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Stumbling Block for iPhone Researchers

Promising steps from iPhone researchers last week that provided them with a serial interface to controlling and operating the bootloader for the iPhone have come to essentially nothing.

In an update posted in the early hours of yesterday, the researchers disclosed that they have been unsuccessful in manipulating the bootloader beyond the basic level that had already been disclosed. Cited as the reason why they were unable to go any further was the presence of a 1024-bit RSA private key that Apple uses to sign the content that goes into it. Without this key, the researchers have been unable to take further control over the bootloader.

While this might seem like a major setback (and it is for those who are working towards getting other operating systems such as Linux running on the device), the researchers are confident that they will still be able to gain effective control over the system through the filesystem gaps that they have already identified. These gaps allow them to add, copy, and run files of their own choice, as well as suggestions that they will be able to control the radio components.

10 July 2007

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