In a move aimed at reducing instances of jailbreaking of its popular iPhone handset, Apple has decided to introduce a new feature called “bootrom” in its new iPhone 3GS phones.
The new feature essentially acts as a guard which checks the handset for any tampering of the device every time it starts up and it is expected to defend the iPhone against the known 24kpwn exploit which is widely used to jail break it.
Though not much is known about what the feature is expected to do if it finds out that the handset has been tampered with, it is important to note that a similar feature in Blackberry handsets actually locks up the device.
Typically many users try to jailbreak their handsets with an idea of installing unsigned Apple Apps on their handsets and at times they also try use software like Blackra1n to jailbreak the iPhone.
Even members of Dev-Team, the hackers who were credited with the 24kpwn exploit, have apparently expressed their apprehensions that the new iPhone 3GS may be extremely difficult to tamper with; they have recommended users looking to jailbreak their handsets to avoid upgrading to the new version of the iPhone operating system.
The move by Apple to restrict tampering with its device may disappoint many technical enthusiasts, however from Apple’s perspective it is in line with its business needs.
Apple might have won the battle but it won't win the war. Hackers will always try to break the seemingly unbreakable and crack what claims to be uncrackable. They've done it before with CSS and other digital rights management or proprietary technologies. So the iPhone OS 3.1.2, which, by the end of the year, will power nearly 50 million devices, will likely be broken by then.