WTF? – “BRICKED_AND_SIM_LOCKED_STRING” found in iPhone v2.0 firmware - Macenstein

WTF? – “BRICKED_AND_SIM_LOCKED_STRING” found in iPhone v2.0 firmware

The Greek technology site iPhone Hellas has been poking around in the iPhone 2 beta firmware and found all sorts of GPS-related goodies, as well as some more YouTube and Google integration, but the really interesting thing (to me anyway) is that they have also found the following string buried deep in the code: “BRICKED_AND_SIM_LOCKED_STRING”.


OK, I understand Apple feeling the need to play the cat and mouse game with iPhone hackers in trying to keep the iPhone secure and such, but for Apple to openly put a string in their code that flaunts their “bricking” an iPhone if the SIM is unlocked is pretty lame. And to tell you the truth, it can only make Apple look bad, not just to consumers, but to the media. It’s one thing for Cnet to inevitably report “The iPhone v2 software has been once again unlocked,” but it is another for the headline to read “Despite Apple’s best efforts, the iPhone v2 software has been once again unlocked“.

Of course, there’s a chance this is just a boolean flag to tell if the iPhone is already bricked, as faithful Macenstein reader jester points out, but even so, who decides if an iPhone is bricked? Short of an electrical hit, it is Apple who decides if an iPhone is bricked via software hacking.

So far Apple’s position to iPhone unlocking in the media has been one of “we don’t encourage it”. Now it looks like they may be changing their position to “we won’t let it happen”, which is more likely than not, impossible. My advice? Apple should just rename that string something like “Wookalar”, and if hackers can’t beat it, Apple looks good, but when they do defeat it, Apple won’t look like they tried really hard to keep them out and failed. This just seems like a bad move as the iPhone makes a push into the security skittish enterprise market.

Thanks to faithful Macenstein reader Art Vandalay for the tip.

[via ZDNet]

9 Responses to “WTF? – “BRICKED_AND_SIM_LOCKED_STRING” found in iPhone v2.0 firmware”
  1. Lewis says:

    To be honest, it’s probably nothing to do with jailbreaking/unlocking. A lot of modern phones have the ability to be “bricked” – so that if they’re stolen, as long as it’s reported quickly enough and the phone is on with the original sim, it can be “bricked” for security.

  2. James says:

    Well, at least we now know what the next Slashdot story on the iPhone will be.

  3. Jim says:

    Dear Gracious but nevertheless over-reacting Host of Ours:

    This is most probably related to the remote wipe function that is more or less required for the iPhone to compete in the enterprise environment against the Blackberry. Remote wipe is a huge requirement for many an IT department before they’ll sanction the device to work alongside the Blackberry (let alone replace it).

    Don’t worry, though; I’m sure there will be numerous other goodies found soon enough to get your dander up over. 😉

  4. you says:

    its their good right to make sure you buy it only at their partners! why not!? i dont see any problems with kickin out jailbreaked phones out of the market with brickin it.. be glad ! when your phone gets bricket buy a new one with umts despite the fact umts aka 3g is no even everywhere in us available like in europe and you us dudes are whining around whole time! why the fuck do you need it for?! to surf 4sec faster?!

  5. Hrryank says:

    Yeah, it’s an Enterprise feature. Move along, nothing to see here 🙂

  6. Zac Bedell says:

    I’m reasonably certain “bricked and sim locked” means that you guessed the NCK unlock code incorrectly too many times. The baseband will no longer accept unlock attempts using the “real” unlock code facility.

    It should still be possible to unlock the baseband through the usual hackish means, and I think the “revirginizer” tools will also set the seczone back to normal to unbrick this particular state back to normal.

  7. Dave-O says:

    Here’s a thought, let Apple write the code and you can keep posting pictures of celebrities with Apple products.

  8. odin says:


  9. imajoebob says:

    Two obvious explanations:
    1) Apple wants an easy way to unlock bricked phones, so this is where they will write the instruction code.
    2) Have you ever heard the phrase “Red Herring?” Sites like this are likely setting iPhone users’ hair on fire, fearing that any attempt to unlock or hack their phone will render it inert. Apple doesn’t need to actually brick any iPhone; they can sit back while all these hysterical sites create a (false) meme that they will.

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