“Buttons not working” case

Posted on
Results confirmed on April 16, 2018.

Like many, you are probably concerned about the recent scandal regarding IMEI checks creating GSX cases, specifically a “Buttons not working” case. We take these matters seriously, which is why we conducted a thorough investigation into the cause of these cases.

 

What are the rumors?

Firstly, we understand the frustration this may have caused for many thousands of people intending to unlock their device through Apple, although the spread of rumors targeting all types of checkers (including ours) has been misleading and based on uninformed guesses. We have heard rumors targeting our instant and exclusive Sold By checks… False! We’ve seen rumors targeting iPhoneData checks… False! We’ve also heard rumors that Apple is just flagging all free checkers around the world… False!

 

Why are many rumors false?

Since nobody has invested in finding out where the cases came from, we felt that we had to do so. To do this correctly, we used personal devices, which is the only true way of knowing which sites the device has been checked on. For example, if you are a reseller or unlocker and you only use our site, it is almost 100% likely that your client has checked the device on another site before giving it to you; why this is so likely is because you may notice that we removed Find My iPhone lookups from our Free Checker some time ago (Pro Users still get FMI + iCloud Status for free). This means most of your clients turn to other sites to get their checks for free. This is one of the main reasons why the rumors were so broad – everyone uses free checks, so pretty much any checker could be blamed for these cases.

 

How many devices were affected?

When we realized this scandal, we counted the number of case history orders from our customers with the “Buttons not working” case, which was close to 25% of devices! With a number so high, we knew it had to be a popular checker. The options were:

  • Instant Sold By checks (free/paid)
  • Free Checks

 

Our investigation

To cross out the possibilities, we checked the case history for devices which we personally checked on iPhoneData.info and our own exclusive Sold By checker. The outcome was “no cases”. So that makes all the Sold By rumors about flagging or dirty coding false.

  • Instant Sold By checks (free/paid)

The next possibility was Free Checks. Since all free checkers are based upon the same source of information, we had to assume it could be any checker (including ours). Again, we did our research on each site at a time. Fortunately, as a business, we continually test other checkers on the web in order to assess our competitors. For each site, we use a different IMEI to do so, which is how we identified where the cases came from.

Running checks on our free service did not show up any cases. The same applied to sites like sickw.com (who have also revoked their free FMI checks) and imeipro.info. It was only when we tested iUnlocker.net that we found a long history of cases from the past few weeks of our competitor analysis. Here’s what GSX looked like for the device we’ve been testing on iUnlocker.net:

Why was it just one site?

It should be obvious that all free checkers have similar information and indeed come from the same source of data. The only thing which separates these checkers is the source of Find My iPhone status. There’s only one way you can create a case with Apple on the web, and that’s from their repair site: https://getsupport.apple.com/

How was the case created?

It just so happens that Apple’s repair site incorporates a Find My iPhone check in the final stage of the application process, with an option to choose “Buttons not working” as the fault. A screenshot of the (public) Find My iPhone check used for Apple’s repair site can be found below:

So although it may seem clever to use Apple’s site for their very own official Find My iPhone endpoint, what the developer didn’t realize is that a case could be created simply by running this check or simulating a repair with Apple for every free check executed.

Summary

Affected sites: iUnlocker.net

Affected period: 18 March 2018 – 4 April 2018 (estimated)

Results confirmed: 16 April 2018

 

Conclusion

Hopefully, you now understand what caused these cases and what didn’t. Free Checks are not being flagged and neither are Sold By checks. If it helps, we use the exact same code for our Free Checks and Paid Checks, as does sickw.com for example. Another assurance we can guarantee is that we have never used this method (above) for any of our Find My iPhone checks. You probably noticed that iUnlocker.net has now acknowledged their mistake and revoked the Find My iPhone status from free checks, despite being able to continue providing them (of course at the expense of a GSX case per check).

There are not too many sites that have offered free Find My iPhone checks, so now with 3 of the most popular sites revoking them, it is only more likely that this trend will continue to grow as all that demand is shifted onto fewer sites. We personally are not able to fulfill public Find My iPhone checks any longer due to legal obligations to some of our clients, making it critical to protect our exploits and thus keeping usage to a minimum. We apologize for the inconvenience, though we hope you’ve learned something new from this post.