March 8, 2017
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Wikileaks and Security

Lots of worry this morning about the WikiLeaks Russian Intelligence document dump about the CIA and its ability to exploit iPhone and Android. Gruber has a sensible explanation of why you don’t need to overreact.

It’s a good thing to have a secure phone, just as it’s a good thing to keep your secrets locked in your desk, your cash in the bank, and your front door locked. But remember: the real threat is seldom a super-high-tech team of high-powered analysts. The real threat is still what the real threat has always been: a sneak with a lock pick, a goon (in or out of uniform) with a gun.

If you’re coming back from vacation and Immigration wants to look at your iPhone, you may intend to say “no.” But if they’re serious, they’ll hold you in a back room for hours, for days. They’ll take you to an undisclosed location, or Guantanamo. Will you still say “no?”

Or they’ll say, “you’re free to go, sir” and you'll get your luggage and walk out to the taxi stand.

…and a car will slow beside you, and a door will open, and someone you know, maybe even trust, will get out of the car. And he will smile, a becoming smile. But he will leave open the door of the car and offer to give you a lift.

Or they’ll threaten your parents, or your kids, or your job. Your iPhone can do a lot, but it can’t do everything.