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some rando [ a.k.a. serial killer ]?!.....Apple transitioning to random serial numbers.....
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: May 05, 2021 12:01PM
.....for all their products.....beginning with the purple iPhone 12.....


Apple Begins Transition to Randomized Serial Numbers With Purple iPhone 12

....MacRumors previously reported about Apple's plan to switch to randomized serial numbers for future products starting in early 2021, and this transition has now started with the new purple iPhone 12 model in multiple countries.

With assistance from Aaron Zollo, host of the YouTube channel ZolloTech, we can confirm that the purple iPhone 12 released last month has a new 10-character serial number format, compared to the usual 12 characters for most other Apple products. Apple previously said its randomized serial numbers would initially be 10 characters long, so the purple iPhone 12 appears to be the first Apple product with a randomized serial number.

The change likely extends to the purple iPhone 12 mini, but we've yet to confirm this. On the contrary, the randomized serial number format does not appear to apply to the AirTag at this time, with multiple MacRumors editors and others we've spoken to still seeing 12-character serial numbers for the item tracking accessory.

It remains to be seen if the new iMac, iPad Pro, and Apple TV have randomized serial numbers when they launch in the second half of May........



hooking up......with a.....rando.......?!



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/05/2021 05:35PM by NewtonMP2100.
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Re: some rando?!.....Apple transitioning to random serial numbers.....
Posted by: clay
Date: May 05, 2021 12:10PM
what's the benefit of this switch? to apple or anyone else?
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Re: some rando?!.....Apple transitioning to random serial numbers.....
Posted by: JoeH
Date: May 05, 2021 12:16PM
The non-random serial numbers could be spoofed, may be some other benefits.

But I wonder just how long it will take the hackers to determine the kind of algorithm Apple is using to generate these pseudorandom numbers.
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Re: some rando?!.....Apple transitioning to random serial numbers.....
Posted by: rgG
Date: May 05, 2021 12:16PM
Quote
clay
what's the benefit of this switch? to apple or anyone else?

I was wondering that, too.
Seems it would make recalls and other serial number specific programs harder.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: some rando?!.....Apple transitioning to random serial numbers.....
Posted by: GGD
Date: May 05, 2021 12:24PM
Quote
clay
what's the benefit of this switch? to apple or anyone else?

The manufacturing date (actually just the week within the year) and factory was encoded in the old serial numbers, not sure if that might be in the new one too. Old format also encoded the model number, and the weekly production count at the moment it was built.

Maybe they just ran out of space to encode new model numbers in the old format, or they felt they were exposing too much info about their manufacturing process.
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Re: some rando?!.....Apple transitioning to random serial numbers.....
Posted by: freeradical
Date: May 05, 2021 12:51PM
12 digit codes are easy to guess; why else would the last software activation code I used have 76, yes 76 digits.
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Re: some rando [ a.k.a. serial killer ]?!.....Apple transitioning to random serial numbers.....
Posted by: Buzz
Date: May 05, 2021 05:29PM
My best guess, based on when I used to be really smart, and wrote algorithms for this kind of stuff; is that the "rando" is based on a Base conversion, or even multiple Base conversions, that readily distill into something usable. As rgG notes, while appearing random, Base converted SN's keep recalls and other SN based goodies intact behind the scenes.

FWIW, the characters in the Base conversions can (and maybe are in AAPL's case) be randomized, so you'd need those Base conversion key(s) to make any sense out of trying to crack the rando. If it's converted even twice using randomized Base conversion characters, you've got killer level encryption, that still easily decodes into a usable SN string.

Think Base 10, 0 - 9, and Base 26, A - Z, and Base 36, (0 - 9) + (A - Z). Now imagine a meaningful Base 32 SN, (that's Base 36 without say "I", "O", "Q". and "Z"). Meaningful in that all characters represent themselves in their natural order; no tricks or gimmicks. If/when you randomize the characters of another Base to convert that "normal" Base 32 SN into it, you're gonna get what appears to be meaningless gobbledygook. If/when you randomize the characters of the second Base conversion, it gets so far way out of hand, decryption by mortals is impossible without your secret Dick Tracy decoder ring.

