This seems never to end; this ongoing problem of problems that infect our digital devices to such a degree that you can’t even trust the President of the good old U.S. of A. to tell it like it is. Here’s the latest. Wikileaks says your iPhone has vulnerabilities, thanks to none other than the C.I.A. (who, if I remember my civics class details correctly, works for the Executive branch of U.S. government, managed by the aforementioned president who happens to prefer Samsung smartphones over Apple iPhones).
Let’s cut through the clutter. Not every vulnerability is an exploit and the chances the F.B.I. or C.I.A. or NSA or Russian or Chinese spies are scouring through files and photos on your iPhone are slim to none. Apple says most of the problems have been fixed already anyway, but I still keep my iPhone locked up in a lead-lined box, 24/7.
You can never be too sure. When everyone is out to get you, paranoia is a great idea.
Not surprisingly, government agencies say the C.I.A. documents that Wikileaks leaked should be considered ‘deeply troubling.’ Uh huh. On so many levels, amirite? The fact that the Russians could hack into U.S. computer systems, steal C.I.A. documents, then turn over to Wikileaks what they didn’t need is more than ‘deeply troubling.’ As President Trump would say in his fourth grade level speaking ability, “So incompetent; very, very, troubling. Sad.”
Funny thing. True story, too. Most of the world’s mobile device malware runs on Android devices. The least amount runs on iPhones. It’s like 99.5 to .5, advantage Google’s Android devices. So, which smartphone platform do criminals, hackers, terrorists, and smart people use the most? And, which platforms get targeted the most? It’s either, 1) we’ll never know, or, 2) all of the above. Lets’ go with what’s behind Door #2, Monte.
Former C.I.A. director, Michael Hayden on the BBC:
(Leaks) made my country and my country’s friends less safe… this seems to be an incredibly damaging leak in terms of the tactics, techniques, procedures and tools that were used by the Central Intelligence Agency to conduct legitimate foreign intelligence.
Duh. But does anybody see a problem there?
The first is obvious. How is it that the government’s spooks can get so much of their classified information stolen and put on a public website? How is it that they cannot bring down such a website? And, as important, how good can the government be at protecting iPhone and Android-toting citizens when it cannot even protect its own information?
Hey. I have a great idea. Let’s give iPhones to everyone who works in government. That’s all they can use. No Android devices.No Windows PCs. No Samsung Galaxy-whatever for you, Mister President. It’s all Apple, all the time.
Carl Fagan, Policy Director at the Web Foundation:
Governments should be safeguarding the digital privacy and security of their citizens, but these alleged actions by the CIA do just the opposite. Weaponising everyday products such as TVs and smartphones — and failing to disclose vulnerabilities to manufacturers — is dangerous and short-sighted.
Yeah, how did that work out? No so well, the latest headlines tell me.
My father taught me many things here — he taught me in this room. He taught me — keep your friends close but your enemies closer.
That might explain the bromance between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin but if they have a mutual admiration thing going on, they have a strange way of showing it off to the public.
Apple seems on to something with iPhone privacy and security. I think I’ll keep my eggs in that basket for awhile longer. In my lead-lined box.