15-06-07

the ratrace against Apple Iphone has started

Apple is now in a ratrace with the underground. The system that seemed untouchable untill now and that has prided itself at being 'unhackable' and goes on a - sometimes very aggressive - offensive if somebody says he found a way to get access to or control over a mac (remember the wireless driver incident or the month of apple bugs) has finally released a product they can really have fun with.

First of all it is a browser. A browser makes for the moment a connection between the internet and your OS - desktop - harddisk. The internettraffic still has to go through several security checks and can find itself blocked by several limitations but the number of possibilities to reach the OS - desktop or harddisk are nearly unlimited. As long as all the interactions between the internet and the browser aren't seperated (quarantined) it will alsways be a door you can't lock. And firefox, IE or whatever doesn't make any difference. The power of javascript, the millions of lines of code for every possibility of interconnection and the monthly new driveby methods and tools make this difference propaganda, salestalk or just stupidity. This is 2007 and malware code is installing itself on the web in much greater numbers than we ever could imagine.

So Apple wanted to do what Microsoft is trying to stop : Transforming its products for another platform in another code. This doesn't mean that the other platform is less safe or robust. It just means that it is totally different and that it is much easier to make mistakes because you don't necessarily have all the knowledge and history, experience to make it as robust and good as your own code for your own platform.

It is also mindblowing that Apple wanted to launch a browser for windows. Why a browser ? You don't earn any money with browsers, it is a free product and you can only lose. Lose money, time and image. Why didn't they just make a toolbar or a kind of makeover of IE like slimbrowser or theworld ?

Fact is that the ratrace has begun and that the underground is now having fun looking for holes and trying to exploit them, bragging about the codes they already have developed and are keeping by hand.... The big question is not when the first exploit will be published for safari on windows, but for safari on iphone. There will always be more iphones than macs and it will be much more difficult to defend an iphone than a mac (try installing a firewall, antivirus, antispyware, process controller, HIDS, privacyproxy on an iphone or any pda for that matter).

The biggest question will be who will be able to make attackcode that

* sends an email or message (MMS) to friends to also visit the infected website

* sends an email with infecting code

* sends all itunes logon information to another address

* blocks the iphone with encrypted malware and asks 50 dollars for the unblocking code or encrypts all the songs on it

* has an updating function to add new functons

* makes the phone send an sms to a very expensive number or subscribes it without knowing to such expensive services

 

And even as Apple has released a new version that has fixed 3 of the 4 published bugs and exploits, this doesn't change anything. Rumours tell that there are already 14 bugs that were found. That means there are 10 left. If one of those could be remotely exploited..... One out of ten is more than feasable because it is only a browser.

And browsers have by definition always too much power and authority - on a desktop or a pda. They should be in an isolation cell, but no - they are the masters of the place where they are. Even if there are more criminals than writers around.

So just as Microsoft has learned, Apple will now definitely have to install a security team, security website, security communication plan and will have to test everything ten times more before releasing it in the wild and have a clear line of contact with security researchers and build a relationship of respect and cooperation with them, because even if you think you are the smartest kid on the block, you will always forget something or make a mistake.

How big this one was has yet to be seen. But they can't deny that damage has already been done.

10:08 Gepost door technology changes fast not a lot in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

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