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Apple Says iPhone Jailbreaking Could Hurt Cell Towers

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the think-of-the-towers dept.

Cellphones 495

AHuxley writes "Apple suggests that the nation's cellphone networks could be open to 'potentially catastrophic' cyberattacks by iPhone-using hackers at home and abroad if iPhone owners are permitted to legally jailbreak their wireless devices. The Copyright Office is currently considering a request by the Electronic Frontier Foundation to legalize the widespread practice of jailbreaking. Apple has responded to the request by saying that if the 'baseband processor' software — which enables a connection to cell phone towers — is exposed, then a user could crash the tower software, or use the Exclusive Chip Identification number to make calls anonymously. Apple also thinks its closed business model is what made the iPhone a success. The Vodafone scandal from a few years back showed how a network could be compromised, but that was from within. So, what do you think? Is Apple playing the 'evil genius' hacker card or can 'anyone' with a smartphone and a genius friend pop a US cell tower?"

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Think of the towers (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866645)

Those poor little cell phone towers. I'm glad somebody is thinking about them.

Re:Think of the towers (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866961)

My wife gave birth to one, you insensitive clod.

Re:Think of the towers (5, Insightful)

YayaY (837729) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866977)

Security by obscurity does not get you very far. If the cell tower software is so fragile, it needs to be secured correctly.

Play the fear card (5, Insightful)

Smegly (1607157) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867243)

Play the fear card whenever you want your political way...

Re:Think of the towers (2, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867257)

Maybe they have a problem with backwards compatibility and can't just replace all the software without breaking all the handsets out there.

Re:Think of the towers (4, Informative)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867313)

I'd imagine that the software is locked down well enough for the current environment. Playing devil's advocate, you could see how somebody who had found an exploit in the iPhone OS could make anonymous calls. Or potentially launch a DoS on a tower is they had a large army of compromised iPhones. And, while I don't know jack about cell-phone-tower-handshaking-protocol, perhaps you could initiate some kind of DoS by doing the equivalent of a SYN flood with a smaller group of phones.

Apart from those possibilities, I don't see much danger.

Re:Think of the towers (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867263)

Worse, trusting the client is always an idiotic plan. Even if it isn't iSteve's precious baby, there will always be some phone(s) were the evil unauthorized users have access to the baseband(if nothing else, the people who design phones have to have the baseband interface specs, and I'm sure that sort of thing gets lost/dumpster dived/hacked/inside-jobbed from time to time). Solving cell tower security issues by trying to lock every handset would be like trying to make the internet safe by making Symantec Endpoint Security mandatory for all devices with public IPs.

This is just Apple wrapping themselves in the "Security" blanket to get what they want. Should we expect a series of PSAs about how iPhone jailbreaking aids the terrorists?

Wow (4, Insightful)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866647)

Even Microsoft isn't this stupid... yet anyway.

I've been avoiding Apple products due to their control issues, but this is just ridiculous.

Re:Wow (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28866687)

*facepalm* Apple. God damn...

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28867037)

Fuck my mod point expired. >.>

Re:Wow (4, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866875)

Why single out Apple products. The whole concept of a "smart phone" is ingsoc lies.

A phone is the piece of tech that you can never really own. Many people accept this and take the "free" phone, and pay the high monthly rental.
The built in obsolescence has got to be one of the worst in the industry.

MP3 player, calendar, organiser, GPS, ebook reader, camera, bomb, those can all converge as much as they like. Just not with anything that needs a SIM card.

Ignorance is bliss (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28866667)

As always, they're playing upon the ignorance of their userbase. I give it, say, 35 minutes before someone here posts why Apple is full of balderdash for saying this. I give it 5 minutes before some iTard rushes to their defense.

Re:Ignorance is bliss (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28866703)

As I'm replying to you, there's 3 posts in the thread. All of them are against Apple's stance on this. Obviously Apple gets a free pass on this site.

Re:Ignorance is bliss (5, Interesting)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866767)

Apple is partially right. Their closed business model has lead to the success of the iPhone. (Happy now?)

Seriously. The tight control on the user experience is what maintains the appeal of the device. For most people.

However, where they're wrong is in thinking that they need to prevent jailbreaking in order to maintain this. The people jailbreaking their phones aren't in the majority who bought the phone for the slick and stylish integration. They're a harmless minority, and Apple should be grateful for the extra revenue that a little bit of hacking has brought in.

