iPods using cryptographic hash so they only work with iTunes?

Perry E. Metzger perry at piermont.com
Mon Sep 17 10:24:27 EDT 2007

"Perry E. Metzger" <perry at piermont.com> writes:
> It appears that Apple may have altered the firmware of newer iPods so
> that they require a proper cryptographic hash in the iTunesDB loaded
> onto the units or they won't work. This effectively blocks people from
> using third party software with an iPod, including the various
> programs people use on Linux with iPods.
> http://ipodminusitunes.blogspot.com/2007/09/apple-cuts-us-off.html

And, within a few days, the open source folks have reverse engineered
it. The presence of "magic numbers" in the algorithm makes one assume
that this was intended as more than a simple hash integrity check, but
the brief time required to find them leads one to believe the
mechanism was not a very effective protection (though it isn't even
clear what it was intended to protect against.)



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