New code uncouples iPhone 4 from home wireless carrier

Hackers released code enabling iPhone 4 owners to download unauthorised apps

Hackers on Wednesday released code that lets iPhone 4 owners – if they have modified their Apple smartphones to load unauthorized apps -- to now use the devices on new wireless carriers.

5 reasons to jailbreak your iPhone – and 5 reasons not to 

The hack, dubbed "ultrasn0w," works with the new Apple iPhone 4 and its cellular baseband version 01.59, as well as the basebands on the 3G and 3GS models. For U.S., iPhone users that means uncoupling from AT&T and making use of T-Mobile. With such an unlocked phone, a user traveling overseas could use a local SIM card to link with a local GSM provider and avoid costly fees for roaming.

But the first step in the cellular "liberation" is modifying the iOS firmware, through a process called jailbreaking, so it can run apps that don't have to be downloaded through Apple's App Store.

AppleInsider reports that the coder behind the free cellular unlock is David Wong, who uses the name planetbeing in his work with a group called iPhone Dev Team.

Earlier this week, a Web-based jailbreak, from jailbreakme.com, was announced. Just by using the Safari Web browser and this Web site, users can jailbreak their phones, apparently more simply than in the past. Security experts note the jailbreak makes use of two flaws, one in the Adobe PDF reader used by Safari, and one in the iOS kernel. But these same flaws can be used to download almost any kind of malware from a visited Web site.

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.

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Tags smartphoneswirelessAppleNetworkingPhonesconsumer electronicsat&tiPhone 4 jailbreaking

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John Cox

Network World
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