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Monday, June 24, 2013, 11:27 am PT (02:27 pm ET)

Chinese accessory maker claims to have 'permanently cracked' Apple's Lightning authentication

A Chinese accessory maker claims to have "permanently" cracked the Lightning authentication feature built into Apple's iOS 7 operating system, opening up the possibility for a wide range of manufacturers to make Lightning-compatible iPad and iPod accessories without Apple's approval.



Chinese manufacturer iPhone5mod was already noted for offering non-Apple approved Lightning accessories last year even as the Cupertino company was still working out the details of manufacturer authorization. Now the accessory maker claims that it has developed a solution that keeps iOS 7 from warning users when they're using uncertified Lightning cables.

iPhone5mod's Lightning crack is said to be hardware-based. According to the company, Apple cannot negate the crack without reworking its own Lightning hardware.

So confident is the company in its circumvention of Apple's restrictions that it is offering money-back guarantees that its new cables will work with the final build of iOS 7.

The manufacturer now lists five cables on its homepage as "for iOS 7.0." These include a standard white Lightning cable,two iPhone 5 docks, and a Lightning extension cable.

iPhone5mod has drawn Apple's attention in the past. In August of last year, Apple sent the manufacturer a takedown notice warning it to stop offering a case modification that made an iPhone 4S look like an iPhone 5. The mod used both Apple's logo and the iPhone name, two factors that Apple said amounted to counterfeiting.

The Lightning connector standard made it possible for Apple to exert a much greater level of control over many of its accessory suppliers. With the built-in authentication chips — first noted by AppleInsider last September — the company is able to make sure that participants in its Made For iPhone/iPad program are making products of a certain quality.