the fray by custom coding the control for the iPhone to use their @Home service to make calls over WiFi internet connections, and sit on it until the "official" release of true unlocked iPhone by Apple (should it ever come to pass). Such code could be leaked and exploited (there already is a hack to get free GSM internet access with TMobile over port 8080).

Be sure there will be an emoze application developed for the iPhone right away, which will further piss off RIM.

It's impossible to understate the importance of how Google will help the marketability of any smartphone, but especially the iPhone (as it's the most user-friendly and is very sexy). Google has already begun featuring images of Google's applications on the iPhone in its help files and marketing images (like Google Docs).

AT&T/Cingular was banking on the iPhone going the way of TMobile's Sidekick line, but it's much closer to the Blackberry with its business-friendly features and appeal.

Change will come, even to the iPhone and it's relevance to both business and the open development community. The iPhone will remain unlocked, and more updated than the PSP ever was/is. Information wants to be free.