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Apple Releases IOS Security Guide

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the protect-ya-neck dept.

IOS 91

Trailrunner7 writes in with a story about a iOS security guide released by Apple. "Apple has released a detailed security guide for its iOS operating system, an unprecedented move for a company known for not discussing the technical details of its products, let alone the security architecture. The document lays out the system architecture, data protection capabilities and network security features in iOS, most of which had been known before but hadn't been publicly discussed by Apple. The iOS Security guide (PDF), released within the last week, represents Apple's first real public documentation of the security architecture and feature set in iOS, the operating system that runs on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices. Security researchers have been doing their best to reverse engineer the operating system for several years and much of what's in the new Apple guide has been discussed in presentations and talks by researchers. 'Apple doesn't really talk about their security mechanisms in detail. When they introduced ASLR, they didn't tell anybody. They didn't ever explain how codesigning worked,' security researcher Charlie Miller said."

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I know it's bad of me (0, Troll)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 2 years ago | (#40175675)

But I picture it being like an instruction manual for a See n' Say.

Re:I know it's bad of me (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40176123)

The question I have for Obama is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single fat colored mammy sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check?

And as far as iOS security goes, I'm sure B. Hussein Obama doesn't give a rat's ass. For my part, I give iOS security two thumbs up.

Re:I know it's bad of me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40176265)

Wait but I thought that Mexican girl with 5 kids before she turns 22 was just doing a job Americans don't want? You mean fat colored mammys are willing to do it? Who knew!

Re:I know it's bad of me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40176445)

Oooooh, we are all so impressed. Please send your story to Fox News, your simplistic analysis of a complex social issue will be a hit.

Re:I know it's bad of me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40178009)

that's right defend the non white people. they're just helpless victims in all this. everything is the fault of the white straight male.. sorry, in this area, liberals are just as simplistic as the foxtards.

Re:I know it's bad of me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40180039)

That fact that you idiots are even bringing genetics into this just shows what's still wrong with america.

I can dream... (1, Insightful)

cuncator (906265) | more than 2 years ago | (#40175729)

Hopefully it says "security through obscurity does not work" in big block letters on the first page.

Re:I can dream... (1, Troll)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#40176043)

Hopefully it says "security through obscurity does not work" in big block letters on the first page.

It's what this security guide doesn't say that is important to Apple. I'm betting they left out a few tidbits of information. Not a lot, but just enough to make us think the guide is complete.

Re:I can dream... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40177871)

. I'm betting they left out a few tidbits of information

They did. I'm going to leave out the specifics, to not spoil the fun.

Re:I can dream... (5, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 2 years ago | (#40177273)

Hopefully it says "security through obscurity does not work" in big block letters on the first page.

Of course, in the cases where it did work, you'd never hear about it.

Re:I can dream... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40178425)

Nope, it says "Don't Panic"

Re:I can dream... (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179955)

Do you know if it comes with a free towel?

Re:I can dream... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179537)

actually security through obscurity is a good first line of defense. It can help keep you from being a target of opportunity.

Where it fails is where you expect it to stop any sort of determined attacker. That's why you shouldn't rely on it.

Re:I can dream... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40181349)

That's why you shouldn't rely on it.

You're right - it's an excellent first line. And anybody who sneers at "security through obscurity" should be sure to apply that sneer to ANY other single line of defense as your only method for securing things.

The French built an impenetrable Maginot Line, and it was impenetrable... until the Germans said, "Wait, we can just drive around this motherfucker? LOAD UP THE TANKS!"

Comparisson to Android? (4, Interesting)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 2 years ago | (#40175733)

Would like to see a comparison to Androids security model. Anyone care to analyse?

Re:Comparisson to Android? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40176159)

I bet they both pale in comparison to the 35 Page pdf documenting the security features of QNX from RIM.

Re:Comparisson to Android? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179655)

Please provide some examples mister AC. What are these magical features only RIM and QNX have? Put up or shut up.

Re:Comparisson to Android? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40176187)

Android's what?

Oh, good one. You had me going there for a minute.

Re:Comparisson to Android? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40176283)

I have an android device that is very secure, I tossed it into my storage unit,
And went back to something usable... A blackberry. :)

Re:Comparisson to Android? (1)

kyrio (1091003) | more than 2 years ago | (#40177041)

I'm going to giggle a bit when they shut down their servers.

Re:Comparisson to Android? (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 2 years ago | (#40180519)

This is true damned if you do go BB. Damned if you use Android.

Re:Comparisson to Android? (3, Interesting)

captainspudly (551559) | more than 2 years ago | (#40177639)

Charlie Miller and Jon Oberheide will be speaking at http://summercon.org/ [summercon.org] in NY June 8 on Android. I hope to hear some good comparisons.

Re:Comparisson to Android? (5, Informative)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 2 years ago | (#40178299)

Well, "security" is a huge topic and the mechanisms are constantly evolving. But there are some differences that are worth analyzing.

