When we were kids, most of us were not spending our free time undermining the security of multinational corporations. These days, however, young people are “taking on the man” at just about every turn. The cool part is when they do it without hurting anyone and hopefully, without breaking any laws in the process.
Take one bright teenager who managed to prove, once again, that iPhone app security is not all that it’s cracked up to be. On the surface, one would think that the Handy Light is another paid flashlight app for the iPhone. Big deal, right? Not quite. For those in the know, the app actually provided extra functionality such as allowing iPhone users to tether their computers to the phone for 3G access. That’s right, a 15-year-old kid created a fake app, which is actually a 3G tether workaround.
Why is this significant? Well, either fork over another $20 per month on top of your existing data plan for tethering or allow this little flashlight to do it for a flat one time app buy rate of $.99. You can see how AT&T must have been screaming about this.
Now I fully realize that any app store can be exploited, regardless of platform. But for Apple to point out that the closed off model is the way to go because it’s safer, is starting look a bit fuzzy. Apple makes fine products, but please be honest with your users. You want control, period.