Technology

Bored teenager hacks T-Mobile’s network for free unlimited data

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It was just another Friday night for Jacob Ajit, a student at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. The 17-year-old resident of Fairfax, Virginia was playing around with a T-Mobile prepaid device, when he discovered he could gain unlimited access to 4G internet completely free. And the way he did it makes so much sense that we’re stunned nobody has figured this out before. T-Mobile pre-paid SIM cards are designed such that users can update their account and purchase additional service without having to go into a T-Mobile location or log onto their account from a wifi network. This is a handy feature, but there’s just one problem: what if the user’s coverage ends, and they want to purchase more? The device would have to still gain access to T-Mobile’s network so the purchase could go through.

So essentially these SIM cards allow phones to have access to the internet at all times, but this access is rigidly blocked, intended to allow users access only to their T-Mobile member portal unless they’ve paid for active service. But Jacob Ajit discovered that the popular Speedtest app still worked even though the device’s pre-paid period had expired.Ars Technica hypothesizes that this access may have been white-listed as part of a marketing technique so that unactivated devices could be used to demonstrate network speed.

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