Apple Banning iPhone Hackers (NOT Jailbreakers) from iTunes App Store?

It would appear that Apple has taken a more agressive approach to certain iPhone hackers by banning their Apple IDs from the iTunes App Store.

iPhone developer/hacker, Sherif Hashim, first received a message on his iPhone after attempting to log into iTunes saying:

“This Apple ID has been disabled for security reasons.”

Now one would think this may be just a single incident but no, fellow hacker iH8sn0w responded saying he too was hit with the Apple ban hammer. This is turning out to be very Microsoft with their Xbox Live bannings to stop hacked consoles from playing on their online service and it's exactly what we predicted could very well happen.

Now, to be clear, Apple isn't banning Jailbreakers -- they're banning people who actively work to find exploits in the iPhone software to create Jailbreaks for the rest of us.

This may be a sign of things to come, however. Will Apple open the gates to unleash hell onto hackers, or is this simply a case of a few isolated instances. You be the judge, lets hear your thoughts in the comments below!

[Thanks for the tip Taimur! Via Redmond Pie]

IM Staff

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  • I don't see how this relates to Microsoft banning people from Xbox LIVE because when you sign up for LIVE you agree not to mod, hack, or alter your console while using the service. Essentially you have breached the contract you signed by signing up for LIVE. I don't remember signing a contract with Apple, only that by jailbreaking etc you void the warranty.
  • if they start banning jailbreakers then they should make att allow tethering in the states. (which is why I jailbroke in the first place)
  • I don't know about that dose apple have the right to do that ????
  • More reason for me to never spend a dime on apple. I'll pirate my apps and music if I get blocked. And likely switch to an android in the summer. Apple can f themselves if they think we will stay loyal
  • Ugh... this is ridiculous and, in a way, encourages pirating.
    Now, if Apple only blocked IPs that had pirated apps (or, even better, made it so their phones couldn't sync with iTunes), I would have no problem with that. Apple could make their phone blow up for all I care.
    There is nothing wrong or illegal about jailbreaking, but there is with pirating - and jailbreaking and pirating are not the same thing.
  • How big is the JB community?? And if apple did start banning Jailboken iPhone's how many people would be hurt by it?????
  • Damn I hope this doesn't happen, I just jailbreaked cuz I was sick of looking at the same old black background and standard icons for like 2 years
  • Apple setting themselves up to get smacked by the legal hammer.
  • We need a few more facts and a lot less sensationalism.
    What defines a 'hacker'? Are these people who have only jailbroken their phones? Have they published to Cydia? Have they been caught running bootleg software? Perhaps trying to cheat iTunes?
  • I've owned the iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPhone 3Gs..I got tired of the same icons the same sounds and same text hence the jailbreak. It opens up multi-tasking and a whole realm of options. If this is true, this is an absoulte joke and will make me switch the the BB 9700. I could use the battery life and multi-tasking anyway. I think this may be apple targeting the major players in the jailbreaking game though, not the avg joes
  • I guess people who get their Apple Ids blocked are going to now pirate apps or sync with friend, Maybe Apple is working closer with Microsoft because this sure reminds me of the 360 bans
  • Well I think we need to know how Apple defines hacker. Is a hacker merely someone who JB's and doesn't pirate apps and just wants functionality? Or is it defined as someone who does worse things? While Apple isn't known to be very open, if you JB your phone, be prepared for negative consequences. I don't see the big deal. You can't modify your car and tune it with aftermarket parts and still expect service from the OEM if you modified core functions like the ECM.
  • That's funny, wasn't Steve Wozniak a hacker? He used a tone generator called a "blue box" to make free intrnational phone calls (just to see if it could be done). How easily Apple forgets it's roots. Remember Apple's 1984 ad? Big Brother is here and his name is Steve Jobs.
  • If u jb be prepared to feel the wrath of the apple. 
  • @Jay0heavenly That's stupid. That doesn't hurt Apple, it hurts developers like me when you pirate apps. I don't care about jailbreaking, I have done it before so I could modify my background etc., but I have never pirated an app.
  • A little dose of reality people. The moment you purchase, open and use most any piece of software, hardware or the two combined you are signing a contract of some sort called a EULA. Jailbreaking any phone is a breach of the EULA (contract) and you open yourself to the consequences of that. Now, how a company chooses to handle such things is another story. We all who have done this with other phones in the past have grown accustomed to most companies merely ignoring the situation or like Palm is currently doing, embracing it. Apple, on the other hand has taken the opposite stance by cracking down it.
    I wish Apple could just update the iPhone hardware/OS so that it would work on any GSM network and add the missing functionality that would just make it unnecessary to jailbreak. But that may just be wishful thinking for the foreseeable future.
