I’ve spent half of today and half of yesterday looking to connect with a distinguished, non-marginal, leather-shoe-wearing, Jaguar-driving iPhone hacker who really knows his/her stuff. As I explained on 7.6, I’m grappling with a terrible iPhone 8 Plus problem. I just bought one last Friday evening after my iPhone 6 was lost and then stolen, but I can’t get past a double security measure that iOS software insists upon.

Every new iPhone owner has to submit to a two-step verification security process. They need to input their Apple ID and password (no prob), followed by a six-digit passcode that Apple would normally text them. However, the thief who stole my iPhone 6 Plus has given it a new SIM card, and has somehow convinced Apple that his/her phone # (which ends in 14) is a legitimate trusted number. Somehow this d-bag has convinced Apple that he’s me, and the bottom line is that Apple is so far refusing to accept the usual verifications that prove I am the legitimate party and not the “14” guy. There must be some kind of workaround that would allow me to sidestep the usual protocols and allow me to input a valid six-digit code.

Right now I’m frozen in my tracks. After five days of trying to get past or around this problem, an Apple senior-level support rep told me yesterday in so many words that “there’s no way we can give you the six-digit code,” and that I’m more or less screwed as far as being able to use the new iPhone 8 Plus with my current #. Moreover, last Friday a senior iPhone support person named Priscilla promised I’d be hearing soon from “a senior Apple engineer,” except (a) the engineer never got in touch and (b) I’ve called Priscilla and left messages four or five times and no response. I’m calling her again now.

There must be a way to hack around this issue, so I’m making a last-ditch public effort to find a reputable gentleman hacker who can help me out. If anyone out there can connect me with the right person or knows a surefire way to manage this, please get in touch. This is very serious. I’ve never before tried to connect with iPhone hackers, but I’ll tell you right now it’s not easy. It’s like trying to find an upscale drug dealer. They’re out there, but it’s hard to find the right number or e-mail address. I’ve also reached out to iPhone jailbreakers — not the same line of country but close.

If I can’t find a solution I guess I’ll return the iPhone 8 Plus and buy an Android and accept a whole new phone #, and then I’ll figure some way to import my contact info, photos, music and all the rest of it. I know nothing about Androids. What a nightmare. Every facet of my life has been intertwined with iPhone technology for 11 years and now, suddenly, the Apple folks have essentially told me to go to hell.

A February ’18 Forbes article by Thomas Fox-Brewster mentioned Corellium co-founder David Wang, a big name in the Apple jailbreaker community” who has “previously ported Android and Linux onto the iPhone.”