iPhone hack enables wireless without AT&T

The hack allows Wi-Fi and iPod features but won't allow you to make phone calls.

Robert Vamosi Former Editor
As CNET's former resident security expert, Robert Vamosi has been interviewed on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, and other outlets to share his knowledge about the latest online threats and to offer advice on personal and corporate security.
Robert Vamosi

Norwegian researcher Jon Lech Johansen, aka DVD Jon, has found a way to activate the iPhone via Windows without subscribing to an AT&T wireless plan. After using the hack, some Internet features, such as YouTube, may still not work. What you do get is use of the wide-screen iPod and Internet access through the Safari browser.

Details can be found on Johansen's So sue me blog. There, Johansen lists several values and offsets that he says must be entered in the itunes.exe file. This requires the use of a hex editor. A new host entry must also be added to Windows. In addition, Johansen provides an application that spoofs the Apple activation center.

DVD Jon gained notoriety in 1999 for releasing the code DeCSS that decodes the content scrambling system used in DVD copy protection. As a result, Johansen was prosecuted but acquitted of charges of computer hacking even though at least two other authors of DeCSS are suspected. Johansen now lives in Norway.