Wednesday, August 4, 2010

iPhone vs BlackBerry - Security...

I wanted my first blog to be something mushy, something that says "hey I'm a nice guy, you should follow my blog", but I guess not, I'll start with something real...

I find it interesting in a time when Apple is taking on BlackBerry that what is really holding people to their BlackBerrys is, well security. Not security as in "I know where all the buttons are and how to use it", well I'm sure some would argue that, but security as in "I know all my information is safe and secure". This latter bit is important, the Android has had several security issues and is now rumored to be looking into how to make it more secure (the problem is allowing you to bypass the Google App Store, not that the use of App Stores is flawless, but it helps).

The latest iPhone issue comes on the heels of an issue with the BlackBerry. The iPhone it seems can be Jailbroken via a website (the term "Jailbreak" a phone is to allow the phone to be freed up from the constraints that Apple puts on it, this could also lead to another term called "Bricking" in which Apple turns the phone into what is essentially a glass and plastic brick, no longer good for use as a phone). Running a Jailbreak on a phone is a tradition amongst hackers and non-hackers alike, but they usually require you to connect your phone to your PC and jailbreak it there (somewhat of a trusted environment, where you run the jailbreak because you want to). The latest exploit could jailbreak your phone, without your knowledge and this could be for nefarious purposes. Hopefully Apple will come out with a fix for this soon.

On the other end of the spectrum is the BlackBerry, now while the BlackBerry may look like a brick and sometimes act like a brick, it's a very secure brick (which is why it's so popular amongst those in the Government, Law firms and other Corporations). It's so secure that Saudi Arabia is going to block the messaging application unless they are allowed to snoop, I'm guessing that BlackBerry already allows the CIA/FBI to listen in. My belief is that instead of calling this an issue, BlackBerry should wave the flag to show how good their system is, it's so secure that Governments are outlawing them, based only on this security.

Perhaps BlackBerry shouldn't go the path of the Smart Phone market, but should stay as a messaging phone. What I've seen so far of the BlackBerry app store is that it's difficult for a developer to use and register to upload their apps. It's almost impossible for a corporation to do it (there's too much red tape in a corporation to go about getting PayPal accounts, which is what is required to post in the BlackBerry app store). I could go on and on with this, but perhaps that's for another post.

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