Poison Apple: hacked iPhones given kiss of death

It looks like Apple almost made good on its threats to brick hacked iPhones, when a software patch released Thursday night began systematically killing off modified devices.

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. eBay has been doing a roaring trade in new devices bought from US Apple shops and then resold on to punters in other countries.

Reports are now flooding in that those users who installed the iPhone Update 1.1.1 on hacked devices have had their phones reset so they are now asking for an AT&T SIM to be installed and activated.

On the bright side though, it could have been much worse. It appears that in most cases, the update, obtained via iTunes, only resets the device and removes any third party applications. While annoying for users outside of the US that paid hundreds of dollars for an iPhone, it potentially means the device can still be used.

As a result, the numerous hacker groups that broke the original lock are now in a race once again to come up with the goods to defeat the latest firmware. The other good news for users is that at present, the iPhone update is optional, but this doesn’t meant that it won’t become mandatory in the future.

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