iPhone Hacked for Local Telecom Use

MANILA, Philippines–Apple iPhone users in the Philippines can now directly use the popular mobile phone on a local network. It has become possible to access a local mobile network without using a roaming arrangement with US provider AT&T after a certain “Dubeditions” posted a photo and a short entry in a website forum indicating that he had found a way to unlock the iPhone and make it work on the network of Globe Telecom, a local telecommunications firm. In a post dated August 15, 2007, Dubeditions revealed to members of the Philippine Macintosh Users Group (PhilMUG)’s forum that he had cloned the iPhone’s subscriber identity module (SIM). INQUIRER.net has tried several times to contact the person behind the technique, but he has declined to respond. The Apple iPhone, which combines a mobile phone with the company’s iconic iPod music player, has not yet been released in Southeast Asia. iPhones in the US are exclusively available on AT&T’s mobile network. “If you read closely, the original poster mentioned supersim. This means he is claiming to use methods (recently posted around the Internet) which involve writing data onto a blank “supersim” sim card to unlock the iPhone’s full network capabilities,” PhilMUG subscriber Danieldy further explained in the forum. In the same forum, Dubeditions confirmed Danieldy’s short explanation. Another post from a PhilMUG member Cyberprince in the forum explained that Dubeditions was able to extract information from both the AT&T and the old Globe SIMs, and then combine them in a new card. “Hardware is relatively expensive too so props to dubeditions for taking the plunge without being sure he could get it to work here. I’ve been planning to give it a try myself but wasn’t ready to plop down some cash without any blanket of security that my sim card would work,” Cyberprince said. But Elbert Cuenca, PhilMUG administrator, posted in the same forum that the hack was not “ready for prime time yet.” “For me to be able to make local, non-roaming phone calls on my iPhone, I’ll need to find a v.1 SIM that is still active (i.e. registered and functioning with the carrier). V.1 SIMs are the old generation cards, the kind that can hold up to 100 contacts only. This kind of SIM is not as secure as the newer ones, hence the ability to be hacked. Dubeditions has tried on almost every kind of SIM card, and is still trying others,” he said. “If ever I do find an active v.1 SIM, I still won’t be able to make calls using my post-paid account and I probably won’t have EDGE/GPRS,” Cuenca added. INQUIRER.net has seen an actual iPhone that was using the cloned SIM, and was able to make local calls.

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