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Cellphones Hardware Hacking Iphone Apple Technology

Apple vs. the Right To Repair (bloombergview.com) 381

retroworks writes: Bloomberg columnist Adam Minter takes on Apple's "Error 53 Code" and the precedents being challenged by the Right To Repair movement. Apple claims that bricking the phone if it's repaired by a non-Apple certified repair shop protects you from tampering with, say, the fingerprint scanner. But the column documents how the number of "certified" repair shops is under attack. If you can't open it, do you really own it?
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Apple vs. the Right To Repair

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @11:54AM (#51519609)

    But then again, anyone could have told you that including biometric security on a smartphone was just inviting this kind of hardware signing.

    Where outside of China are you going to find the components and the equipment to repair any of these electronics, anyway? Everything's microsoldered to a circuit board the size of a credit card, and the tiniest slip of your all-too-human hands and you've ruined a trace on a different circuit.

    • by mrex ( 25183 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @12:00PM (#51519679)

      If you could replace the touch ID sensor with any old thing, then they'd publish about "SECURITY FLAWS IN TOUCH ID ARCHITECTURE DISCOVERED" instead.

      • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @12:19PM (#51519833)

        It shouldn't even matter! The CPU should be doing the authentication anyway, with the sensor simply sending the bitmap (or whatever) to it. Having the sensor be a "trusted" part of the authentication system is just as stupid as requiring a "trusted" keyboard for putting in passwords would be.*

        (* Yeah, yeah, keyloggers -- but don't even try arguing that angle, because anybody who cared about that wouldn't have chosen to have their phone repaired with un-vetted parts in the first place.)

        • by Maritz ( 1829006 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @12:26PM (#51519929)
          Plus as I understand it, PIN entry is required for setting up TouchID, which strongly suggests that falling back to PIN when TouchID has a problem would be completely reasonable. Apple obviously disagree and instead prefer to brick the phone, whether that is a commendable position in terms of security or a cynical way of selling another phone depends on what you think about Apple I suppose. Personally I'd say it's overzealous...
          • by BronsCon ( 927697 ) <social@bronstrup.com> on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @01:14PM (#51520351) Journal
            Falling back to PIN is how I unlock my wife's iPhone 6s Plus when she asks me to change songs or reply to a message on her behalf while she's driving. There's no reason, absolutely none at all, why the Error 53 can't simply be a logged condition that disables the fingerprint reader; Apple should also be able to fix it by pairing the phone and fingerprint scanner.
        • Why should the CPU be doing the authentication? Spreading authentication in various pieces of hardware is useful for security. If only the CPU does security, all it takes is one CPU vulnerability in the wrong place and the bad guys are in.

        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@wor[ ]et ['f.n' in gap]> on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @12:42PM (#51520067)

          It shouldn't even matter! The CPU should be doing the authentication anyway, with the sensor simply sending the bitmap (or whatever) to it. Having the sensor be a "trusted" part of the authentication system is just as stupid as requiring a "trusted" keyboard for putting in passwords would be.*

          That IS what is happening.

          But the CPU and sensor are paired up because you don't want to send the sensor data unencrypted across the bus where it's then subject to spoofing attacks. It may seem silly, but it's already been proven on Android phones where a good majority of the sensors do NOT protect the sensor data they send the CPU.

          The CPU gets this data and decrypts it. However, to prevent access from user-level software or even kernel level (via privilege escalation techniques - the kernel is just an untrustworthy), the CPU enters a special trusted secure mode which is completely inaccessible to the kernel and userland software. Here your image data is processed, analyzed and a final determination done when the data is compared against the secure memory storage area (secure enclave - which because it is only accessible in secure mode is completely inaccessible to normal software).

          The problem happens when you replace the sensor which breaks the pairing and encryption keys. Now you have to decide what to do.

          A basic software engineer will say "we'll just re-pair the sensors". Which is great, until you realize you just created a security hole - what if what you just attached wasn't a sensor, but something more sophisticated? Perhaps it's something that pretends it's a sensor, but is really an attack device.

