Israeli Hackers Claim Yet Another 100% iPhone Unlock, AT&T Shrugs [Updated]

Illustration for article titled Israeli Hackers Claim Yet Another 100% iPhone Unlock, ATT Shrugs [Updated]

Three hackers named Dubbi, Ofir and Eli claim to have unlocked the iPhone independently in Israel. If confirmed, this would be the fifth time that someone has unlocked the iPhone with a different method. The three also say they hacked the iPhone's user interface. Meanwhile, Gizmodo asked AT&T about the unlocking efforts. [UPDATED 6:23AM: iPhone Dev Team sources have confirmed that three Israeli guys were on their IRC channel some time ago. They suspect that these may be the same people. UPDATED 1:00PM: We have been contacted by the group of Israeli hackers from the iPhone Dev IRC channel. They are not the same group but have clarified the report from the Israeli newspaper. They just followed the hardware soldering solution. Their report was also wrong on the Hebrew interface: they haven't replaced the UI, just enabled the view of hebrew in the device, something that wasn't possible until now. New post coming later.]

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While there are no details except that they say that practically anyone could do the unlocking, the other news is that they claim to have activated a Hebrew interface on it.

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Of the previous techniques, three have been widely proven to work by independent parties: the forged SIM method, the Turbo SIM method and the hardware soldering solution. A fourth one, a pay software program by iPhone Sim Free, has only been tested by Engadget and has not been commercialized yet, neither it has reached other members of the press.

Another method, claimed by site "iPhone Unlocking," has not been tested by anyone and can't be included in this list. This site claims that AT&T has threatened with legal action and have delayed their operations indefinitely.

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Talking to Gizmodo, a spokesman for the company didn't want to comment on iPhone Unlocking's claims:

We do not have any comments to offer related to the speculation that action is being taken in response to these reports.

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Adding to that, the spokesman declared that AT&T Wireless doesn't plan to comment on any unlocking methods, software development or any possible legal action being taken against them for the time being.

The three Israeli hackers bought their iPhones without even thinking about unlocking them. They just wanted the device because it was cool, but then started to tinker with the unlocking until they succeeded, according to them.

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We will have to wait until they release it publicly to see if this is true. For the time being, the only good unlocking method is the free software method, and that has yet to be released by the iPhone Dev Team. Until then, think about helping them with a few dollars or your programming talent. [Ynet]

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DISCUSSION

I understand, but at this point everyone and their mother is claiming this and the press, Israeli or otherwise, is just "putting it out there." My point is that that is not your job. Your job is to research a claim for corroborative evidence and if none can be found, be very hesitant to publish such claims other than to shine light on the lack of support for such claims. You are press, publishing things gives them legitimacy in many people's eyes, and un-researched stenography gives very little value added and makes you look bad when it all ends up in tears. There are a lot of people who are illegitimately claiming a software unlock betting on someone else getting there first and pulling their ass out of the fire, in the mean time they get publicity from the gullible and uninformed 'journalists' and generate potential leads to market someone else's solution to, once a real software unlock is found. You are enabling this practice, you are simply cutting and pasting without a suitable amount of incredulity, going as far as saying "this would be the fifth time that someone has unlocked the iPhone with a different method." Based on what? An Israeli newspaper article? Seriously?

And FYI:

Using definitions out of the dictionary verbatim to prove your point is kind of childish and unprofessional. You have no idea who I am, but at least give me credit to understand the English language and possession of a dictionary. I criticize you guys because I like this site and I think you can do better. Attempting to follow up with AT&T was the right thing for you to do, that's the kind of research your readership appreciates. However, just swallowing the crap that others spew and posting it on your site, implying it may be credible but unwilling to do any legwork to actually verify the claim is not.