Tuesday, July 7, 2009

OP ED: Hacking the Iphone has become a teen hobby

By Nick Farrell
Source: Wall Street Journal

If you believe the Wall Street Journal...

APPARENTLY THE YOOF of today are not taking drugs or drawing on walls like they were when we were growing up.

Instead, according to the Wall Street Journal, teens now have a new hobby which involves hacking into Apple's Iphone.

The WSJ names Ari Weinstein who at 15 has along with his mates made it his mission to sail up the nasal passages of Apple messiah Steve Jobs.

Since Apple began selling its latest Iphone 3GS on June 19, Ari and six online cohorts spent hours each day probing the new product for security holes.

On July 4, while Americans were celebrating a successful terrorist plot to overthrow their lawful king, Ari and his mates committed what Apple fanbois regard as heresy. The team released the Iphone jailbreaking software they had been working on.

Already a quarter of a million people have visited the website where he posted a test version, clearly indicating that there are lots of punters who do not want to do merely what Steve Jobs tells them to do.

Apple has made the rare move of actually saying something about the hacking. It claims that the vast majority of customers do what they are told and will often take steps to make sure that others do the will of Steve Jobs. It warns that those who jailbreak Apple's Iphones not only void the warranty but also can cause the handset to become unstable and not work reliably.

This is not the first time that Apple has had a go at threatening its loyal users. In February, Apple filed a 27-page statement with the US Copyright office arguing that modifying its smartphones violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

If Apple succeeds it will set a dangerous precedent, as it will legally be saying that people don't actually own the things they pay for and will allow numerous get-out clauses in purchasing contracts.

Despite the interesting "all teens are hackers" angle to the WSJ story, we doubt that most kids try to hack into their Iphones. If they were, we doubt that Apple would be able to secure anything for longer than five minutes. ยต

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