The cat-and-mouse game between Apple and would-be iPhone hackers is about to get a little more interesting. Following the recent release of “blacksn0w,” an iPhone unlocking tool capable of unlocking new iPhone 3GS’s running the latest iPhone OS, Apple has posted a new job listing for an “iPhone OS Platform Security Manager.” Apple is apparently looking for someone to head the development team tasked with securing iPhone boot-up and operating system installation as well as other aspects of iPhone platform security.
We’re not sure if Apple is looking for someone new to fill the position, or if Apple wants to replace the current iPhone OS Platform Security Manager. In either case, it’s pretty clear that the iPhone maker wants to make sure that hackers like George “geohot” Hotz and the iPhone Dev Team aren’t able to keep cracking the iPhone.
The back-and-forth between hackers and Apple is an ongoing saga juicier than your daily soap operas. The iPhone and iPhone 3G were initially jailbroken (the process of opening the file-system to allow unauthorized application installs) and unlocked to work with any GSM network, courtesy of the iPhone Dev Team. Apple then updated the iPhone OS to close the jailbreak exploit known as “24kpwn,” eventually updating the baseband firmware (the code that controls how the iPhone connects to wireless networks like AT&T and T-Mobile) from version 04.26 to 05.11 to prevent unlocking. iPhone hacker geohot countered with his “blackra1n” jailbreak utility, following that up with the release of “blacksn0w” to unlock the latest iPhone 3GS baseband (05.11) to work with GSM networks around the world.
That pretty much brings us up to speed (in a nutshell, from a very small nut). The iPhone platform is, at this point, jailbroken and unlocked. Now it’s Apple’s turn.
It’s conceivable that Apple’s incoming iPhone security manager will put an end to baseband 05.11 unlocks, but it’s hard to see Apple ever locking down the iPhone completely. Still, if you’re interested in jailbreaking and unlocking your iPhone, you’re best bet is to jump on board soon.