Both operating systems run apps in a sandbox, unlike desktop operating systems like Linux or Windows (OS X is starting to move in the mobile-ish direction). There are some tasks that the OS simply forbids apps to do entirely. In this regard they are similar, and in the absence of local root exploits it's much harder to write viruses that target such a system.

The main differences are as follows: the iOS sandbox is somewhat weaker than the Android sandbox. It restricts fewer things and in the past (not sure if it was fixed these days), key first-party apps such as the web browser were not sandboxed at all, which is how several generations of jailbreak worked. Android was designed from the ground up with the mentality that there should ideally not be an "us vs them" divide - Android treats all apps more or less the same, security-wise, meaning that the browser is just a regular app that runs in a permission-controlled sandbox like any other. This open design is one reason why the permissions UI on Android is more complex than for iOS - apps can do more things and the OS has to communicate that to you.

With a weaker sandbox and permissions system, Apple relies much more heavily on manual review and the ability to control what software you can run. Android, by default, will not install software from outside the Google Play market (which does have various forms of review by the way), but if you tick a box and acknowledge a warning box it will let you do so. This is another reason the sandbox is stronger - Android phones can and do run code controlled by nobody but the author. iOS requires Apple signatures in all cases. The impact of the weaker sandbox is also mitigated by the fact that iOS users upgrade at a faster rate than Android users do (though it's still nothing compared to systems like ChromeOS), so when sandbox escapes are found they can be fixed faster. Android is more vulnerable, which is why there's more of a rigorous approach to privilege minimization.

With the virus angle largely taken care of, "malware" on these platforms is being redefined to mean "software that does something the users probably won't like" rather than "software that does that, and also takes over your machine / hides from you / both". For instance if you install an off-market app on Android and the OS tells you "Services that cost you money: send SMS messages" when you install it, and then you install it and it sends premium SMS in the background, that's typically being classified as malware by various AV companies .... which is kind of fair, but the remedy is just to uninstall the app. These apps can't resist uninstallation or hide from you as desktop viruses can. And beyond obviously bad stuff like running up a phone bill, they're also starting to classify apps that have poor privacy practices or which are too aggressive with their advertising as "malware" which is rather questionable.

With regards to other features, like drive encryption, as of the latest releases I believe both operating systems are largely comparable. The biggest remaining difference of interest (at least to me) is the approach to secure boot. Apple uses a form of online authorization to personalize OS reimaging to the device, this is to avoid downgrade attacks where users jailbreak the device by reflashing to an older, vulnerable version of the OS. Android secure boot is largely up to the OEMs and their approaches differ .... some like the Google Nexus devices allow you to reflash to any OS image you like, including ones you compiled yourself. No authorization from anyone is required, however, the phone will do a data wipe before performing the reflash to stop people who stole your phone from stealing your data too. Other phones will only boot firmwares signed by the manufacturer and use eFuses to stop downgrades rather than a server.

Re:Comparisson to Android? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40178911)

According to Charlie Miller back in 2010, Mobile Safari *is* sandboxed:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/charlie-miller-iphon-hack-jailbreak,2710.html

Not entirely TRUE about Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179637)

"Both operating systems run apps in a sandbox, unlike desktop operating systems like Linux or Windows" - by IamTheRealMike (537420) on Friday June 01, @07:32AM (#40178299)

You have measures of sandboxing you can implement in Windows natively!

1st:

Via taskmgr.exe, right-click & enable UAC Virtualization - this functions by app selected, & isolates registry access to a SINGLE user profile! This isn't what I call "true FULL sandboxing" though... admittedly.

(That way, should the user compromise their machine with a malware? It won't infect/infest OTHER user profiles too)...

OR

2nd: Via 3rd party apps, like SandBoxie -> http://www.sandboxie.com/ [sandboxie.com]

(Which does an even bigger/better job, via a custom driver which imo is a FILTERING one & thus, it protects the user via "truer" sandboxing effects, by not only isolating registry writes for the app, but creating a "fake registry" + filesystem layout too (etc./et al)).

* Admittedly here though? I'm no "sandboxing expert", but those are some options you have as a Windows user to achieve sandboxing is all... to one degree or another, natively (UAC Virtualization) OR by using 3rd party tools/freeware like SandBoxie.

APK

P.S.=> Linux most likely has sandboxing tools like SandBoxie, but I'm NOT familiar with them (other than things like chroot jails, which SORT of function that way in effect also, but have been KNOWN to have been "jail-broken" before too)... apk

Re:Not entirely TRUE about Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40181393)

I'm sorry, APK, I don't understand. could you rephrase this comment re: security in terms of HOSTS files?

Troll, you're OFF-TOPIC, so... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40181745)

"I'm sorry, APK, I don't understand. could you rephrase this comment re: security in terms of HOSTS files?" - by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 01, @12:37PM (#40181393)

I'm sorry, TROLL, I DO understand. could you rephrase that comment of yours in a way that doesn't blatantly SCREAM of trolling?