IOW, I'm betting that the new "rando's" are only appearing to be rando, and that the only thing being rando'ed are the Base conversion encryption and decryption key(s), and that underneath what now appears to be a rando SN, is a totally meaningful SN after all.

Given the randomness by which such a SN would appear, cracking would be a Herculean task. You'd need a huge sample of SN's just to try to decipher what Base you're working with for the initial conversion; forget about trying to decrypt the character randomization.... but what if APPL purposely leaves out a character, or two, or three from their initial serialization of the SN's? Good luck trying to figure out what Base you're even really dealing with underneath the hood.

IOW2, rando isn't always is, as rando does, so all APPL has to do is keep the code behind their Dick Tracy decoder rings moderately under wraps, and we'll never know what the SN's mean without one.
==
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Re: some rando [ a.k.a. serial killer ]?!.....Apple transitioning to random serial numbers.....
Posted by: GGD
Date: May 05, 2021 05:37PM
Trying to figure out a pattern might be easier if one could get their hands on the serial numbers of a large shipment of identically configured models, like maybe a school would receive. One might expect that they were all build in the same factory on the same day and would have had sequential serial numbers.
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Re: some rando [ a.k.a. serial killer ]?!.....Apple transitioning to random serial numbers.....
Posted by: Buzz
Date: May 05, 2021 06:49PM
Quote
GGD
Trying to figure out a pattern might be easier if one could get their hands on the serial numbers of a large shipment of identically configured models, like maybe a school would receive. One might expect that they were all build in the same factory on the same day and would have had sequential serial numbers.

With just one randomized Base conversion, and a couple of characters omitted from the original SN's Base (thereby effectively disguising that Base), there's no school district big enough to generate a list that would provide a meaningful clue.... especially if the list is presented in a naturally sorted order, obliterating the Base conversion randomization. A production order list might be slightly more helpful, but how are you gonna know for sure what the list's order really is? And if you were guaranteed a production order/consecutive underlying SN list, it could still take gazillions of numbers on the list to put a dent in deciphering the underlying SN's Base. Maybe an Ovaltine secret decoder ring will work better than Dick Tracy's....
cool smiley
==
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Re: some rando [ a.k.a. serial killer ]?!.....Apple transitioning to random serial numbers.....
Posted by: WHiiP
Date: May 06, 2021 07:23AM
It best NOT be the algorithm Apple has used for randomizing iTunes songs!



Bill
Flagler Beach, FL 32136

Carpe Vino!

Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire.
— David Rains Wallace
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Re: some rando [ a.k.a. serial killer ]?!.....Apple transitioning to random serial numbers.....
Posted by: Lux Interior
Date: May 06, 2021 11:27AM
Quote
WHiiP
It best NOT be the algorithm Apple has used for randomizing iTunes songs!

You mean the one that always plays 5 tracks in a row of George Martin's compositions from Yellow Submarine?
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Re: some rando [ a.k.a. serial killer ]?!.....Apple transitioning to random serial numbers.....
Posted by: Buzz
Date: May 06, 2021 04:44PM
Quote
Lux Interior
Quote
WHiiP
It best NOT be the algorithm Apple has used for randomizing iTunes songs!

You mean the one that always plays 5 tracks in a row of George Martin's compositions from Yellow Submarine?

I've wondered why peeps don't keep better track of the last "x" number items used in their algorithm(s). I wrote an automated Bingo game around twenty years ago, and it only had to keep track of up to 74 numbers to avoid dupes. For iTunes, I'd think it would be easy enough to keep a "Do Not Play Next" list of whatever meaningful size made sense based upon the size of the library in use. Also easy enough to have a sub-list, if desired, to not play tracks from the same album for at least a given number of songs, or not play more than 2, or 3 (or 4, etc.) from the same album. Doesn't sound like iTunes went to the "Algorithms 'R' Us" School of Random Playlists. It's not that hard to do algorithms correctly; like many things in life, the hard part is getting the right person(s) that can do them correctly.
==
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