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Prankster Jailbreaks Apple Store Display iPhone

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  • "it's legal now!" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@g m a il.com> on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @08:55AM (#33122074) Homepage
    Even if you do it to a phone you don't own, without permission from the owner?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @08:57AM (#33122104)
      yes, because information wants to be free or something
      • by odies (1869886) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @09:01AM (#33122160)

        What is even more fun is that Apple users praise this as something that allows them to jailbreak their phone. The "jailbreak" is a PDF exploit that roots your whole phone. I would be a little bit worried if someone could completely take over my phone if I just visited a random website. Apple products don't have exploits or malware, huh? Of course Apple just keeps telling their users they are secure. It's a disaster waiting to happen.

        • by mdwh2 (535323) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @09:19AM (#33122338) Journal

          What is even more fun is that Apple users praise this as something that allows them to jailbreak their phone.

          Indeed. On a related note, I'm reminded of two standard arguments:

          * "There's no viruses/malware on the Iphone. That only applies to people who have jailbroken their phones. They deserve what they get."

          * "What do you mean I can't do [insert basic task] on an Iphone? Of course it can, you just have to jailbreak it." (Apple, it Just Works - you Just have to jailbreak it to get it to Work.)

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by x2A (858210)

            You missed a bit:

            "There's no viruses/malware on the Iphone. That only applies to people who have jailbroken their phones by running the viruses/malware that's available on the iphone"

            But hey, at least children can't run educational intro-to-programming software on it.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by joeyblades (785896)

          Of course Apple just keeps telling their users they are secure.

          I'm pretty sure Apple never made this claim. In fact, if Apple were trying to make this claim, they wouldn't feel the need to issue regular security updates.

          BTW, it's too early to point a finger at Apple. The exploit may, in fact, be in Adobe's code. And before you flame me to tell me that Apple writes all their own PDF code, I caution you against making assumptions about who writes what. It is likely that Apple uses Adobe's Open Source Media Framework to develop their plugins.

          • Re:"it's legal now!" (Score:4, Informative)

            by ciroknight (601098) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @11:32AM (#33124290)
            It is likely that Apple uses Adobe's Open Source Media Framework to develop their plugins.

            In this case, you're completely wrong. Apple has its own complete PDF stack which is used from its display server (Quartz, which is itself derived from Display PDF) up; the advantage is that you can dump a PDF from basically anywhere (what's on screen if it isn't 3D, offscreen widgets, etc) and print that exactly to your documentation, etc. It would make less than no sense for Apple to license Adobe's code, since it would be a complete duplication of something already in their software stack.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by agrif (960591)

          For the record (because nobody seems to know this), this particular exploit, while jailbreaking your phone, also patches the security hole it rode in on. As of today, a freshly-jailbroken phone with a secure root password is more secure than the vanilla-OS versions.

          Yes, this is an exploit. But it is an incredibly handy one.

          (Also, on a historical note, there was a nearly identical version of this website (at the same address!) right after the first-gen iPhones and iPod Touches came out. I remember jailbreak

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by theNetImp (190602)

      Yeah that was totally NOT legal. That was destruction of property

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @09:12AM (#33122262)

        Destruction? He was improving it!

    • by MightyYar (622222)

      It's not even particularly funny, since the phone isn't obviously different afterward. Now, change a display MacBook to, say, the Dvorak keyboard...

  • yes, its wrong (Score:5, Informative)

    by bsDaemon (87307) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @08:56AM (#33122096)

    Hey, Taco... I think there might be kind of a difference between jailbreaking a phone you've paid for, and jailbreaking the display model at the store which is still Apple's property in a fairly straight forward way. I'm no fancy, big city lawyer, but it seems to me that might have some bearing on just how legal it is to do it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ciderbrew (1860166)
      But he only clicked on a link? How was he to know what would happen?
      • by mdwh2 (535323)

        Not sure why this was modded troll. He did indeed click a link, and presumably it is not illegal to access web pages on a display model provided for that purpose.

