Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Apple's App Store Blocks Known iPhone Hackers

Apple, Inc. has banned known hackers from its App Store, including jailbreaker Sherif Hashim. Hashim was even blocked from opening a new account. Apple has usually foiled jailbreakers by updating the iPhone OS, but the App Store ban appears to be a new method. Some app developers are applauding Apple's blocking of hackers.

Apple has been accused of approving poor-quality applications, taking too long to approve an app, and rejecting apps similar to its own offerings, but never has Apple been accused of blocking hackers from its App Store -- until now. A small number of self-proclaimed iPhone hackers have reported being denied access into the App Store, including Sherif Hashim.

Hashim may have been targeted because of his jailbreaking of Apple's iPhone, a process that allows iPhone and iPod touch users to run any code on their devices versus only code authorized by Apple. Once a device is jailbroken, users are able to download applications that were previously unavailable through the App Store.

Banned for Security Reasons

Hashim reported receiving a message after attempting to log in to his App Store account. "'Your Apple ID was banned for security reasons,' that's what I get when I try to go to the App Store; they must be really angry and, guess what, my apple ID was, what a fool was me not to notice, can't help laughing, they are babies."

After attempting to log in again, Hashim received the same message and tweeted "I wonder if this was an Apple act or someone messing with my account."

After failing to successfully log into the App Store, Hashim used his wife's credit-card information to create a new account and received the same message yet again.

"This Visa rejection is very weird and doesn't seem like an Apple act, but the timing is also weird," he added.

Hashim isn't alone. The iPhone hacker and developer behind the jailbreaking tool SnowBreeze, ih8sn0w, also tweeted about his App Store trouble on Twitter.

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