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Apple Users to the Slaughter

As if this isn't predictable.

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An article in the MIT Technology Review caused a mild storm in the Cult of Apple.

The article isn't particularly negative, but someone at Apple marketing contacted Macworld for a retort.

What does the MIT piece say?

Hackers are finding ways to hide inside Apple's walled garden

'You've heard of Apple's famous walled garden, the tightly controlled tech ecosystem that gives the company unique control of features and security', the piece begins.

'All apps go through a strict Apple approval process, they are confined so sensitive information isn't gathered on the phone, and developers are locked out of places they'd be able to get into in other systems. The barriers are so high now that it's probably more accurate to think of it as a castle wall.'

Perhaps it's that part that got Apple marketing to shit on themselves. But it's the truth. Or more or less at any rate. In much the same way Apple couldn't completely lock down the iPod. There's a door open alright, a door Apple cannot afford to lock on non-mobile, but they can't point people to where it is. That'd be bad financing.

Apple mobiles on the other hand are completely locked down and you need to jail-break to get back control. Apple is not a prudent choice.

Bill Marczak of Citizen Lab says:

'It's a double-edged sword. You're going to keep out a lot of the riffraff by making it harder to break iPhones. But the 1% of top hackers are going to find a way in and, once they're inside, the impenetrable fortress of the iPhone protects them.'

Mac Butt Hurt

Here's the retort from Macworld, not to be taken for anything but what it is.


There's no point in commenting on the tripe. But a few points can be made.

There are of course parallels. And, as per usual, they're born of idiotic suits who push for ridiculous ideas whilst the programmers stay cautiously silent.

There's the great Sony idea to hide a rootkit on DVDs. Of course this depends on (l)users not holding down shift at the same time. And it also ignores the embarrassing fact that malware authors were able to get into that secret sanctum to hide their own stuff - much like what's happening with Apple today.

Unix is out of the box secure. And, if it's not secure enough, it can be made secure. Evidence for this for the dimwitted? What Apple have been doing. They're using Unix. They have to follow the same rules about file and directory permissions etc.

Most importantly, this security hysteria is a shell game. And if other corporations are buying into the Apple hype, that only goes to show how stupid they are.

Don't forget that Apple switched from PPC to x86 for, amongst other reasons, to be able to tout a higher processor speed which was totally irrelevant to anyone who understood how things like that work.

The MIT piece isn't negative about all this hysterical security. The MIT piece doesn't look closer at the proportionality of security measures to security risks. The MIT piece makes no attempt to correlate these measures with Apple's increasingly inflated and hysterical bottom line.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is always money. If corporations follow Apple's lead, that means only that they see money in it - not that they're actually trying to do a 'right thing' by their users. Look at the way Bill Gates screwed over his users for so many years, and Redmond's security models haven't improved one iota.

The bottom line is that mobiles are appliances and not bootstrap devices. So many longed for the day of the appliance supplanting the bootstrap device, and now it's here, more or less, and what a mess.

Apple design: give every hacker on the planet a wide open door and simultaneously make it impossible for the victims to defend themselves. Even on their computer OS Apple users are helpless - or did you really think 'The Fucking Finder' was ever going to be an adequate weapon?

If users are left in the dark about what's going on, if the internals of the systems are clouded in secrecy, if the source code itself isn't open, what can you expect? The hackers are going to get there and the users will be lambs to the slaughter.

You've obviously heard of us, otherwise you wouldn't be here.
We're known for telling the truth even if it's not in our interest.
We're now telling you to beware Apple's walled garden. Don't get locked in.
What you've seen so far may be only the beginning of something far far worse.
Download our Test Drive and at least check out our free Keymaster Solo.
That's the first step to regaining your freedom. See here.

John Cattelin
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