Also, the part about being a risk to networks is nonsense.

Re:Ignorance is bliss (4, Insightful)

Ghostworks (991012) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867267)

They're not really playing to the ignorance of their base, as it's not their base that they're trying to convince. They're trying to convince the Copyright Office, which is almost as bad because they cannot be reasonably expected to understand the intricacies of cellular network technology. That burden lies with the network operators and the FCC. As for the question of whether jailbreaking is good policy from a copyright perspective, the Copyright Office shouldn't care much about potential network problems.

Now from a technical perspective: AT&T is a GSM/EDGE/UTMS network. If the iPhone is supposed to work on their network, it conforms to those international, well-vetted standards. (An part of those standards is the use of a SIM card specifically so a user can separate the handset from the network.) There shouldn't be anything that an iPhone can do on their network that any other cell modem couldn't do. TFA isn't coming up for me, so I'm not sure what Apple's specific claims are, but I have a hard time imagining that AT&T gave them some unique, magic software key to a very well-defined tower structure.

BS (5, Insightful)

jvillain (546827) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866671)

Ya bad people won't look for flaws in the system if only Apple can keep people tied to their contracts. I'm having a hard time seeing the logic.

THE TERR'STS! (2, Insightful)

a whoabot (706122) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866673)

Apple has picked up one from the playbook of the Bush Administration.

Re:THE TERR'STS! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28866891)

I think we need a corollary to Godwin's Law as it pertains to linking actions to the Bush Administration. Is there no limit?

Re:THE TERR'STS! (0, Offtopic)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867043)

Except that in most cases there's a legitimate reason to reference the actions of the Bush Administration. For instance in this case the Bush administration consider anti-trust violations in an extremely narrow range which was virtually impossible to violate. And that's really how it's relevant to the topic at hand.

It's perfectly clear that the behavior of Apple with the apps store is damaging to consumers as they arbitrarily prevent users from buying or using free apps on their iPhone. And are refusing to allow users to download apps which might make the phone more useful to a minority of iPhone users.

This is worrying... (4, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866679)

We should ban the sale of iPhones with this potentially dangerous bug until Apple can fix it, either by providing unlocked iPhones, or without this being handled by the iHpone's locking mechanism.

hmm... (5, Insightful)

aldousd666 (640240) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866683)

Don't ALL cell phones, even that aren't iphones, especially those which have the capability to install software on them, have this same problem?

This seems like the equivalent of saying 'If you are allowed to install software on your PC you might bring down your ISP's entire network."

Re:hmm... (5, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866765)

Absolutely, If you have a PC with a 3G wireless card you should not be allowed to install any software.

Re:hmm... (5, Informative)

BorgDrone (64343) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866797)

Don't ALL cell phones, even that aren't iphones, especially those which have the capability to install software on them, have this same problem?

No, you're not able to access or change the baseband software. Also, jailbreaking the iPhone doesn't change the baseband AFAIK. Only the SIM-lock does require changing the baseband, which is a completely separate issue.

Re:hmm... (2, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867051)

So what Apple really wants, is to save us all from cellular catastrophe by locking us to AT&T and O2? The network that can't make MMS work and the network that lost a sizable chunk of its coverage because of a single, trivial fire last week? It's like saying you'll protect me from corruption by securing the jobs of MPs.

Re:hmm... (2, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866955)

No, they don't. cellphones use a phone chipset that is separate from the phone. you send it serial data to dial or do data or messaging, controls and you get audio out.

The chipset for the cellular network is SEPARATE from the phone's system that runs the screen, keypad, ringer,etc....

Re:hmm... (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867081)

especially those which have the capability to install software on them

Apple is correct in a sense, making all phone hacking legal is wrong. ie their is a line once crossed you should not be allowed onto wireless networks (hacking the chip id/firmware.) (I think even that should be legal as long as the device is not reconnected to the cell network.) Those more open devices that allow all software on them have exposed "safe API's" that are allowed to be used by the customers, and thus no hacking required. I agree, that is safer than the I-phone method, where Apple forces you to hack your device to get the same functionality.
Obviously this is just a straw man by apple, they want to protect their income stream with full application control, by saying in affect "but what about the hackers who go to far? we must treat all hackers the same, to stop the terrorists.".

