updated 03:50 pm EST, Mon December 13, 2010
Clear iSpot derestricted with web hack
Clear's iSpot router was given a simple crack today that would let it work on more than just iOS devices. iSpot Unrestricted 2.0 requires just two clicks and a reboot to both allow any Wi-Fi device to share the 4G connection as well as to switch on USB tethering and prevent the device from reverting back to its earlier state through an automatic firmware update. A previous delimiter had already existed but didn't work with the same simplicity.
As with most such changes, the hack will void the warranty while installed. It similarly carries a security risk since it both opens a security hole and a separate Telnet backdoor that could provide easy access without a password change.
The derestriction may not last for long, as Full Disclosure has revealed that it operates on an identified cross-site request forgery that is likely to be patched. Clear wouldn't have the option of reverting already modified iSpots but could prevent new users from using the same trick without an update to the cracking tools.
While the hack would mostly work around restrictions meant to keep the data use down and justify the lowered $25 monthly rate, the iSpot Unrestricted team said today that some newer iPads may need the hack to work properly. Later production runs are using MAC network IDs that aren't within Clear's filtering range, the group told Engadget, and are locked out from the router even though they should qualify. Clear hasn't promised a fix of its own so far.