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Apple Bans Jailbreakers From the App Store 507

Posted by Soulskill
from the unfruitful-apple-actions dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Adam Mills writes in the Examiner that Apple has been cutting off access to the iTunes App Store for iPhone hackers and jailbreakers. Sherif Hashim, the iPhone developer who successfully hacked the iPhone OS 3.1.3 and unlocked the 05.12.01 baseband for iPhone 3GS and 3G devices, discovered he'd been cut off and twittered: '"Your Apple ID was banned for security reasons," that's what i get when i try to go to the app store, they must be really angry.' Another hacker, iH8Sn0w, who is behind the Sn0wbreeze tool, confirms that his account has also been deactivated even though iH8sn0w's exploit had only been revealed to Dev Team, the group responsible for the PwnageTool. 'It is kind of surprising that two people associated with jailbreaking have had this happen to them so soon after one another, but it's too early to say if this is a campaign that Apple is starting up,' writes Mills."
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Apple Bans Jailbreakers From the App Store

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  • I don't believe it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by amorsen (7485) <benny+slashdot@amorsen.dk> on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @01:31PM (#31157054)

    We'll need a bit more evidence than 2 cases.

    Anyway, that would be an effective way to encourage people to try out alternate ways to acquire the same software...

    • by netruner (588721) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @01:34PM (#31157132)
      Or it would be an effective way to encourage people to go Android.....

      It's the 80's all over again......
      • by Weezul (52464) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @01:42PM (#31157270)

        Apple doesn't mind chasing away all the hard core developers who'll tweak the underlying system. The iPhone, iTouch, iPad are only really useful for video games, music/movies, and basic communications and information services, ala maps, sms, etc. Apple just doesn't need developers. Anyone interested in developing more serious applications should really look into Maemo/MeeGo or Android.

        • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @01:47PM (#31157362) Journal

          Christ almighty, it is 1986 all over again. "Yeah, Apple doesn't need all those people who just want to plug in any all video card. We aspire to a higher class of user." which, roughly translated meant "Okay, IBM and clone manufacturers, we seed 90%+ of market share to you to assure our purity."

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            "Okay, IBM and clone manufacturers, we seed 90%+ of market share to you to assure our purity."

            So its Apple who are behind all those OSX torrents!!

            /cede

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by poetmatt (793785)

            MS hasn't exactly changed in the last 10-15 years, why would anyone think Apple has either?

            hint to folks(not aimed at you mighty): for a corporation to change at it's core is exceedingly difficult and feared by both a corporation's own management and their stakeholders in various forms. It almost never happens.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by SadButTrue (848439)

            not a single cede/seed joke in a story about apple.. what has happened to my slashdot

          • I can't help mysef. (Score:5, Informative)

            by sammy baby (14909) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @02:09PM (#31157714) Journal

            ...we seed 90%+ of market share to you to assure our purity."

            cede [google.com] , not seed.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by painandgreed (692585)

            Christ almighty, it is 1986 all over again. "Yeah, Apple doesn't need all those people who just want to plug in any all video card. We aspire to a higher class of user." which, roughly translated meant "Okay, IBM and clone manufacturers, we seed 90%+ of market share to you to assure our purity."

            Back in 1986, there was no 'any ol' video card' as each platform was separate hardware and most home computers probably still had built in chips and connected to the TV. Microsoft was an insignificant player who wa

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Except long term I have a feeling the carriers are going to be hijacking Android and only allowing apps from "their" app stores. There is simply too much money in apps and the carriers are going to muscle their way in some how. They don't want to be just dump pipes. We've finally seen unlimited voice plans fall to what I had been paying for 700 minutes of family talk.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Dan667 (564390)
        I cannot believe Apple did not learn this lesson the last time in the 80s. They were in the drivers seat with the PC and they refused to let anyone develop any software for it. Well, everyone gave them the finger and now almost everyone uses a Microsoft OS (although I am glad that is finally changing). Looks like Apple's need to control every thing and try to sell all the software themselves is catching up with them now that Android is out.
        • by j-turkey (187775) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @03:37PM (#31159056) Homepage

          I cannot believe Apple did not learn this lesson the last time in the 80s. They were in the drivers seat with the PC and they refused to let anyone develop any software for it. Well, everyone gave them the finger and now almost everyone uses a Microsoft OS (although I am glad that is finally changing). Looks like Apple's need to control every thing and try to sell all the software themselves is catching up with them now that Android is out.

