Security is always a delicate balance. You want to provide the most functionality with the least friction. But can you lock down a phone or computer so much that it can hide the activities of hackers if they operate within that walled garden?
Virtually every expert agrees that the locked-down nature of iOS has solved some fundamental security problems, and that with these restrictions in place, the iPhone succeeds spectacularly in keeping almost all the usual bad guys out. But when the most advanced hackers do succeed in breaking in, something strange happens: Apple’s extraordinary defenses end up protecting the attackers themselves.
Does open source play a role here? Does making our code available to the public more secure as more people collaborate to find bugs and exploits?
Or as Ryan Stortz (security engineer at the firm Trail of Bits) suggests, will we begin to see more locked down system for everyday use.
“I personally believe the world is marching toward this,” Stortz says. “We are going to a place where only outliers will have computers—people who need them, like developers. The general population will have mobile devices which are already in the walled-garden paradigm. That will expand. You’ll be an outlier if you’re not in the walled garden.”