          Said attack device can try to feed specially doctored bitmaps to the secure enclave and do power monitoring and other things to try to divulge secret encryption keys used to access main storage or other things. Or perhaps feed in invalid images meant to crash the CPU in secure mode in such a way as to be able to run arbitrary code.

          Since this mode is superior to kernel mode, it will be completely invisible to the main OS and can spy on everything (think Intel Management Engine, or System Management Mode (SMM) on x86 - the software runs independently of the OS).

          So re-pairing the sensor is a bad idea unless you're in a controlled situation.

          Instead, Apple aborts the complete OS with error 53 - the sensor pairing data is mismatched, and the system is no longer trustable. To protect user data, it would be preferable to simply erase the encryption keys so user data cannot be compromised (think of it this way - the people who can carry out the attack would likely be state actors). Because while 99.999% of the time, the sensor will just be another sensor, who's to tell it isn't a sensor designed to hack the system and spy on its user with the ultimate spyware?

          This is one of those security balances that has to be worked out - do you try to protect user data against state sponsored attacks that have been proven to occur, or do you try to give the user the ability to fix it, at the risk of completely compromising your security?

          Apple chose the former - if the sensor isn't trustable, then the secure enclave is no longer trustable - malware could easily be running and private user data could be sniffed and uploaded for later analysis. So instead, when Apple detects the phone's software may have been compromised, they shut down with error 53.

          Once the secure enclave is compromised, all bets are off. And Apple cannot tell if the TouchID sensor was replaced because the user changed it, or if was changed because the NSA needed to spy.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )

            That is a well written response. The real answer is "if you want to use your touch ID and it needs repair, it must be repaired by an Apple approved shop". Otherwise, turn off Touch ID and work without it. The OS gives you no other options.

            Considering that Touch ID does more than merely let you in your phone (Apple Pay) this stance seems 100% reasonable. Apple might have a warning on the phone or a prominent agreement that if you enable TouchID/ApplePay, you understand that turning on TouchID can only be d

          • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @01:02PM (#51520251)

            But since it doesn't throw the error when the repair is done but months later when an update is applied kinda makes all of this pointless. I could swap the sensor and access all the data I want the way it works now if I was trying to do so and this "security" measure would not stop me since it doesn't kick in at the time of the swap out. The way it stands now its really only enforcing "apple only" repairs and not any form of security.

            • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

              If you can replace the touch sensor you can certainly intercept signals from the touch screen, which are not encrypted (they are analogue) and capture the user's PIN code anyway.

          • Blah, blah, bollocks.


          • by solidraven ( 1633185 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @01:30PM (#51520485)
            Fingerprint sensors are dead easy to bypass though. Unless you wear gloves your phone's case contains the unlock information... So intelligence agencies will still get in easily. Bogus argument. Quite frankly there is no reason to encrypt the sensor data on a board level, the moment they had sufficient access to take a desoldering station to your phone it's already past the point of trustworthy. Then again they'd just force your finger on the sensor... And if you want a sneak attack, just bug the screen driver and capacitive touch IC instead... (easier and far more valuable data).
          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            If Apple can pair the sensor to the CPU, an attacker can pair their own hardware to it as well.

            There are numerous ways Apple could allow replacement of the sensor and remain just as secure. For example, allowing the user to pair the new sensor but requiring that all existing encryption keys be wiped in the process. That way it couldn't be used to access existing data on the phone, and while new data would be at theoretical risk that would at least be up to the user. A simple message on the display is all th

        • It could be possible to replace the finger print reader on the phone, without alerting you. Maybe it would store the first scan it does and then just replays that for any other scan.

          This doesn't get around needing to enter a pin/password on a cold boot. But it does break the chain of trust.

          Also using a "trusted" keyboard that requires a specific host USB controller that encrypts data back and forth could prevent a keylogger. Is that something you need for your home? Probably not, but there are some case

      • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @12:25PM (#51519919) Homepage Journal

        OTOH, instead of locking up the whole phone, they could just have it refuse to accept the fingerprint ID and let you continue to use other authentication methods.

        • by mrex ( 25183 )

          I can only speculate, but this might be the more secure choice due to the way that the Touch ID module authenticates directly to the "Secure Enclave", but with the hardware signature verification taking place between the Touch ID module and the CPU. Total speculation though, I don't know the nitty gritty details of the security architecture. I'm disinclined to believe this is all just conspiratorial malice, however.

          • by sjames ( 1099 )

            If it's not actual malice then it is a level of incompetence sufficient to be indistinguishable from malice.

            Of course, if that was the case, then the malice comes in when Apple is unwilling to compensate it';s customers for that incompetence, so there's the malice again.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by MrKrillls ( 3858631 )

          Exactly. Disable the fingerprint reader and demand a PIN.

          Bricking the phone is evil. Driving people to factory authorized repair doesn't cut it for me. Especially if that involves bricking phones. People are too dependent upon phones for apple to take it upon themselves to decide it is best to brick someone's phone on scant evidence of actual malfeasance. It is wrong. It is wrong minded. It is thoughtless. And it is selfish on apple's part.

      • by hidden ( 135234 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @12:54PM (#51520169)
        Disabling touch ID on a phone with a non- genuine sensor would be fine. People would just have to use their PIN instead. But that's not what apple has chosen to do. Instead they've chosen to entirely nuke the device, with no warning. That's not a reasonable behaviour for a consumer security measure.
        • by mrex ( 25183 )

          It depends on what risks are associated with allowing a device to operate with a non-genuine or missing touch sensor. If, and this is speculative, but if it poses a risk to the secure storage of the "Secure Enclave", then it seems reasonable from my "fail secure" mentality.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      No, it's 100% about vendor lock in. Stop shilling.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        Fine, it's vendor lock-in that makes it harder for law-enforcement to get into my phone. I'll take it.

        • If you think relying solely on fingerprint will stop law enforcement from getting into your phone? They will force you to put your finger on the reader. Something you are is not a protected thing something you know may be.

          • If you think relying solely on fingerprint will stop law enforcement from getting into your phone?

            I think my phone shitting its memory when Law Enforcement tries to tamper with the hardware is a good thing, not the end-all-be-all solution to the world's problems.

            They will force you to put your finger on the reader.

            Perhaps. But they only have a 48 hour window. The "everything or nothing" philosophy isn't serving you.

    • But then again, anyone could have told you that including biometric security on a smartphone was just inviting this kind of hardware signing.

      Where outside of China are you going to find the components and the equipment to repair any of these electronics, anyway? Everything's microsoldered to a circuit board the size of a credit card, and the tiniest slip of your all-too-human hands and you've ruined a trace on a different circuit.

      The summary does a bad job attempting to conflate the "Error 53" problem and the "do you really own it" question - however...

      At least some reports state these were Apple-certified shops. I've taken my Macs into these sorts of places before - they have access to genuine Apple components, same as the actual Apple Stores. Heck, a few years back I had an overbooked Apple Store Genius refer me to one of these Apple-certified shops! So they should be able to repair pretty much anything that can be repaired in-hou

    • Everything's microsoldered to a circuit board the size of a credit card, and the tiniest slip of your all-too-human hands and you've ruined a trace on a different circuit.

      You might want to try giving surface mount soldering a try, it isn't really that hard. When there's several components, people usually use a reflow oven and solder paste, which is well within the realm of home hobby skill and equipment. But it can also be done pretty easily by hand. It takes a lot longer, so people only usually do it when there's just a few components. The key to it working is the solder mask on the board which won't let solder stick to it. It seems like magic the first few times you s

      • It depends on the components and the scale. I agree, SMT is nice and easy when you're working with 0805 resistors and capacitors, and ICs with 0.5mm pin spacing, like a standard SOIC package.

        However, if you start working with BGAs and DFNs and chip-scale packages, it's really not. A lot of electronics these days have gone to the former because it's easy enough to work with and the parts are cheap and you can make things fairly small. But cellphones are not normal electronics, they're arguable the very cu

    • Separate issues (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @12:50PM (#51520121)

      Where outside of China are you going to find the components and the equipment to repair any of these electronics, anyway?