          Perhaps I don't understand you right, but when did Apple refuse to allow anyone to develop software for their PC's?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          I cannot believe Apple did not learn this lesson the last time in the 80s. They were in the drivers seat with the PC and they refused to let anyone develop any software for it. Well, everyone gave them the finger and now almost everyone uses a Microsoft OS (although I am glad that is finally changing).

          What?

          I don't remember that. The Apple ][ was pretty open, and I had absolutely no problems developing for it nor finding software. Hell we even had Apple clones in our user's group.

          What gave Microsoft DOS th

    • Your comment that you don't believe it made me chuckle. WHY don't you believe it? This seems to me to be precisely the kind of thing that Apple would try and get away with.

      • by s73v3r (963317) <s73v3r@gmail.cPASCALom minus language> on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @01:47PM (#31157376)
        Perhaps. I wouldn't be surprised. Its just gonna take more than 2 cases to be convincing.
      • by snowraver1 (1052510) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @01:49PM (#31157408)
        I don't see any problem with it. I'm no Apple supporteer, but how is this different than MS banning hacked consoles from XBL or Blizzard banning cheaters from their servers.

        If you want to use a service, you have to play by that service's rules. Don't like the rules, don't use the service.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Pojut (1027544)

          how is this different than MS banning hacked consoles from XBL

          See, that whole thing really pissed me off. Instead of banning hacked consoles from Live entirely, why not just ban them from having a Gold account and allow them to keep a silver account? That way, people with hacked consoles can still pay Microsoft for downloadable games and DLC, yet can't "cheat" during multiplayer.

          To what purpose does it serve to ban people from Live ENTIRELY instead of putting them on permanent silver account status? I can completely understand banning hacked consoles from multiplay

          • by ashridah (72567) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @02:40PM (#31158228)

            Except they didn't ban the people. they banned the hardware from live, since it's untrustworthy. The people still have their gold status, and can sign in on another unhacked console, and use xbox live the way they always did.

            Putting people on silver status would involve taking away a service they paid for. The fact that the device they were using is no longer considered kosher to use to access that service is a related, but seperatable issue. They still have all of the stuff they owned, and can use it on another console if they transfer the rights to that console. MS didn't steal money from them.

            Personally, if I was going to mod an xbox, I'd have a second, unmodified one for normal usage nearby. Anyone who decided to take the risk also has the old owner onus applicable.

      • You are mistaking his statement that he doesn't believe it for a statement that he believes it to be not true. All he is saying is that 2 cases are insufficient to draw a conclusion from. There are too many reasons why any one person might possibly be banned from Itunes to assume that the one thing (we know of) that two people who have been banned have in common is the reason they have been banned.
        On the other hand it is entirely consistent with previous Apple behavior, so it may be true.
      • And they would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for those meddling DEVELOPERS!

      • by idobi (820896)
        I think the far more likely explanation is that these high-profile individual with public email (which also serves as their appleID) had people attempt to hack into their accounts. Enough failed passwords, and all accounts get locked out.
    • No proof (Score:5, Interesting)

      by daveschroeder (516195) * on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @01:45PM (#31157326)

      Indeed, and see this Apple KB article [apple.com]:

      For your protection, your Apple ID is automatically disabled (partially) if your account password is incorrectly entered numerous times. This affects some services you may access with your Apple ID, such as your accounts with: Apple Photo Services, iTunes Store, and MobileMe.

      When you try to use some online services and your Apple ID has been disabled, the following message appears:

      "This Apple ID has been disabled for security reasons."

      So who's to say it's not someone just messing with these guys? All it takes is a few bad login attempts to temporarily disable ANY Apple ID.

