A Hardware Privacy Monitor for iPhones

from Schneier on Security

Andrew “bunnie” Huang and Edward Snowden have designed a hardware device that attaches to an iPhone and monitors it for malicious surveillance activities, even in instances where the phone’s operating system has been compromised. They call it an Introspection Engine, and their use model is a journalist who is concerned about government surveillance:

Our introspection engine is designed with the following goals in mind:

More here.

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4 Responses to A Hardware Privacy Monitor for iPhones

  1. Shiyun Ye September 15, 2017 at 8:35 pm #

    Andrew Huang and possibly one of the most well-known men of the last five years, Edward Snowden have made a hardware device used to measure any sort of harmful malware that an iPhone may be susceptible to, addressing an issue that is incredibly problematic in our modern era. The article speaking about the hardware mentions that it has 8 different goals set out to accomplish. It is open source, and user-inspect able, essentially meaning that anyone can check the hardware themselves to see what it is doing to make sure the introspection engine is not deceiving anyone. Additionally, the hardware relies on the actual IPhone to complete its processes, as well as the device being field verified. These are very positive parts of the device, as it makes sure that the control is still with the user, and it protects against many malicious viruses that the iPhone itself is vulnerable to. One of the nicest features is also that the device mostly does not trigger false positives, something that is a prevalent issue with much antivirus software, as it alerts the user to many silly “threats” that do not pose any risk to the hardware of the user’s system. The system is also almost undetectable by the iPhone, which is quite a nice positive, as that means that the user will not be bombarded with anything from the iPhone. The iPhone protection systems will not be alerting the user to the presence of the third party software, instead giving the user an experience like it is not there, while providing effective and easy protection for the user. The hardware also has a very easy user interface, meaning many people, no matter the technical experience, will be able to use the hardware without needing help, it will be as easy as setting up a Windows computer, meaning that the hardware has a great interface. A simple user interface also means that the risk of user error is greatly diminished, leading to stronger protection for the user, as well as leading to a user-friendly experience, something that is a win-win situation. Lastly, while the hardware will be usable on a day-to-day basis, the user will hardly even encounter the hardware, meaning that it will give the best protection with the least effort on the side of the user, one more positive for it. Overall, the hardware is fantastic if it performs as advertised, as in our current age of compromised cyber security, exemplified by the recent hack of Equifax, this iPhone hardware will offer fantastic protection to users without them having to sacrifice their user experience to be safe on the web. Anyone who uses the web is never one hundred percent sage, but any extra armor for one of the most used device in many people’s lives in a welcome addition. However, the author of the article does bring up a good point at the end of the article, saying that this device does not stop from companies like Google or Amazon from surveying us. While it does keep track of its users, it is not viewed as malicious software, as it is just part of using software from those companies, and so users of the IPhone will not be completely protected from that. Even with this slight negative, overall, this hardware will be a welcome addition to malware protection, as there is currently very little in the ware of protective hardware for Apple products now, as most malware protection targets more mainstream systems, such as Windows and Android.

  2. Rebecca Hu October 27, 2017 at 12:01 pm #

    As time progress, technology have made huge improvements. Devices are getting smaller and accessible. I believe that probably the majority in United States have access to technology devices. Through recent years, constantly there are news or leaks about surveillance. It almost felt like that the society described by George Orwell in 1984 where Big Brother is constantly watching you. I feel this kind of scenario will be in real life really soon.
    This article mainly talks about a hardware device that Andrew “bunnie” Huang and Edward Snowden designed. “Hardware device that attaches to an IPhone and monitors it for malicious surveillance activities.” The goal of having to design this kind of hardware is to prevent anyone from invading your privacy, in this day and age it seems like no one or organizations can be trusted. Now the most concerning idea is government surveillance. Since we are wired to think that since United States is a democratic country, everyone have their rights. Their privacy should be protected, cannot be invaded by the government.
    I believe that this hardware device is a good way to protect your privacy. However, I don’t think it will really have an impact on the society. China is very open with its surveillance activities. They seem to be very open about that they track internet activities and any communication activities made through the web. United States on the other hand claim that they are not keeping everyone on monitor. I feel ever since the terrorist attack in 2001, United States become very sensitive to the topic of security. To some extent I feel that both China and United States of America are worrying about the same thing. They are worried about future possible attacks, which is the reason of all those monitoring and watch list. In my opinion when weighing on privacy rights and homeland security, homeland security will always come first.
    Recently there is a modification on TSA electronics screening. The new policy targets any technology devices that are bigger than a cell phone. TSA are worried about terrorist changing these technology devices into explosive devices. Which this new policies require TSA officers to inspect all these technology devices through x-ray one at a time. We are constantly updating technology but we are also constantly worried about possible treats that could happen. In order to prevent the best way is to collect data from everyone. I believe once we enter the age of internet, we are more closely connected together. Which also indicates that since we are closely connected damages can have a huge impact on much larger and multiple groups.
    I am not surprised anymore knowing that the government wants to keep surveillance over us. It is absolutely reasonable for individuals to develop a technology that prevent possible surveillance. I just think that at this time, it is just impossible to keep our information and privacy to be protected. The best way to protect our privacy and data is probably going old school. Using pen and paper, only people who have access to those documents can have your information. Not worrying about a system breach or shutdown. Once information is connected online nothing is safe. In the real world, no one can be trusted everyone have their own agenda. You never know what their true intentions are. As time progress we are only going to see surveillance being more and more predominant way to ensure security and order in society.

  3. Shemar Givens November 3, 2017 at 3:19 pm #

    Technology continues to improve beyond our years bringing in new updates that we wouldn’t expect to see any time soon in this century. Technology is so fast paced and offers a lot especially in a world where we’re so accustomed to its use. Surveillance is a big issue and this article talks about a hardware device that Andrew “bunnie” Huang and Edward Snowden created. It’s a hardware device that can attach and detach from your iPhone and is modified to watch any malicious acts through a surveillance. A lot of people may get a kick out of this being that privacy is a big thing when it comes to personal belongings. Nowadays people have 50 different finger touches for their pass-codes or download different for security.

    Thus could be good and bad, of course the government comes into play with this topic. Being that government has access to everything, will they be a big factor in operating this surveillance? In terms of making sure others aren’t invading any privacy space this could be a good cause. For the government, this could be a problem cause at the end of the day the privacy is still being invaded if the government is able to chime in. It’s no surprise that the government would have a part in this operations. It’s just the matter of how long would this last.

  4. Allen Killiebrew November 7, 2017 at 8:34 pm #

    This article is catchy because it has to do with one thing that everyone can relate to, privacy. Privacy is something that everyone wants nowadays. It is something that is needed with any aspect of life and especially any of our personal items, like purses, wallets, computers, laptops, iPads, and the most important item, our phone, I know whatever is in my phone, is my business and I enjoy having my own privacy. I like for my business to be my business, I strongly dislike my business being made everyones business and I know many can agree with that. As phones continue to evolve in the world, we have to continue to keep up with the advancements and a strong way to do that is by keeping up with the accessories needed to enhance any phone within a customers hands.

    With new generations of phones being made everyday, the accessories to help better those phones are key. If one phone has better accessories then another or more up to date accessories, that can make the buyer want to purchase the phone that has the best accessories rather than the other one. I think that a new and improved privacy monitor screen will be popular but the only thing is, what will make it any different form the other ones? Every privacy screen is the same, it is the price, level of toughness, and length of efficiency that will make a difference. By reading the article, the hardware privacy monitor can be different and turn eyes, it just has to get its name out there and make a difference rather then being just like the rest.

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