---

* Funniest part of this entire thing is, you're quite obviously "telegraphing" that I've BLOWN YOU AWAY on hosts files gaining users more speed/bandwidth for websurfing, better reliability vs. poisoned or downed remote DNS servers (& less power consumption + CPU/RAM/& other forms of I/O than running a local DNS server on a separate machine, or even less than using one on the SAME system), better "layered-security"/"defense-in-depth" vs. botnet C&C servers, known malicious code hosting sites/servers, or known servers of malware, etc./et al...

Hence your constantly "stalking" me trying to "harass" me by your ac trolling posts - you KNOW you can't "get the better of me", no matter HOW you try, & doubtless you have via your regular "registered 'luser'" account (which you know I track with trolls like you, and thus, I can THROW YOUR NUMEROUS DEFEATS vs. MYSELF right back "in your face" to mock you with them)...

However & above ALL else here?

Please - When you will learn you merely AMUSE me, and make me laugh & again - that the "trolling likes of you", with such 'courage' in your WORMISH 'tactics' can never be my intellectual equal, hmmm?

APK

P.S.=> So you know - custom HOSTS files have NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS, or my last comment back to hairyfeet, period... ok? Got that?? Good... "I knew you could", lol (I *think*, but then again, "disclaimer": I may be overestimating your intellect in that case)

... apk/b

Re:Comparisson to Android? (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 2 years ago | (#40180543)

--in the absence of local root exploits it's much harder to write viruses that target such a system.--

Now the only phones I can think of that do not have this are BB's. What a shame.

Re:Comparisson to Android? (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 2 years ago | (#40180637)

--Android, by default, will not install software from outside the Google Play market ---

My Android was set up to sideload right out of the box although most people only use Amazon for this.

Not true... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40201191)

"--Android, by default, will not install software from outside the Google Play market ---" - by EvilBudMan (588716) on Friday June 01, @11:30AM (#40180637)

1st - check THIS out (it contradicts your statement):

---

Malicious apps infiltrate Google's Android Market â The Register:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/12/12/android_market_malware/ [theregister.co.uk]

---

ANDROID - More Malware-Infected Apps Found in Android Market - Slashdot:

http://slashdot.org/submission/1652720/More-Malware-Infected-Apps-Found-in-Android-Market [slashdot.org]

---

PLUS (& perhaps, MOST importantly)

Android Holes Allow Secret Installation of Apps:

http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/10/11/14/0115255/Android-Holes-Allow-Secret-Installation-of-Apps [slashdot.org]

---

* Want MORE? I have, oh, another 100++ to go ontop of those above...

APK

P.S.=> It just goes to show that ANDROID, a Linux itself no less, is NO MORE SECURE vs. malicious attacks on MANY LEVELS, than was Windows due to its dominance of the PC/Server platform overall

Thus, as anyone can see for YEARS now?

Well... Android's "king of the hill" on smartphones, & thus, is GETTING THE SAME DAMN THING HAPPENING TO IT... why? Malware makers are just like pickpockets & go to where the 'crowds' are, for better "ROI" on their dirty work (& on smartphones, Android's the SAME as a crowded city street, a mall, or train/bus station - full of "easy meat" unsuspecting less technical "noobz" to take advantage of)... apk

Re:Not true... apk (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 2 years ago | (#40224007)

It's probably less secure in the mobile market than any other smartphone. Yeah I get that. What I meant to say was by default sideloading is enabled on certain Android phones, which probably doesn't really matter much as most apps these days want rights to the moon.

If Google wasn't so crazy about Java, it might make some difference. It's just one more way in.

On JAVA? I agree... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40236513)

See subject-line. At least you're sensible enough to realize what the issues are on ANDROID (are they correctable? Yes. It'll happen, just like it did for Windows going from Win3.x-> 9x -> NT-based OS).

APK

P.S.=> Don't get me wrong either - I think ANDROID's amazing actually (Linux too, it, to me? Is a "socio-cultural phenomenon" essentially, that PROVES folks the world-over can work together, for FREE, & produce something decent)... I used it way, Way, WAY back in 1994 (slackware 1.02 iirc) & more recently in summer 2010 all summer long (was decent, came a LONG ways since I tried it before that in RedHat 6).

HOWEVER:

What I do *NOT* like is the line of bullshit that was spread around here by Linux zealots of "Windows != Secure, & Linux = Secure", because ANDROID shows anyone that once a Linux gains "top spot" in marketshare on ANY computing platform?

It's no safer by default than any others has been, & it gets "victimized" along with its users, the same way the PC/Server combined dominating OS in Windows has... apk

Re:On JAVA? I agree... apk (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333995)

Well Windows 7 64bit is currently the safest version of that OS unless maybe the phones because no one uses them. It seems with Android all of the cool programs just have to have root access for some reason. It used to be that all windows programs required that just to install and many still do. So Microsoft is becoming more Unix like and Linux is becoming more Windows like probably because of the increased user base that you have mentioned.

