Archive for the 'activation' Category

iPhone Unlocking Update 7/6: Commerical Efforts

The press has been picking up on some commercial efforts to unlock the iPhone.

Newzeland’s Computer World reports on John McLaughlin who is the founder of Belfast, UK-based UniquePhones.  McLaughlin said he has engineers working around the clock in several countries who are close to cracking the security Apple has set up to ensure customers can only use iPhones with AT&T Wireless service.

On July 3rd, his website claimed to be close to making a public announcement about cracking the activation, but so far, nothing.  Meanwhile, a public hacking effort has already announced their own success on the activation front, as has “DVD Jon.”

The Register also has a version of the same story.

iPhone Hacking News Update: A Productive Day

It has been a busy day for the sleepless iPhone hackers. They released two tools, and have made a lot of progress, including figuring out how to manipulate the boot loader, and figuring out how to unlock the phone once they can get appropriate access to the radio.

Boot Loader
We’ve successfully issued commands to the boot loader. So far, we’ve been limited to power off, but have made significant progress on issuing other commands. Some of the commands are radio commands, and this is our key to wealth and prosperity. :-)
UnlockingWe know how to unlock the phone, so the question now is whether we can get the commands to the radio or not. We don’t believe our method is the only method, but assuming that with the help of some very smart folks we can get access to the radio, the firmware should be trivial to unlock.
iPhoneInterface details are available in my earlier post

Hardware side
We are working some prototype circuitry which once understood, will allow us to access the debug capabilities of the phone. Stay tuned for more on this, as I don’t have up-to-date information on this yet.

A public subversion server should be up by 1:00AM Eastern.

Public read-only SVN at

Again, I’m not posting a link to the actual Wiki because they’ve asked people not to in order to preserve performance and reduce vandalism so they can continue to use it productively.

iPhone Hacking News Update: Activation Tool Released

Update: There is now a GUI application for unlocking the iPhone that simplifies things greatly.


The iPhone Dev Wiki Team just released their eagerly awaited iPhone Activator Tool. I’ve included the whole wiki page below for those who want to read more (since their wiki is probably going to get knocked off line any second now. The first release is for Mac. A Windows version is on it’s way soon.

This release only allows you to activate the iPhone with a valid token, and deactivate it with an invalid token. The activated iPhone can be used as an iPod and a WiFi internet device. It can’t be used with another GSM provider, like T-Mobile. You’ll need to get valid tokens from another source. Have FUN!

Update: They’ve also released a tool that lets you interact with a running iPhone.

Independence Day IPhoneActivatorTool

We have released a proof of concept activation program for the iPhone that works with a valid token (deactivation works with any token). There is significant information in the release note, please click the link above.

Continue reading ‘iPhone Hacking News Update: Activation Tool Released’

ATT Reportedly Activates over 1 Million iPhones

Leaked information from AT&T seems to indicate that there have been over 1M iPhones sold and activated.

ATT Activates over 1 Million iPhones at Waiting for iPhone
According to reports leaked to, ATT Mobility has fulfilled over 1 million iPhone activations since the device was launched in the US on June 29th. This news comes from a full-time staffer in ATT Mobilty’s Commerce Group who chose to remain anonymous. Wall Street analysists have placed initial iPhone sales between 500,000 – 750,000 units. First week sales of over 1 million would cement the iPhone as Apple’s fastest selling new product, and one of the hottest new technology gadgets in history.

Apple is apparently seeking a revenue share from its European carrier partners, and many suspect that they extracted a similar concession from AT&T.  If so, this means that Apple has locked in a significant amount of services revenue as well.

iPhone Unlocking Progress, Thanks to “DVD Jon”

The latest news on the iPhone hacking front is that Jon Lech Johansen, who was the first person to crack DVD encryption, has released a Windows utility called the “iPhone Activation Server,” that allows you to activate your phone without iTunes, AT&T or a credit card.

The major caveat is that an iPhone activated this way isn’t really a phone. The iPod and WiFi work, but you can’t stick in a Tmobile SIM and use it on their network. At least not yet. Still, this is a huge step because it shows that people have figured out how to crack the activation handshake. It should also come in handy for those wanting to test their web applications with the iPhone without shelling out for an AT&T contract.

Further work continues on other fronts, including work at the OS level to allow arbitrary code (ie 3rd party applications) to run on the device. This may also provide a path to enable the iPhone’s use on other American and Global GSM networks. A big step in this direction came last night when someone cracked the encryption on the system restore disk image, allowing them access to the full virgin iPhone filesystem, and the chance to scan system files looking for other attack vectors.

[04:19] <Omikron> Second, the encrypted 39.dmg image was recently cracked, and the contents of the system files have been dumped.
The files are currently being explored for additional information and possible attack vectors.

Other coverage: