Apple opened up iOS 5 Beta 1 to developers earlier this summer, and since then, there have been 3 updates. Given the nature of human curiosity, you can guess that it hasn’t just been developers taking the new firmware for a test drive.

There’s a few ways for non-developers to acquire a copy of iOS 5, but the most popular method of late has been by purchasing a UDID slot from a person or business with an Apple developer account. It looks like those days may soon be over…

AppleInsider passes on a report from KarthikK.net that claims that Apple has identified this activity and is taking action. The site states that several developers have confirmed that the they have received an email from the Cupertino company regarding unauthorized UDID sales.

Apparently Apple is closing some of these developer accounts that are identified as selling their extra slots and are flagging associated devices. The site claims that once Apple flags you, your phone is forced back into initial setup mode.

While we can’t verify the information, you’d have to be nuts to think that Apple wasn’t eventually going to figure this out. A Google search for the term reveals thousands of results, with one website even claiming: “Successfully registered over 15,000 iOS devices since 2009.”

It’s doubtful that Apple would just remote-zap unauthorized iDevices running iOS 5. If you’re that nervous about it, you can always downgrade your firmware using our step-by-step downgrade guide. Good luck, and godspeed.