There is a problem with iPhone SMS security. In fact, according to Apple and others, there is a problem with SMS security in general because messages with spoofed addresses can be sent to any phone. Although no reasonable observer will say that SMS is secure or that other than Apple smartphones don’t have the same problem, you would think Cupertino would have learned how to respond to product image issues.
The last time Apple ducked for covered behind the competition, it didn’t turn out so well.
Back in June 2010, the iPhone 4 was new and all the rage. For some people, it was more about rage than fashion — holding it “wrong” meant the user would cause signal strength attenuation, which lead to dropped calls and poor performance.
Apple and Steve Jobs’ response, though not wrong per se, caused some users and millions of bloggers to howl with scornful disdain:
Gripping any mobile phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas. This is a fact of life for every wireless phone. If you ever experience this on your iPhone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases — Apple 2010
Yes, other phones did have similar attenuation problems, but Apple’s response just pissed people off.
That said, Apple eventually modified its position, offered users free bumper cases and the iPhone 4 went on to become the best-selling smartphone ever, at least until the iPhone 4S and its much improved antenna arrived.
iPhone SMS Security Meets a River in Egypt
Now, compare that with the ongoing controversy vis-a-vis iPhone SMS security — it is easy to spoof addresses in text messages — and Apple’s response to the issue:
Apple takes security very seriously. When using iMessage instead of SMS, addresses are verified which protects against these kinds of spoofing attacks. One of the limitations of SMS is that it allows messages to be sent with spoofed addresses to any phone, so we urge customers to be extremely careful if they’re directed to an unknown website or address over SMS — An Apple spokesman via The Beard
Gosh darn it! There’s nothing wrong with the iPhone — you’re texting wrong.
In the case of the iPhone SMS security issue, it really is true that SMS is equally insecure on every phone. Still, you would think Apple had learned its lesson.
What’s your take?