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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
Since launching its App Store, Apple has dealt with jailbreaking by creating iPhone OS updates that break the previous jailbreak. Blocking and disabling accounts of alleged iPhone and iPod touch jailbreakers, however, may be Apple's new way of combating the problem, according to observers.
While jailbreakers may be calling Apple a blocker, developers are applauding the blocks. While Hashim was laughing at Apple's block, others were laughing at him.
"It's just something Apple does, so if you plan to do something against the policy, you should be prepared to get burned," said Alex Sokirynsky, an iPhone developer and creator of iPhone applications Podcaster and RSSPlayer.
"Apple blocked two hacked phones out of millions, so it's hardly anything to get upset over," Sokirynsky said. "The people that did get blocked are only blocked from the App Store on that one device."
Posted: 2010-02-20 @ 2:58am PT