The insecurity world is once again in the grip of the celebrity hacking phenomenon. This time the celeb isn’t a person, but a whole platform, the super-non being that is the iPhone.
The motivation can be simple outrage at the way the device is being distributed - see DVD John and his unharnessing of the phone from AT&T wireless – but that counts as being almost idealistic. Mostly, hackers seem to be going after the iPhone because it is the device everyone is talking about. It’s ripe for a bit of software terrorism because it is famous and people will notice when someone takes a can-opener to it. (Not literally, but you never know.)
Security “group” ISE claim to have found a remote access flaw that can give access to data on the iPhone, great publicity for their forthcoming hacking demo at Black Hat. If the iPhone’s security architecture started out as a project to scale down OS X then it’s ended up as more like a bad take on Windows XP.
Actually, it’s likely that a tiny but still noteworthy proportion of iPhones were even bought simply to hack rather than use. This is only the start of a future full of headlines. The iPhone has the potential to become the second most hacked mass-market product after Windows. Any hack will do, no matter how trivial. In fact, the more trivial the better, as if its designers are being teased with the inconsequentiality of it all.
Is hacking a new type of product consumption or frustration at the system? And when will a real celebrity that most people have never heard of, or didn't know was married to such-and-such, name a child after Apple's little charmer? I quite like iPhone Marigold. It has a ring to it.