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Dutch group hacks iPhone 4 S in three weeks; takes $30K prize

As Apple battles to beat the world into submission over its never-ending seeming claims to own English, APIs, programming languages, the computer itself, the idea for the personal computer and anything else it can think up, here's something to give you pause.

Group hacks fully patched iPhone 4S

According to Z/D Net today, a group of Dutch hackers from the Hague, actually a security firm working on its spare time, hacked into Apple's supposedly nearly hack-proof iOS in about three weeks. They did this, Z/D Net notes, in their spare time. The phone had been fully patched.

It's interesting that the world's richest firm – whose stock rose to over $700 per share on the mere promise of he upgraded Apple iPhone 5 and iOS 5 – a firm which has seemed to have been immune to hackers (or maybe it was just lucky) has had its currently flagship product hacked.

End-around really

Although Apple considers this their tightest and best protected device, the Joost Pol, CEO of Certified Secure and one of his top tech guys, Daan Keuper, did the deed, it took them about “three weeks of starting from scratch...and working on our own private time” to complete the hack. They actually had to use end-around techniques to find the weak point.

Using pretty standard code auditing techniques, the group found Apple had installed a WebKit on a fully patched iPhone 4 S and they then had to build a rather sophisticated code chain to get to the heart of the issues.

What happened

When they did get through all of the supposed security Apple put into place, they were able to:

  • Hijack the address book
  • Hijack photos
  • Hijack videos
  • Hijack the browsing history

from a fully loaded and patched iPhone 4S. And, now the world awaits the arrival of the iPhone 5 with its enhancements, new operating system, and a host of features that people are lining up for even though the device is at least two weeks or more out.

Nothing is invulnerable

Though Apple would like you to think their devices – now heavily dependent on the UNIX operating system in the background and its own in-house iOS – are hack-proof they aren't, as Pol's group proved. It also provided that nothing is invulnerable.

Why did they do it? Because it must have been as the mountain climber when asked why he had just scaled K-2 in Himalayas, replied “Because it was there.”

The challenge was also there, as was a $30,000 incentive from the Pwn2Own contest.

Courts moving

Meantime, Apple is moving on all legal front to either defend what it feels are its proprietary property/intellectual rights from outfits like Samsung and HTC, as well as using claimed that the Android operating system violates several Apple patents so there's still lots of “sound and smoke, certifying...(quoting the Bard” that things will stay where they are for a while.


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