The iPhone Dev Team vs. Apple arms race

The iPhone Dev Team vs. Apple arms race

Summary: Apple keeps trying to foil the efforts of the iPhone Dev Team with intentional roadblocks built into each successive build of the iPhone/iPod touch firmware - and the newly-minted firmware 2.1 is no exception.


The iPhone Dev Team vs. Apple arms raceApple keeps trying to foil the efforts of the iPhone Dev Team with intentional roadblocks built into each successive build of the iPhone/iPod touch firmware - and the newly-minted firmware 2.1 is no exception.

Each time Apple releases an update firmware it breaks the installed jailbreak and prevents the device from being pwned. If you haven't been following the saga surrounding the Pwnage Tool, the iPhone dev team taunts the official iPhone team with this little gem on their blog:

Apple can’t fix the bug we’ve exploited in PwnageTool unless they fix their hardware.

Na, na, na na, na.

But then they admit that Apple has suceeded in finding other ways to make like difficult for jailbreakers: way they can try to combat Pwnage for existing hardware is to program iTunes to detect and prevent the Pwnage exploit.  In fact, they’ve already done that in iTunes 8.  The screenshot below from iTunes 8 using a Pwned ipsw (with an unPwned device attached) is one example. PwnageTool vs. Apple arms race

Then they add this joyous little nugget:

The nice thing about iTunes decisions is that we can provide you with patches to counter them. We have one such patch already for Mac iTunes 8 for iPod touch.  We’ll be working out the full suite of patches for all the combinations over the next week.

Personally I'm done with the jailbreaking for the time being. Mostly because I like to be able to install the new Apple firmware updates when they're released but also because the majority of software that I need is available from the App Store.

The only things that I'd consider jailbreaking for are themes and tethering. What about you?

Topics: Hardware, Apple, CXO, iPhone, Mobility

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  • Jailbreak but keep using their software?

    It seems a strange concept to me. Jailbreaking an iTouch or iPhone means you can use innumerable and usually superior products to manage your hardware. Why go back to using iTunes?

    On the escalation front, someone needs to explain to Apple that it is truly a losing proposition. So long as they want valid users to be able to use their phone, they can't make it impossible to reverse engineer how it works. That's why DRM is dying. That's why MaybePlays died, all the vein useless attempts at catching the "bad guys" let to ever increasing annoyance, and software bugs for the legit customers.

    Anyway, back to my original point, jailbreak your phone, then use whatever you want, or heck, install other OSes and be free of everything. That is all 100% legal (per the DMCA), but don't expect (for now, Apple hasn't learned it is throwing good money after bad), don't expect it to continue to work with Apple software.

    • Forget I-Phone

      Get a Palm. Many of Palm's offerings makes great videos that have audio tracks and run as long as you have memory. The video app is included for free.

      Yeah, the Palm may not be bleeding edge and it won't park your car, wash your dishes or blow your nose, but it gets the job done with zero effort.
  • RE: PwnageTool vs. Apple arms race

    I fail to understand why Apple has not taken advantage of themes. Many people get tired of the default iphone theme. Most people that use PwnageTool use it simply for themes. I am suprised that Apple hasnt decided to create a theme store. They would make a killing off of it.
  • RE: PwnageTool vs. Apple arms race

    With the software quality and selection available on the App Store now, and the ease of just using the system as it is meant to be used, I think someone has to be looking to fight city hall and live their lives the hard way to still be running a jail-broken iPhone - especially if they are a 3G owner and never suffered through the dry days pre-2.0.
  • RE: PwnageTool vs. Apple arms race

    The App Store gets better every week, but still there are some Cydia/Installer-only apps that I just cannot do without.

    SSH daemon
    Terminal (App Store has it too, but not free)
    Cycorder (video camera)
  • RE: PwnageTool vs. Apple arms race

    Only a shirtless, hat backward idiot would jailbreak this
    phone. And God knows there are plenty of them.
    • Message has been deleted.

  • RE: PwnageTool vs. Apple arms race

    "Only a shirtless, hat backward idiot would jailbreak this
    phone. And God knows there are plenty of them. "
    ~Posted by: cameljockey Posted on: 09/13/08

    So anyone who doesn't wear a shirt or wears a hat backwards is automatically an idiot? And the username "cameljockey," which is BTW a racist term, doesn't seem idiotic to you?

    And what's so wrong about jailbreaking anyhow? All it does is give you the options and alternatives that SHOULD HAVE BEEN implemented into the iPhone platform from the get-go... this "arms race" is nothing more than yet another example of Steve Job's infamous need to control everything... the iPhone OS should have included things like being able to change themes, a video recorder, the ability to catagorize apps into folders, and the like. Perhaps you need to do some more research on the subject before making an ass of yourself...

    My advice to you, jockey, is simple: Troll elsewhere.
    • He's not trolling

      Trolling would be some MS butt-loving moron claiming they found a better phone... Or that they just got to have a 9-megapixel camera built into a cell phone (talk about stupid)...

      cameljockey is simply saying that you would have to be a moron to try and tweak and hack something that doesn't need tweaking and hacking.. Especially considering that it is constantly being improved and the software options are constantly growing via legitimate channels.

      I personally don't trust any of the jail breaking apps out there. What?s preventing them from dumping spy/mal - ware on your iPhone?

      None of the jail breaking options "should" have been implemented from the get go... They should be slowly introduced and refined and secured as they go, just like Apple is doing. Yeah, yeah, blah, blah.. if you ran the company you would have released it all from the get go... yeah right.. If you had 2 brain cells to rub together you would realize that that would have been a recipe for failure. Impossible to support, and too great of a learning curve for the masses or morons.

      People really need to learn how to think once in a while. Shut up, enjoy your iPhone, hack it if you want, but don't come crying and blubbering if someone exploits you or bricks your iphone because of your stupidity.

      For me, I?ve always known I would never jailbreak the phone unless I absolutely had to use a different carrier. I have so many wifi hot spots around me that I will never have to worry about tethering. And themes? lol? that is so windows 95? not a chance.
  • Message has been deleted.

  • I am done with Iphone

    The wait is on for a phone as good as the Omnia but with
    a decent GUI. Who wants a phone which you cannot
    connect to your macbook, with which you cannot send an
    MMS, which has an SMS client that does not allow you to
    forward messages or a phone which has bluetooth which
    cannot even be used to send or received files from other
    devices? Who wants a phone with a lousy 2megapics
    camera, without a second camera for video calling (that is
    why you have 3G isn't it?) Or who wants a phone with GPS
    that can not route you to your destination. Who wants a
    phone that needs a firmware update every week in order to
    get rid of another handful of bugs? I certainly not, so I will
    return mine soon.
  • RE: PwnageTool vs. Apple arms race

    No jailbreaking for me either, I purchased and downloaded
    NetShare before Apple removed it from the App Store and
    even before I had purchased the iPhone, so tethering is not
    a problem.

    I agree with Jason, I want to download software/firmware
    updates without fear of turning my iPhone into a brick or
    loosing functionality.

    Is the App store perfect? Absolutely not! Is Apple's iPones
    business model ideal for the consumer? No way! But the
    iPhone combined with the App Store is hands down the
    best product/experience (currently) available to customers.