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iPhone kill-switch kill switch released

iPhone kill-switch kill switch released

Steve isn't going to be happy that his app-disabling "lever" has been circumvented so quickly.

If you've been panicking about the now-confirmed “kill-switch” blacklist hidden deep inside the Apple iPhone, some good news: it's been cracked wide open already.

Gizmodo reports that one-click functionality to enable and disable the built-in application blacklist functionality has now been built into the latest BossPrefs package, available on third-party installation system Cydia.

It's not all plain sailing, however: because Cydia – and, by extension, BossPrefs – is not an Apple-approved application, you can only run the tool on a jailbroken iPhone. If you were hoping for a way to prevent an iPhone running the standard software checking in with Apple for applications to be blacklisted, you'll have to wait a while longer.

BossPrefs isn't the only way to disable the blacklist functionality, either – although it is the easiest. An alternative, which again requires a jailbroken unit, is to convince the unit that the domain from which the blacklist is downloaded is a loopback address by editing the /etc/hosts file – although this is for the more technically minded only. Much easier to just install BossPrefs and hit the 'neuter' button.

Whether or not you agree with the intent behind the hidden blacklist, it is a cause for concern that the functionality can be disabled so easily – and transparently – by third-party software.

Will you be using BossPrefs to prevent Apple fiddling with your 'phone apps from afar, or does the functionality not bother you enough to want to disable it? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

9 Comments

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liratheal 19th August 2008, 12:52 Quote
Two weeks at most?

Bet Apple're a bit miffed that was found..
Yemerich 19th August 2008, 13:06 Quote
errrm.... whats a "jailbroken" unit?
Brooxy 19th August 2008, 13:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yemerich
errrm.... whats a "jailbroken" unit?

An iPhone that can run on any network, because it has been cracked.

Personally, I'm not caring - as it's been said before, there isn't a lot that hasn't been done before, that is contained within the iPhone
wuyanxu 19th August 2008, 13:28 Quote
saw it yesterday when i updated BossPref.app via Cydia.app....... hasn't enabled it yet as the kill-switch isn't in effect at the moment.


btw, in your news article, you implied BossPref is available for non-jailbroken phone, i don't believe that's the case, the phone must be jailbroken to use Cydia, and to install 3rd party application.

sorry, i didn't read the whole article. i only read the start of each paragraph. :o
Gareth Halfacree 19th August 2008, 13:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
btw, in your news article, you implied BossPref is available for non-jailbroken phone, i don't believe that's the case, the phone must be jailbroken to use Cydia, and to install 3rd party application.
Did I? I meant to imply the opposite - that there is no way to disable the kill switch on a 'phone that has not been jailbroken.

In fact, I say:
Quote:
Originally Posted by article
It's not all plain sailing, however: because Cydia – and, by extension, BossPrefs – is not an Apple-approved application, you can only run the tool on a jailbroken iPhone.
Which seems pretty clear to me - BossPrefs can only be run on a jailbroken iPhone. Was there a specific section you thought implied otherwise? Highlight it and I'll change it. :)
Jik 19th August 2008, 14:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooxy
An iPhone that can run on any network, because it has been cracked.

Personally, I'm not caring - as it's been said before, there isn't a lot that hasn't been done before, that is contained within the iPhone

A jailbroken iPhone does not mean that it can run on any network actually. Jailbreaking is a process that allows the user to run 3rd party developed programs such as an unlocker.
DXR_13KE 19th August 2008, 15:06 Quote
this was prone to happening.... so very predictable.
quack 19th August 2008, 16:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yemerich
errrm.... whats a "jailbroken" unit?

An iPhone that can run all 3rd party applications and not just those from Apple's official App Store.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooxy
An iPhone that can run on any network, because it has been cracked.
Incorrect. That requires the phone to be unlocked.
raGe82 19th August 2008, 18:32 Quote
Sometime soon Apple will release some software in its app store. A nice, useful application. To make things better this application won't be 'personaly' signed by Apple - it will be some unknown home developer. And then...

Couple days later there will be massive action - this software contains a virus which can destroy your phone, but thanks to "The Great Kill Switch" we can disable this naughty app and save your iPhones. ;)
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