Re:hmm... (4, Informative)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867317)

The hackers have already been granted an exception to unlock the phone, and ACTUALLY screw with the baseband, jailbreaking just takes away Apples control of the OS running on the main processor, and they don't like that. They are full of shit if this is their excuse, because as i said, unlocking is already legal.

Defective by design... (1)

sleekware (1109351) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866689)

...sounds more like what this is.

Re:Defective by design... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28866825)

Precisely. The hardware has this capability because they designed it in and then locked it down in proprietary software which also happens to be tied a particular service provider.

Presumably this capability is inherent to the cell phone network. Even assuming this to be true, had they designed this "lock" into a level lower than the service providers' firmware then the phone would work safely with any/all/no service provider garbage installed on it at all.

This is potentially a political move to make other service providers refuse to provide service to individuals using their iPhones on other networks since only officially supported AT&T firmware/software is capable of using the phones "safely".

If we outlaw cracking iPhones (4, Insightful)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866691)

then only outlaws will own cracked iPhones!

Seriously - if you're going to do an illegal activity (hacking) anyway, then making another activity (jailbreaking) illegal isn't going to deter you.

Sorry, I have to do this (0, Redundant)

2names (531755) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866865)

Ok people, the expression is:

If [performing some action] is outlawed,
Only outlaws will [result of performing previous action]

In the case of cracking iPhones:

If cracking iPhones is outlawed,
only outlaws will own cracked iPhones

The inversion of order of the action and outlaw[ed][s] is the whole point of the expression. Please try to get this right. Thank you, that is all.

Re:Sorry, I have to do this (2, Funny)

KrimZon (912441) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867157)

But if using the expression in the wrong order is outlawed,
the expression will only be used in the wrong order by outlaws.

Re:Sorry, I have to do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28867159)

Well, if you want pedantic, I'll give you pedantic...

According to your template, owning a cracked iPhone is the result of cracking an iPhone. I can think of roughly 733898 examples where that's not true. Please try to get your semantics right. Thank you, that is all.

Re:Sorry, I have to do this (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867295)

You went through all that and even you did it wrong.

Going by your walkthrough, the last line should be, "Only outlaws will crack iPhones" where you said that only owning them would be outlawed. However, the "previous action" was the act of cracking, not owning.

Re:Sorry, I have to do this (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867305)

"where you said that only owning them would be outlawed" should have said, "where you said that outlaws will only own them"

Re:If we outlaw cracking iPhones (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867281)

But it's okay, so long as we have guns to shot the cracked iPhone wielding outlaws!

I suppose nobody's missed the obvious (5, Insightful)

dzym (544085) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866693)

If somebody's going to try to "pop" a cell tower they're certainly not going to care if step 1 of the process was legal or not.

Re:I suppose nobody's missed the obvious (1, Insightful)

ajs (35943) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867065)

To be fair, their comments are probably being taken radically out of context, here. They likely gave a laundry-list of reasons that they think jailbreaking should not be allowed by the FCC. Now, we might disagree with their rationale (I do), but Slashdot does tend to sensationalize whatever is the most likely headline to get a geek's attention.

As others have pointed out baseband software isn't typically touched when jailbreaking an iPhone, so this argument would appear to be more of a "the path we're on" sort of thing, rather than a statement about what jailbreaking will cause directly.

Re:I suppose nobody's missed the obvious (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867213)

Exactly. The knife/murder example fits perfectly into the argument. Seriously, when is Apple going to fall over and die? Nothing good has ever come from this company and whatever good technology they made has been kept isolated and treated as the example above, benefiting nobody except Apple. We all know consumers are idiots, often siding with the party (company or brand) that they are purchasing. They don't understand the fundamental concept of trading where the byer (fucking) obviously is never supposed to side with the seller. Apple consumers on the other hand go one step further. I blame the sect like society which you seem to become a member of the second you make that Apple purchase. The brand becomes an obsession instead of an option, and it really is sickening. Still all you can do is rip off the suckers as much as possible, for they will never even care to understand what the fuck I'm talking about, due to the sect like Apple club of peers constantly padding on eachothers backs insisting on how great their iWhatthefuckever's are. You might think I'm overexaggerating but unfortunately, like many others which I'm sure of having observed the same behaviour, I have friends that feel this obsession. Incidently one of them also has OCD.

Re:I suppose nobody's missed the obvious (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867253)

Exactly. If the problem is that you can hack a tower(??) then that step should be illegal, not the tool.

