Cold War paranoia, it appears, is alive and well in Cupertino, CA.
As previously reported, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has petitioned the US Copyright Office to modify the Digital Millenuim Copyright Act to allow, among other things, iPhone users the right to jailbreak their handsets and install non-Apple-sanctioned app.
Now the House of Jobs is counter-asserting that pwned iPhones could allow cyberterrorists to blow a big hole in the Information Superhighway.
Apple's main point of contention is that, since jailbreaking apps modify the baseband processor software (which is how your cell phone connects to a cell tower), ‚Äúa local or international hacker could potentially initiate commands (such as a denial of service attack) that could crash the tower software, rendering the tower entirely inoperable to process calls or transmit data. Taking control of the BBP software would be much the equivalent of getting inside the firewall of a corporate computer ‚Äî to potentially catastrophic result." Additionally, Apple fears that subsequent pwnage hacks could allow altering of a phone's Exclusive Chip Identification number, giving drug dealers and other "scums of the earth" the ability to make anonymous phone calls.
Piffle, replied the EFF's attorney Fred von Lohmann, fully aware of Apple's long-standing policy of keeping their closed systems (like the iPhone and the Mac) completely closed. Noting that close to a million iPhones have already been pwned– and not a single act of cell tower sabotage due to jailbroken iPhones has been reported — von Lohmann pointed out that, using Apple's own logic, every owner of an open-source Android phone on the T-Mobile network is already a Kevin Mitnick waiting to happen. ‚ÄùThis kind of theoretical threat,‚Äù von Lohmann said, ‚Äúis more FUD than truth.‚Äù
In other news, the next season of 24 will have CTU sending Jack Bauer out to bring down the Dev-Team…
[Via Wired.com's Threat Level]