    • Re:yes, its wrong (Score:5, Informative)

      by a.deity (665042) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @09:56AM (#33122816) Homepage
      Back in the old days of 2.x jailbreaking (another one where a visit to a website would do it), there would always be a few display models running Cydia every morning. It was just a pain in the ass, and no one at the retail level was greatly angered or even cared too much; we'd just restore them when we saw them. To anyone on their way to an Apple Store to do this: you're not making a subversive statement, you're just taking 5 minutes out of a Specialist's day, one who probably jailbroke their phone a long time ago.
  • It's not awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mccalli (323026) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @08:56AM (#33122100) Homepage
    The cutsie word 'jailbreak' seems to be catching on, but if this were any other os I think the phrase 'gaping remote code execution security hole' might be more appropriate.

    I use an iPhone and I thank people who do these exploits for bringing them to attention. If the means of jailbreak is "connect via USB then faff" I can live with it. If it's "go to this website and get an instant remote execution exploit from people you don't know" then I become rather more concerned.

    It's an exploit, same as any other. It should be patched as fast as possible and such an action wouldn't be evil, it would be the correct response to a remote execution hole.

    Cheers,
    Ian
    • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @09:11AM (#33122258)
      Exploit or not, that is still a pretty funny video. I love the fact that the guy spent all that time in the store without a single employee asking if he could help him with something. I guess Apple has an OS security problem *and* a customer service problem.
      • by rolfwind (528248)

        Exploit or not, that is still a pretty funny video. I love the fact that the guy spent all that time in the store without a single employee asking if he could help him with something. I guess Apple has an OS security problem *and* a customer service problem.

        That's not a customer service problem, nothing chases me out of a store faster than overeager salespeople rabid with the thought of commissions. The car dealership I eventually bought from had 0 salespeople chasing after me or the other customers so I c

        • I'm with you... I don't like to be bothered. Apparently not everybody is like me though. I've been told that the sign of a good salesperson is the ability to read people and figure out whether they just want to be left alone or whether they are waiting for you to come and help them. I don't really mind being asked if I want help, but if I say I'm just looking or if I say I'm okay, then back off and wait until I come and ask.

          Also, if I ask a question about something, I *don't* want the salesperson to jus

      • by elewton (1743958) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @09:33AM (#33122538)
        Maybe it's because I'm Irish, but it annoys the piss out of me when staff bother me without my beckon. It's especially annoying when I'm reading a menu outside a restaurant and they use a greeter. That always moves me right on.

        He was obviously occupied, and needed no help. If he wanted to talk to a member of staff, he had only to look up.

        Nothing personal, just an off-topic rant.

        • You know, I have more than a little Irish ancestry, and I totally agree with your sentiment here. Perhaps being annoyed by this is a genetic predisposition...

          • by AkaXakA (695610)

            I have medium Irish ancestry - and agree too.

            Now just for a control group and we're set!

        • by DrXym (126579)
          Maybe it's because I'm Irish, but it annoys the piss out of me when staff bother me without my beckon. It's especially annoying when I'm reading a menu outside a restaurant and they use a greeter. That always moves me right on.

          That pisses too. Walk into any store and within seconds someone wants to "help" you whether you show any visible signs you need help or not. If I want help I'd ask for it. The problem is a lot of salesdrones (especially in the US) are on commission so they're being proactively "hel

          • by bami (1376931)

            I know the feeling.

            I work at a DIY store and we get directions on how to 'interact' with customers, and with most of the things (like greeting people etc) I'm fine with, but there are things like pushing store loyalty cards, harassing customers with help or recommending crappy (but with higher turnover rates) products is where I draw the line, and I will simply not do that.

            When I'm at work, I either walk around and stock shelves until somebody asks me something, or they are gazing at a shelf not knowing wha

          • The problem is a lot of salesdrones (especially in the US) are on commission so they're being proactively "helpful"

            Sometimes that's surely the case- car salesmen definitely bother me in that way as they try to show me the car their manager is just dying to get off his lot. In other places management forces the sales staff to say "hello" to every person within a certain foot/meter radius. It's what American corporatism mistakenly consider a friendly atmosphere to make customers welcome. Try telling them they're idiots, be nice to the poor college kids who couldn't get a better job (6 months at an office supply store m

        • by omglolbah (731566)

          While I have no idea if my viking ancestors went on a raid to Ireland I hate being yapped at by staff.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by SatanicPuppy (611928) *

          I think most people only go to the apple store to play with the hardware anyway. I know people who do that as a form of entertainment.

