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Teenager hacks T-Mobile network to gain access to free unlimited data

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Teenagers today are way smarter than what our generation was as a teenager. One such teenager is getting attention from the tech community after he figured out a way to access free unlimited data through T-Mobile’s network.

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Meet Jacob Ajit, a teenager who studies at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia. On a night when Ajit was bored, he decided to try to access the Internet without a data plan through his phone which had T-Mobile’s Prepaid connection.

He discovered that even though his T-Mobile connection didn’t have an active data plan, he was able to access T-Mobile’s website. Well many operators and broadband service providers let you access their company’s website even when you don’t have any active data plan. This is done so that you can renew the data plan easily.

In reality, the connection does have Internet access at all times, however, the websites are blocked and can only be accessed when the data plan is renewed. Ajit discovered this when he saw that the Speedtest app worked without an active data plan. Well, Speedtest must be white listed by T-Mobile so that you can get a demo of the network speed before you choose to renew the data plan.

After tinkering around with Speedtest on his phone and MacBook, he discovered that all the data that was fetched had /speedtest in their URL. He then set up his own /speedtest folder containing media files and was successful in accessing the files which were outside of the Speedtest app. Well yes, being able to access a set of predetermined files without paying for data is good, but it isn’t as good as accessing the Internet.

Using this method, he then set up his own proxy server through which he was able to access any URL from T-Mobile’s network without having to pay for data. Well, that’s consuming as much as data you want without having to pay anything. However, instead of doing any misuse, Ajit has reached out to T-Mobile but he hasn’t received any response yet.

I wanted to clarify that I have reached out to TMobile and am awaiting a response. However, I made a decision to go ahead and publish this in the meantime since this unintentional flaw does not pose any harm to TMobile or their customers. It’s a trivial fix to whitelist Speedtest servers based on their official host list, as I point out in this post, and the educational benefits of sharing my findings with the community in this case outweighed the case for waiting for a [possible] response from TMobile.wrote Ajit in a blog post.

Via

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