You can chrash a plane in to a cell tower, make planes illegal.
You can chrash a car into a cell tower, make cars illegal.

or just make fucking arround with cell towers illegal.

FUD (2, Insightful)

jackb_guppy (204733) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866699)

Apple is just trying to bad monopolist and keep the cash rolling in. Next it would not have a lock on apps, hence anyone can load what they want as service (background) - so Skype or Google app can vut the phone use costs.

Re:FUD (1)

RedK (112790) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867289)

Monopolist ? You keep using that word, I don't think it means what you think it means.

Makes you wonder (4, Interesting)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866707)

If a jailbroken iPhone can potentially crash a cell tower but a regular run-of-the-mill cell phone cannot, it really makes me wonder what cool toys they've hidden in the jesus phone that makes it so life-threateningly dangerous that it needs to be encased in a kryptonite shield.

Re:Makes you wonder (1)

thedonger (1317951) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866929)

It really makes me wonder why, if Apple is correct, we are relying on security through obscurity to protect our cell phone towers?

Re:Makes you wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28866979)

The core component of an iPhone is a wafer soaked with a drop of blood from Steve Jobs himself, granting it omnipotence.
They then put a magic seal on it that protects their user base from every possible feature except a couple of carefully selected ones that they are deemed able to handle.
In the elaborate voodoo ritual known as 'jailbreaking' the user makes hairline cracks in the seal by committing unspeakable acts to a dead chicken.

Ya, right (5, Insightful)

HeLLFiRe1151 (743468) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866709)

If a person is going to commit a felony "cyberattacks", why the hell would they worry about the legality of jailbreaking? It's like armed bank robbers worrying that they're fully automatic rifle isn't legal.

Re:Ya, right (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28866789)

Mod Parent Up, +5 Insightful

However, it's only 99% correct.

It's like armed bank robbers worrying that the getaway car is legally parked outside the bank.
(And the meter maids (Apple), rallying us against the dangers of parking without feeding the meter!)

Re:Ya, right (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867195)

Pfft, n00b... If you're going to rob a bank, you probably should make sure that the get-away car is parked properly, and otherwise is, or appears legal. Otherwise you might alert authorities sooner, or have to deal with a cop/metermaid when you come out, and that's a risk, to you, and to them, when most bank robbers don't actually *want* to harm/kill anyone. Even if the robbers managed to pull out, looking "normal", and talked to the cop/maid and continue away, that's still probably 2 or more minutes for the people who do now know they robbed a bank to catch up with the cops now having their license plate, and vehicle description in the database, being at the bank, at that time, with X people in it, who look like Y.

Assholes! (4, Informative)

TJamieson (218336) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866711)

The Exclusive Chip Identifier? Aka the ECID [] ?

That thing was added solely to make it harder to unlock the phone for other carriers!

iPwn (1)

SUB7IME (604466) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866721)

iPhone + Jailbreak = iPwn

At least, iPwn cellphone towers.

The protect the baseband processor only (5, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866723)

Instead of locking the whole thing down, just lock down the baseband processor. That way people who want to run their own apps can do so without having to jailbreak anything, and the baseband processor won't have any attention given to it. But of course this would still be a problem with AT&T, who provides the connectivity.

Re:The protect the baseband processor only (3, Interesting)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867301)

That's what every other mobile operating system does. Apple is essentially suggesting that they are less competent.

Remember how they were playing up the "security flaws" of the other mobile devices, to rationalize not having an SDK, then to rationalize having a closed SDK, and yet, every jailbreak technique roots the device. The iPhone is demonstratively the least secure mobile device out there.

Oh please... (4, Insightful)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866729)

If these towers could be brought down from a user who jailbroke his iPhone, then it would have happened already.

No hacker is going to say "Oh well I guess I can't bring down this series of towers, ATT/Apple said it's not legal. Darn..."

This is the lamest excuse I've heard yet...

Re:Oh please... (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867013)

"If these towers could be brought down from a user who jailbroke his iPhone, then it would have happened already."

That, my friend, is a logical fallacy. Right up there with; "If it's doable, then it's already been done."

Re:Oh please... (1)

Garbad Ropedink (1542973) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867167)

Maybe fortunately the terrorists use cell phones to communicate, so they don't really want to sever one of their means of communication...

hopefully this will fix it (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866731)

Slashdot-Article []

then Apple will be forced to sell iphones unlocked from the factory leaving AT&T out in the cold :)

Total crap (4, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866733)

It would be like saying that allowing PC/Mac programmers to use the IP sockets API will let them crash their local router.