Almost didn't "catch" your post, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334403)

"Well Windows 7 64bit is currently the safest version of that OS unless maybe the phones because no one uses them." - by EvilBudMan (588716) on Friday June 15, @09:05AM (#40333995)

It is, and it can be FURTHER secured (by far), & made in fact to be JUST LIKE A Mac (where to install things, even an ADMINISTRATOR class user has to "login" (username + password) on ANY/ALL installs - I am setup that way, to avoid ANYTHING installing without my being aware of it (or, @ least lessening the chance of it happening))...

In fact, you MAY want to look into the tool I used to discover that this can be done, in CIS Tool!

Which is now ready for Windows 7/Server 2008 too, & it wasn't before!

(I.E./E.G.-> I got a trial copy from them, & just saved the entries concerned as it instructed me to amend them, & I found a couple they made errors on & agreed with me in fact, bettering the product!)

It does its settings based on "industry best security practices"... so, as it made suggestions?

I did the alterations manually, & saved them into .reg files or .cmd files to secure ANY system from the day I did it onwards (w/out even having to use CIS Tool anymore).

---

"It seems with Android all of the cool programs just have to have root access for some reason. It used to be that all windows programs required that just to install and many still do." - by EvilBudMan (588716) on Friday June 15, @09:05AM (#40333995)

Not on my machine on install @ least... even admin class users have to logon to install ANYTHING, as I noted above... it's doable & very "MacOS X-like" here... Windows 7's a LOT more stringent in that regard also @ the app level while it runs (I know this because of a program I wrote that needs access to folders beneath %windir%, specifically the hosts file - I have to "run as administrator" & I don't DO the "impersonation" in code, but rather in the app shortcut which the user MUST set)... some things are that way, & in my case? Due to UAC... a good thing actually (a bit of a pain, worse on my system because again - I don't just click a button & say "ok run as admin" but, any user, even the administrator class ones, MUST logon to perform installations AND other tasks.. it's more of a pain, no doubt about it, but a LOT safer!).

---

"So Microsoft is becoming more Unix like and Linux is becoming more Windows like probably because of the increased user base that you have mentioned." - by EvilBudMan (588716) on Friday June 15, @09:05AM (#40333995)

I saw that DECADES AGO with the DOS vs. Windows & Windows vs. Apple OS9 "battles/debates"... they ALWAYS end up becoming "melds" of one anothers' good ideas (just like communist nations have drifted towards more democratic practices, & vice-a-versa, with democratic countries becoming more "communist-like" in various laws/practices, etc./et al).

APK

P.S.=> Almost didn't catch your reply, as you posted 9++ days later since my last post... apk

Re:Almost didn't "catch" your post, but... (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 2 years ago | (#40335821)

Communist like is a good term for another topic. I was just asking why so many programs need root access at all especially CAD programs? Aren't computers fast enough now that they can stick with the API's and even phones. If it doesn't get you a virus or something like that, it just causes stuff to crash tinkering with the video at the hardware level. Maybe it's all because of ATI drivers, who knows but a program (at least not so many) doesn't need root access. I think that is NOT the fault of either OS and with Linux you didn't see that much of this until Google builds their system on top of a cobbled up version of JAVA and sells a ton of Android phones that practically have to be rooted to achieve any use out of them. There is still lots of 2.2.2 phones out there. If want screen capture with that root your phone or you can't have it. Want to get rid of crapware, root your phone. Apple doesn't come with crapware but also makes you sign extra agreements and such.

That was quick (lol)... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40336455)

"I was just asking why so many programs need root access at all especially CAD programs? Aren't computers fast enough now that they can stick with the API's and even phones." - by EvilBudMan (588716) on Friday June 15, @11:58AM (#40335821)

It's because of the API itself - for instance, I KNOW that MS has "marked" certain calls as 'unsafe' & implemented more secure ones... thing is, how many devs use them? I don't know ALL of them myself, & often have to resort to looking them up (& that's assuming I hit on the ones with 'safer' analogs built for them IF they even exist @ all...)

---

"If it doesn't get you a virus or something like that, it just causes stuff to crash tinkering with the video at the hardware level." - by EvilBudMan (588716) on Friday June 15, @11:58AM (#40335821)

Reminds me of the AMD/ATI "fiasco" recently that was exposed... NVidia doesn't have that issue, so perhaps AMD/ATI can "take a page from NVidia's playbook" (or, search API calls that do NOT violate safety rules, albeit @ the DDK level (Ring 0/RPL 0/KernelMode), NOT the Ring 3/RPL 3/Usermode level)...

---

"Maybe it's all because of ATI drivers, who knows but a program (at least not so many) doesn't need root access." - by EvilBudMan (588716) on Friday June 15, @11:58AM (#40335821)

Right... I just hit on that same idea you just spoke of in my last paragraph above (I quote users 'point-by-point', to *TRY* not to miss their points)...

