Tuesday, February 7, 2023

iPhone Hacking history

Here are the history of iPhone before and after it was launched according to WIRED.

Spring 2003 – Apple CEO Steve Jobs says that Apple has no plans to release a tablet PC or a new Newton, instead identifying cell phones as important devices in need of better software. Better software.

Dec. 2006 — Cisco announces the iPhone. LOL.

Jan. 2007 — Apple announces the iPhone. OMG.

Jun. 11, 2007 — Apple says only web-apps will be permitted on the iPhone. WTF.

Jun. 29, 2007 — iTunes 7.3 released, containing support for iPhone “service activation.”

Jun. 29, 2007 — iPhone hits stores. Utter bedlam. The first hacks are destructive and result not so much in bricks as in brick dust.

Jul. 3 — DVD Jon bypasses the official activation procedure and publishes instructions.

Jul. 18 — The iPhone Dev Team partially unlocks the iPhone, allowing the use of non-iPhone AT&T SIM cards (such as pre-paid ones.)

Late Jul.-Early Aug. — the iPhone’s system software and internal operations are exposed and explored.

Jul. 30 — First native, third-party iPhone apps. Hello World!

Aug. 6 — British hackers fool the iPhone into accepting a SIM card from Orange Telecom It, and other similar reports, turn out to be difficult-to-implement edge cases requiring obsolete SIM cards.

Aug. 14 — Another claimed hardware unlock, more reliable than the earlier methods: the new technique uses TurboSIMs, blank cards sold by Bladox, to deceive the iPhone into thinking it’s on AT&T.

Mid Aug. — Application managers appear to aid installation of third-pary apps. iBrickr (Aug 17) for Windows, Breezy for Mac (Aug. 13) and iPHUC (Aug. 15) all do their thing. The popular Installer.app, often called AppTapp, appears on Aug 28. allows the easy installation of third-party applications on the iPhone — all required hacking is done automagically.

Aug. 24 — Teenaged hacker George Hotz gets his iPhone working on T-Mobile using a complicated hardware procedure documented at his blog.

Aug. 25 — Engadget publishes the first reports of iPhoneSimFree, the first software-only solution.

Sept. 11 — iPhoneSimFree opens for business, charging $100 for its unlocking App.

Sept. 11 — iUnlock released, offering free of charge unlocking from the command line

Sept. 15 — AnySIM released, offering free of charge unlocking with an easy GUI interface. iUnlock updated shortly therafter to offer GUI.

Sept. 24 — Apple warns world that future updates may render unlocked iPhones inoperable.

Sept. 27 — Firmware update 1.1.1 renders unlocked iPhones inoperable. Great new features include UI improvements and WiFi access to iTunes. Old hacks are rendered obsolete and unworkable. All in all, it’s just another brick in the wall.

Sept. 28 — iPhoneSimFree publishes repair procedure for phones unlocked using its software. Users of free-of-charge alternatives remain out of luck. Some report that completely innocent, unhacked iPhones are also screwed by the 1.1.1 update.

Sept. 29 — A method is reported at the Hackint0sh forums that restores some unbricked iPhones, albeit to a gruesome half life of WiFi-only calling.

Oct. 1 — Partial recovery of some ruined iPhones is reported, but short-term outlook is bleak for adventurous iPhone hackers who unlocked their handsets with free solutions and then, perhaps stupidly, applied the 1.1.1 update.

Oct. 5 — Access gained to upgraded iPhone’s file system with a trick involving symbolic links, Unix’s equivalent of desktop shortcuts. It signposts a coming flood of developments after a week of hacking horror.

Oct. 8 — Preliminary 1.1.1 jailbreak found. Though not ready for public consumption, it’s the first sign of coming progress.

Oct. 9 — Third-party apps recompiled to work on 1.1.1. It’s found that 1.1.1 binaries can’t be retrofitted to run on iPhone still running 1.0.2.

Oct. 10 — A well-known flaw in the TIFF graphic file format is exploited to gain access to the iPhone and the iPod touch, and is found to work on handsets updated to 1.1.1.

Oct. 10 —iPhone Dev Team announces successful jailbreak of 1.1.1 and makes it publicly available

Oct. 10 — iPhoneSimFree announces a new version of its software that unlocks, but doesn’ activate, iPhones updated to 1.1.1.

Oct. 12 — Hackers publish an involved 19-step method to unbrick unlocked iPhones killed by the application of Apple’s 1.1.1 firmware.

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Kugan is the co-founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy

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