      • by beelsebob (529313)

        *and* a customer service problem.

        That's not a problem – that's good customer service. If I want someone to pester me into buying something, I'll go and ask them, if I simply want to look at it, I expect them to stand around near by, but not so near that I feel pressured.

    • I think the phrase 'gaping remote code execution security hole' might be more appropriate.

      Yes, how long until they fix it in a new release?

      And, can somebody please assure me that I'll always be able to jailbreak the device?
      I'd hate it when I lost my phone and upon buying a new phone I'd discover that jailbreaking was not possible anymore.

    • With other OS's like Windows, Linux or even OSX proper, you are not in "jail", meaning that you can write and install your own software without permission from the warden. With the iphone and similar devices, you need to find a security flaw in order to escape, and utilize your device more freely.

    • Except those other OS'es aren't running their apps in jails...

    • Distinguishing between a "gaping goatse hole" and a "jailbreak" is a judgment call.
      • If there exists no approved method for end users to make and run code, or if running code requires a substantial additional purchase and recurring fee, it's a "jailbreak".
      • If the end user can trigger it by accident, it's a "hole".

      The owner of a Windows machine is the administrator. Windows supports configuring a "software restriction policy" requiring validation of Authenticode signatures, but this mechanism explicitly allo

    • Users who have already jailbroken devices can protect themselves from this exploit by installing PDF Loading Warner [ihackintosh.com] which will warn you when you are at risk from executing exploitable files.

  • cute (Score:2, Insightful)

    I laughed - but they restore all computers and iphones (probably iPods too) every day. It'd be a short-lived prank.

    But I'm going to laugh more after waiting for years for ATT to provide tethering (which I'd gladly pay for) - if it were wifi - like every-freaking-body-else. Oh no - you can't tether your iPad - because - um - bluetooth only! Yeah that's it! It's apple's fault because they don't support bluetooth tethering - obviously.

    What about WIFI? "ahem cough cough - ahem".

    Fixed that little proble
    • Re:cute (Score:5, Informative)

      by dirk (87083) <dirk@one.net> on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @09:22AM (#33122386) Homepage

      I'm sure Apple and AT&T are horribly upset that you have given them your money for products you find are inferior.

      I just don't understand why everyone keeps buying iPhones and iPads if they don't do what they want. By purchasing them, you are basically telling Apple and AT&T that you are happy with their products and service. If they don't do what you want, don't purchase them and purchase something that does. I don't like how Apple handles the app store, so instead of giving them money and rewarding them for their bad job, I purchased an Android phone.

      • If they don't do what you want, don't purchase them and purchase something that does.

        Is there a phone that does what I want (get a signal with more than zero bars), does what I want (have physical direction pad and buttons so I can use the phone as a handheld video system), and does what I want (run apps that I approve, not necessarily apps that the phone's manufacturer or the carrier approves)? If there isn't a phone that does everything I want, I have to make compromises.

        • by bhtooefr (649901)

          It's called, oh, almost every Windows Mobile device.

          • by tepples (727027)
            Windows Mobile will soon be discontinued in favor of Windows Phone 7, which implements a model of a central app store and a $99 per year developer certificate just like that of iPhone (which in turn largely borrowed it from Xbox 360 XNA Creators Club).
      • I just don't understand why someone would think that a product like this is only to serve one purpose. Clearly if it doesn't do that one minor thing, then the whole product is completely unusable and should be regarded as "inferior".

        Hint: He probably is content with every single other aspect of the iPhone except for the ability for it to route from 3G to WiFi. As this is a relatively minor aspect of what a smartphone can do, he made a decision to go with the iPhone because of it's numerous other qualities

      • I just don't understand why everyone keeps buying iPhones and iPads if they don't do what they want.

