It’s Possible to Track Your Stolen or Missing iPhone with its ICCID and CTN

Did you lose your iPhone recently? There’s still hope of finding it, or at least get a step closer to finding who has it.

Despite how advance technology has developed, it’s still a challenge to locate stolen electronic devices. Apple’s Find My iPhone app may helped some people, but it gets pretty useless once the device is turned off and everything on it is wiped out.

Also Read5 Things You Should Do When Your iPhone is Stolen or Lost

If you think you’ve tried everything to get your iPhone back, you’re probably wrong. Let me tell you why.

Each iPhone is unique because it has its own IMEI number, serial number and more recently it can also be tied to an ICCID number (you can find all these under Settings, General, About). ICCID is the short form for Integrated Circuit Card ID.

The Police have two methods for tracking your iPhone when it’s stolen, they can use your phone number or your IMEI number. The problem with your phone number is that thieves can easily just discard your SIM card and replace it another.

Now, this is how it gets interesting. If someone uses a different SIM card with your missing iPhone, the SIM’s card ICCID number is registered onto Apple’s database after the iPhone is restored and activated via iTunes.

It’s more difficult for the police to find your iPhone based on the IMEI, however, using the ICCID, they can query this number from carriers such as AT&T or T-Mobile and find the mobile number tied to it. Take a look at this thread on Apple’s support forum.

On some cases, we can also find the CTN associated to your iPhone. CTN stands for Cellular Telephone Number, and ultimately the number that you’re looking for. Please take note that ICCID or CTN will not be updated on Apple’s database if the iPhone hasn’t been restored or activated on iTunes. In the example above, I was able to get the CTN after querying the Apple database. The CTN is also the same as FaceTime number.

I know that it’s going to be a long shot to locate your stolen iPhone. However, with this piece of information that we can help you get, you will be a step closer to find who has your iPhone, who can either be a thief or a second hand buyer of your iPhone.

Yes! I would like to get help finding my stolen or missing iPhone!

Restore iPhone without Using iTunes and Keep Untethered Jailbreak with SemiRestore

A few days ago I posted an article about how a new tool called SemiRestore that can restore your iPhone without losing your precious jailbreak. Here are the steps.

SemiRestore is one of the most exciting iPhone jailbreaking tools going to be made available for free to public in recent times. It’s not actually a tool to jailbreak your iPhone but rather it helps you restore your iPhone without wiping your jailbreak. In other words, this program will restore your iPhone or any iDevice without actually using iTunes.

This is extremely useful for newer devices such as iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 as currently there’s no method of restoring it without installing the latest iOS. Installing the latest iOS means you will lose your jailbreak and there’s no way to jailbreak it until the next available jailbreak becomes available, and that’s usually take a long time.

SemiRestore is currently in Beta but will be made available to public very soon. When I last checked the progress is currently at 65%.

Before you begin, please be sure to backup your data just in case something goes wrong.

How to use SemiRestore to Restore iPhone, iPad or iPod touch (Mac Version)

Step 1: Download SemiRestore from the official website once it’s publicly available.

Step 2: Install OpenSSH and APT 0.7 strict from Cydia

Step 3: Open Terminal on your Mac

Step 4: Do a change directory command (cd) to your downloads folder

Step 5: Run the following command to copy SemiRestore to your device:

scp SemiRestore root@192.168.1.101:/var/root/SemiRestore

Note: You will need to change the IP address to the Wi-Fi IP address of your device. The default password is alpine

(you can check your iPhone’s IP address by going to Settings, WiFi, tap on the WiFi network your device is currently connected to)

Step 6: SSH into your iPhone using the following command

ssh root@192.168.1.101

Step 7: Navigate to the /var/root directory on your device. There you should see the SemiRestore file.

Step 8: Secure the SemiRestore file with this command:

chmod +x SemiRestore

Step 9: Run this command:

./SemiRestore-beta5

Step 10: You will see the following command prompts on your terminal window:

Step 11: Type an ’0′ and hit Enter. SemiRestore will begin processing a device restore.

Please be patient while SemiRestore performs all the work for you. Depending how much data you have on your device, it may take a bit of time for the process to complete. At times you will find Terminal seems to hang but please be assured that it’s busy doing its thing. Your iPhone will reboot a few times and don’t interrupt even if you see the setup screen.

Once everything is done, you will find that your iPhone is now “fully restored” with the same iOS version. Cydia is still present on your home screen but everything else will be set to factory default. Your previously installed apps and other tweaks will no longer be available.

