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  • Leak or Lie? Apple Steals Your Info While AT&T Locks You In

    A "leak" has been reported on Addictive Tips from an Apple employee code named "Alpha." While we caution anyone to accept the validity of the information until credible sources chime in and more information becomes known, there is growing chatter tonight across the blogosphere about this still dubious "news" item.

    "Alpha" supposedly works in the iPhone Development Department and has been privy to what amounts to a "shocking" revelation that reveals the extent to which both Apple and AT&T will allegedly go to "lock their users and steal their information while they have no clue about it." In the article, Alpha dishes at length about what Apple and AT&T are doing specifically to implement what, if true, amounts to a sneaky consumer retainer scheme. According to the information presented, With iOS 4, AT&T locks all US iPhone owners to their network via regular OTA updates.

    According to “Alpha”, in iOS 4 there is a line of code which they wrote that sends OTA (Over The Air) updates to the user every 7-14 days which detects and locks the system if it is not using AT&T network. Also AT&T and Apple have 6 months worth of OTA updates in their server which “Alpha” himself checked.
    Additionally, it seems the reason some iPhones were shipped early was to "verify their OTA update system." Also noted is that Apple is stealing user information via FaceTime where there is no encryption. Lastly, Alpha says many Apple employees are on to the scheme and, as a result, they are not updating to iOS 4. Alpha indicated that he even downgraded his OS back to version 3.1.2.

    What may especially be pertinent information to readers on MMi is that when iPhone 4 users call Apple Care Support, "all information is displayed, including the jailbreak and baseband version." Consequently, guess what happens when you request support? Apple staff have been directed to refuse helping those who have broken the contract rules

    “I will tell you this right now the things I am saying if you where to go to Jobs himself he would deny.”
    Again, we wish to stress that the veracity of this information is unlikely at best. While the aspect of AT&T possibly locking the phones could be legitimate, our research finds that the downgrade process referenced by "Alpha" in the piece appears bogus. Not withstanding, if "Alpha" truly is an Apple employee, he may have the ability to downgrade.

    We'll stay with the story should there be any definitive confirmations or dismissals as to its legitimacy.

    Image via Addictive Tips
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Leak or Lie? Apple Steals Your Info While AT&T Locks You In started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 89 Comments
    1. ErikiPhone's Avatar
      ErikiPhone -
      I always thought that Apple will try to conquer the world.)
    1. jslay's Avatar
      jslay -
      Quote Originally Posted by Lurkin View Post
      i can see this happening, direct tv did the very same thing back when people was hacking the service to get free tv. they would send updates every so often and the cards would quit working till they was reprogrammed.
      All that was is they changed the encryption of their signal. All it was was hash checks and check sums...

      no comment on source.
    1. bigorangekitty's Avatar
      bigorangekitty -
      Quote Originally Posted by zmanforever View Post
      If this scares you please tell me you saw the news on how the FBI can turn your mics on remotely to record convos!

      The news is all over youtube: YouTube - CELL PHONE (FBI can listen to you when phone is turned off)

      And this was last year come on wake up.

      Type in the word illuminati backwards in the address bar and hit go

      Welcome to the National Security Agency - NSA/CSS
      Big Brother Watching is really the NWO Watching
      quit trying to scare people. jailbreaking is not illegal. the website is a redirect and is registered to a civilian. who is brings this up:

      John Fenley
      1985N 360E
      Provo, Utah 84604-1803
      United States

      Domain Name: ITANIMULLI.COM
      Created on: 20-Nov-02
      Expires on: 20-Nov-10
      Last Updated on: 25-Nov-09

      Administrative Contact:
      Fenley, John
      1985N 360E
      Provo, Utah 84604-1803
      United States
      8014273274 Fax --

      Technical Contact:
      Fenley, John
      1985N 360E
      Provo, Utah 84604-1803
      United States
      8014273274 Fax --

      Quote Originally Posted by jslay View Post
      All that was is they changed the encryption of their signal. All it was was hash checks and check sums...

      no comment on source.
      they did hash their cards, but also did electronic counter measures (ECM's)...remember "Black Sunday"?

      Also no comment on source, nor is this forum to discuss this
    1. Poseidon79's Avatar
      Poseidon79 -
      Musclenerd has already tweeted this is a bunch of BS... stop with the conspiracy theories omg.
    1. Matchstick's Avatar
      Matchstick -
      Seems to me the way to start testing this is to look at the most easily verifible allegation, that facetime phones home to apple any time a call is made.

      To check this I suggest you just need to put a packet sniffer like wireshark on your network so that it can see all the traffic from you wifi router, then see what happens when you make a facetime call.

      If it doesn't call home to Apple then any credibility the other allegations have is severely damaged, but if it does then Apple would have a PR disaster of BP proportions brewing and the other allegations need looking at very closely.
    1. L00i3's Avatar
      L00i3 -
      So this article is supposed to be about AT&T right? Then why is the phone pictured a Rogers phone?
    1. AnthonyGiola's Avatar
      AnthonyGiola -
      Quote Originally Posted by sh33436 View Post
      look i'm 50/50 on the hole deal because my phone was jailbreak just today and i was trying to restore it then it crashed. then later i took it to apple as normal they fixed it. later that i came home fully restored it, and then went to connect it to my car and it started acting funny saying some sh!t like ummmm.....

      the phone is picking up interference and it stopped playing music.
      Some chargers for iphone when plugged in they disable music.

      Oh and this is BOGUS. its all lies. There isnt any possible way.. i just called Apple AND at&t support from my unlocked jailbroke phone... NOTHING. they know nothing... Not to mention that this would be something that once found out would quite literally put everyone who knew about it in federal prison and would more or less end the company. Im thinking the image was made by using iSttrings to edit the text for some kind of Notification. If you honestly believe this then please just leave. It isnt logical or even legal for them to do this. No way would Jobs risk His Beautiful Company. Although I can believe that the Dev could downgrade to 3.1.2 from 4.0 Although he probably isnt a dev im sure that a real dev can if they want.
    1. aviegas's Avatar
      aviegas -
      I think I've found the reason for the OTA updates and my guess it does not have to do with locking your phone, but rather fix an unforeseen upgrade scenario.

      Let me explain: they need to "force" a carrier configuration (aka carrier bundle or carrier.plist) update because there may be a leftover carrier configuration from 3.X in the users/private area.

      Carrier configuration files (more precisely carrier.plist) on 4.0 now bear a signature and if it's not present or wrong, will cause the carrier configuration not to load (it will say "Not Available" in the "About" page).

      The new signature was created because it was possible to subvert the authentication mechanism for controlling tethering, specially if the carrier charges for it as a separate feature, as AT&T is doing. The signature will prevent changes in the APN (and even enabling APN editing) that can be used to trick the authentication mechanism.

      If I'm not wrong, there is a bug in the carrier configuration selection logic Apple uses: it will use the configuration in the user private area even if the version there is older than the one in the system area. That said, the only way to avoid the leftover carrier configuration file is by sending a new one and they opted to do it the most expedite way: Over The Air.

      This is the reason so many users are complaining they do not have tethering (on carriers that officially support it) and the same goes for MMS (and any special configuration that has to rely on the carrier configuration).
    1. spice_weasel's Avatar
      spice_weasel -
      Quote Originally Posted by jslay View Post
      All that was is they changed the encryption of their signal. All it was was hash checks and check sums...

      no comment on source.
      Not on black sunday..