Jailbroken or unlocked iPhone Push errors cause AIM to misfire

A problem was discovered recently on jailbroken or unlocked iPhones that caused the AIM app to fire off messages to random recipients.

David Martin
David Martin has more than 20 years of experience in the industry as a programmer, systems and business analyst, author, and consultant.
David Martin
2 min read

The founder of Equinux, Till Schadde, recently discovered an interesting problem with the AIM app and Push Notifications. According to Schadde and reported by Crunchgear, AIM on jailbroken and unlocked iPhones was sending messages to random recipients without the sender's knowledge. In other words, that sexy sweet nothing you sent your sweetheart might have reached a stranger instead.


The problem, which apparently effects only the iPhone 2G and 3G is directly caused by an app called Pushfix, which is available via Cydia.

The iPhone Dev Team created the app, which attempts to fix the Push feature on jailbroken iPhones. Unfortunately, it employed the use of only one Unique Device ID (UDID) to fix every jailbroken iPhone, when each device should have a separate UDID. Since all the affected handsets had the same UDID, the AIM messages were sent to multiple iPhones. Talk about a major misfire.

I've reconsidered the necessity of jailbreaking iPhones in the past and again am questioning the value of hacking the iPhone. The iPhone and iTunes App Store aren't completely perfect, but they've matured and have a promising future. The iPhone SDK has had some major restrictions removed such as video recording and using the GPS for turn-by-turn directions.

The decision, of course, is yours, but if you continue to perform these actions and find unexpected results as described above, then you can only blame yourself. So before you jailbreak you should ask yourself if it is worth the risk. In this case it's loss of privacy, but it could be worse.

Let me know what you think about jailbreaking in the comments.