Apple's security problems

At The Verge, Tim Carmody reports on Apple's seeming inability to get to grips with account security.

"The conventional wisdom is that this was a run-of-the-mill software security issue. ... No. It isn’t. It’s a troubling symptom that suggests Apple’s self-admittedly bumpy transition from a maker of beautiful devices to a fully-fledged cloud services provider still isn’t going smoothly. Meanwhile, your Apple ID password has come a long way from the short string of characters you tap to update apps on your iPhone. It now offers access to Apple’s entire ecosystem of devices, stores, software, and services."


  1. Apple seems committed to learning the hard way that if you retain control of something, it remains your problem.

    1. Also remember how Apple got spanked hard back in the 90s, their era of clones, third-party hardware and developers.
      Sure Apple may be taking it too far, but their stance can be explained, and just look at those sales figures and cash reserves, warts and all their business model is working for them.

      1. I’m not nearly foolish enough to argue with Apple on the business side; but I would argue that their ‘all Apple, all proprietary, all the time’ stance has inflicted a number of technical black eyes.

        ‘Apple ID’ now has a finger in every pie, so it’s gone from being a more-or-less-webmail level account to the key to the kingdom, without a corresponding increase in actual security.

        Arstechnica had an article in the past day or two about how much trouble ‘iCloud’ has been giving people, an app-gets-kicked-out-of-app-store controversy seems to happen about once a week.

        Also: corporate IT puts up with it because users demand the things; but damn are iDevices hostile to administer. Apple literally has a list(well, it’s literally an xml plist, because this is apple) of parameters you can remotely manage. If it isn’t on there, you can go cry about it.

        Apple is often very good at what they do; but they do not seem to be good at letting go of what they don’t do, or willing to take the risk that, by letting the ‘ecosystem’ do it for them, they might open a chink in their armor. 

        The cash speaks for itself; but they are already courting scenarios where their products are worse than they could have been, because of the desire to keep a tight grip. If they aren’t careful, they might end up going all the way to ‘worse than they could have been, making them worse than the competition’.

        1. their products are worse than they could have been, because of the desire to keep a tight grip

          I completely agree.  I’ve used Apple since the late 80s and I agree with your post overall, it’s time for the pendulum to swing back and it’s mostly to do with the software.  Gotta give credit to their machinery, but:

          My browser of preference?  Firefox.
          Email?  Entourage.
          Office apps?  Word and Excel.
          Video viewing?  VLC.
          My iPhone?  Jailbroken.
          Etcetera.  I don’t sync my apps nor accounts and I’m not interested.
          The only piece of Apple software that truly blows me away is the subsidiary Filemaker.

        2.  “…it’s literally an xml plist, because this is apple…”

          Well done, sir.  I’ve now spit coffee all over my MBP. 

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