    @sting7k, Microsoft saw fit to expressly put those terms into their EULA as most others probably don't. This most like happened because they watched and observed adverse outcome other online gaming services experienced from it. But it is otherwise implied so this instance it is similar to Xbox Live.
    ...And @Steven, just a few words of advice. Pirating apps and music is just out right stealing so I thing you should keep that to yourself as this is a public forum.
  • @ghostface147 actually you're very wrong. Car manufacturers cannot deny a warranty claim on a modified vehicle unless they can specifically prove that the modification caused the failure. In this case, the jailbreak is a simple matter of a software restore so there is no case here.
  • @Carl, I think Jay0heavenly is just pointing out the extreme flaw in Apple's logic.
    Apple says: "Hey guys, how can we reduce piracy on the iPhone? Oh, I know, lets tell them they can't BUY apps anymore. That should solve all our problems".
  • Bad move Apple. I have spent unholy amounts of money on the App Store and never pirated an app in my life (and never plan to- even if they did ban me). The Devs spend their time and money on the apps they make, and I will pay for them. They ban me, I'll leave them. There are plenty of other devices out there for me to use. The only reason I Jailbreak is to use Google Voice, run apps in the background, and quickly turn on and off WiFi/Bluetooth (things that Android devices already do). The only reason that I have an iPod Touch, is because of the App Store.
  • well, that's the last straw. I've been considering jumping ship to the palm pre plus ever since verizon announed it. They can do everything we can except palm doesn't lock them out just for customization.
    with the new palm pdk coming in march, there are rumors palm has made it so that developers can port apple apps to palm in 60 sec. See ya apple. I'm better off without you.
  • If I own my own home do I not have the right to paint it a different color? If I put fancy rims on my car am I breaking the law? Now if I leased that same car I could not because the car doesn't belong to me. Well I purchased my itouch (not leased it) and I should be able to do whatever the f@ck I want with it.
  • This appears to affect people known to work on jailbreak/hacking methods and software. There is no way Apple can tell if an individual iPhone is jailbroken without actually looking at the device
  • Tempest in a teapot .... get real, how many people are in your so-called JB community ? 100, 1000 ? Nothing compared to the "non-JB community", consisting of millions of people. Tired of a background image ? My goodness, you have nothing else to worry about ? So go, jump ship; nobody really cares.
  • Apple isn't banning Jailbreakers, they're banning two hackers who actively worked to find exploits in the iPhone software to create jailbreaks.
    Updated story in case that wasn't clear. Again, It's like banning Geohot as opposed to banning someone who used blackra1n.
  • @steve Well said. I own it why the hell I can't do whatever I want wit it. I might be jumping ship here pretty soon if apple doesn't get there s@&$ together
  • I did not JB to get pirated apps or music. I just wanted more functionability for my iPhone. Blocking me from iTunes is stupid, Apple is hurting the developers and musicians.
  • We can modify our cars. Why can't we modify our electronic devices and software? Software develoeers will continue to take more freedom from our devices if we let them. As long as we are not stealing why should that be any of their concern? Using GV to use less minutes on a cell contract is not stealing. Using more than 5Gb of data a month on an "unlimited" plan is NOT stealing. AT&T & apple need to get over themselves. Spend money on innovation not restrictions.
  • So the hackers just get another iphone or itunes account?
  • The fact is simple
    Apple is not about giving control to the user, its about running the show and telling you what you want.
    It wouldn't surprise me if Apple started blocking out iPhones that are indeed jailbroken.
  • @cardfan They might get another account but if you're like me, you have spent a TON of money on that App Store, and you will lose all of those.
  • @cardfan Yes
    @swiftman They'll still have the apps, but they won't be able to update.
    REMEMBER: People can use exploits for anything. Good guys will find ways to jailbreak and help users out. Bad guys will find ways to steal your data and mess you over. We want Apple paying attention to iPhone security. We just need the good guy hackers to hide their iTunes account IDs better :(
  • @Rene Ritchie O, ok. That isn't much better though...
  • I believe part of this issue has to do with the protection of personal information. Now you can say "I don't care, I wanna JailBreak my phone". But the part people are not considering is you have OTHER people's personal information on YOUR iPhone. And you are making a decision for these people too!!
    While it may be difficult to prove, if your iPhone distributes someone elses phone number or address or whatever, you open YOURSELF up to a lawsuit. I'd sue you if you distributed my personal information without my permission. I've found that MOST people that criticize Apple's policies, usually don't give much thought to the policies and are only considering their own personal agenda.
  • It's a sad fact that App piracy is rampant and was made possible by jailbreaking. The usual arguments againts this do not apply. When apps only cost $1-5 on average (as opposed to hundreds for PC apps) the old "I wouldn't buy/use it if I couldn't get it for free" simply doesn't wash.
    For every person stating legit reasons for jailbreaking here there are probably 100 or more people jailbreaking for pirated apps (I too tried to jailbreak just so I could run Pandora and GPS navigation at the same time, but for some reason my 3G simply won't jailbreak).
