Apple’s Having a Bad Day with Beats and Backdoors
Apple’s fielding some negative publicity about backdoor tools, and a potential roadblock to a $3 billion Beats acquisition has thrown itself out there today.
Bose vs Beats
Beats, the headphone manufacturer and streaming music service, is being sued by Bose for trademark infringement over the noise cancelling technology used in their headphones.
This comes during a $3 billion acquisition by Apple Inc., which the computer and smartphone manufacturer still may have time to back out of in the event Beats loses the case and is fined heavily. It also is on the heels of the HTC and Beats split, so maybe there was something interesting there that HTC knew about a few months back.
Bose claims patent infringements on technology used in the QuietComfort line of headphones and has filed two separate suits with the International Trade Commission and in federal court in Delaware.
If Bose loses, Apple could be looking at a price tag significantly higher than expected.
Apple vs security
Reuters is reporting that personal data can be extracted from iPhone through previously unpublicized techniques to circumvent backup encryption.
It appears that the method to circumvent backup encryption and phone locking requires that the iPhone be plugged into a trusted computer, which means whoever is attempting to break into your locked iPhone would require access to your computer or the ability to fake the identity of it.
While the average person finding a phone laying in a park is not going to be able to decrypt it, if you’re attempting to hide personal information from law enforcement (or work for that matter), and they have your computer and phone, your iPhone is going to get hacked.
The biggest worry here is that there is no way to know what computers have been trusted in the past, nor stop services that compromise security running in the background.
It’s not mentioned if the backdoor tools trusted computers list is wiped on a reset, or if it’s a running list of every trusted computer ever and there’s no way for you to know. If it’s the latter, with a user having no way to determine if there are any entries in their trust list, you have no way of knowing if you have a compromisable iPhone.
It’s probably not a big deal to the majority of users, but it is something that should be fixed and more transparent on Apple’s end.