Now let’s wait until it’s publicly available, I’m sure it won’t take long.

5 Easy Tips to Make Your iPhone IMEI Factory Unlock Process Successful

You’re ready to make your iPhone officially unlocked. Read these tips to make the whole process efficient and painless.

Getting your iPhone officially unlocked is probably the best thing you can do for yourself and your iPhone. You no longer need to worry about upcoming software updates, hacking or jailbreaking it, you can save on roaming by switching carriers and even increase its resale value. In order for that to happen, read my tips below that will make your iPhone unlocking process successful.

1. Check and confirm which network your iPhone is locked to

It’s extremely important for you to know about your iPhone’s original carrier. This is fairly easy if you’re the original owner of the phone. If you bought the iPhone from someone, be sure to ask the seller which network is the iPhone locked to. A locked iPhone can only be activated with a SIM card of the original carrier. However, once unlocked, you can activate it with any SIM card. Use our network finder if you need to find out your iPhone’s original carrier.

2. Is your iPhone blacklisted by the original carrier?

There can be many reasons why your iPhone can be blacklisted by your carrier such as reported missing, stolen, unpaid bills etc. If you plan to purchase a used iPhone, I would suggest that you read my earlier article on ‘5 Tips on Buying Used iPhone Online on eBay or Craigslist to Avoid Scam‘. Two extremely important reasons why you need to know this in advance:

  • So that you can use your iPhone without any problem as blacklisted iPhone can’t be used on any network
  • Normally, blacklisted iPhones would cost more to be unlocked (premium service)

It is highly recommended that you do a blacklist check first before purchasing a used iPhone (we do provide this service here).

3. Check whether the unlocking service has special requirements

Before making your purchase, reading the terms and conditions of the service is vital. Most vendors will refund if they cannot unlock your iPhone. Some vendors will not refund if you submit the wrong IMEI or carrier. iPhone locked to certain network such as Switzerland Swisscom can be unlocked only if it’s already out of contract (we can do both). iPhone 3GS with baseband 6.15.00 must be downgraded to 5.13.04 otherwise you won’t be able to activate it.

4. Submit your order with the correct information

You must submit your iPhone’s IMEI correctly otherwise your order will be delayed or interrupted. This will slow down the whole unlocking process because the vendor will have to contact you and ask for the correct information. Double check your iPhone’s IMEI and submit without entering any space. Avoid using the IMEI from the box or SIM tray because they get switched. There are several ways to get your iPhone’s IMEI correctly:

5. Follow the unlocking instructions carefully

As soon as you’ve received notification from your vendor that your iPhone is ready for unlocking, they would usually include a set of instructions or steps as shown on our website on how to perform the unlock. The unlocking steps are standard and easy for all iPhones. In our case, if you order an official AT&T iPhone unlock, you won’t need to wait any confirmation from us. As soon as your order hits the time limit, simply proceed with the unlocking steps as shown here. Currently we provide 4 different types of unlocking speed for official AT&T iPhone unlock:

  • 5-60 minutes (but usually done in less than 15 minutes)
  • 1-10 hours
  • 24 hours
  • 48 hours

Hopefully these 5 tips will make your iPhone unlocking process as seamless as possible. As an iPhone unlocking service provider we’ll be very happy if you can use the tips above but in any case if you need any help at all, our support team will be more than glad to assist you.

Here’s Why Superior SIM for Unlocking iPhone 4 Baseband 04.12.05, 04.12.02, 04.12.01 is Fake

Heard about this unlock device on tech forums or blogs recently? Don’t be fooled because it’s fake.

Not too long ago, using SIM interposer such as Gevey SIM was the only way to unlock iPhone 4. However, ever since officially iPhone unlock such as this one for AT&T became available to the masses, using Gevey SIM is no longer popular and officially obsolete. Consider yourself lucky if you were able to officially unlock your iPhone 4 as there are still many people stuck with if their iPhone 4 are on baseband 04.12.05, 04.12.02 or 04.12.01.

If you’re one of those folks who have been Googling for a solution to this problem, you’ve probably seen some websites appearing that they can now unlock iPhone 4 on baseband 4.12.05 and below using something called ‘Superior SIM’. Despite their claims, I can conclude that it’s fake after I did my own basic investigation. Mind you this isn’t the first time someone claimed that they can unlock baseband 4.12.05. DowngradeiPhone has scammed far too many people with their ‘baseband downgrader’ program and Rebel SIM once tricked people into buying their SIM interposer.

