While hacktivation is still possible on older iPhones, Apple had added additional security on iPhone 5 and iOS 6 to prevent unauthorized activation or “hacktivation.”
Back in the early days, activating an iPhone was one the easiest hacks you can perform on an iPhone. Jailbreaking tools such as redsn0w or sn0wbreeze will do the trick. This is great for every iPhone owner but it’s not so great if you lost your iPhone.
If you own an A4-based devices or earlier, if for any reason you lost it, one can easily do a full restore by putting your iPhone into DFU mode first, and then later use redsn0w to activate it, even without an official SIM card.
On iPhone 4S or iPhone 5, the only way to activate it is to use its original carrier SIM card. However, if you know what network it’s locked to, all you need to do is to get it officially unlocked, and then you can activate it normally using iTunes.
It was only until recently that major US carriers such as AT&T started blacklisting iPhones which are reported missing or stolen. When iOS 6 was released together with the iPhone 5, Apple and AT&T worked together and implemented additional security by requiring Billing Zip Code and the last 4-digit of Social Security Number (SSN) of the person who purchased the iPhone to be entered during iPhone activation.
Many people who became the second owner of an iPhone 4S or 5 were caught unaware of this new security measure and pretty much stuck with an expensive brick. Even by getting an official unlock from AT&T would not help bypass the activation screen.
Thankfully, if you’re stuck in this situation, it’s still not the end of the world as we are now able to provide you the Billing Zip Code and last 4-digit of the original owner’s SSN.
So far none of the free tools available are able to bypass iOS 6 activation on iPhone 4S or 5. Hopefully hackers will be able to come up with a solution pretty soon. In the meantime, why not officially activate your iPhone 4S or 5 using this method?