“When Apple announced a new version of its mobile operating system in San Francisco last week, executives boasted of features such as a smarter Siri and improved copy and paste,” Tom Simonite writes for MIT Technology Review. “And as usual they announced that software developers could download a preview version of the software ahead of its fall release.”
“Some security experts who inspected that new version of iOS got a big surprise,” Simonite writes. “They found that Apple had not obscured the workings of the heart of its operating system using encryption as the company has done before. Crucial pieces of the code destined to power millions of iPhones and iPads were laid bare for all to see. That would aid anyone looking for security weaknesses in Apple’s flagship software.”
“Security experts say the famously secretive company may have adopted a bold new strategy intended to encourage more people to report bugs in its software—or perhaps made an embarrassing mistake,” Simonite writes. “That doesn’t mean the security of iOS 10 is compromised. But looking for flaws in this version of the operating system will be much easier, says Jonathan Levin, author of an in-depth book on the internal workings of iOS. ‘It reduces the complexity of reverse engineering considerably,’ he says.”
MacDailyNews Take: Wonder what Google, Samsung, and the jailbreakers are doing today?
“Why Apple has suddenly opened up its code is unclear. One hypothesis in the security community is that, as Levin puts it, someone inside the company ‘screwed up royally,'” Simonite writes. “Jonathan Zdziarski, another iOS security expert, favors [another] hypothesis, because accidentally forgetting to encrypt the kernel would be such an elementary mistake…. Opening up its code would make sense in light of Apple’s recent faceoff with the FBI, Zdziarski notes… Opening up iOS for anyone to examine could weaken that market by making it harder for certain groups to hoard knowledge of vulnerabilities, Zdziarski says.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple to the government overreachers: Checkmate!