      And even if Apple was disabling just these Apple IDs, it's clearly not of all people with jailbroken devices, else we would know about it; instead it's specific, individual people (who are probably in violation of Apple's terms of service for Apple IDs).

      • by Graff (532189)

        So who's to say it's not someone just messing with these guys? All it takes is a few bad login attempts to temporarily disable ANY Apple ID.

        That's an excellent point. I guess we'll all have to wait for Apple to make a statement if they are instituting a policy against jailbreakers. Until then maybe knee-jerk reactions are a bit over the top? What an amazing concept...

        I'm all for holding a company's feet to the fire when they step over the line but 2 isolated examples with no independent corroboration or statements by the company tends to make me skeptical of the whole story. Even then, Apple has every right to cut off access to these hackers. I

  • Figured it'd happen (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Coopjust (872796) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @01:31PM (#31157058)
    That's why I've told anyone who jailbroke to use a separate account for apps on jailbroken devices.

    Kind of silly, IMO. You're going to ban people from possibly paying for apps? Not every app is jailbroken, some are cracked incorrectly (some of the antipiracy mechanisms in apps I've seen are nothing short of hilarious trolling), and some are out of date. Additionally, if an app is really good, a user may buy the app to support the dev.

    So you ban people and what happens? People jailbreak all the free apps too.

    Seems like a bad move on Apple's part.
    • Seems like a bad move on Apple's part.

      What are you talking about? They're half way there!

      All they need to do now is Ban the non-jailbroken phones from the Appstore as well, and soon the world will be a better place.

      (kidding)

      (... Well mostly kidding)

    • by sopssa (1498795) *

      They didn't ban everyone with a jailbroken phone and most likely wont do so, but only the two guys who originally released the hacks to jailbreak iPhone.

    • by Graff (532189) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @01:52PM (#31157452)

      Get a grip people. There haven't been any reports that Apple is banning people who jailbreak their own personal phones, they have banned TWO people who are involved in discovering and propagating exploits for the iPhone. Yes, these hacks are being used to jailbreak but it's a much different thing to ban someone who is actively seeking new ways to break into the iPhone OS than it is to ban someone unlocking their own phone.

      If Apple starts banning en-masse people who have jailbroken their iPhones then we can break out the torches and pitchforks. Until then it's a company saying "no more soup for you" to a couple of hackers who are looking to exploit the company's secure system. And yes, I'll be right there with the rest of you if Apple does start pushing around joe average over this issue.

      • by ktappe (747125) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @02:57PM (#31158466)

        If Apple starts banning en-masse people who have jailbroken their iPhones then we can break out the torches and pitchforks. Until then it's a company saying "no more soup for you" to a couple of hackers who are looking to exploit the company's secure system.

        So you're willing to protest when you get cut off but not when the guys whose software freed your phone get cut off? That's mighty neighborly of you.

        • by Graff (532189) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @06:19PM (#31161170)

          So you're willing to protest when you get cut off but not when the guys whose software freed your phone get cut off?

          It's a matter of scale and purpose. Someone hacking their own device and keeping that action to themselves is a single event. Someone making tools and enabling others (most likely people who couldn't do it in the first place) to hack their device is a manifold increase in the number of hacks, possibly also enabling further, deeper hacks of the device and network security.

          There's no hard and fast cutoff as to what I would consider a reasonable degree of a company's ability to defend its closed system. When we are talking about cellular networks it wouldn't take much to cause major problems, even legitimate users can bring down the system. Add in people changing the software in unanticipated ways and then DISTRIBUTING those changes and you can easily cause havoc. On the other hand, stuff like DeCSS which enables a person to make backups of their DVDs has a less direct effect upon other users. It can still cause problems with piracy and such but it's not going to suddenly make everyone's DVDs unusable.

          In this case I think that perhaps the iPhone hackers broke the terms of service of the iTunes Store and they had their accounts terminated. Apple has a right to do this, it's spelled out in the TOS. As long as they use it selectively for major infractions I'm not too worried about it, it's when they use it to ban every single little violation that I'll be worried. Is that arbitrary? Perhaps but everyone draws the line somewhere.