      Umm, you can buy things from China. If you need proof of this please visit your local Walmart.

      Everything's microsoldered to a circuit board the size of a credit card, and the tiniest slip of your all-too-human hands and you've ruined a trace on a different circuit.

      The practicality of actually doing a repair or modification is not relevant to whether or not one should have the right to attempt the repair or modification. Those are separate issues.

    • I've been working in electronics for 35 years and know far better than you of what you speak, and I can tell you right now that nobody really is repairing the PCB in a phone, nor should they. Only the passive components and the smallest of the integrated circuits are even remotely replaceable on PCBs that small and that densely packed, the rest require a several-thousand-dollar rework station that requires special training and skills to use, and even then it's a risky proposition to R&R BGA-packaged dev
    • Normal humans can and do solder/desolder these kinds of parts all the time. I order parts from China all the time.... Not sure why you got marked insightful for this...
  • by bulled ( 956533 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @11:56AM (#51519619)
    No, but this is the trade off people make when buying devices like the iphone/ipod. Clearly people value having the fashionable/trendy/"Just Works*" that Apple provide over being able to fix something that is broken. Until that trade off tilts harder against the consumer it will continue to be made.

    * - For some values of "Just Works"
    • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @12:07PM (#51519735)

      Your government is untrusted with your data.

      But escaping that is "fashionably trendy".

      Got it.

      • by TheReaperD ( 937405 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @12:57PM (#51520201)
        99.99% of customers, Apple or other, could care less about government intrusion into your devices. Here on /. it seems otherwise because we're not a fair sampling of the general population. This is nothing more than a poor excuse to force people to only repair with Apple, at a highly inflated price, or buy a new device. For the few that really care about keeping our data away from the government, smartphones should never be an option in their current form. They're a tracking and security nightmare.
      • I assure you, the government could get into the phone far easier than this hack. How hard is it to make fake fingerprints to use to unlock a phone anyways?

    • I'm curious how the other side handles this... it can't JUST be Apple can it? I can't think of the name off the top of my head, but doesn't one of the Nexus devices have a fingerprint scanner on the back?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by h4x0t ( 1245872 )
      Apple store genius: Can I help you?
      Any sensible human: No you cannot.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      What fucking trade off. This assume people know this will happen. Base on reports, they don't and they're fucking pissed when it does. So stop.
    • by Brannon ( 221550 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @12:46PM (#51520099)

      Ownership means you have every right to tamper with something. It DOES NOT mean that you have any guarantees that the hardware will continue to work if you do so. It never has, EVER, in the history of mankind, EVER meant that.

      Microwaves and other electronics will frequently have tamper avoidance measures built into them for safety reasons--does that mean you don't own your microwave? An emissions control system might disable a car or generator if it discovers it's been tampered with, does that mean you don't own your car?

      A biometric sensor may be tamper-proofed for security reasons (which is exactly what happened here)--doesn't mean that you don't own it.

      • An emissions control system might disable a car or generator if it discovers it's been tampered with, does that mean you don't own your car?

        No, but for good reasons there have been various laws to prevent carmakers from forcing consumers to use their dealerships for service, such as the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975 (which prevents carmakers from voiding your warranty if you don't use their OEM parts and dealership service, unless they can prove that you caused the problem that way), and also the Mas

  • 9 times out of 10 the repair is simply replacing the broken glass/digitizer. So if you don't use Apples exorbitantly over priced certified repairers aka Apple Store they'll brick your phone. If only the build quality was as good as a brick!
  • Popup (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bondsbw ( 888959 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @11:57AM (#51519637)

    "Would you like to use this new fingerprint scanner? [Yes] [No]"

    Yes -> "Please enter your password."

    See that wasn't so hard.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Customer: "Hi, my home button stopped working, could you fit a new one for me please?"

      ShadyRepairShopAssistant: "Sure, that will be $50, also I'll need you to unlock your phone for me"

      Customer: "No problem, here you go" ... later ...