---

"I think that is NOT the fault of either OS and with Linux you didn't see that much of this until Google builds their system on top of a cobbled up version of JAVA and sells a ton of Android phones that practically have to be rooted to achieve any use out of them. " - by EvilBudMan (588716) on Friday June 15, @11:58AM (#40335821)

You have a GOOD point - yes, GOOGLE "weakened" Linux, albeit @ the higher levels of operation (not kernel so much as usermode), by using JAVA (Dalvik, but pretty much same thing), which IS ONE OF THE KNOWN LARGEST MOST EXPLOITED toolsets there is... javascript's right up there too...

(I always KNEW that once any type of document was scriptable, it was going to be subject to attacks/hidden payloads in said scripts - not just for example Word Docs/Excel spreadsheets (MS OLE Compound documents), or Adobe PDF files, but also WEBPAGES!).

So much out there is like a razor - you can shave with it, OR, cut your own throat... depends on who's building said "razors" & for what purposes (nefarious vs. actually useful ones... this is one I do NOT think will ever be solved actually, as long as it is allowed!)

---

"There is still lots of 2.2.2 phones out there. If want screen capture with that root your phone or you can't have it." - by EvilBudMan (588716) on Friday June 15, @11:58AM (#40335821)

WoW... I didn't know that! I never really TRIED doing a screen capture on a smartphone is why... live & learn!

(I too would have thought it would have been a "std. feature" since it's very useful @ times for recording pertinent information "live").

---

"Want to get rid of crapware, root your phone." - by EvilBudMan (588716) on Friday June 15, @11:58AM (#40335821)

You'd be surprised what using ADB (Android Debugging Bridge) can do though, especially IF you haven't tried it before... the other day here, I showed a guy (Trax) how to use it to install a custom HOSTS file using it, here:

http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2908679&cid=40287167 [slashdot.org]

ALL, for better:

---

1.) "Layered-Security"/"Defense-In-Depth"

2.) Speed/Bandwidth vs. adbanners (you pay for it after all)

3.) 'Anonymity' to an extent (vs. DNS request logs + unjust DNSBL's (DNS block lists))

4.) More SCREEN "REALESTATE" (due to adbanner blocking again)).

---

It WORKS, & is VERY EASY/SIMPLE TO DO, & you do NOT need a "rooted" handset to do it either... thus, using ADB's PUSH/PULL & other commands? I'd say you can do what you noted, without a "rooted" handset... but, you probably know more about smartphones than I do!

(Not a "huge fan" of them yet... not until they "mature" more, that is...)

---

"Apple doesn't come with crapware but also makes you sign extra agreements and such." - by EvilBudMan (588716) on Friday June 15, @11:58AM (#40335821)

Signing all the agreements in the world can't stop a determined hacker/cracker - look @ what malware makers did with the "FLAME" malware (forging MS Update certificates no less - a HUGE "hole")

APK

P.S.=>

"Communist like is a good term for another topic." - by EvilBudMan (588716) on Friday June 15, @11:58AM (#40335821)

Yea, sorry for THAT "analogy", & there was NO offense intended on my part either - It was just the best I could come up with on short-notice is all...

(Plus, I feel that I haven't been expressing myself as well as I can/should this week, so... there you go!)

... apk - by EvilBudMan (588716) on Friday June 15, @11:58AM (#40335821)

Re:Comparisson to Android? (1)

bushing (20804) | more than 2 years ago | (#40185501)

This is well-written, but mostly incorrect, based on some bad assumptions about sandboxing and encryption.

The main differences are as follows: the iOS sandbox is somewhat weaker than the Android sandbox. It restricts fewer things and in the past (not sure if it was fixed these days), key first-party apps such as the web browser were not sandboxed at all, which is how several generations of jailbreak worked.

No, the iOS sandbox is stronger, in that it supports more fine-grained control over access to individual syscalls (based on the BSD-heritage Mandatory Access Control framework), as well as the API-level and filesystem permission-level isolation that Android relies upon. Jailbreaks didn't rely on a lack of sandboxing, for the most part -- they exploited kernel bugs in e.g. the graphics driver. It took until 2011 that "rooting" [github.com] on Android even approached the complexity of the 2008 iPhone exploits; the neccesary exploits on Android were generally much simpler [intrepidusgroup.com] .

Android was designed from the ground up with the mentality that there should ideally not be an "us vs them" divide - Android treats all apps more or less the same, security-wise, meaning that the browser is just a regular app that runs in a permission-controlled sandbox like any other. This open design is one reason why the permissions UI on Android is more complex than for iOS - apps can do more things and the OS has to communicate that to you.

This is only partially true. Android most certainly does distinguish between "system apps" and 3rd-party apps -- why do you think people have to root their phones to remove crapware?

The main reason that Android's permissions UI is more complex is ... a design issue. The Android team decided that it was better to make all users click through a screen showing a bunch of scary shit, so that they could later blame the user if the app does something strange. "Dialog fatigue" ensures that very few people actually read the whole UI, and the fact that you can't (on a stock system) individually deny any access (while still using the app) means that most people just suck it up and run the app and take their chances.