    So Apple is possibly just sending a message even though they know it might be futile. Either that or this is being blown out of proportion - only 2 hackers affected so far - and instead those 2 individuals' iTunes accounts could simply have been targetted by other hackers.
  • Lol! The cry babies did not dissappoint. I love when these guys get all indignant and "holier than thou". It seems that they feel, the angrier they get the more right they are. Well, that is not the case. It is nice to know that these rebuttal attacks from Apple are not aimed at me, I can rest easy with my conscience intact.
  • @Wyatt
    EULAs - nor any other type of "contract" that you can only see after purchase - have never been shown as valid in court.
  • he just need to change is password and it will be good again it have happen to me a lots of time when i dowload too much apps in a certain amount of time
  • Instead of banning their IDs, Apple should be hiring them. My JB phone is superb. It's everything 4.0 will probably be .....already.
    I don't pirate any apps. Apple/Cydia/Rock have all made it convenient and cheap enough not to need to.
    You do need pirates to drive innovation though so I'm pro all the possible options.
  • I don't read it but to use iTunes you click OK to their agreement when installing/running iTunes for the first time (or on upgrades). Is there anything in that text about such activities?
  • Apple needs to chill out. Seriously. The only reason I jailbroke was because people online had themes I wanted that. I kept being told to jailbreak. I jailbroke solely for customization reasons. I just don't see what apple has against jailbreaking. Tweet me your response:G33Kw0rd
  • @@RandyMcMillan
    My jailbroken 3GS is just as secure as any un-jailbroken iPhone.
  • i honestly do not like the direction that apple is headed in the future, if this is what iphone 4.0 is going to be like, i will most likely end up with an android or buy a blackberry again.. i can not live with the same old boring bs that apple puts out, i want, no i NEED to be able to change the way my things look on my phone!!!!
  • what's the app to the right of twitterific in the screenshot? (the one with the TV color bars.)
  • it seems to me similar to when a game company like nintendo sues people who make roms and distribute them. does that put the people who download the roms in the clear? i think not...
  • @mark, its called mxtube, its a jb app that lets you download youtube videos straight to your phone. i absolutely love it.
  • "Now, to be clear, Apple isn’t banning Jailbreakers — they’re banning people who actively work to find exploits in the iPhone software to create Jailbreaks for the rest of us"
    What makes you think that you know the process that apple is using to detect and ban those account?
    Also its a fact that apple is able to develop a way to identify jailbreakers
  • @mrc
    Please don't make up statistics. You have no idea how many jailbreakers are pirating apps.
  • I am afraid to leave a message here, now that Apple has decided to bug our devices that we bought from them, I am an avid mac family at home and at work. And sure I understand they want all their computers and iphones to be proprietary. But...this reeks of privacy issues and personal rights issues. The fact is, when we buy a car, if we decide to drive it over the speed limit, the manufacturer has no right in regulating me, and the car I bought from them. They can't suddenly slow my car down remotely. Same for TV sets, if I want to buy a tv, gut it, and put a fish tank in it, Samsung can't stop me it's my right as the owner of that TV and car to do what I wish. They fairly can void the warranty, but as for snooping on my phone and or in my car or in whatever!! No one has that right. Not even Apple (whom I love) sadly, they are following the footsteps of Bush and striking down the FISA courts and first amendment rights of any iphone user. Shame.
    BTW, I can't wait for 4.0.
  • @ ermax...thanks for clearing it up! Couldn't have said it better myself!
    @ Carl... I don't pirate apps at all! If Apple's policy for hackers trickled down to the jb community I would have no choice. Thats stupid to ban people from trying to BUY apps from the appstore. There has to be a better way. Presently, ALL of my apps are paid for, and I have no intention of hurting the little guy developer, but if Big Brother Steve Jobs oversteps his boundaries, I'll have no other choice if I wanna keep my JB.
  • maybe the cry babies have pirated software? check all apps and ban id. viola!
  • Whaaa .... 0.99 is too expensive.
  • They banned ih8sn0w's account he used for jailbreak, not his personal one... you can see this if you check ih8sn0w's twitter account.
  • [quote]What makes you think that you know the process that apple is using to detect and ban those account?[/quote]
    ^^^This is what I'm more concerned about, how the HELL did Apple figure out who these people were, these hackers/devs don't just have their real info floating around...
  • I'm not worried, but I'm playing by the rules. It's not an open platform and by trying to make it one you're pissing off apple. Are you really so ignorant that you're outraged? Don't be ridiculous. Everyone knew this could happen and now it is. Good for them for making good on the threat. It's about time.
    You are not entitled to anything for free. Play by the rules or risk the consequences.
  • What's the point of banning jailbreakers from the appstore? Then I can guarantee that they will pirate all the apps they use!