Give us a break Apple, you're coming across as more and more control freaks and foolish every week.

Re:Total crap (1)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867315)

When has Apple *not* been a bunch of control freaks? Especially under Steve Jobs?

I understand their point, but at the same time, I wish they would go about it less obsessively and with more regard to finding ways to not handicap their own products.

Of course, as others have pointed out, they are in business with a provider. That situation is probably making their already pathological corporate OCD significantly worse.

Yet another nonsensical response. (5, Insightful)

getclear (1338437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866735)

We all know the deal. If I wanted to compromise said cellular network, I could use the current published, freely, and openly available jailbreaking techniques. If they legalize jailbreaking of the phones, it is not going to legalize hacking cellphone towers, so the people that are going to do it are already trying. This is just a another preemptive strike by Apple. They are going to lose credibility, because too much press in a short ammount of time for a company can be just as bad as flying under the wire. I think it is time they slip back into the ether and keep quiet for a few weeks.

Other smartphones? (3, Insightful)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866739)

There are other smartphones on the market, you know. And the rest of them aren't limited to apple's draconian app store submission process.

Surely such a hacker could just use another smartphone platform? Seems like a last-ditch attempt to justify their control-freakery.

Re:Other smartphones? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867045)

except the iPhone is really nice, and most people that own them don't understand what's going on. In order to effect change, then other users must be made aware. Just buying another phone doesn't help solve the problem; which will become the same problem for ALL smart phones in the US.

"Seems like a last-ditch attempt to justify their control-freakery."

Let me get this straight (4, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866753)

In order for the towers to be protected, there must be a *law* against jailbreaking (a practice that is currently perfectly feasible, just questionably legal). Will the law, sensing a helpless tower is in danger, jump off the page and stop the evil hacker from using his jailbroken phone to expose flaws in the upstream hardware/software, and save the day?

Even if this is true, legislation is clearly NOT the way to go here. Either they are giving away too many secrets just by having easily exploited hardware/software in consumers hands, or they are running woefully unprotected towers (or both). In any case, a law against it isn't going to do a whole lot except speed the prosecution of said 'evil hacker' who would already be breaking numerous laws anyway.

Protecting Profit Margins (3, Insightful)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866761)

Apples isn't so much worried about hacking as it's a possibility with any smartphone. It's worried more about it's profit margin with exclusive contracts; this allows them to take a percentage of the contracts rather while undercutting the price of their devices. If they were to lose this exclusivity, they would either have to raise the price of their devices again or accept that their profit margins have been cut... and that is the real thing they are arguing against.

This will save us! (4, Funny)

Abraxis (180472) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866777)

Because it being illegal will stop those intent on using their phones for nefarious purposes FROM JAILBREAKING THEIR iPHONES? Sorta like how traffic laws will prevent robbers from double parking while pulling a bank heist (double parking the vehicle can speed the getaway!!).

Re:This will save us! (1)

Abraxis (180472) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866817)

(Not to compare the social harm of double parking to iPhone jailbreaking..... sorry jailbreakers, didn't mean to compare you to double parkers! )

Re:This will save us! (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866917)

Except when double parking results in them being noticed by a cop before they even come out of the bank.

Easy Solution - Bring IPhone To Other Carriers (1)

CyberSlammer (1459173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866785)

The number of jailbroken IPhones should send a clear message people don't want to deal with AT&T and their substandard network and pricing tactics.

Re:Easy Solution - Bring IPhone To Other Carriers (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866863)

Most people jailbreak to access all of the apps that Apple refuses to make available via the App Store. Being able to unlock the phone is just a nice side effect of the process.

To be, or not to be (5, Insightful)

scout-247 (1127737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866805)

The ability to make anonymous phone calls shouldn't be seen as such an evil.

Mod parent up! (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866963)

If I had the points, I'd do it myself.


Reluctantly agree (-1)

cjonslashdot (904508) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866813)

I reluctantly agree with them.

The reason that I myself am willing to download and install an app onto my iPhone is because I am sure that Apple has done some QA on it, and that the author values their relationship with Apple and so would not likely risk it by embedding malware. This QA that Apple provides is of great value.

