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  • Apple CAN Kill Confirmed by Steve
    Well they can kill apps on your iPhone at least. Phone hacker and author of iPhone Forensics Jonathan Zdziarski discovered a remote url that Apple uses to keep a list of offending applications.

    https://iphone-services.apple.com/clbl/unauthorizedApps

    ďThis suggests that the iPhone calls home once in a while to find out what applications it should turn off. At the moment, no apps have been blacklisted, but by all appearances, this has been added to disable applications that the user has already downloaded and paid for, if Apple so chooses to shut them down" according to Zdziarski's first impressions.

    With further investigation Zdziarski confirmed his initial speculations. "With a little DNS spoofing, Iíve managed to feed my own list into the iPhone and effectively kill any application that attempts to use the GPS, including Google Maps. It looks like tasers are only set to Ďstuní right now, but that may just be because I havenít found the knob to vaporize the app."

    On Monday Steve Jobs confirmed that Apple can in fact kill applications at will in the Wall Street Journal. "Hopefully, we never have to pull that lever," Jobs said, "but we would be irresponsible not to have a lever like that to pull."

    [via cnet pocket-lint zdziarski]
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple CAN Kill Confirmed by Steve started by Cody Overcash View original post
    Comments 41 Comments
    1. mrtonyyx's Avatar
      mrtonyyx -
      Hackers will save us. Humans created software and hardware so other humans can advance and recreate something from it. Whether it's a fix, modification, or exploit, we will find a way to bypass it. Besides the best hackers could help us but probably don't give a crap about things like this. Probably a waste of their time haha. We'll bypass this no worries.
    1. Muggz5's Avatar
      Muggz5 -
      Just add to the bottom line?
      edit: My phone is still running fine, but is this where it was supposed to go? was hoping for an answer
    1. lightmaster's Avatar
      lightmaster -
      That is way to "Big Brother" for me. What's next, being able to kill iPhones and iTouchs that are jailbroken?
    1. Carlos's Avatar
      Carlos -
      Okay call me foolish but im not scared of this kill thing, seems like the hackers are always out thinking apple anyways so everytime apple trys to stop something there is always some smarter

      Im on the Hackers Side, I feel once you buy a piece of equipment its your to do what you want!!

      MMI lover......no homo!
    1. MutherFOO's Avatar
      MutherFOO -
      Noob question...
      Is Apple's "call home" function on the iPod Touch as well?
      I am guessing that it is.

      ...and doesn't Apple's remote url interfere with the privacy act in some way?
      I mean searching peoples homes without their consent is illegal, so shouldn't searching peoples phones be in the same boat?
    1. lightmaster's Avatar
      lightmaster -
      Quote Originally Posted by MutherFOO View Post
      Noob question...
      Is Apple's "call home" function on the iPod Touch as well?
      I am guessing that it is.
      Yes, it is on the iTouch as well. Most functions and stuff that is on the iPhone is also on the iTouch, except, of course, the actual phone part and the EDGE/3G network.

      Quote Originally Posted by MutherFOO View Post
      ...and doesn't Apple's remote url interfere with the privacy act in some way?
      I mean searching peoples homes without their consent is illegal, so shouldn't searching peoples phones be in the same boat?
      Knowing Apple and all other phone manufacturers, the will probably come up with an excuse along the lines of "We're letting the people who have spent so much money on our products 'borrow' our iPhones and iTouches, not actually 'own' them." I know it will be a BS answer from Apple, but they can pull it off. Plus, I doubt that Steve Jobs would publicly announce the "Call Home" "feature" if they didn't have a valid excuse.


      A question of my own, for iPhone users who have to pay a pretty hefty charge for EDGE/3G network usage, if and when Steve Jobs places an app on his blacklist, will it use the EDGE/3G network and cost you money, or will it only happen when your using WIFI?
    1. MutherFOO's Avatar
      MutherFOO -
      Quote Originally Posted by lightmaster View Post
      Knowing Apple and all other phone manufacturers, the will probably come up with an excuse along the lines of "We're letting the people who have spent so much money on our products 'borrow' our iPhones and iTouches, not actually 'own' them." I know it will be a BS answer from Apple, but they can pull it off. Plus, I doubt that Steve Jobs would publicly announce the "Call Home" "feature" if they didn't have a valid excuse.
      Well I'm guessing that Apple stated their "Call Home" feature somewhere in the long as$ "Read the following before excepting to the terms of use" BOOOOOOOOOK!!!, which NO ONE EVER READS, we all just click "Accept", So we will never know, LOL.

