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Secret of How AT&T Detects Unauthorised iPhone Tethering Revealed

Maura

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When AT&T recently started sending out warnings to people who were carrying out unauthorised tethering on jailbroken iPhones using their network, many questioned just how AT&T were able to detect who was getting free tethering on their iPhone in this way. Well now a report on Android Police has shed some light on what would appear to be a problem unique to the iPhone, as there has yet to be a single case reported of AT&T sending one of those warning text to an Android device user. According to Android Police, jailbroken iPhones use the same tethering method as iPhones that haven’t been jailbroken, which is already part of iOS. This has the advantage (or disadvantage, depending on how you look at it!) of enabling AT&T to identify when any iPhone is using tethering, because when doing so it sends traffic via a different APN, namely an AT&T access point or router, simply so that AT&T can ascertain what part of the traffic is tethered data. In contrast, Android Police explain, Android tethering is not set up to be re-routed this way, so AT&T would have to scan packets to find out who is and is not carrying out unauthorised tethering, which they are unlikely to do because of the costs involved.

Source: How AT&T Recognizes Unauthorized Tethering from Jailbroken iPhones, PSA: Take It Easy, AT&T Isn’t Targeting Unauthorized Android Tethering (And May Never) | Android News, Reviews, Apps, Games, Phones, Tablets, Tips, Mods, Videos, Tutorials - Android Police
 

Gregoris

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so thats how they knew. i wonder if other countries will do the same and start charging for it
 

Skull One

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What I find funnier is

AT&T would have to scan packets to find out who is and is not carrying out unauthorised tethering, which they are unlikely to do because of the costs involved.

I love it when non-programmers say stupid things like that. The amount of cost involved is nothing compared to the profit margin they would gain. Because the cost is next to nothing since the packets already flow thru several of their system before it ever reaches the outside world.
 

iGaz

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I'm glad I get free tethering on my phone now that 4.3 is out...

What I find funnier is

AT&T would have to scan packets to find out who is and is not carrying out unauthorised tethering, which they are unlikely to do because of the costs involved.

I love it when non-programmers say stupid things like that. The amount of cost involved is nothing compared to the profit margin they would gain. Because the cost is next to nothing since the packets already flow thru several of their system before it ever reaches the outside world.

Would it not cost man hours though...?
 

Skull One

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I'm glad I get free tethering on my phone now that 4.3 is out...

What I find funnier is

AT&T would have to scan packets to find out who is and is not carrying out unauthorised tethering, which they are unlikely to do because of the costs involved.
I love it when non-programmers say stupid things like that. The amount of cost involved is nothing compared to the profit margin they would gain. Because the cost is next to nothing since the packets already flow thru several of their system before it ever reaches the outside world.

Would it not cost man hours though...?

Why? A computer could analyze the data in real time and only need to kick out a report on traffic it couldn't identify 100%. Soon as the programmer taught it the new rule, no more human interaction.

I doubt they would need 100 man hours to get the initial analysis up and running.
 

Gregoris

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I'm glad I get free tethering on my phone now that 4.3 is out...

What I find funnier is

AT&T would have to scan packets to find out who is and is not carrying out unauthorised tethering, which they are unlikely to do because of the costs involved.

I love it when non-programmers say stupid things like that. The amount of cost involved is nothing compared to the profit margin they would gain. Because the cost is next to nothing since the packets already flow thru several of their system before it ever reaches the outside world.

Would it not cost man hours though...?

probably but they must be losing tones of cash from ppl who use mywi instead of actually having a tethering plan so it makes it worth them spending those man hours.

btw how do you get free tethering? something 3 provides with 4.3.3? or is it all uk networks like o2?
 

iGaz

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I don't know why I get it for free. When 4.3 came along I decided I would give it a try with the iPod and it worked. It could just be something 3 offer or they may of forgot to limit it after 4.3 came out. Either way I'm not going to phone 3 and ask them. Lol...
 

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