Most of the rest of what you wrote is wrong, because you base it on the statement that Android's sandbox is stronger.

With regards to other features, like drive encryption, as of the latest releases I believe both operating systems are largely comparable.

Okay, now go back and actually read the Apple paper, starting with page 8. iOS's encryption is fine-grained -- the whole partition is encrypted, and then individual files are further encrypted, depending on the application and use (e.g. you can receive new email and take new photos while the phone is locked; that stuff is then encrypted and written to flash, and cannot be accessed until you unlock the phone with a PIN. Older contents cannot be decrypted until you unlock the phone). Android only got encryption with 3.x and 4.x -- about 2 years after it appeared on iOS -- and it's a shitty implementation (requires a full battery, AC power, and > 1 hour to enable or disable; any interruption will cause data loss; must enter PIN code on boot, which then causes the whole flash to be decrypted in memory until you turn the phone off).

Re:Comparisson to Android? (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 2 years ago | (#40180511)

Android has a security model? Oh, I forgot about ICS's possible one. Doesn't any smartphone but a BB have decent security out of the box?

The important link (5, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#40175781)

The most important link missing from TFS is iOS_Security_May12.pdf [apple.com]

Re:The important link (4, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#40175809)

Some other links I just stole from a comment in TFA from an anonymous poster
 
  NSA recommendations for Apple products [nsa.gov] (also has recommendations for Linux, Windows and Solaris)
 
  iOS Hardening Configuration Guide [dsd.gov.au] from the Australian Department of Defense

http://www.find-funds.co.uk/ (-1, Offtopic)

Ranjitkhan (2652345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40176139)

It is very nice post. Thank you. I like it.

Re:The important link (2)

Kergan (780543) | more than 2 years ago | (#40177669)

TFA also forgets an equally important links to prior security material released by Apple [apple.com] , which discusses the technical details and architecture contrary to what TFA suggests.

Re:The important link (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 2 years ago | (#40180021)

TFA also forgets an equally important links to prior security material released by Apple [apple.com] , which discusses the technical details and architecture contrary to what TFA suggests.

But then he could hardly claim the release was unprecedented, now could he.

Apple Releases IOS Security Guide (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40175819)

. . .and in turn, Cisco will release the iOS Security Guide.

Re:Apple Releases IOS Security Guide (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#40175879)

. . .and in turn, Cisco will release the iOS Security Guide.

And just to confuse things even more, GE had an IOS product (an automation controller of which I am sure there are still plenty in service) and currently has an iOS product of their own.
 
  Sievers Super iOS [geinstruments.com]

Re:Apple Releases IOS Security Guide (1)

SuperSlacker64 (1918650) | more than 2 years ago | (#40176095)

Even more confusing, the firmware used by the Wii is referred as IOS as well.

Re:Apple Releases IOS Security Guide (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#40176397)

Add to that IBM, where on POWER7 hardware, the AIX-based OS used for the VIO servers is called IOS as well.

oem_setup_env is your friend, although IBM does not support this way of adminning a VIO server.

Bad Grammar (5, Informative)

sethmeisterg (603174) | more than 2 years ago | (#40175825)

Not "there best" -- "their best". Editors??

Re:Bad Grammar (-1, Flamebait)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#40175999)

shit happens

Re:Bad Grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40176649)

Dumbass happens.

FTFY

Re:Bad Grammar (1)

flargleblarg (685368) | more than 2 years ago | (#40177055)

Shit like that should not happen.

Re:Bad Grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179625)

It's natural selection. By using the wrong homophone we slowly weed out the people to stupid to parse context sensitive information.

A well functioning brain would not even notice that there was a problem as they would simply have determined the correct definition from context and the surrounding grammar.

Re:Bad Grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40176215)

Damn you firsted me on this!

Re:Bad Grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40178311)

They did they're best.

Well, at least... (1)

Higgins_Boson (2569429) | more than 2 years ago | (#40175845)

..."Security researchers have been doing there best to reverse engineer the operating system" for years now. I can only imagine how tough things would be without those brave souls digging up all that fuzzy security stuff.

"have been doing *there* best"?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40175863)

Really??!?

New Apple product next week is obvious (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40176143)

Everyone has been thinking Apple will launch a TV (as if!), but with the release of this guide, my suspicions are confirmed - the next major Apple product is iKeelYou, an enterprise/home defense bot.

The security manual is here to prep us with the understanding that the core of iOS has the strength, security and doggone sticktoitiveness even the most stringent critics would demand from a completely autonomous bot capable of decapitating anyone at any time.

Thanks Apple for helping me and my boss sleep a little more peacefully...

iKeelYou - Welcome!

P.S. (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40176149)

WIth iKeelYou, the "Secure Boot Chain" is an ACTUAL chain.

Ouch!

Re:P.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40176617)

To be technically precise, in iKeelYou, the "Secure Boot Chain" isn't just an actual chain. It's three subsystems: steel toed boot, chain (wrapped around boot), padlock (securing the chain).