      But, you do have an excellent point on if they announced it they must have a excuse.

      Quote Originally Posted by lightmaster View Post
      A question of my own, for iPhone users who have to pay a pretty hefty charge for EDGE/3G network usage, if and when Steve Jobs places an app on his blacklist, will it use the EDGE/3G network and cost you money, or will it only happen when your using WIFI?
      Well, I'm not a iPhone user myself, I would like to be but not a single iPhone is soled in a 674.4 mile radius of my town, plus there is not a single AT&T tower even remotely close but there is a T-Mobile tower so there is small shinning gleam of hope for me to get an iPhone. LOL:P
      Anyways, I'm sure that Apple could blacklist apps for free over EDGE/3G.
    1. Happy Noodle Boy's Avatar
      Happy Noodle Boy -
      Quote Originally Posted by lightmaster View Post
      Knowing Apple and all other phone manufacturers, the will probably come up with an excuse along the lines of "We're letting the people who have spent so much money on our products 'borrow' our iPhones and iTouches, not actually 'own' them." I know it will be a BS answer from Apple, but they can pull it off. Plus, I doubt that Steve Jobs would publicly announce the "Call Home" "feature" if they didn't have a valid excuse.
      That's pretty much what it is now. It's all in the contract (a fun read if you're bored on a weekend). I still think people are over-reacting over this. They already do a general good job on approving/denying apps before they hit the store. In case, something slips by (Aurora Feint not encrypting contacts when sending them), they just remove from the store and it spreads out pretty quick why they did. All this really does is keep Apple safe from a lawsuit if an app does try to kill your phone / sell your contact information without letting you know.

      I honestly don't see them using this ever.
    1. lightmaster's Avatar
      lightmaster -
      Quote Originally Posted by Happy Noodle Boy View Post
      That's pretty much what it is now. It's all in the contract (a fun read if you're bored on a weekend). I still think people are over-reacting over this. They already do a general good job on approving/denying apps before they hit the store. In case, something slips by (Aurora Feint not encrypting contacts when sending them), they just remove from the store and it spreads out pretty quick why they did. All this really does is keep Apple safe from a lawsuit if an app does try to kill your phone / sell your contact information without letting you know.
      I completely agree, it has the potential to be incredible good for all parties concerned, but, just like Spiderman, "With great power comes great responsibility" and in the ancient Latin proverb, "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" or, for those of you who don't speak Latin, "Who will guard the guards themselves." Apple may have the ability to kill malicious apps that somehow make there way into the AppStore and onto your iPhone/iTouch, but does that same power enable them to kill apps that you get through Cydia and Installer? And what happens if a serious bug occurs in your favorite paid app [insert app name here] and Apple kills the app and removes it from the AppStore permanently, what is to stop them from keeping your money that you spent on the app and refusing to give you a refund or store credit? I think most people are probably more worried about Apple being able to walk away with their money than they are worried about malicious apps getting on their iPhone/iTouch.

      Also, just like the issue with the government being able to intercept any phone call or radio wave, people are worried about their privacy being violated and sometimes, actually most of the times, they miss the point that Apple and the government are trying to protect us, from terrorist using cell phones to call each other and from malicious apps that may mess up your iPhone/iTouch.

