In the words of SNL’s great Roseanne Roseannadanna character, “If it’s not one thing, it’s always something.”
Not only do we have to worry about losing our iPhones and Macs, or having either one stolen, we also have to worry about the government getting backdoor access to our devices, and now we have to worry about criminals hijacking our devices and demanding a ransom.
That’s right. Ransomware has become a thing, and the way it works is rather simple (except for the complicated hacking part). A hacker gains access to your device– which can be a Mac, your company’s computer servers, critical databases, or whatever else is both valuable and hackable– encrypts the whole thing, then demands a ransom to get it back.
Once appropriately hacked, a company could find itself locked out of its own systems and given 36-hours to pay up or else. Based on recent news we know this has happened already, and it’s likely to have happened more than we know because companies are not predisposed to make the hacking public knowledge.
Here’s what I want Apple to do.
Apple should become the security vendor of choice with automatically locked down devices; Mac, iPhone, iPad, and whatever else computes and has an Apple logo on it. Lock down the Mac with FileVault as the default setting. Turn on the Mac’s built-in Firewall and lock that down tight (and give it a user understandable interface). Let’s get two-factor authentication as a login option while we’re at it, Apple.
Lock down the Mac, iPhone, iPad and Watch so absolutely tight that not only can government spooks not gain access to any device, remotely or locally, but even hackers from China, Russia, North Korea, or the PC geeks and script-kiddies from down the street cannot, either.
Just as the government’s spooks and officials fear the nation could be at risk from terrorists and want to gain access to their various communication and computer devices, so too do I fear at risk from my own government (not to mention the criminals and hackers who would hijack my device and demand a ransom).
It’s my iPhone, my Mac, my iPad, and my information is mine; whether text messages, email, or incriminating photos of what a neighbor does with sheep late at night, it’s mine to hold and hide as I see fit, and perhaps it’s a last refuge from government intrusion but I want to think there is someone else on my side.
Apple, that needs to be you.
Who else would it be? Google. That’s a laugh. Amazon? Nope. Won’t happen. Samsung? Microsoft? This is Apple’s moment.