I Hate What Apple Have Become, But I'm Not Switching
Hmm, 2 ABC stories in 2 successive posts. Well, I worked for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. From the late 80s to a tad less than a decade ago, the Hobart and Melbourne newsrooms of our national broadcaster were my "bread and butter." So I'm loyal to their news reports, I know the editorial process, you can't have better trust for a news service than having been embedded in it and seen the passion and commitment to accuracy and fair reporting of my journo colleagues. Simply as that. The ABC and its staff adhere to the charter, an act of parliament that establishes the entire organisation's independence and editorial policy. Are they always right? No, but they're more often right than "Ninefax" or the Guardian. They're way more accurate than any of Australia's other shitforesaken "news services."
So, when the ABC calls out a serious security breach that only affects Android phones, I take that seriously. I've used Apple products since 1984, my Tafe campus in Launceston had a Mac lab. I wrote up my electronics prac reports on those Macs and learned programming on the BBC B+ machines down the hall. I fell in love with the Mac platform, because it was cool, it stood out as super easy to use, reliable... human.
Fast forward nearly 40 years and the M1 MacBook Air I'm writing this on is no easier to use than a Windows or Linux machine. It's absurdly more expensive than any competitor, but it's hardware is hard wearing and the reliability is way better than the Windows and Linux virtual machines I run on it for learning and compatibility moments. But it's as boring as any other OS, and so is iOS. Boring boring booooorrrring. Truth be known, if it weren't for Logic Pro X, I'd probably be 100% in Debian right now. The command line is more standards oriented, for a start.
The major reason I stay with Apple right now, though, especially my iPhone, is security.
That article up there is about a malware that infects android phones and does "overlay attacks" on your banking apps. An overlay attack spoofs the login page of your banking app... Your APP! It sets up a proxy that bypasses your login, sends your login details to the malicious actors, then logs you into your bank and records the whole session. It can do this on Android because Android allows "sideloading." From anywhere, the web, a microSD card and from another app.
I frequently bemoan Apple "treating me like a kid" by not allowing sideloading. (I can't even load my own creations permanently, Apple allows you 14 days running of unsigned code if you load it to your phone from your Developer tools on your Mac. If you want to run it longer, you have to have a developer account with Apple, create an app signature in that account, have the app approved by apple and download it from the App store. That's how Apple rolls. There is no sideloading. That is final. The hackers can't sneak a malware onto your phone, ever. It. Just. Won't. Work!
Android's sideloading can be done by an app. Say what?! You can download an app, and the first time it runs, it might install some system related backend. Sounds legit, right. You might need nonstandard extensions installed for the app to run, maybe webhooks into a home automation system, or compatibility with a non-native file format. But malicious actors can also use this to embed a proxy that spoofs your bank login and steals your identity, your money and any dignity.
Apple is boring. They're as evil as any other capitalists. They want to lock you into their shiny BMW-like pestige and glamour computing... but they care about that reputation and there's a reason so many high profile people now sport iPhones, rather than Droids. It's even one of Apple's marketing slogans - a single word - security.
To proud to be seen with an iPhone because you're more down-to-earth than all that wank? Hope you carry your pay as cash. It's safer than your Samsung.