          Finally, I don't jailbreak. If I didn't care for Apple's rules I wouldn't have bought the iPhone in the first place. If I wanted a more open device there are some out there and I would have gotten one. My iPhone works just fine for me without hacking anything.

  • by Shuntros (1059306) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @01:32PM (#31157086)
    3.1.3 hasn't been "hacked". The chap discovered a specific crash which could trigger a crash in the baseband software, potentially being one day developed into an unlock. Long way off..

    The other guy cobbled a VB front-end onto a load of other people's utilities to make a questionably legal Windows version of an existing OSX program for creating custom firmware bundles.

    Bit of an overreaction on Apple's part if you ask me.
  • by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @01:33PM (#31157092)

    Is a lot like the experience you have after having a few too many drinks and wandering into a dark alley at 3AM.

  • Sounds like it's time for a little spoofing. One account for access to the app store, another to give the Apple security thugs some red meat to chew on. Time to teach Mr. Jobs some manners.

  • Closed Ecosystem (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zeromorph (1009305) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @01:36PM (#31157170)

    That is one of the huge drawbacks of such a closed ecosystem.

    However, the original post is less agitate than the summary:

    Is Apple starting to ban those associated with jailbreaking?

    The answer is probably not. [...] however it definitely would put an iron grip on those who pirate free software. The details of what is going on remain extremely murky but maybe they are taking down some of the bigger players.

  • ...But do not expect the hardware/software's creator to give you carte blanche access to the resources to do it.

    And heaven help you should you do what they fear you or others could do if your code has a serious bug; spam or interrupt the cell network or a local wifi network. The onslaught of Apple's lawyers, not to mention the FCC and other international communications regulators, would by a iPocalypse in itself.

  • have a price tag with it. in this case, price is freedom.

    apple users should face the distasteful truth. the company which is providing them 'stylish' and 'hip' products that 'just work', is just wanting to keep them as cash cows without any consumer choice.

  • Silver lining (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sir_Lewk (967686) <sirlewk@nOSpAm.gmail.com> on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @01:40PM (#31157246)

    This obviously sucks for the people involved, but I can't help but feel this is actually superb news. Maybe this will finaly drive home that the ability to jailbreak your devices does not excuse manufactures for making locked-down closed devices. Far too often I've heard arguments of the form: "[DEVICES] are not locked down, because you can jailbreak them if you want to."

  • by tomasf (1524515) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @01:44PM (#31157298)

    I got the exact same message a couple of weeks ago when I tried to log in to ADC. Here's a screenshot: http://tomasf.se/other/appleid.jpg [tomasf.se]

    I'm not a jailbreaker, though, so either Apple made a mistake in my case, or this has nothing to do with jailbreaking. Now to figure out how to resolve this... :-/

  • Nice. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @01:52PM (#31157460)

    Keep digging that hole for yourself, Apple. It'll save Android from having to do the heavy lifting.

  • Irony (Score:2, Insightful)

    Hey, at least Microsoft didn't do this. Then it'd be downright evil.
  • A manipulated verification procedure for software to be installed *is* a security problem. If the procedure is manipulated, then it is imaginable that binaries transferred from the appstore to the phone get manipulated on the way and that apple is liable for the damage from that. If the promise is a safe delivery of an application, then, as a customer you probably can sue them if you can prove that apple got knowledge about this and did *not* inform you. So technically speaking, an jailbroken iphone is a sy

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @02:26PM (#31157976)

    Here's a possible other side: Someone learned their login credentials, or at least the name, and tried too many times to log on as them. Poof, account locked for security reasons.

    I'm usually not the first to come to Apple's defense (personally, I try hard to avoid their products exactly for the same reason I avoid Sony, I'm not a big fan of vendor lock-in), but I think we should first of all wait 'til it's verified that this is due to their jailbreaking.

    Then there's still enough time to give them the verbal smackdown they (then) deserve.

  • by Killeryugi (1073058) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @04:34PM (#31159744)
    This is the exact warning you get when your password is entered several times incorrectly, it is possible somebody got a list of developers apple ID's and was trying to brute force their way in. A quick trip to iforgot.apple.com would solve this pretty quickly.

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