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Dev Team: SIMable hack for iPhone 3G is bogus

updated 04:55 pm EDT, Wed August 13, 2008

iPhone Dev Team on SIMable

People looking to unlock their iPhone 3Gs should avoid the hardware-based SIMable option, according to a member of the unofficial iPhone Dev Team, producers of PwnageTool. The coder notes that the modern 3G baseband chip has been designed around SIM-based hardware hacks, and so any attempt at them must use fake identifiers. This information is said to "leak" into cellular networks, generating errors.

While a hack could in theory work under this scheme, the errors are recorded by telecom companies, and may be considered tampering in a company's network. In countries like Germany, as a result, a person could allegedly face up to three years in prison, and in the US, it may fall under legislation designed to combat terrorism.

There is little alternative at present however, as utlities like PwnageTool are only able to jailbreak an iPhone 3G, not unlock it for use on unauthorized carriers.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. bjojade

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007

    +2

    Terrorism?

    Yeah, that sounds like the right description of this 'crime'

  1. starwarrior

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2006

    -8

    Screwed Again

    Screwed again by Macnn bogus reporting. Like a dummy, I ordered one to experiment.

  1. starwarrior

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2006

    -9

    Screwed Again

    Screwed again by Macnn bogus reporting. Like a dummy, I ordered one to experiment.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2005

    +2

    I guess...


    ...that iPhone 3G is proving to be a tougher nut to crack, eh? Maybe Apple does know what they are doing, n'est ce pas?

  1. resuna

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2005

    +3

    Unlocking is legal in US

    Unlocking your cellphone to use a different carrier is explicitly legal in the US.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999

    -3

    I guess...

    @ZinkDifferent: You mean inconveniencing their paying customers? Yeah, Apple's really nailed that down... That kind of behavior shouldn't be encouraged.

  1. QualleyIV

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +6

    re: I guess...

    @WiseWeasel: You mean inconveniencing their paying customers who have a sense of entitlement that tells them that they should just ignore the network restrictions because they don't agree with them... THAT kind of behavior shouldn't be encouraged.

    It's no secret that the iPhone is/supposed to be locked to AT&T. If you don't like it, don't buy it. Oh, and while we're on the topic, it's the fault of the dumb American public that we have to deal with this stupid BS in the first place. Maybe if your average consumer wasn't such a moron, then the cell phone companies wouldn't be able to rope so many people into long term contracts by subsidizing phones. It's like "look at this nice, new shiny gadget... it's yours for FREE RIGHT NOW as long as you bend over and let us s**** you for the next two years." No, instead, when Apple tries to change things, what do we get... IDIOTS COMPLAINING ABOUT HOW EXPENSIVE THE PHONE IS, despite the fact that the plan was VERY reasonably priced (much better, in fact, than nearly every competitor).

    The iPhone is an amazing piece of technology. Apple needs to make money. So do cell phone companies. That means that if Apple/AT&T are going to have to subsidize a phone so people will buy it, they are going to need to make that money up on the back end. If they have to make it on the back end instead of the front end, you've got additional costs (in both the financial and economic senses) like the time value of money and the risk associated with... people unlocking their phones and going to other networks. Hence the desire/need to prevent this type of behavior.

    So, if you want to blame someone, why don't you go look in the mirror. Because I'm willing to bet that you're exactly the kind of person who is really to blame here when you get right down to it...

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    0

    Legalese

    In Switzerland you must disturb networks by intention ("Absicht") to go to prison (Article 51 of the telecommunications law, Fernmeldegesetz, http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/7/784.10.de.pdf). A user who unlocks his phone does not primarily want to disturb the network (I even doubht you could speak of "dolus eventualis"), so this provision is not appliccable. What might be problematic is the use of a telecommunications device which does not comply with the rules for such devices (Article 53 (1) (c) of the law, the provision is also applicable in cases of negligence). But in this case you might only get a fine. I doubt the legal situation is completely different in the U.S. (ok, you never know...) or EC member states.

    The question is whether SIMable is a device that breaks these rules at all. Does anyone have detailed information about this? Up to now we only have hearsay from the ominous dev team, and the whole stuff could also be sort of a hoax...

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    0

    Arbitrage

    @QuallyIV: Firms are usually allowed to demand different prices from different people (as Telco providers do from iPhone users in comparison to users of other phones), but people are usually also allowed to circumvent such behavior. Economists call this circumvention arbitrage, and arbitrage is generally considered as good for the economy. There are only a few cases where such behavior is illegal, but not because they are a form of arbitrage, but much more because, by accident, other laws are violated (patent law, and our case here where arbitrage might interfere with technical network stability).

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