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Innovation in Information Security

Coverage of important Information Security and Information Technology news and events from the research team at S?nnet Beskerming.

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An Apple a Day

Apple Inc's WorldWide Developer's Conference (WWDC) is currently running in California and one of the highlights that many look forward to, even amongst the wider technical community that otherwise has little interest in an Apple event, is the opening Keynote address delivered by Steve Jobs on Monday.

In amongst confirmation of delivery dates for products like the iPhone (Late June for North America), and OS X 10.5 - Leopard (October 2007), and the availability of Leopard for developers, is surprising news that Apple have developed their flagship Internet browser Safari for the Windows platform. This beta product, Safari 3, has already gained the attention of a number of security researchers who are busily pulling it apart as quickly as they can (see earlier commentary).

In terms of security technology concerns, Safari 3 and Leopard are obvious choices, but the announcement of how applications will be developed to target the iPhone came as a surprise to many. Steve Jobs announced that while applications from third party developers would not be developed to run directly on the phone, they would be running an effectively complete application platform through the browser on the phone. Making use of existing technology, such as that which comprises AJAX / Web 2.0, developers should be able to create 'applications' for the iPhone.

From a practical perspective it means that if you can host it on the web, then an iPhone can use it.

From a security perspective, the level of access to background iPhone data (like the address book and call parameters) by these externally hosted applications is likely to throw up some very interesting challenges and vulnerabilities in coming months.

13 June 2007

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