iPhone hackers banned from App store

February 16, 2010 | 13:09

Tags: #app-store #iphone #iphone-security #jailbreak #jailbroken #unlock

Companies: #apple

Apple has decided to hit back at hackers who find exploits in its iPhone software and use them to produce jailbreak or unlocking software - by banning them from the App store.

As reported over on Redmond Pie, two prominent iPhone hackers have come forward to reveal that Apple has locked them out of the App store for their involvement in producing software which allows for the installation of third-party software on iPhone and iPod Touch handsets. With no App store access, the users are unable to access content they have legitimately purchased - and are, of course, unable to purchase any more.

The two hackers in question are Sherif Hashim, creator of an as-yet unreleased exploit for the latest version of Apple's operating system which allows for a full unlock of the handset, and iH8sn0w, creator of the Sn0wbreeze unlocking tool for Windows.

Hashim revealed the move on his Twitter account, stating that attempts to access the App store are met with a message telling him "Your Apple ID was banned for security reasons." Calling Apple "babies," Hashim mocked the company for the simplicity of the ban - pointing out that he won't have been hard to find, as he uses his full name in his Apple ID e-mail address.

The move to ban hackers was confirmed by iH8sn0w, who posted that he has been receiving the exact same message since posting the AT+XEMN heap overflow exploit. Again, iH8sn0w will have been easy to track, as his Apple ID used the name "ih8sn0wyday."

While there is no indication that Apple are refusing access to the App Store for anyone who merely makes use of available software to jailbreak or unlock their iPhone or iPod Touch handsets, the message is clear: publicly release an exploit for the iPhone OS and expect to lose your App Store privileges.

Do you agree with Apple's assessment that such hackers represent a security concern to the largely paid-for App Store, or is the company merely waging a vendetta against those who reveal that Apple software isn't as secure as the company might claim? Would the problem be solved if Apple just allowed third-party software installs in the first place, like almost every other smartphone manufacturer? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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