Apple opens Macbook front in iPhone jailbreak war

OK, we're baffled


Apple appears to have taken its campaign against iPhone modders to a baffling new level, tweaking its new MacBooks and MacBook Pros to disable a popular software tool used to jailbreak the handset.

According to discussion groups here and here, iPhone and iPod Touch users who have unlocked their devices using the Pwnage Tool are unable get their new MacBooks to recognize the devices. Instead their all-aluminum machines display an error message saying "An iPod has been detected, but it could not be identified properly."

A video of the error is available here.

Oddly, other types of Macs and Windows machines recognize the modded devices just fine.

The quirk comes as hackers with the iPhone Dev Team cracked the device's latest firmware version.

In so doing, they have kept alive the cat-and-mouse game that started just hours after the iPhone's debut in June 2007. The game looks a little like this: hackers break the device free of Apple's iron-fisted grip, and Apple retorts with a firmware update that restores its control. Repeat ad infinitum.

It's hard to know what to make of the strange behavior being reported with new MacBooks. It would come as no surprise if Steve Jobs had decided to thwart once and for all the jailbreaking of his beloved iPhone. But if so, why not on all platforms - or at least on all Macs? (Then again, it's possible the error messages are the result of a bug.)

We've heard unconfirmed reports of new iTouches with hardware changes that prevent them from working with another widely used unlocking program called WinPwn. It's still too early to say, but these may be the opening volleys in Cupertino's final assault on those who dare to unlock their devices and use them as they see fit. ®

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Robotics and 5G to spur growth of SoC industry – report
    Big OEMs hogging production and COVID causing supply issues

    The system-on-chip (SoC) side of the semiconductor industry is poised for growth between now and 2026, when it's predicted to be worth $6.85 billion, according to an analyst's report. 

    Chances are good that there's an SoC-powered device within arm's reach of you: the tiny integrated circuits contain everything needed for a basic computer, leading to their proliferation in mobile, IoT and smart devices. 

    The report predicting the growth comes from advisory biz Technavio, which looked at a long list of companies in the SoC market. Vendors it analyzed include Apple, Broadcom, Intel, Nvidia, TSMC, Toshiba, and more. The company predicts that much of the growth between now and 2026 will stem primarily from robotics and 5G. 

    Continue reading
  • Deepfake attacks can easily trick live facial recognition systems online
    Plus: Next PyTorch release will support Apple GPUs so devs can train neural networks on their own laptops

    In brief Miscreants can easily steal someone else's identity by tricking live facial recognition software using deepfakes, according to a new report.

    Sensity AI, a startup focused on tackling identity fraud, carried out a series of pretend attacks. Engineers scanned the image of someone from an ID card, and mapped their likeness onto another person's face. Sensity then tested whether they could breach live facial recognition systems by tricking them into believing the pretend attacker is a real user.

    So-called "liveness tests" try to authenticate identities in real-time, relying on images or video streams from cameras like face recognition used to unlock mobile phones, for example. Nine out of ten vendors failed Sensity's live deepfake attacks.

    Continue reading
  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022