Hackers gain shell access to iPhone

iPhoneIt has been less than a week since the iPhone's release, and my head is still spinning from all the iPhone unboxing and cracking open galleries. Already, it appears that the hacker crew of IRC #iPhone channel has managed to gain shell access to the iPhone.

As the iPhone's 30-pin dock connector features the same pinouts as the iPod, it was possible to extrapolate from what was already known about the iPod to cobble together a custom connector with just a resistor, ground, and RS-232 level converter. A few commands from iphoneinterface later, and viola, shell access mode.

Whilst the resulting shell is pretty basic, it appears to feature a TFTP client. That's right folks, we're looking at the ability to load custom applications into the iPhone.

Of course, being able to load custom applications is different from actually getting one integrated properly into the iPhone's GUI, as well as getting access to enough of the iPhone's internal functions to be useful. Still, given that the iPhone is based on the OS X, it is just a matter of time.

Additional links:

iPhone hacked for shell access (Engadget)

Original announcement of the hack (Hackint0sh)

Command list for shell

In the meantime, do share with us the kind of applications you would like to see on your iPhone. Join the discussion.


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Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

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