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What’s the story with Error 53?

Anthony Caruana | Feb. 8, 2016
Apple says this is a protective measure to ensure the integrity of the iPhone's security is maintained.

As far as I've read, none of the commentators on this issue have remembered that Apple is now a major player in the payments business and the Touch ID sensor, Secure Element chip and their software are a tightly controlled system.

Compromising any part of that system would result in a major problem for Apple - far bigger that today's anger over Error 53.

Apple is at fault - but not how you expect

Apple has made a misstep with the Error 53 incident.

Apple's mistake is a lack of clear communication early on.

If Apple had stated clearly that repairs that 'tamper' with the Touch ID system in any way could result in the iPhone or iPad being bricked then, I suspect, there would have less outrage. Sure, people would be disgruntled, but they would be able to make informed decisions when choosing repair services.

Thinking ahead

At the moment, Apple seems to be in a defensive mode with this issue.

I think that's a mistake.

I spend a lot of time covering information security for some other publications. And I've spoken to a lot of people on both sides of the security fence - those in the protection business and those connected to the other side.

Here's what I hear. Apple's systems are not unbreakable. It's possible as we saw with the recentXcodeGhost hack for Apple's supply chain to be tainted. Malware was injected into pirated versions of X-Code and used to create infected iOS apps that were distributed through the App Store in some parts of the world.

However, the bad guys see other mobile platforms, particularly Android, as a better target as it has massive market penetration and is far more open.

Apple ought to be standing up with this issue and using it as an example of how it is protecting your personal data - in particular your credit card and payments information.

Source: Macworld AU


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