Breaking the Rules the Wrong Way

September 28, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ve never been able to understand what provokes regular users to jailbreak their iPhones or root their Androids. Why would you put your machine in such jeopardy and void your warranty at the same time? The rates of infection in terms of malware and spyware for such machines is significantly higher than phones that haven’t been compromised. I get the logic that developers and techies have when they root an Android or jailbreak an iPhone. It effectively means more control over your machine. You can make it sing the tunes you want, but then those people know how to keep their devices safe too. A lot of users who are unleashing this hell upon their devices have no idea what they’re doing, and have no real reason to. An iPhone user will tell you that they get to enjoy free apps, and for those users I’d like to know just why they need to use a paid app for free when there’s a plethora of apps available for free which do exactly the same thing? All you need to do is some deep digging to find the apps that can do the same stuff. There isn’t a single app on the Play Store or the App Store that doesn’t have a competing app that can perform more or less the same functions. What inspires users to save a few dollars and ruin their warranties completely? Any guesses folks?

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Categories: Android, iPhone

To spy or not to spy…

September 20, 2012 Leave a comment

 

As a security analyst I often have to work with stealth apps that are meant to help people keep a check on someone. While the plethora of apps will tell you that it’s illegal to use them to spy on someone, no one will ever stop you from doing so. Therein lies the big question: should you really be spying on the people you’re spying on? Form a business point of view my opinion should fall somewhere in the affirmative, but a more logical approach begs that I ask you the whys of what you’re doing. Often it is a case of “I could so I did” and that’s where people go wrong. Stealth apps should be used by people who have something real to lose, that’s the prominent argument in favor of such apps. You shouldn’t be digging in deep if you’re wife is having regular book reading sessions and you want to know what she talks about when you’re not around – that would be crazy, right? It’s a whole different ball game if you’re in the middle of a divorce post a messy marital affair – it’s okay to spy on your wife then, right? Wrong! Both cases are more or less illegal, you can’t do that without getting into a huge pile of mess, and potentially damaging your relationship a whole lot more than it was before. The trouble with spy apps is that they destroy a person’s fundamental right to their own privacy. When we start with general curiosity somewhere along the line things go oh so very wrong. There are cases where monitoring or tracking someone is truly justified. For instance, employers who’ve made monitoring a part of their company policy and have a clear outline of how they will go about implementing the monitoring phase cannot be sued. If their employees are smart enough they won’t be having their own little leisure time at work, and if they do they’ll get caught in an instant – that form of monitoring or spying is fine, and it’s extremely legal. Even in the case of parents we can argue that such apps help them keep their wards safe. Most phones that you see in the hand of an adolescent are owned by their parents, legally a parent does nothing wrong by installing such an app on their child’s phone. The trouble is that a child that’s so closely caged can often suffocate and wither, or worse, wreak havoc on the road to rebel land. Spying isn’t for everyone… people should know what they’re getting into before they take the grand leap – they’re not just apps, these are smart tools that can do a lot more than tell you what your girlfriend gossiped about on her last trip to the parlor.

 

Categories: security