George Hotz, known to many of us as ‘GeoHot’ made his claim to fame by hacking and unlocking the original iPhone. Since then he has played an important hand in numerous jailbreaks such as limera1n and blackra1n, but more recently his ability to hack then once unpenetrable Sony PS3 supplanted his claim as one of the world’s premier hackers. He has worked as an intern at Google and recently was employed at Facebook.
The New Yorker has published an extensive piece on George Hotz and it provides an inside look to his iPhone and PS3 hacking adventures, plus insight into Hotz’s early life and his mentality when it comes to following the law. Here’s a snippet about his original hack of the first iPhone:
He used a Phillips-head eyeglass screwdriver to undo the two screws in the back of the phone. Then he slid a guitar pick around the tiny groove, and twisted free the shell with a snap. Eventually, he found his target: a square sliver of black plastic called a baseband processor, the chip that limited the carriers with which it could work. To get the baseband to listen to him, he had to override the commands it was getting from another part of the phone. He soldered a wire to the chip, held some voltage on it, and scrambled its code. The iPhone was now at his command. On his PC, he wrote a program that enabled the iPhone to work on any wireless carrier.
The next morning, Hotz stood in his parents’ kitchen and hit “Record” on a video camera set up to face him. He had unruly curls and wispy chin stubble, and spoke with a Jersey accent. “Hi, everyone, I’m geohot,” he said, referring to his online handle, then whisked an iPhone from his pocket. “This is the world’s first unlocked iPhone.”
It’s a juicy read that spills extensive details about Hotz and his lawsuit with Sony over his hack of the PS3. The article also profiles the hacker group Anonymous and its plot against Sony after Hotz was sued, plus mention of LulzSec.
Definitely add this one to Pocket for a fantastic Monday evening read.
[via The New Yorker]