The root problem is that OSs - including phone OSs - are not very secure to begin with, and to have people hacking the OS means that they are bypassing any "sandbox" technology that protects the phone - and the infrastructure - against malware.

On the other hand, if the OS were very secure, then Apple could - and should - be willing to open the platform to non-Apple approved apps. But I don't trust that the iPhone OS is secure enough to allow this. If someone can prove that it is, then they have a case for opening up the iPhone.

Re:Reluctantly agree (2)

Ekuryua (940558) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867049)

You trust apple to read every single line of the applications? That's funny. Also this is completely irrelevant to jailbreaking. Apple could very well be certifying applications and sell them through their store with jailbreaking, and you could still be buying and using them from only if you're a scaredy cat. Obviously you'd be liable for damage caused to your info&phone by non certified application, but that's not a problem.

Re:Reluctantly agree (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867135)

You only agree because you are ignorant of how cell tower operate.
Educate yourself.

as far as QA goes, Apple is more then welcome to void the warranty on phones that have been jailbreaked.

Ummm... (2, Insightful)

mhkohne (3854) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866847)

If jailbroken iPhones can hurt cell towers, then it's already too late, because there are already jailbroken iPhones. So how does making jailbreaks illegal help this problem? It doesn't.

Lying like dogs... (2, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866861)

Wow are they full of crap. Or the iphone is crappy designed.

I se a GSM open module every day.... []

I use this thing and I have full access to all it's parts except for the sourcecode to the phone/modem.

If the iphone does not have one of these phone chipsets in it like the other 99.9987% of the cellphones on the planet, then they made a really crappy phone.

Keep in mind (2, Insightful)

bferrell (253291) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866867)

ATT and the old bell system made the argument that phones they didn't make (and rent/lease to subscribers) would harm the network. It took the carterphone decision to make THAT lie go away

Re:Keep in mind (1)

jackb_guppy (204733) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867241)

But it did hurt the network - since this measurement was made in dollars.

fast modems - AT&T lost share of profits
new phone designs - AT&T lost share of profits
cell phones - AT&T lost share of profits

but AT&T did make it up with the NSA contracts.

I love you Apple - you lie better than M$ (1)

flibuste (523578) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866909)

What a bunkerload of crap. it's either the IPhone OS that allows that because of a flaw, or just plain FUD (my friend Occam tells me his razor points to the second option). In both cases, why can't we do it with other phones that aren't IPhones? Huuuumm??

Same Old Apple - 1980s Over Again (4, Interesting)

abroadst (541007) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866915)

Apple doesn't learn. This very same strategy is what gave Microsoft such a big opening in the 80s. If Apple sticks to the closed system approach they will have higher price points in the short term, but long term will lose out to more open platforms like Android where the incentives for a more diverse network of partners will be greater. In the early 80s Apple outsold IBM and everybody else in PCs. They took their Apple II win and moved up-market with the Mac. Sure the technology and user experience were radically better than the competition, but they further closed down the platform to partners and end users. Pretty quickly the open platform, multi-vendor combination promoted by IBM, Microsoft, and Intel won the day - even though it didn't work as well.

Problem with the phone or the network? (1)

Knutsi (959723) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866925)

If a few rouge iPhones are capable of messing up the cellphone network, then isn't that a general problem with the network rather than if the user has access to all the settings of the device? I mean, build a few phone-like devices in your garage, set them all to go off at a certain time, then drive around and drop the "bombs" near different towers. Why is the iPhone anything special?

Re:Problem with the phone or the network? (2, Funny)

schon (31600) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867173)

a few rouge iPhones

I thought they only came in black?

In other news (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866943)

Car companies announced today if people are allowed to work on their own cars and then buy gasoline from the wrong filling station, the gas station will explode.

Security excuse (1)

DaveInAustin (549058) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866957)

I asked [] the DC Metro [] chief about open sourcing their control system code or even just publishing the control data on something like [] so that folks could write cool apps (iphone/Andriod/Blackberry/Pre/Web2.0) to encourage riding and make the system safer. He said no because that would allow people to hack into the system's. Instead, they are working with an unnamed "vendor". This is the same excuse a lot of folks (even Darl [] ) gives when wanting to keep things closed.

If only criminals followed the law.. (1)

Teese (89081) | more than 5 years ago | (#28866981)

They already have access to jailbreaked phones. If they are going to do something this nefarious intentionally, they aren't going to care if hacking iphones is illegal.