Too little too late Apple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40176151)

BlackBerry is the only secure mobile platform,
Your efforts are lame and futile. :)

Re:Too little too late Apple. (0)

nxtw (866177) | more than 2 years ago | (#40176217)

That must be why all these large organizations, from government agencies to paranoid corporations, are supporting iOS devices instead of or in addition to the more secure blackberry devices they already have.

Re:Too little too late Apple. (1)

narcc (412956) | more than 2 years ago | (#40176547)

Not conspiracy, just stupidity.

Don't you think that state-level governments are just as capable of making incompetent decisions based on marketing bullshit as upper-level managers?

Remember IBM's problems [gigaom.com] with BYOD? Yeah, none of those are issues with RIM's platforms. BlackBerry Balance keeps personal and business use separate. You can't drop corporate data into the personal side, for example. The user gets to use the device how they see fit, without compromise, and the business gets all the benefits of a locked-down device with best-in-class device management just like before.

Maybe some day other mobile platforms will catch up. As it stands now, there is only one enterprise ready mobile solution.

Unprecedented Disclosure? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40176191)

Yes, Apple is so sneaky and secretive we never would have learned about the iOS security model without this unprecedented revelation. I feel so fortunate to live in the age of apple security enlightenment. If only there was some way [google.com] to divine such special knowledge before this document was disclosed.

Security Starting Point for iOS [apple.com]
iOS Security Overivew [apple.com]
iOS Secure Coding Guide [apple.com]
iOS Security Reference [apple.com]

The list goes on ... [apple.com]

Re:Unprecedented Disclosure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40177549)

And not discussing technical details? What the fuck is developer.apple.com? Although the release of the document is good news, it's hardly the "omfgzomgwtf" event the story paints it to be. Samzepus, you going to let us know when Microsoft finally publish system requirements for Windows XP?

Re:Unprecedented Disclosure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40181017)

If anything they are better for the iOS platform than for OSX. If you are looking to secure your Mac then you better hope you are using Snow Leopard, because that is the latest OS which has a security guide [apple.com] .

Sure you can follow the guide and try to apply it to your Lion/Mountain Lion system, but you are going to run into issues eventually.

Re:Unprecedented Disclosure? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40184019)

To the tune of "Let it snow":

When the docs are all old and dusty,
or the metal case is rusty,
don't blog or call rent-a-thug,
file a bug [apple.com] , file a bug [apple.com] , file a bug [apple.com] .

When the coder throws an exception,
or your cell gets poor reception,
or crashes when you touch the rug,
file a bug [apple.com] , file a bug [apple.com] , file a bug [apple.com] .

When they finally ship GM,
you might like for your app to still run,
'cause a million users' screams
can take away all of your fun.

So when you're tired of all the whining,
and for robustness, pining,
quit being a stupid lug,
and file a buuuug [apple.com] , file a buuuuuuug [apple.com] , fiiiiiiile aaaaaaa buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuug [apple.com] .

Thanks. I'll be here all night.

Re:Unprecedented Disclosure? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40183807)

Thanks for pointing that out. I was going to do so if nobody else did.

Of course, the big difference between the developer docs and this new doc is the audience; this doc specifically targets IT people, whereas the developer documentation targets... yup, you guessed it. Although the developer docs try to cover enough general information so that the IT folks won't be completely in the dark, details such as the encryption algorithms used under the hood are, to a large extent, out-of-scope for developer docs, as those details can transparently change from release to release (or, theoretically, even in a minor security update) without any changes to the programming interfaces used by developers to interact with them.

Between the developer documentation and WWDC sessions over the years, I'd imagine that most of this information has been publicly available, but it was scattered through dozens of documents, plus at least a dozen WWDC sessions over the past four years or so. What makes this resource useful is that it concentrates the information that IT folks need in a single document. :-)

Are Slashdot editors illiterate??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40176199)

Security researchers have been doing there best...

Really? This is pathetic.

And they can still be jailbroken (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40176249)

It is all very convincing, but they can still be jailbroken.

Does anyone have any links to explanations of how jailbreaks bypass all of this? The crackers seem to be as secretive as Apple.

Re:And they can still be jailbroken (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 2 years ago | (#40180705)

Well they just give you administrative rights. Since both IOS and Android are pretty much smaller unix/linux/gnu systems, it shouldn't be too tough to figure out. The developer tools will help you out here.

Sigh, stupidity in the FIRST sentence (4, Informative)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#40176337)

unprecedented move for a company known for not discussing the technical details of its products, let alone the security architecture.

Um...no...not by a long shot. While obviously nowhere NEAR as open as Android, iOS is based on Darwin, which is open source(though I am sure they have modified parts of it but not released them, and of course 99.9% of userland is closed). This is the base from where most of the "security architecture" of iOS is derived, and briefing though the guide, most of what it talks about is based on these open source OS level features(and the parts that arent are basically references to APIs that Apple has documented for years). Yeah, author needs to get a clue

Re:Sigh, stupidity in the FIRST sentence (2)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 2 years ago | (#40177951)

99.9% of userland is closed

When I hear "userland", I like to imagine a safari (lowercase S) theme park where we get to shoot them. ;)

Re:Sigh, stupidity in the FIRST sentence (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40181307)

that would be Luserland

Re:Sigh, stupidity in the FIRST sentence (1)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 2 years ago | (#40181907)

It was, until the neon tube failed.

