Cult of Mac Magazine: Meet the hardware hacker who built an iPhone from scratch

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Meet Scotty Allen, the hardware hacker who built an iPhone from scratch.
Extreme hardware hacks are kind of Scotty Allen's thing.
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Millions watched Scotty Allen build an iPhone from parts mined from Chinese electronics markets. While he loves the wild enthusiasm his iPhone-hacking videos spark, he says his Strange Parts series is really a “travel show for geeks.”

You’ll find his inspiring story and much more in this week’s issue of our magazine. It’s free and it’s fun to read on an iPad or iPhone. Get your free subscription to Cult of Mac Magazine from iTunes now. Or read on for this week’s top stories.

Meet the guy who built an iPhone from scratch

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Scotty Allen
Scotty Allen takes his viewers to Strange Parts for unvarnished stories about technology.
Photo: Scotty Allen

Millions have watched Scotty Allen build an iPhone from parts mined from the electronics markets of Shenzhen, China.

DIYers and hackers write Allen, eager to repeat his geeky feat. So do people from third-world countries looking for an affordable way to get their hands on a pricey device that imparts status.

Allen, 39, loves the wild enthusiasm his YouTube videos have sparked, but the scratch iPhone isn’t the point.

Hacker discovers bypassing iPhone passcode limit just requires a keyboard [UPDATED]

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iPhone passcode limit can be bypassed with a keyboard
A hacker claims the iPhone passcode limit can be bypassed with an external keyboard.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Companies like Grayshift help police bypass the passcodes on locked iPhones. One might think that this requires some byzantine hacking skills. Apparently not.

A hacker reports that iOS has a soft spot when it comes to external keyboards, allowing someone to send as many passcode attempts as desired. The passcodes have to be submitted correctly, though.

GrayKey iPhone unlocker could be a black market goldmine

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GrayKey can bypass iPhone security
GrayKey can bypass iPhone security. It’s supposed to be only for police but...
Photo: Ed Hardy/ Cult of Mac

More details have come to light about the GrayKey iPhone unlocker, and it turns out it’s even more likely to fall into the wrong hands than first thought.

This tool is very expensive, and is intended for use only by law enforcement, but stolen units could someday be available on the black market where they would be a goldmine for identity thieves.

This cheap hack puts a glowing Apple logo on your iPhone 6

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Get ready to illuminate your Apple logo.
Get ready to illuminate your Apple logo.
Photo: David Cogen

We love seeing Apple’s glowing logo every time a MacBook lid opens, so wouldn’t it be awesome to have the same feature on your iPhone?

Making your iPhone 6 stand out in a sea of other iPhones is now a whole lot easier, thanks to an inexpensive new LED logo kit that brings an illuminated Apple logo to the back of your device. The hack is reversible and supposedly won’t drain your battery — but it might void your warranty.

Here’s how to do it: