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Bug Cellphones Iphone Apple Hardware

Have Your iPhone 6 Repaired, Only To Get It Bricked By Apple (theguardian.com) 410

New submitter Nemosoft Unv. writes: In case you had a problem with the fingerprint sensor or some other small defect on your iPhone 6 and had it repaired by a non-official (read: cheaper) shop, you may be in for a nasty surprise: error 53. What happens is that during an OS update or re-install the software checks the internal hardware and if it detects a non-Apple component, it will display an error 53 and brick your phone. Any photos or other data held on the handset is lost – and irretrievable. Thousands of people have flocked to forums to express their dismay at this. What's more insiduous is that the error may only appear weeks or months after the repair. Incredibly, Apple says this cannot be fixed by any hard- or software update, while it is clearly their software that causes the problem in the first place. And then you thought FTDI was being nasty ...
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Have Your iPhone 6 Repaired, Only To Get It Bricked By Apple

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  • Solution! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 05, 2016 @12:30PM (#51446707)

    Sell your bricked piece of shit and buy an Android phone, which does not have this problem.

    Solved.

  • Maybe a good thing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 05, 2016 @12:31PM (#51446723)

    Probably to prevent hardware attacks on phone encryption

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 05, 2016 @12:54PM (#51447021)

      I did some reading, and it appears to be the fingerprint sensor. The sensor itself has an encrypted channel to the mainboard. If the cable is damaged or the sensor is replaced/not working, it doesn't sync up properly.

      So it makes sense to refuse to work with a different sensor. Else, someone could unlock your phone by simply bypassing the sensor.

      OTOH, this appears to still happen if the phone itself is reset to a factory image. It doesn't seem to be that much of a security risk if instead of refusing to work, the phone, after being reset, would renegotiate encryption with the sensor. There's no data to be stolen in that scenario. And there's other mechanisms to prevent a stolen phone from having resale value.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 05, 2016 @01:26PM (#51447359)

        So just disable the fingerprint part of the button, no need to brick a device.

      • by cyn1c77 ( 928549 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @01:36PM (#51447487)

        OTOH, this appears to still happen if the phone itself is reset to a factory image. It doesn't seem to be that much of a security risk if instead of refusing to work, the phone, after being reset, would renegotiate encryption with the sensor. There's no data to be stolen in that scenario. And there's other mechanisms to prevent a stolen phone from having resale value.

        It's still a security risk. You could imaging intercepting new iPhones, replacing the fingerprint sensor with a compromised one containing a backdoor, then reimaging the phones, putting them back in the box, and selling them to your target. After your target loads their sensitive data on to them, you could then retrieve it using the compromised sensor.

        I agree this is somewhat contrived and Apple is likely just looking to block third party repairs, but it still is a valid security risk.

      • Still presents a security vulnerability in that someone who thinks their device is secure may be under false assumptions due to a sensor that is doing nefarious things. Slip someone a phone with a sensor that will function as normal, but also has the ability to store a print (or the input data to simulate one) and bypass the regular encryption methods later on command.

        It's shitty that Apple hordes the parts and requires you to go through them for repairs, but even if they didn't, I can see why third part
      • by The Rizz ( 1319 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @01:44PM (#51447559)

        I did some reading, and it appears to be the fingerprint sensor. The sensor itself has an encrypted channel to the mainboard. If the cable is damaged or the sensor is replaced/not working, it doesn't sync up properly.

        So it makes sense to refuse to work with a different sensor. Else, someone could unlock your phone by simply bypassing the sensor.

        No. Refusing all access to your device because one small component is damaged does not make sense. Not using that component to do the unlock - and making you use the non-fingerprint method - is what would make sense.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Good security sometimes makes no sense to the casual observer. Security is hard to do right and easy to screw up. I'd want to find out why the feature is there in detail and from a security person who knows what he or she is talking about before jumping to conclusions.

      • by dkman ( 863999 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @02:00PM (#51447727)
        Seems to me that of the phone doesn't like the sensor instead of bricking itself it should disable the sensor and move on, so you can type in your passcode and use the phone. I know that so 2007, but it's better than having a fancy paperweight.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Friday February 05, 2016 @01:27PM (#51447377) Homepage

      Makes no sense. The flash memory is encrypted and the key is stored in a secure area of the CPU. The CPU is hardened so that you can't exact the key with an electron microscope or by de-capping it. It might be possible to get that key, but only with specialist equipment and unpublished vulnerabilities.

      Replacing the fingerprint sensor won't get you anywhere. To unlock the phone after boot you need the passcode. Okay, say you keep it powered up while replacing the sensor. So what, you still need to send the phone the fingerprint data that matches the owner's finger, so it got you nothing.

      We I were being generous I'd suggest that Apple just screwed up and made the list of "panic, erase key!" events a bit too long. More likely they just want to discourage people from getting third party repairs, because they know you have money and they want it.

  • by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @12:31PM (#51446727) Homepage

    If Apple gets away with this we may see more vendors doing the same thing to the stuff we own.

    • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @12:36PM (#51446785) Homepage

      You don't own it, and you know you don't own it. You merely paid money for the right to use the hardware under the terms of their license.

      Your ownership of these things ended some years ago as far as they're concerned.

      This is no different from Microsoft deciding it's their computer, and they'll do whatever the fuck they want with it.

      Consumers have more or less had the concept of ownership yanked out from underneath them, and had it replaced with a licensing agreement which the company can change at will.

      • Geez. Wish I had mod points today. I'd spend all of them here if that was possible.
      • Ding ding ding ding!!!!
      • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @01:06PM (#51447161)

        Can't find the right moderation. Where's "+1 Shaking My Head Sadly At The State Of The Tech World"?

      • Does MS brick any products if you repair them?

        I have never heard of this.

        • Not really, but change enough hardware in your PC and you'll end up with "Your license is not Genuine". A call to MS solved this issue in all cases where that happened to me, but still.

      • Where did this start? I'm thinking videogame consoles and digital media players were the beginning of it with their copy protection and locked-down hardware.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Penguinisto ( 415985 )

        It's not a question of ownership. It's a question of warranty. He still owns his (now-bricked) phone.

        In this case, the dude dropped his phone, gets it repaired at some no-name shop with dodgy parts, then complains when the security loophole the dodgy parts used got closed. If anything, the fault lies with the shop that did the repair.

        Hell, Apple told him they'd do out-of-warranty replacement for it (not sure what that costs, but likely still less than full price), and that's because the problems began when

    • by zdzichu ( 100333 )

      If this ever become widespread, there would be a law introduced to curb it. We already got a law protecting aftermarket parts and non-vendor service station for cars: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal... [europa.eu]

      • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Friday February 05, 2016 @12:58PM (#51447063)

        We have a law like that in the US too (and for all products -- which should include iPhones -- not just cars): the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act [wikipedia.org].

        • by pak9rabid ( 1011935 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @02:16PM (#51447899)
          Here's the relevant part of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act:

          Warrantors cannot require that only branded parts be used with the product in order to retain the warranty.[7] This is commonly referred to as the "tie-in sales" provisions,[8] and is frequently mentioned in the context of third-party computer parts, such as memory and hard drives.

      • Yeah, well, you'll excuse me if I don't think in a few years they'll be able to use copyright law, the DMCA/TPP, and EULAs to close that loophole.

        Just like how the printer companies want you locked in as a revenue stream, you can bet your ass lawyers are standing by trying to figure out how.

        And you can also bet politicians who are bought and paid for will deliver it to them. Because all signs point towards idiot politicians signing over everything to corporate interests to line their own fucking pockets.

        La

        • by Maritz ( 1829006 )

          Laws to protect consumers? No fucking way.

          We occasionally still get them in Europe. But I expect TTIP will put paid to that.

    • by Ecuador ( 740021 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @03:08PM (#51448411) Homepage

      Apple always gets away with it and the other vendors don't follow, because they don't have customers who will eat up anything.
      Let me give you an example just from my experience. My 3rd iPhone 4S in a row has failed in the same exact way: wifi/gps disabled. Just do a quick google about the "grayed out wifi" problem, you will find thousands of posts and also a lot of iPhone 4/4S phones on ebay with that fault. Only the first of the 3 failed within warranty in my case and all three where always in an office and used once a week for testing/debugging (that's why I kept replacing it, I test on various devices). People have actually pinpointed the problem: the overheat detection of the wifi/gps module fails and the software disables it. In fact, this disabling was a "feature" introduced with iOS 6 IIRC, so people who had stayed with iOS 5 did not get the issue. For any other company there would have been a recall, since it would have been an easy class action otherwise, and even a software patch would fix it. But apple is happy with customers getting a new phone and their average customer doesn't mind much.
      Ooh, another example, my boss, who you would call a dedicated Apple fan, had bought a mac mini 5-6 years ago. After 6 months it started killing his keyboards. He went through a few expensive/fancy keyboards before figuring out it was the mac mini and so he took it to the Apple store (Manhattan) where they diagnosed a faulty MB and told him it would take a week to have it replaced. He left it there, got a call about a delay and finally went to get it almost two weeks later. Instead of returning a fixed mac mini they told him they had voided the warranty because they found "dust" inside!!! And the only solution they offered was a 10%-off a new mac mini!!! And he took it!!! Bought the same thing, at a 10% discount!!! He didn't even flinch, I mean, I only found out because I asked, he did not find it interesting enough to mention. My jaw dropped when I heard it, I told him there is no such thing as warranty voided because of "dust", that if the device maker thinks they should not have dust they put a little filter in the computer intake (I do that in my custom builds), that a 6-month old mac mini in a no-pet no-smoke office would not have any dust anyway (and even if it did, why would it fail when decade old dusty components work fine). For all my arguments his response was "the apple genius told me my warranty is voided there is nothing I can do". He actually believed they were right. Even after I showed him the warranty which of course does not mentions dust he though they were right somehow...

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Just look at the number of people defending Apple here, inventing fanciful excuses for them. Apple loves bricking third party hardware, I mean just look at the decade long war on cheaper cables. Every OS update bricks a few more, forcing you to buy the really expensive Apple ones. Apple laptops like to reject third party chargers...

        The message is clear. Buy our really expensive accessories and servicing, or expect your hardware to be bricked.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 05, 2016 @12:35PM (#51446765)

    It sounds like Apple fixed a security bug in an SU, closing a hole which allowed attackers to replace the touch ID sensor to gain access to user data. Had Apple not made this move, we'd instead be seeing an article about how Apple products are insecure and the NSA could get access to your secure date just by replacing some hardware components. Then everyone would be up in arms, demanding this exact software change, and complaining about how Apple is reactionary and not proactive in fixing security issues.

    Of course, "Apple fixes vulnerabilities in iOS 9" is not really a catchy flambait title for an article.

    • by ledow ( 319597 )

      Why should the touch ID sensor need to, or be actually doing, store any data or provide authentication?

      What you're saying is that you can replace the fingerprint sensor and thus fool the device into thinking you provided ANY fingerprint, without any knowledge of that fingerprint? Sound inherently INSECURE to me. I could steal Barack Obama's iPad, change the sensor, and order a coffee on his credit card without having to enter a single credential or knowing what his fingerprint looks like.

      Compare and contr

      • by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @12:51PM (#51446979)

        You could replace the fingerprint sensor with something that could provide arbitrary fingerprints, possibly based on a collection you have made of them. Then use your collection to buy stuff. Requires no memory in the sensor at all. This is much faster than creating molds of fingerprints and applying them to the sensor. I can see Apple not wanting to tolerate replacing things tied in to your CC #.

        Replacing a battery seems less defensible to me, if that aspect is true. It's hard to argue this is tied in to any trust chain.

        • With a finger print scan you could limit the number of scans before you lock out that mode of authentication. You then have to verify with an actual password. There should be no way to brute force the fingerprint scanner. You can maybe get 6-10 through before it should lock out, that's all assuming your database even has something close to what's stored in the phone.

          • Or just do whatever they are doing now, but don't accept fingerprint input from compromised readers - instead of bricking the whole phone.

      • by adamstew ( 909658 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @01:02PM (#51447107)

        It's not the fingerprint sensor itself that decides. The fingerprint sensor sends an image of the fingerprint to the Secure Enclave, which is a chip on the device that handles all of the encryption. The secure enclave itself does the analysis and makes the decision. This line of communication between the fingerprint sensor and the secure enclave is encrypted with a key exchange between the sensor and the secure enclave. This pairs your specific secure enclave with the Touch ID sensor. There is anti-replay techniques involved here as well.

        The point of pairing the sensor to the secure enclave is so that someone can't open up the phone, install a sniffer on the bus between the secure enclave and the sensor to then collect the fingerprint data for later collection and replay it to the secure enclave to get it to unlock. It also prevents someone from just replacing the touch ID sensor to provide a known good fingerprint to the secure enclave via a hardware hack. You have to, in theory, have an authorized finger pressed up against a trusted sensor.

      • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @02:28PM (#51448013)

        Why should the touch ID sensor need to, or be actually doing, store any data or provide authentication?

        Because the encryption key for the device is stored in an NVRAM knapsack in the touch sensor. The CPU uses a public key to establish an encrypted connection via the bus which connects it to the touch sensor, and then sends a block down to decrypt the contents of the knapsack, and then uses that to decrypt the user data key that's stored in the NVRAM attached to the CPU, and then uses that to decrypt the user data.

        By forcing a pairing of the touch sensor with the CPU, it means you can not do a two stage attack by topping just one chip, you'd have to top both chips, and if you did that, your half-of-a-key-pair that you obtained wouldn't work with another device.

        The way Apple handles this in the repair cases is it just replaces your device guts with completely new device guts (so that your cheesy engraving is not taken away -- and neither are your scratches in non-critical areas), and pops a new sensor chip (with an uninitialized PROM) into the device, and sends those guts to someone else as a refurbish.

        But that does mean that third party repair for either of the two components is theoretically possible, but practically speaking, Apple will not sell you the chip you need to replace to do the same repair that an authorized service center would do. On the other hand... it means that Apple won't get the blame if you put in some third party battery or charging circuitry, and burn down your damn house because you wanted to save $5 or whatever.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 05, 2016 @12:45PM (#51446909)

      Or instead of Error 53 they could just disable Touch ID and require you to enter you PIN code.

      Which would make sense since you need the PIN to enable Touch ID in the first place, as it's automatically turned off when the phone first starts and if the phone isn't unlocked for over 48 hours.

      No, this is solely to brick the phone if you dare not pay for overpriced Apple repairs.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Sarten-X ( 1102295 )

        So, to avoid a hardware attack on the TouchID system, Apple should require using the passcode system that is vulnerable to shoulder-surfing attacks.

        Excellent plan, AC!

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 05, 2016 @01:54PM (#51447667)

          Apple already treats the PIN as more secure than Touch ID. If you find an iPhone with the fingerprint reader, try opening it with your finger. After a while the phone will lock into "Touch ID disabled" state and require the PIN. At this point the only way to reenable Touch ID is with the PIN.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by leathered ( 780018 )

      The idea that an attacker would somehow get hold of your phone, take it to pieces, change the sensor and replace it where you left it without you noticing is fanciful to say the least. It would be much easier to get hold of your real fingerprint, of which you leave a copy in thousands of different places every day, and use that to access your device.

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      The legitimate complaint for me, is that people were not warned. It would be trivial to put a warning on the update to the effect that if you have had a 3rd party repair, this update will brick your phone. That's genuinely not much to ask for, and doesn't make life easier for people trying to hack a phone.
  • Context On the Issue (Score:5, Informative)

    by Galaga88 ( 148206 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @12:36PM (#51446779)

    This error occurs if the repair involves the TouchID sensor. Sense this stores data required for the fingerprint authentication, the device will refuse to function for security reasons if it thinks it's been tampered with, which seems to be a reasonable precaution for a device component that can authenticate you across the device and also external services including financial transactions.

    A better option would be to instead disable TouchID if tampering is suspected, but this isn't a case of Apple just arbitrarily making iPhones not work if you get a third-party repair like the story suggests.

    • by pushing-robot ( 1037830 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @12:40PM (#51446833)

      Apple's response, by way of MacRumors: [macrumors.com]

      An Apple spokeswoman commented on the issue, referring to protective security features intended to prevent "malicious" third-party components from potentially compromising a user's iPhone as the main reason for the "error 53" message.

      We protect fingerprint data using a secure enclave, which is uniquely paired to the touch ID sensor. When iPhone is serviced by an authorised Apple service provider or Apple retail store for changes that affect the touch ID sensor, the pairing is re-validated. This check ensures the device and the iOS features related to touch ID remain secure. Without this unique pairing, a malicious touch ID sensor could be substituted, thereby gaining access to the secure enclave. When iOS detects that the pairing fails, touch ID, including Apple Pay, is disabled so the device remains secure.”

      She adds: “When an iPhone is serviced by an unauthorized repair provider, faulty screens or other invalid components that affect the touch ID sensor could cause the check to fail if the pairing cannot be validated. With a subsequent update or restore, additional security checks result in an ‘error 53’ being displayed If a customer encounters an unrecoverable error 53, we recommend contacting Apple support.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Kohath ( 38547 )

        Fiendish villainy! How should we punish these monsters!!!? Won't someone think of the children!!!??

        Also, I have this 14-step procedure that they should have thought of in advance to avoid this problem....of enabling 3rd party "repairs". Because why wouldn't a company want to spend a huge amount of time to enable their competitors? Because they're monsters. That's the only explanation.

        And they're even more villainous for "lying" to everyone. They said only good things about their products. Why didn't

      • by Maritz ( 1829006 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @01:29PM (#51447413)

        When iOS detects that the pairing fails, touch ID, including Apple Pay, is disabled so the device remains secure.

        Which is achieved by making the phone completely inoperable? Sounds like overkill, especially if the touch ID itself is configured by first entering the PIN. Sounds like it would be perfectly reasonable for it to fall back to PIN, unless of course the goal is to generate a new sale by bricking the phone.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        If there is a way for Apple to re-validate it, you can be sure that the NSA/GCHQ knows about it, so it's not really a security feature.

        Just look at this bullshit:

        When iOS detects that the pairing fails, touch ID, including Apple Pay, is disabled so the device remains secure.

        What they meant to say was "When iOS detects that the pairing fails, it bricks your phone and destroys all your data." If it really just disabled a few features until you took it to the Apple shop and had them re-validate it, it wouldn't be so bad.

    • Replying to undo accidental downmod

    • > Sense this stores data required for the fingerprint authentication, the device will refuse to function for security reasons if it thinks it's been tampered with

      Bullshit. Why would it only 'break' after an iOS update instead of the next time you used it?

    • This sounds like a bogus excuse to me- doesn't the OS/CPU process the fingerprint information? It's a bad design if the sensor does the whole thing.
      • OS processes the information but if you're spoofing the sensor, you can make it see whatever you want it to see and thus come to the desired conclusion.

        Still doesn't explain why they didn't just deactivate the device instead of bricking the phone, or why they wait until an iOS upgrade to do it.

      • The sensor doesn't process the fingerprint information, but when the encryption of the underlying filesystem is setup, it creates a trust relationship between the secure enclave (dedicated crypto chip) and the Touch ID sensor. This is a security measure to make sure that you are accessing your data on trusted hardware. The whole thing is actually done entirely in hardware in the dedicated crypto chip.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      This error occurs if the repair involves the TouchID sensor. Sense this stores data required for the fingerprint authentication, the device will refuse to function for security reasons if it thinks it's been tampered with, which seems to be a reasonable precaution for a device component that can authenticate you across the device and also external services including financial transactions.

      A better option would be to instead disable TouchID if tampering is suspected, but this isn't a case of Apple just arbit

  • by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @12:36PM (#51446781) Journal
    In the Apple world-view - you're just borrowing their property. Never mind you paid for it, it's still theirs and they retain 100% right to do anything to it at any time, and you just have to accept it. Because, you know, It Just Works. For them...
  • This prevents MTM hardware attacks on your phone. The interesting question is "how is apple authenticating its hardware?" I mean, it's just a screen and a button with a cable, right?

    • The lightning cable is chipped; I suspect Apple is putting a chip in every component so it can identify it. And of course the additional cost of these custom components is passed on to the consumer; that's why iPhones cost $700. I don't mind that as much as the fact that Apple is the highest-priced flash memory vendor in the world AND you have to buy all your flash memory pre-installed.
    • There's actually a chip on the home button to go along with the finger print sensor. That chip has an ID number and it is what is "paired" with the ID on the mainboard.

      I have a 5s with a battery that was failing so I was looking into replacing it. Looked a little too complicated to do myself, but saw a whole bunch of articles about the home button from people who had problems with it when they accidentally ripped the cable.

    • The fingerprint sensor has a dedicated encrypted bus with the secure enclave (dedicated crypto chip). The secure enclave then pairs itself with the fingerprint sensor (key exchange).

  • In Apple's defense, it does seem reasonably plausible that the biometric sensor widget built into the 'home' button(and quite possibly the cable connecting the home button to the logic board) is a 'trusted' element of the system, in the 'the integrity of the system depends on this part performing as expected and not being malicious' sense of 'trusted'. So, I can see why it would be impossible or prohibitively difficult to keep the biometric authentication feature secure while also allowing random people to
  • by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @12:45PM (#51446897)
    Pay the $99/year extortion/insurance that is AppleCare, and always have your phone fixed by Apple under warranty. Then if it gets bricked, it's Apple's fault and you get a new phone. The one thing I've found that Apple does best is customer service.
  • by apenzott ( 821513 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @12:46PM (#51446917)
    I would like to see how this squares with the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act. [wikipedia.org]

    The provisions for the FTC and the resultant class action provisions could get expensive.

  • by koan ( 80826 )

    Never fails to amuse when people "lose all their photos".

  • by Agent0013 ( 828350 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @12:53PM (#51447007) Journal

    Personally, I don't trust the updates that come out for my Samsung phone. My last phone had the GPS functionality reduced by an official upgrade. There were other things after that upgrade that were removed causing me to loose some data. I now will not install the upgrade that has been in the notification bar for the last year. I am planning on putting Cyanogenmod on there because I do trust them to do upgrades that are good for the customer. But the official ones from Sprint and Samsung, no-way. If the Apple fans stopped trusting their beloved company perhaps they would be in a better position. Of course it isn't as easy to mod the Apple and still have access to the apps, so they are more stuck because of their initial decision.

    On a side note, I trust Microsoft even less and never install their updates on my system. I have less fear from viruses and malware than I do from the update coming from Redmond. And with the amount of spying being built into their recent versions of their OS they have become a gaming system only for me. If I want to have a work computer to do things on, it will be Linux. If I want to play games on my big screen tv, I can use Windows. I guess I'm not too worried about them spying on which game I am playing. As the linux gaming environment improves perhaps that will change, but it still seems that the video cards work better and Windows.

  • Many years ago, Apple used the TPM (Trusted Platform Module) chip to protect their product from the consumer. Microsoft uses is only now to protect their UEFI chips, My PC motherboard still doesn't require one and a selling point for me.

    And no you don't fix a product who's TPM chip turned against them.

  • Um.... duh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ilsaloving ( 1534307 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @01:02PM (#51447117)

    Apple has made it abundantly clear that they are selling a *secure* device. Always on encryption, etc etc.

    How would you expect such a device to behave when it is compromised with unauthorized components? A phone with 3rd party components could do pretty much *anything*, including sending everything on the device to an unknown third party, without your knowledge or consent.

    Heck, this sort of "problem" just makes me appreciate Apple's commitment to security even more.

    My only complaint is that the phone doesn't brick soon enough. It should brick itself immediately upon the next boot up.

  • Here you go [wikipedia.org]

    The federal minimum standards for full warranties are waived if the warrantor can show that the problem associated with a warranted consumer product was caused by damage while in the possession of the consumer, or by unreasonable use, including a failure to provide reasonable and necessary maintenance.

    There is clearly an implied warranty that updates won't be malicious, even after the warranty period. The phone wasn't damaged by the consumer - Apple chose to brick it willingly. Even if the phone was out of warranty, they don't have the right to purposefully damage it, any more than a car company can claim lack of responsibility because an oil change was done at a competitor, unless they can show that the product's failure was because of the competitor's actions.

  • by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @02:11PM (#51447833) Journal

    First I've heard of this. I have a very small side business replacing batteries, headphone jacks, buttons, screens in mobile devices -- I have the factory tools and know where to get the parts. I don't really make any money off it. I got into it mostly from being offended by the electronic waste these devices represent. A handheld shouldn't become useless just because a $3 part has failed, and the cost to fix through regular channels should not approach 50 - 100% of the replacement cost.

    But if Apple is going to brick the device after I've fixed it, I can't in good faith make the attempt. Instead, I'll have to recommend that the customer buy something else -- something actually repairable.

  • by the_B0fh ( 208483 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @03:21PM (#51448539) Homepage

    There is the possibility that Apple discovered some TLAs have been fucking with their TouchID and using it to steal fingerprints/bypass TouchID.

    Otherwise, Apple typically prefers to have good user interaction rather than bad interaction, and they have to know that if they brick enough people's devices, it's going to be extremely bad press, and reduce the chances of people immediately upgrading when new versions come out - which is a number they really like to keep as high as possible!

    To balance that bad press, against people hacking TouchIDs, and them falling on the "lets keep it secure" side, I can see that happening.

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