Two security researchers announced that they have succeeded to transform Verizon mobile phones into spy tools to track Verizon’s users.
The security experts revealed to the Reuters agency that it is possible to hack Verizon mobile phones for surveillance purpose, the researchers will present the discovery during the next hacking conferences this summer, the DEF CON and Black Hat.
Every single device you add to your arsenal provides an additional attack vector—particularly since your data is increasingly ubiquitous, due to syncing services. Be careful out there.
Newsflash: a 2GB data plan lasts about ten minutes over a fast connection. Can you imagine any company other than a wireless carrier getting away with this sort of thing? Imagine a milk company which:
charges you $30 per month for one cup of milk;
makes you sign a contract which stipulates that you’ll owe them $600 if you buy milk from anyone else over the next two years;
forces you to use their own crappy bottle with a leaky mouth;
Why do we put up with it? Because the biggest two of the four major carriers in this country have conspired to use this insane business model (though T-Mobile throttles after 2GB, and Sprint still has unlimited plans–for now). We really have no other choice. So enjoy your cup of milk and shut up.
I’ll leave the excoriation of the Wall Street Journal for conflating this issue with Apple to others.
Sean Hollister has a great rant over at The Verge on the subject of how easy it would be for Verizon and AT&T to make all our lives simpler by simply providing us with a single bucket of bits to be shared among all of our devices–instead of the current maddening practice of selling us different plans for our phones, mifis, and tablets. One of Sean’s really great points is that these carriers sell us all kinds of hype about how great ubiquitous data is, but seem to go out of their way to keep us from downloading anything.
The problem I have with articles like this one (despite the fact that they’re completely in the right) is the notion that somehow large corporations will change their behavior in the face of rightness. Corporations don’t care about logic and common sense; they care about money, and that’s all they care about. And they have no incentive to make things better for consumers when there are no competitive pressures around to make them worry about the bottom line. Verizon and AT&T compete with each other, practically speaking, about as much as these guys do.