      Now, don't get me wrong, I don't like that Apple didn't make this "Call Home" function more obvious from the start, but I see no reason in worrying about it or trying to turn it off unless someone finds evidence of Apple abusing this function. If someone does come forward with evidence of Apple killing their app for no real reason, then I'll be first in line to get this function turned off.
    1. Muggz5's Avatar
      Muggz5 -
      Well yes its a bit of paranoia, but in the same respect I dont download anything without reading about it first. Id just rather not install something until its proven to work and be a legitimate application. So the use for this "KillSwitch" so to speak is not really neccessary. I embrace the fact our government is involved, and unless you are doing something illegal who cares if the government is listening/watching? They do protect us, and for the most part The Patriot Act was a step int he right direction. The only issue with this is its harder to get mandatory State/Federal licenses, permits, and day to day things done, etc. (you get my point) But since we are technically "breaking the law" with our phones by jailbreaking, unlocking, Id rather have less and less communication with Apple.
    1. lightmaster's Avatar
      lightmaster -
      Quote Originally Posted by Muggz5 View Post
      So the use for this "KillSwitch" so to speak is not really neccessary. I embrace the fact our government is involved, and unless you are doing something illegal who cares if the government is listening/watching? They do protect us, and for the most part The Patriot Act was a step int he right direction.
      If your referring to my last post, I wasn't saying that the government is or isn't involved, I was referencing the governments ability to bypass the Patriot's Act and listen to our conversations if its in the name of our protections, and I was comparing that to Apple's new ability to peek into our iPhones/iTouches. It was only a comparison. As far as I know, the government isn't involved in anyway. Sorry about the confusion.
    1. Muggz5's Avatar
      Muggz5 -
      Quote Originally Posted by lightmaster View Post
      If your referring to my last post, I wasn't saying that the government is or isn't involved, I was referencing the governments ability to bypass the Patriot's Act and listen to our conversations if its in the name of our protections, and I was comparing that to Apple's new ability to peek into our iPhones/iTouches. It was only a comparison. As far as I know, the government isn't involved in anyway. Sorry about the confusion.

      Indeed Im not saying either of the 2 are related, and was simply supporting your comments and giving my take on them. Also giving my point of view as far as what this "killswitch" means to me. The big brother thing is stupid, Im just saying the less they know about my phone and how I use it the better. Unless they plan on enabling all GSM carriers and need more input to make a better phone.
    1. Travace's Avatar
      Travace -
      they are just covering thier own asses.

      if someone sneaks a malicious app into the store.. or something that is illegal they need a feature like this to take care of it for the people who already got the malicious or illegal stuff on their iphones.

      I know for hackers this is Bad News but for Apple its a pretty smart way to cover their ***.
    1. Fear1508's Avatar
      Fear1508 -
      Lol actually they would give you your money back. Your purchase transaction occurs through your iTunes account. It isn't hard for apple to merely refund everyone, because they have your credit information, all refunds would be done through a single run, just by a simple scan to detect the apps removed from which users then just refunded with a click... Refunding apps in that case is not a big problem for apple, it is there responsibility that they inspect apps before released, so what ever money they lose by having to recall that app it is their own fault.
    1. Macboy67's Avatar
      Macboy67 -
      Don't you have to SSH into your iPhone to disable that????
    1. volcom's Avatar
      volcom -
      ha so many people said it dosen't not this proves that is does
    1. Muggz5's Avatar
      Muggz5 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Macboy67 View Post
      Don't you have to SSH into your iPhone to disable that????
      yes.
    1. redhouse101's Avatar
      redhouse101 -
      has the step by step process been comfirmed yet.? it is stated "add the following entry into /etc/hosts:" where is this step located? Is it in pnwange when one builds a new image?
    1. jayson9's Avatar
      jayson9 -
      I think our governent set a bad precedent, and now we will all suffer from corporate phishing. They only have been wanting to this since the beggining of the twisted pair.
    1. 97vrsix's Avatar
      97vrsix -
      I think their is more then one type of user in this forum! People with phone contracts, people with iPods, and people with out phone contracts. If you have a contract with someone, and you got a deal on your phone, then for how ever long that contract is, they sort of still own your stuff, if you want to be honest. Now for those others who out right own their phone, and don't have a contract, then it's a little different. I own my phone, paid out right for it. And I use t-mobile. Tmo does not care what I do for it or with it. Should apple? Well I guess they want to, and it does say on the bottom of the box for use with AT&T only! But if we can buy full price from the store, then that should not even matter.

      I guess what I am saying is, it depends on how you got your stuff! If you honestly own it, then they should have no control. We are after all just testers! If we start to re sell their stuff, and label it a polished pile of poo, they will get mad.

      I'm happy that if an app store app does f-up they can pull it, but that's all they should me able to do, pull their own apps, see nothing else!