Really? (0)

InspectorGadget1964 (2439148) | more than 2 years ago | (#40176389)

Sure they are not feeding missinformation?

Insecure content (2)

grouchomarxist (127479) | more than 2 years ago | (#40176571)

It is curious that TFA is from the "Kaspersky Lab Security News Service" and yet Chrome is warning me that "This page has insecure content."

Re:Insecure content (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179417)

It's because your linux box has been hacked.

Re:Insecure content (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40179799)

I'm twelve years old and what is this?

ASLR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40176591)

Address space layout randomization

I can tell you why (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40177459)

Because that useless shitbag steve jobs isn't there crushing the proposal.

My guess (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 2 years ago | (#40177727)

It's just a hunch, but my guess is that Apple is planning or at least contemplating to move to a complete whitelist approach to security for both the iOS (where it is already implemented almost completely) and OS X. This would drastically improve security if Apple were able to write programs without exploitable bugs. Since like every other company Apple is not able to write such programs and in any case uses the wrong architecture, tools and programming languages for it, in reality it does not affect security very much.

Hours to jailbreak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40178175)

Sorry fanbois, but so long as high school kids continue to jailbreak each new iOS release within hours, I will not respect anything Apple releases as "secure". Once the kids are stumped, then the clock will start counting "years until secure".

Haven't they heard of redsn0w (1)

mshenrick (1874438) | more than 2 years ago | (#40178257)

Each step of the boot-up process contains components that are cryptographically signed by Apple to ensure integrity, and proceeds only after verifying the chain of trust. This includes the bootloaders, kernel, kernel extensions, and baseband firmware.

Haven't they heard of redsn01? (although A5 devices are more secure)

So how secure is iOS from roadside police copying? (1)

swb (14022) | more than 2 years ago | (#40179907)

That's what I want to know. If my iPhone is off or locked, other than being pistolwhipped into unlocking it, how safe is my data from those widgets the cops are starting to use for random device copying and snooping?

Assuming of course, auto-wipe is turned on and I used a complex passphrase for locking?

Re:So how secure is iOS from roadside police copyi (1)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 2 years ago | (#40180697)

None of that matters, just look at the jailbreakers. The cops can use the same techniques. Put the device into DFU mode and do anything you want with it.

Re:So how secure is iOS from roadside police copyi (1)

swb (14022) | more than 2 years ago | (#40182547)

According to the NSA document on securing an iPhone, mail and some other app data is encrypted and cannot be read easily, but 'normal' filesystem data uses an encryption key given out to any process (I read this after posting my original message). Apprently apps can also request their data be encrypted using the same difficult-to-decrypt methods used as mail, but many don't (I know GoodReader can do this, and I enable it).

Re:So how secure is iOS from roadside police copyi (1)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 2 years ago | (#40280695)

So then you just patch the mail app when it's loaded to piggy back your own code. This is a feature built into Objective C. You could probably also bypass the lock screen in a similar fashion.

Oblig. xkcd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40181051)

"This page has insecure content" (1)

adisakp (705706) | more than 2 years ago | (#40181075)

Does anyone find it funny that the link in the submitted story about security causes Chrome to display a warning banner reading "This page has insecure content" and blocking that content by default unless you foolishly choose to allow it to dowload the insecure content???

Unprecedented Move? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40183971)

an unprecedented move for a company known for not discussing the technical details of its products, let alone the security architecture.

I've used Mac's since version 10.3 and I've always gotten the security document for each version. You can find links for them on the NSA's web pages. Interestingly, the NSA seemed to find it necessary to write a more than 300 page security supplement to go with Microsoft's Windows XP security guide. For OS X, they simply recommended you follow Apple's security guide. Another poster lists a number of documents for improving iOS security that have been around for a while. This document is not something new or unprecedented for Apple at all.

They forgot to mention... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40196511)

Keep in mind on iOS any app can access a lot of your private data (like calendar, contacts, etc.) and send it somewhere without you knowing, or any way to prevent it. If you are naive enough to think they will not sell your data, because they are nice people, you're wrong. Here is the list of 74 companies that Cut The Rope (one of most popular iOS games) is sharing your data with:

http://tos.ea.com/legalapp/mobileeula/US/en/OTHER/

This was nicely hidden in Options/Credits/Info/Eula. Nope, you're not asked to agree to it when buying the app, but it says that you agree to it by buying the app. The sad thing is most other apps are not nice enough to give you such a list, they just hide somewhere in their Eula that you agree to sharing your data with any third party.

A secure system must get my permission before giving my private data to an app or before such app wants to connect to the Internet.

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