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DVD Jon cracks iPhone activation for iPod, WiFi use

updated 10:05 am EDT, Wed July 4, 2007

DVD Jon iPhone Crack

Jon Lech Johansen late Tuesday revealed that he had successfully broken the activation code for AT&T in iTunes, opening the possibility of using the device without its normally mandatory AT&T service. The code writer, best known as "DVD Jon" for breaking the DeCSS encryption on DVDs, has discovered that editing key hexadecimal numbers in Apple's software and redirecting an Internet server request will successfully trick the device into switching into its normal mode. Phone services will refuse to work (due to the lack of an active SIM) but iPod and Internet services over Wi-Fi will function as usual, Johansen says.

The modifications have only been tested in Windows as of Wednesday, but can be made either manually or through a custom Phone Activation Server program that will automatically modify the necessary software. Installing PAS requires Windows as well as the .NET Framework 2.0 patch.

Neither Apple nor AT&T has yet to respond to the discovery.

by MacNN Staff




  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Firstly, the claims that DVD-Jon broke the DeCSS encryption are a bit inaccurate (look up DeCSS on Wikipedia for the full story) but whilst at a certain level I admire the guy's ingenuity, what is his goal? It can hardly be argued as academic if he has put his PAS into the wild. Should we thank this guy for making it possible to use the iPhone as a sixth gen iPod or should we be angry that his activities are likely to provoke the imposition of some additional form of draconianism upon all of us? It's a bit like terrorism (and I stress that it's only a bit) that provides administrations with the justification to impose greater strictures on our freedoms, including free speech, that might otherwise be used to express our own unhappiness with the very regimes that terrorists oppose. It is a bizarre irony that terrorism actual reinforces the power of the administrations that they and (more passively) we may otherwise both find (some) fault with!

  1. krispie

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I can take my $600 phone and turn it into a non-phone. Clever. I can also do that by running it over with a steam roller.

    Though that may hamper the iPod functions, in all fairness.

  1. jcarr

    Joined: Dec 1969



    What would be more interesting, is if after this procedure, one could install a different, working SIM card and use the phone with that service.

  1. horvatic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Except for one thing

    If you tell any service other than AT&T that you are activating an iPhone they won't except you and start the service. Why? Because they'll be sued by both AT&T and Apple because they have no written permission to service the iPhone period. So crack all you want no service other than AT&T will activate the phone anyways. IDIOTS!

  1. David Esrati

    Joined: Dec 1969


    A skype appliance?

    So- maybe you just use it as an iPod, a internet enabled browser- and use skype? Seems a lot like a Nokia device I played with- only with a lot better interface. Maybe Apple should release the next iPod- that's not a phone- but has Internet connectivity? Hmmmmm..... might be a way to get even more sales- and not have to deal with AT&T at all. The mega-geeks I know aren't willing to part with their Sprint speed for AT+T even for the cool iPhone.

  1. repi8

    Joined: Dec 1969


    except for nothing

    @horvatic When iPhone is activated and unlocked, no carrier will deny you using their service. No carrier will be even able to deny it. Once you put a working SIM card in an unlocked phone, it works. No need to activate anything. Once you have an unlocked iPhone all you need to do is get a service and a SIM that goes with it. If the carrier forces a phone on you, get a free one, take out the SIM, put it in iPhone and phone away. No need to call people idiots, especially when you don't have the facts right.

    Is unlocking legal, moral, or a smart thing to do, taking into account the big picture, that's a different question.

  1. zeonlyone

    Joined: Dec 1969


    and then there is Europe

    In (most?) European countries, law prohibits to sell a phone with a service-plan (no "coupled-sales" allowed here). So you can count on Apple to bring phones to the European market (end of this year) which are unlocked anyway. Can you spell grey import back to the USA ?

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: except for one thing

    I think it's amusing you call people idiots when you completely misunderstand how to use an unlocked phone.

    To answer repi8's question, is it legal, moral, or smart? Well, even if the DCMA applies, that's a US law, so it wouldn't apply in other countries, where people would want an unlocked iPhone. As for moral? Apple still gets their money, and AT&T isn't subsidizing the phone, so I think it's ok. Finally, smart? Probably not. Who's to say the next iPhone update will lock the phone again? Probably not smart.

  1. jasong

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Visual voicemail

    I bet it works great on those networks that have no infrastructure for it.

  1. Eriamjh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Five days...

    Not bad.

    I expect more to come in the next week.

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