Saturday, 15 November 2008 12:52 releases latest iPhone 3G unlock scam

Ripoff merchants iUnlock-iPhone have put out a press release celebrating “groundbreaking 3G capabilities” and raising hopes of a true iPhone 3G unlock, but a quick perusal of its press release and website shows it’s all just a scam to pilfer US $24.95 out of your pocket and steer you away from the iPhone Dev Team’s free software.

Once an academic, advertisement and criminal free world, the Internet started going “wild wild web” long ago, but with every passing day it seems to be getting worse.

Online criminals in Russia, China and other parts of the world work feverishly on banking Trojans, botnets, spams and fake Barack Obama news, most of which is designed to use “social engineering” techniques to voluntarily yet unknowingly infect yourself with malware.

Then there are the opportunists who don’t want to go to that much trouble, instead voluntarily getting you to give them money for a solution which is freely available on the Internet.

The latest comes from those behind the iUnlock-iPhone website, which have put out a press release on PR news website

In this release, dated the 13th of November, iUnlock-iPhone trumpts that is has made “groundbreaking developments in its iPhone unlocking software, which will allow owners of 3G iPhones to enjoy similar freedoms as those with older models.”

Now, you might think that this means a true iPhone 3G unlock has been found, trumping the hardworking hackers over at the iPhone Dev Team with a world first.

But no, instead we find creative claims that could otherwise be known as lies – depending on your point of view. 

iUnlock-iPhone says that “for the first time, iPhone 3G users will be able to use the proprietary iPhone unlocking application to jailbreak their handset, allowing them greater freedom to choose networks and content, running alongside the solution’s continued applicability to older iPhone handsets.”

Umm... hello iUnlock-iPhone. Welcome to a few months ago, when the iPhone Dev Team did the exact same thing – without any US $24.95 charge.

Continued on page 2, with links to the free unlock and jailbreak tools that are currently available.

Perhaps what iUnlock-iPhone meant to say was that “for the first time, iUnlock-iPhone is offering software that... etc etc,” because it’s certainly not the first time the capability has been made available to Mac and Windows users.

See? From iUnlock-iPhone’s point of view, it is a first. But for anyone that knows, it’s just a scam and a lie designed to part you from your money... most likely using the iPhone Dev Team's free software to do the job!

Anyone wanting a laugh can click on the link above to read the rest of iUnlock-iPhone’s press release, but if you want a tool that can do the same thing, go to the iPhone Dev Team’s blog entry for the Mac version of the PwnageTool and Quickpwn for 2.1 firmware here, while Windows users will find their own pwning tool in this Dev Team blog entry.

As always, only the original iPhone 2G can be both jailbroken (for the use of unauthorised third party apps) and unlocked, while the iPhone 3G and the original iPod Touch can both only be jailbroken.

No unlock yet exists for the iPhone 3G, although the Dev Team is hard at work to create one, and jailbreaking is still not yet possible for the second generation iPod Touch.

The iPhone Dev Team at its blog has posted tantalising hints of potentially getting closer, which does show some progress, but no timeframe has been placed on the unlock, with iPhone 3G owners left to continue using their existing carrier, or in some countries, paying an official unlock fee to the carrier to gain the freedom to use virtually any SIM desired.

A "Turbo-SIM" that sits on top of your existing SIM and fools phone company networks into believing a "test SIM" is in use is also available, but the Dev Team does not recommend their use and with all the fiddling and the cost of the SIM it's not much more to get an official unlock that is sanctioned by Apple and never subject to re-locking.

Finally, the iPhone Dev Team’s software is free, and they accept no donations, so pay money for these apps or make donations only if you feel, in times of economic crisis, if you don’t need the money, because online scammers and criminals will be very happy to take it from you!


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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