As of New Year’s Eve, it should be possible to illegally unlock your 3G iPhone without being a technical wizard, thanks to the independent iPhone Dev Team, definitely not affiliated with Apple. According to team member MuscleNerd, the hack is codenamed YellowSn0w.
The hack was announced by team member MuscleNerd via Twitter on Sunday. The new program is said to be a single-touch iPhone App that will allow an iPhone owner to use a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card from a carrier other than AT&T. The program is so simple that it will have the phone up and running on the other carrier in just minutes, according to an article in PC World.
MuscleNerd said that the Dev team would post a demo of the new hack on Qik, a popular live video streaming site. This development is seen as important because of its simplicity. YellowSn0w will allow the 3G iPhone to be unlocked without any hacker genius procedures on the phone’s hardware or software. In the initial demo, MuscleNerd takes the iPhone off the AT&T cell network and puts it on the T-mobile network in just a few minutes. Although he admitted that the app shown in the preliminary video was very rough, MuscleNerd explained that the Dev Team was working hard to build a user-friendly version of the software tool by New Year’s Eve, at which time the hack would become available.
The 3G iPhone is tethered to the AT&T network via SIM-lock software, which keeps the phone from being switched to another carrier’s network. Because of the SIM lock, the phone has been physically unable to recognize another carrier’s SIM card. The iPhone Dev Team reportedly exploited a weakness in the phone’s baseband radio software, which is used to communicate with a cellphone provider’s network hardware.
Before you can use the YellowSn0w hack, you need to have a jail-broken 3G iPhone with a firmware version of 2.11.07 or earlier. Ironically, YellowSn0w will not work with a phone which has been jail-broken with the iPhone Dev Team’s latest jail-break program (QuickPwn). That Dev Team older hack made changes to the phone’s baseband radio firmware which will cause YellowSn0w to fail.