Apple warns iPhone hackers

Apple sent out a thinly veiled threat on Monday evening, warning iPhone owners that have hacked their devices to expect them to turn into fancy bricks.

Earlier this month, a number of hacker groups unleashed their wares upon the iPhone fan base, selling, and in some cases giving away, tools to unlock the device from its designated carrier.

Naturally, Apple set the lawyers on the hackers but so far we’ve heard of nothing more than a few threatening letters being sent out. Meanwhile, eBay has been doing a roaring trade in iPhones, as consumers around the world snap up devices released in the US and then unlock them to use on their local network.

But Monday’s warning had a sinister tone to it. “Apple has discovered that many of the unauthorised iPhone unlocking programs available on the internet cause irreparable damage to the iPhone’s software, which will likely result in the modified iPhone becoming permanently inoperable when a future Apple-supplied iPhone software update is installed,” the statement read.

The hackers have yet to respond but there is some scepticism over Apple’s statement. The majority of the unlocking tools simply modify the device firmware to ignore the SIM lock, allowing the phone to operate as intended. But it sounds like Apple is saying a future software update will check to see if the firmware has been modified and kill the phone if it has.

“Apple plans to release the next iPhone software update, containing many new features including the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, later this week,” the company said.

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