it’s begging to feel much like running devices from the dark side of the spectrum until you look around and realize that malware and hacking attempts are the order of the day for Windows and Android folk. Here’s the new rule of thumb for security. Upgrade or else.
Easy Peasy Upgrades
If there’s one thing Apple does well with Mac, iPhone, and iPad, its the upgrade routine. It’s not fully automatic, but it’s close and getting there. Apple can update each device to a degree, but full on version, incremental or otherwise, still require us to be engaged to give permissions.
Remember the difference between vulnerability and an exploit. Every device has the former, but not all vulnerabilities turn into exploits. Here’s one for iPad and iPhone. It’s dangerous. It requires you to update to the latest iOS version. This one is related to the one found earlier in the year where someone with access to your phone could reset the date to 1/1/1970 and crash the device.
Guess what? That crash and worse can be carried out remotely. Remotely? As when you log into a public Wi-Fi access point. The way it works is simple enough. A hacker with a customized Raspberry Pi can spoof Apple’s NTP servers and create a chain reaction which could melt your iPad. Well, not melt, but you wouldn’t use it as a laptop replacement. On your lap. This one is so bad it can damage the device permanently.
Granted, this particular exploit isn’t like to occur at the Starbucks in downtown Peoria because it’s somewhat convoluted and all the stars have align in perfect order for it to take place.
But it could happen. So, what’s the moral of the story?
Upgrade. Upgrade or else.
Back in the day savvy Mac users were confined to two categories. Those who upgraded their devices within minutes after a release by Apple, and those who waited a few days, weeks, or months, until all the major bugs had been identified, and, ostensibly, squashed. That’s no longer the case for me.
I Am, Therefore, I Upgrade.
That brings me to an issue that favors Apple but should be a warning to those of us with interest in the so-called Internet of Things whereby many devices we own will be connected to the internet. Apple’s OS X and iOS upgrade methodology is the best in the land. Across the board, Macs, iPhones, and iPads get upgraded on devices that are many years old, while Android sufferers, well, suffer, and many never get security updates or bugs squashed or holes plugged. Ever.
Maybe this is why HomeKit and home devices and the Internet of Things hasn’t take off and met with public acceptance as well as technologists projected or preferred. It’s not easy to upgrade devices and security issues abound. This is yet another reason to stick with Apple, but the days of delaying a version upgrade a few days, weeks, or months are gone. Now it pays to upgrade. Or else.