Apple’s Lightning Authentication Has Been Cracked

That was fast! MacRumors reports that Apple’s Lightning authentication has been cracked, which should allow accessory manufacturers to launch cheaper third-party Lightning connector cables.

Apple’s iPhone 5, 5th generation iPod touch and 7th generation iPod nano that were unveiled in September came with a new dock connector dubbed Lightning, which replaced the 30-pin dock connector that was first launched in 2003.

Apple also launched two adapters for the new Lightning connector, which will allows users to connect their iPhone 5, 5th generation iPod touch and 7th generation iPod nano to 30-pin accessories.

Apple currently holds the exclusive right to make and sell such adapters, as it is yet to authorize any third-party manufacturing facilities to produce Lightning-equipped products. Strangely, Apple also doesn’t offer a dock for the iPhone 5.

MacRumors now reports that Chinese firm iPhone5mod has introduced the first iPhone 5 dock, which works with the Lightning connector cable.

iPhone5mod is actually offering the dock in two parts: a lighted USB-to-Lightning cable and a white dock similar to Apple’s previous-generation docks but which accepts a Lightning cable in the rear and offers a Lightning connector for interfacing with the device. Each part is offered individually for $19.90, or together for $39.90. 

iPhone5mod are apparently using the original Lightning controller chips from Apple’s supplier in the iPhone 5 dock, but claim that they’ve also obtained cracked chips that bypass Apple’s authentication functions.

We spoke with representatives of iPhone5mod, who informed us that they are currently using original Lightning controller chips from Apple’s supplier, ensuring proper functionality. The chips serve to assist with dynamic assignment of pin functionalities in the connector and converting signals received through the connector for output at the other end of the cable. 

iPhone5mod did, however, inform us that they have also obtained cracked chips that bypass Apple’s authentication functions and that the cracked chips are working just as well as the original chips, suggesting that we may soon see a significant increase in unauthorized third-party Lightning accessories. 

They’ve also published a video, which demonstrates the iPhone 5 dock used to to charge and sync an iPhone 5 to a Mac.