Some iPhone 3.0 users have voiced out that they've been receiving random IMs seemingly meant for other people. Users thought at first that the push notification system Apple had added in 3.0 was broken. It turns out, however, that they broke it themselves.
According to AppleInsider, jailbreaking and then unlocking the iPhone is what leads to the unwanted IMs.
Jailbreaking the iPhone involves working around Apple's security system to enable the device to run unsigned software. The iPhone's applications, just like its PNS communications, are encrypted using security certificates to prevent tampering, spoofing, or spying by malicious third parties.
Destroying the application security layer of the iPhone does not itself automatically break PNS, but (when combined with an "unofficial activation" required to use it with unofficial service providers) results in the system having no legitimate certificates to use in performing push notifications. Essentially, if the phone is not properly activated as intended through iTunes, the user's credentials for signing into Apple's PNS messaging servers (which are generated by the device itself in normal conditions) are broken along with the application security layer.
Dev team hackers trying to get jailbroken, alternatively activated phones to work with PNS allegedly made the mistake of adding an existing certificate to "fix" the problem. The hack simply identifies the new jailbroken phone to Apple as another phone that already exists, enabling messages to be sent to the wrong device.
Those who haven't unlocked their iPhones don't have anything to worry about. Officially unlocked iPhones also seem to be exempt from the problem as the activation is official.
- PwnageTool 3.0 now available
- iPhone OS 3.0 officially released - internet tethering, stereo Bluetooth audio, more