        I think the answer to this is fairly obvious. The people who complain the loudest are the ones who don't actually have one. But there probably is a fringe of customers who somehow got hoodwinked (meaning they didn't do market research to figure out what they want) who are disappointed with their purchase. Another small percentage of people are dissatisfied due to a myriad of possible and legitimate reasons (their phone broke, customer service was bad for them, or the antennae problem actually effects the

    • by craznar (710808)

      It isn't just a prank. Installing a remotely accessible back door (SSHD) into the store's internal WiFi store network ... that is seriously illegal stuff.

      • It isn't just a prank. Installing a remotely accessible back door (SSHD) into the store's internal WiFi store network ... that is seriously illegal stuff.

        The sshd is no longer automatically installed with a jailbreak (and hasn't been for some time.)

  • by Shoeler (180797) * on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @08:59AM (#33122132)
    This is certainly ethically wrong. It'd be like me going into your house and installing stuff on your home PC that I want there, without ever asking and without your knowledge.

    Nevermind the fact that you should have protected it with a password, at the least.

    Of course the password thing doesn't work as well when you're trying to sell iPhones.

    It's not like you have an agreement you have to approve or anything to use their iPhone
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Barny (103770)

      We have display PCs where I work, it takes us about 20min to wipe them and reload our image for display, I would guess apple have a similar thing in place.

      We don't give net access to them, but neither do we count them as safe from virus' since anyone off the street can come in and toss a USB stick into them while a sales staff is busy.

    • The comparison is not valid.

      Unless your house is open to the public and you allow people free access to your display model PC, as the Apple store allows.

      A customer entering the store has signed no contract, and there are no given rules of what a customer should be doing on the display models.

      If caught, Apple could at most ask the customer to leave, as this is not illegal activity, and no property is damaged. The customer visited a website allowing the device to be demoed more freely with non-syndicated appl

      • This is likely technically illegal, but really it is more in line with toilet papering a house. he didn't do any damage. the changes will wash away, etc. In the end, the time it takes to prosecute isn't even worth it.

        What it really is is rude, and it's probably is bad PR for jailbreakers. Most people out there don't understand what jailbreaking is. After hearing this news, are people more likely to recognize jailbreakers as people with a legitimate complaint about the current state of consumer electronic
  • Idle is right (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Beyond the vaguely amusing "Let's stick it to Apple!" shtick that's been going on for a while, what the fuck is the point of this?

    Oh no! Some kid did stupid shit and posted it online! Huzzah?

    What next? Are we gonna go out and watch as the kids giggle as they smoke pot outside the police department?

    • Seriously, what's next a video of teenagers putting all the macbooks and iMacs on meatspin [meatspin.com] (NSFW!) ? That's what some were displaying last time I was in the London Apple store.

  • by Trip6 (1184883) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @09:01AM (#33122152)

    ...paint the outside of a display phone with honey, and then the next person to pick it up would have honey all over their hands. That would be funny too!

  • Wrong? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @09:07AM (#33122216)

    Is it wrong of me to think that it would be awesome if everybody did this to every phone? I mean, it's legal now!

    Wrong? Probably. Infantile? Absolutely. Legal? Absolutely not. It's called vandalism which is still illegal.

    • Remember those days when they had a C-64 on display in the store? And you wrote a little program

      10 Print I am bad.
      20 goto 10

      Including some peek and pokes to make noises.

      • by Cruciform (42896) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @10:34AM (#33123316) Homepage

        The Tandy TRS-80 had a speech cartridge, and for some stupid reason Radio Shack would leave those plugged into the display models.
        I'd go up to them, type in every swear word I could think of multiple times, scroll them off the screen, and then go "browse" somewhere nearby.
        Another kid would see the computer, get excited, run up and type "HELLO" and get a nice long, loud, string of cursing.
        They'd get thrown out of the store, professing their innocence, to the delight of my evil 8 or 9 year old mind.

        Children are assholes. Never forget that.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Rah'Dick (976472)

      I get your point, but it's kinda funny that adding functionality is being called "vandalism" here.

      • Re:Wrong? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rotide (1015173) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @09:34AM (#33122554)

        Modifying something without the owners consent is vandalism. I can modify your car with a brick or with a new engine. You may dislike both of those options as your old engine got you 40mpg while the new one is so much more awesome (your opinion) at 500hp and 15mpg (yay for car analogies!).