1. Fake Address

I won’t share their web address here to protect our followers and fellow readers. Just Google for the product name and it should appear on top of the list. So I went to their website and clicked on ‘Contact Us’. So, their office address is in London, UK. OK, great. Let’s Google for the address, shall we?

After checking Google maps for the same address, it is actually a dental clinic occupying the same address as shown above. Don’t tell me these dental practitioners are also selling iPhone unlocks!

2. Dodgy Facebook Page, Website and YouTube Videos

Unless if you’ve only been on the internet yesterday, I’m sure you can tell that their website looks a little bit too dodgy. The Facebook page is not really a ‘page’ but a ‘person’s profile’ who’s trying to be friends with everyone. Some of the YouTube videos trying to prove how it works are simply too unconvincing. I guess you’ll be able to judge that for yourself.

3. Our Reliable Supplier Said It’s Fake

I contacted our supplier for R-SIM 7+ for iPhone 4S/5 again today using WeChat just to be 100%. They said it’s confirmed to be fake because if it’s already available, they will be among the first to know.

Having said that, it’s up to you to decide whether it’s fake or not. If you managed to get yourself one of these and you can confirm that it’s working, please let us know. Who knows, I may be wrong.

Meanwhile, do check our online Store for possible official unlocking options for your iPhone 4 as there are many supported network right now, especially our AT&T iPhone unlock.

SemiRestore Restores or Refreshes iOS 5 – iOS 6.1.2 without Losing Your Untethered Jailbreak

If you ever need to do a full restore on your iPhone, you’re usually left with no choice but to update it to the latest iOS and risk losing your untethered jailbreak. SemiRestore will solve this problem.

If you’re a seasoned iPhone jailbreaker and love Cydia tweaks, at one point in time you may have installed something from Cydia and messed up your iPhone. Usually you are left with no choice but to do a full restore using iTunes. That’s a pain because if you have an iPhone 4S or iPhone 5, there’s no way you can install the same iOS version that has an untethered jailbreak. This is due to Apple’s restrictions and you can only install or restore to the latest iOS.

Let me give you an example. Assume that you currently have an iPhone 5 running iOS 6.1.2 which is jailbroken with evasi0n. You were just trying a couple of jailbreak tweaks on Cydia but suddenly your iPhone 5 keeps on crashing. That’s going to be a pain because the only way to make your device into a usable state again is to do a full iTunes restore. You can only install iOS 6.1.4 (currently the latest version) because Apple is no longer signing iOS 6.1.2. That means you will lose your jailbreak and you will have to wait until the next untethered jailbreak becomes available. It can be a long and painful wait.

SemiRestore, developed by @coolstarorg, is a wonderful and a new addition to jailbreaking tools will allow you to refresh your iOS without having to do a full restore. You won’t need to lose your untethered jailbreak ever! It takes out SHSH and APTickets out of the iOS restore equations that enables you to restore your iOS quickly and painlessly. It’s fully compatible with all jailbroken iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and iPad mini models running iOS 5.0 through 6.1.2.

There are already some basic information on his website including requirements:

  • 5-10 minutes of your time!
  • A computer running Windows or Mac OS X
  • OpenSSH and APT 0.7 Strict (NOT THE LIB) installed on your device
  • An SSH client on your computer (USB version coming soon)

… and some FAQs:

Can I use this to go from firmware x to firmware y?

No, this only allows you to go to a fresh version of your current firmware.

Do I need SHSH blobs or APTickets for this semi-restore?

No, since this is not a full restore and is at the userland level, this doesn’t require blobs.

I have a question regarding the jailbreak process or jailbreaking in general.

Please go to the Jailbreak QA dedicated website or try /r/jailbreak on Reddit.

SemiRestore is currently in Beta stage but the developer may allow you to test it. Check out his Twitter here and send make a request by sending him a tweet if you’re interested to be part of the Beta testers. Some people who helped testing it already gave him rave reviews of this excellent tool.

Currently there’s no ETA of the release date but the website shows a progress bar to show the current status of the development. When I last checked it was already 60% done and at round 2 of Beta testing.

It has been a while since we last saw a tool like this that can benefit so many people in the jailbreaking community. One thing for sure that iDevice jailbreaking is not dead and will continue to reign for many years to come.