  • Did anyone bother reading the terms and agreements when they made their iTunes account? Apple is exercising EXACTLY what they said would happen. The fact that this is only happening to people confirmed as hackers is impressive, I would figure Apple would go nuts and hit the jailbreakers en masse. The fact that jailbreakers can continue to thrive is actually a very gracious nod from Apple. You all can stamp your feet and bitch and moan and threaten to go to Android or Pre or whatever, and my response is GO. Like many have said before, this is Apple's world, and their rules. When you decide to mod your car, you don't bring it back to Honda and cry for a free new car when you crack your engine block. Apple is tired of people crying to get new phones when they brick theirs to hell and back. Go ahead and jailbreak, there have always been consequences, and now Apple is more aggressive with them. I say good for Steve and Company. My iPod was jailbroken, and I always knew I could get kicked. Now I'm legit and it looks like the timing is perfect.
    Welcome to the new world.
  • @chaibynight
    I don't think I could disagree with you more. Apples iTunes terms and conditions do not say anything about jailbreaking. If they do, go ahead and find it and point it out.
    Apple can refuse warranty replacements on hardware, and refuse to service jb devices. They can't and won't do what youre saying.
    There is a GOOD group of people that do not use jb for piracy. More than there are bad. Mostly because the people that would pirate apps probably couldn't figure out how. Those that do are the problem.
    Tell me again, what's the problem with me wanting a different wallpaper or icons on the phone I PAID for?
    As someone else already said, if you buy a house, are you locked out if you paint a wall or put in new cabinets? No.
    Same concept.
  • Steve Jobs is evil because only evil people get angry at the don't be evil motto that google said, and this is just another point to prove that Steve Jobs is indeed evil. I can't believe apple is banning people who really loves their iPhone/touch devices by making it better than it is. This Apple is turning sour now.
  • @Chaibynight
    How many people do you know that have actually BRICKED their iPhones? I've had things go wrong for me before during the JB process (before blackra1n), and all it takes is a simple restore. I think you need to straighten up your terminology.
  • @RandyMcMillan :
    Two counters:
    1) A jailbroken device can be MORE secure than your 'vanilla' device. Many jailbreak users install iPFirewall which blocks all outgoing connections unless you give the okay. Without this, any app you install (yes, even AppStore apps) can send any information they want to anywhere in the world without your consent.
    2) Even ignoring the above fact, your logic is severely flawed. If your friend has your phone number in your wallet and somebody steals their wallet are you going to sue your friend? Give me a break. There are far more legit arguments against jailbreaking. I disagree with all of them, but if you're going to argue against something you know nothing about, at least do so intelligently.
  • guys thats not true, it happen with me when my appstore password was incorrect apple will disable the account, check the last icon its waiting to login to appstore and coz the account is disabled it shows this msg.
  • For those jailbreaking your devices for the purpose of downloading paid apps for free, instead of hacking the device, just buy the app. If you download a paid app without paying for it, you are a thief. There is no gray area there. If the developer doesn't make a free version, ask them for a promo code. If you were the developer making games for a living, just think about someone stealing your app and robbing you of royalties.
  • Another thing, if you don't like the way Apple or Steve Jobs does things, start up a company of your own, develop an awesome touch device for apps, sell it to the public and then you get to set the rules. Stop crying and whining about what a company does. That comment about Steve Jobs being evil was actually pathetic since that same person was probably raving about what an awesome device the iPhone or iPod Touch was.
  • This probably for credit card fraud... In which case who cares... The frauded account was only being used to get the ipa files and than crack them and upload them to installiuos that's just my theroy sorry for the typos...
  • I'm not worried. No average jailbreaker should be.
  • was his email. That's how the found him. Most of you guys are looney.
  • i told you guys thats NOT TRUE, read link from apple support :
  • why in the f@cK cant people spell anymore?? and why in the F&C* cant people use (an) before a vowel these days?? you people kill me with your BS why cant you say I have an apple iphone instead of hey i got a apple iphone it sounds so stupid!!!! use what you went to school for lets all try to sound a little more civilized ok we are americans and most of you cant even spell that anymore!! you are all worried about who your gonna sleep with next more than you are about sounding classy.come on people get it together!!! who cares if apple shuts down I will go to a blackberry
  • Dannyboi............. your lesson on english grammar amused me :) however it was rather ironic when you look at your own grammar, including lack of capital letters :-/ !!!!!
  • I have never jailbroken my phone or tried hacking it....why am I getting this error?
  • boiafontbvqgffpqagr, delo zaposlitev, oggATMrp.
  • I loved this article, though next time I would advise trying to keep it shorter (my own attention span is not what it used to be 3 decades back...)