        Same thing is happening here. Apple wants things a certain way and it makes no difference what your (or anybodies besides Apple's) opinion is about what is being done to the phone. No matter how much "better" _you_ think it is, it is theirs and they don't want you mucking with it in that way. I'm no Apple fan, far from it, but even I can see this isn't something you want to make a habit out of as the police will eventually make their presence known when Apple catches on.

        (I know you're trying to be funny and not entirely serious, but I thought it still needed to be said).

        • by mdwh2 (535323)

          Modifying something without the owners consent is vandalism.

          By that logic, anyone who uses a display model such as visiting web pages is committing vandalism. Whilst it's unclear where the line might be drawn in when doing something to a display model becomes "vandalism", it's not as simple you describe, nor is using a display model comparable to using someone else's machine without their consent.

          as the police will eventually make their presence known when Apple catches on.

          Nice to know police resources may

        • by Rah'Dick (976472)

          True, it's an unauthorized modification - but the term vandalism [uslegal.com] doesn't really apply here, if one strictly adheres to the legal definition. No "serious physical harm" (loss of value in excess of $500) happened; all of the original functionality is actually still there.

    • by langelgjm (860756)

      Wrong? Probably. Infantile? Absolutely. Legal? Absolutely not. It's called vandalism which is still illegal.

      What if someone fingerpaints an image of a phallus and sets that as the iPhone's background?*

      Wrong? Probably. Infantile? Absolutely. Vandalism? Maybe, but honestly, it's a display model, there's a reason they have to sell them at discounts, if at all.

      *Disclaimer: I don't own an iPhone, maybe it's not possible to change the background. (I'm kidding, I hope)

    • I'd call it karma. Anyone else remember when kids would walk into Circuit City with the old 1st get ipods and copy software?

  • A prankster has snuck into his local Apple temple of consumerism and footed with one of the display models.

    Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

  • "A prankster has snuck into his local Apple temple of consumerism and footed with one of the display models."

    The word they used was "footled", not "footed". Footled means To waste time; trifle. Footed means to pay for, or to dance.

    Actually, I'm not sure either word is good for describing what this person did. It was planned and deliberate, not an act of idleness or foolishness. Neither was it a dance, or the paying of a bill. Words like "sabotage", "cracking", "prank", come to mind.

    • by jdgeorge (18767)

      Huh... I hadn't even realized that there was such a word as footled [merriam-webster.com] (my spell checker certainly doesn't know that word). I wish I had some "informative" mod points for you.

      However I think the word was well-chosen, suggesting it was a trivial effort to jailbreak the phone in the store.

  • How long before deep freeze comes to the demo iphones just like the macs in the store?

  • I had my first experience with jailbreaking yesterday. It looks like jailbreakme.com is just a vehicle to force people into installing Cydia. Further, with the exception of the few apps that unlock some functionality on your phone it looks like most of the Apps on the Cydia store are just too low quality to have been approved by Apple. I'm thankful that I was able to SIM unlock my old phone so my girlfriend could use it with her carrier, but the experience was very poor. Every hack that I installed seemed
    • by geogob (569250) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @11:03AM (#33123792)

      There is a lot of stuff of questionable quality available but a few very useful tools or modifications not available otherwise. Add to that the carrier unlock possibility, I think you strongly under evaluate the importance of this procedure. You may also want to be more restrictive on the modification you install. If you start installing all the available modifications that look interesting on any OS, you will have stability issues.

      If you want to play outside of Apple's "Eden", you'll have to treat and understand your device as a computer running a Unix based OS... not a cellphone on which you install apps.

      Also, Cydia is mostly a graphical front end for the Debian package manager with a repository browser. You can install your packages yourself using command line. You can also add your own sources to Cydia. Not sure I understand where the problem lies regarding the jailbreak process installing Cydia. What other mechanism do you expect to install packages once the device is jailbroken?

      And blaming your poor user experience on open source or open devices, that's just wrong.

  • People used to "do stuff" to C64's at the store, and to PC's at the store for years. While I spose it's annoying to the staff after a while, I have to laugh at people who take this sort of thing soooooo seriously. Some of you people need to check yourself for a Calvinist eartag.

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