Keep the faith (1)

internic (453511) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867003)

I can't believe how many people here won't take Apple at their word. They're only looking out for your best interests. And anyway, with a bad attitude like that how do you expect to be allowed to buy the new improved iPhone [] ? You don't want to miss out.

uh oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28867067)

now that I know this...I'm interested >,

Proper cellphones have TWO processors for a reason (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28867073)

Most properly engineered cellphones have TWO processors, one holds the GSM stack and radio control, and really, *REALLY* looks like an over-smart, over-engineered modem with standard "AT" commands.

The second processor is more powerful, and the entire UI goes there. It talks to the baseband GSM stack over stuff that looks like serial links. And it is this second processor that you are jailbreaking.

If Apple allows anyone to mess with the GSM stack, then they have screwed up, plain and simple. It also menas the iPhone is a piece of shit security-wise. Which wouldn't suprise me any, but still... I very MUCH doubt Apple has bought or written a GSM (or CDMA, UMTS, HSDPA, etc) stack, they probably licensed one (if not the entire cell radio module), so it should be running on its own processor alright... which BTW is usually an ARM5 core inside a GSM/UMTS/whatever SoC module.

In other words, Apple is probably lying, and there is *NO* risk to any cell network on jailbraking the main (GUI) processor.

More freetard whinging (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28867085)

Oh please, you lot of self-righteous blowhards. If you want to build a cell phone that is as good as the iPhone, WHY DONT YOU DO SO? Instead, you freetards sit around and complain that even though Apple did all the hard work of you know, actually INVENTING the smartphone, you lot should be allowed to do whatever you want with it. Well tough SHIT, Apple invented this market, so Apple should get to decide who plays, and you neckbeards are not invited to the party, so get lost.


Why doesn't apple ... (1)

Pool_Noodle (1373373) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867097)

Just cut to the chase and release the right press release ... "We are the Apple, open your wallets and surrender your monies. We will add you Dollars and Cents to our own. Your cash will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile." (yeah, its old, but I'm just saying what everyone's thinking)

Don't forget AT&T. (1)

TheHawke (237817) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867333)

One company gouging you is a thief. It takes two to make for a price fixing conspiracy. thus AntiTrust, thus the Sherman Act.

That's why the FCC is up in arms about the whole ordeal.

It's time to shoot the torp that blasts their little battle station out of the sky.

apple should be sued then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28867139)

If they know that their device is so dangerous and they are still selling it.

Just another marketing ploy: (1)

BForrester (946915) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867181)

You want to crash a cell tower and bring down the national communications grid?

There's an app for that.

Sounds like a scam. (1)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867187)

This all sounds like a scam by Apple to prevent users from jailbreaking their devices, I mean it just coincidentally comes out the same time the Copyright Office is considering this request.

Let me gets this straight. (2, Informative)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867191)

Is the problem with any cellphone that allows you to install your own software or are jail broken iPhones the only potential terrorist threat? This could be really dumb for Apple, you know equating their own product to anthrax and missing nukes. It certainly didn't work for BioTerror Coke.

ahhhhh (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867209)

"or use the Exclusive Chip Identification number to make calls anonymously"

omfg, the horror!

Bollocks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28867217)

A cellular base station (BTS) is designed to react gracefully under extreme loads. I was the company technical authority on this area for a major network equipment provider. For example, on the stroke of new year, everyone tries to call or SMS each other. This is effectively a global DDoS on the entire network. Manufacturers build their equipment to cope, and operators plan their neworks taking such events into consideration.

The closest I can envisage to a DoS attack on a cellular system would be a RACH DoS attack, where the phone makes repeated connection attempts on the RACH channel. However, all cellular BTSs are designed to degrade gracefully under an extremely high load. The BTS can either grant a RACH request, or deny it. If it denies it, it can state a back-off period. I would be extremely surprised if a baseband processor were not to implement this back-off period in hardware.

I have a cracked iPhone! (1)

JohnCC (534168) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867219)

I have a cracked iPhone, although using the GPS was what probably did it. iPhone, now available in charred black.

In this case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28867233)

Then in this case the service provider should use some of their monies to maintain the cell tower. The end.

My iPod can do what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28867247)

By jailbreaking my iPod Touch, I can crash cell towers?


hahahahaha (5, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#28867265)

and hahahahahaha!
Maybe if people put their jailbroken phones in trebuchets and fire them at cell towers...
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