Why Motorola’s Droid X eFuse is a good thing
When the computer industry decided to release operating systems with an open software architecture, they really didn’t have hackers in mind. All the industry was thinking about was functionality, some basic security to keep “honest people honest” and how an open software architecture would allow others to take the technology to new levels. Unfortunately, what the computer industry didn’t realize, is that hackers would take advantage of this open software architecture as well.
As someone who has spent many years chasing down hackers that can avoid detection by conventional security measures, I see the eFuse technology as a good thing. (Read stories about the eFuse controversy here and here.) If a hacker obtains physical access to a phone and replaces the operating, how is the owner going to know that it contains a keylogger, information gatherer and covert means to send the information to the hacker? Is everyone so tech savvy that they can tell the difference between the real Android operating system and one that has been altered? I don’t think so.
SMobile Systems has an interesting report on their Website about Android spyware applications that can send all of a person’s SMS messages to a third party (Girlfriend Text Message Viewer) or track a phone’s location (Theft Aware) – all without a person’s knowledge or awareness that such applications exist on their phone. Hackers will soon start using these capabilities as well. Rich Cannings, Android Security Lead, posted that a security researcher’s two applications were removed from the Android Market because “These applications intentionally misrepresented their purpose in order to encourage user downloads…”
I applaud Motorola on implementing eFuse, because it represents some foresight that the computer industry lacked to protect the best interests of the computing community. Those who complain that eFuse prevents them from doing as they please with a device they now own are only thinking about themselves and not the general good of the mobile phone community at large.