Flashlight app secretly lets you enable iPhone tethering

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Update: And, unsurprisingly, Handy Light has been pulled, disappearing silently into the night.

Handy Light, a newly-available flashlight app for the iPhone, isn’t actually a flashlight app at all—it’s a sneakily disguised tethering utility that lets you share your phone’s Internet connection with your laptop. In other words, it’s an app that’s surely not long for this world.

It’s not surprising that Handy Light managed to trick its way past Apple’s App Store reviewers. To enable tethering, you need to configure an ad-hoc wireless network on your Mac, connect the iPhone to it, tweak some network and proxy settings, launch the app, and then literally tap a coded sequence of flashlight colors. No one could possibly discover the hack by exploring; you need to read detailed step-by-step instructions to get it to work.

Of course, now that the instructions are live, the app surely soon won’t be. Like the $10 NetShare app—which was axed by Apple nearly two years ago, the $1 Handy Light shares your Internet connection without AT&T getting a cent (unless, with all that tethering, you go over your new data cap).

The only question now is when Apple will pull Handy Light from the store, and perhaps whether Steve Jobs will send some heavies to the developer’s house to deliver a knuckle sandwich.

Handy Light requires an iPhone running iOS 4.0 or later, and at least mildly lax moral standards.

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