      ShadyRepairShopAssistant: "Lol, we totally got that guy to unlock his phone so we could clone it, install compromised security hardware etc."

      • by bondsbw ( 888959 )

        What's stopping them from pulling off the same trick today?

      • This is not even a concern for 99.99% of the population. If you are this paranoid about security, you should not be using ANY smart device. If you are in this 0.01%, you should be using a burner dumb phone with the GPS hard disabled.
  • Property (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @11:57AM (#51519639)

    Property for peasants is so last century.
    Welcome to the 21st century, where property is only for corporations, copyright is eternal and everything is under license.

  • EULAs ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @11:57AM (#51519647) Homepage

    We pretty much lost this fight when judges upheld the right of corporations to make EULAs binding, including the ability of corporations to change them as they see fit.

    Combine this with the DMCA, and the rest of the copyright/IP bullshit, and, no, you don't own it any more ... you have the right to use it according to their terms, but in no way do you own it in terms of being able to take it apart, modify it, fix it, repair it, or otherwise do anything they haven't licensed you to do.

    This is the direction corporations want to go, and they've been getting lawmakers to enable them.

    You, the consumer? You have no rights other than what they've chosen to give you.

    Until we see lawmakers shift the other way (and they're heavily influenced by lobbying and campaign contributions), you can expect with shit like the TPP and everything else, you'll see less and less "rights" to the products you think you own.

    Welcome to the awesome future, in which the corporations hold all the cards.

    • by ihtoit ( 3393327 )

      where's this then? I'd like to strike this jurisdiction from my holiday list. Nowhere in Europe would this kind of behaviour be allowed.

      • At the very least in the US [arstechnica.com].

        But, don't forget, all those treaties have been harmonizing IP laws .. the TPP and other treaties are likely in the process of shoving this stuff up your asses too.

        All of those treaties the US are pushing will really only benefit multinational corporations and strengthen their hold over what you can do. When that TTIP [wikipedia.org] comes into play, guess what? You'll suddenly have the same kinds of framework.

        Have you missed the bits where the US government exists to advance the interests of

    • You, the consumer? You have no rights other than what they've chosen to give you.

      We always have the right to NOT purchase things from companies that conduct themselves in a way that doesn't suit us, and voicing your opinion with your dollars, works.

  • Think of it this way. Do you own your Visa card and your tamper-proof Driver's license? Sure, but if you screw around with the chip in either of them, then you shouldn't expect that they'll work anymore. Older New York State driver's licenses turn black when you try to peel off the laminate.

    So you can own stuff but if they have security built in for identification or monetary protection, I think it is reasonable for it to be rendered useless if tampered with.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @12:19PM (#51519837)

      No, you do not own the VISA nor the driver's license. They are not your property.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @12:33PM (#51519987)

      Have you read the text on the card, or in the cardholder's agreement you signed on to when you choose to keep and use the card? I believe not, because you'd have come across the text "The card provided is the property of [company] and must be returned or destroyed upon our request." It is literally one of the few things you think you own that you actually don't.

      Have you read your statutes regarding your driver's license? I also believe not, because you'd note that most all governments retain the right to revoke the license (at which point, again, return the license or destroy it) and, in fact, in some places, possession of the license after that is illegal (sometimes effectively making you a criminal without your knowledge if they cancel it due to parking tickets while you're driving). The province I live in just fixed that issue last year allowing you to retain your invalid license card on the understanding it is no longer legal for any purpose other than identification. Still, to ensure there's value to the identification, the license is designed to show tampering. Again, one of the few things that it seems like is yours, but by the classical definition of property, really isn't.

    • by MacTO ( 1161105 )

      There are other ways to address this issue.

      For consumer devices, it's probably best to disable fingerprint authentication and use an alternative method of authentication. This may be temporary or may be permanent. Yet it should not disable the device altogether.

      For devices used by corporations, it's probably best to disable the device and securely erase the memory. Third party modifications are rarely authorized and the device may have landed in the hands of an untrusted third party.

      How do you distinguis

    • Also, what not many people are considering is the fact that there may be a third party in play here: the credit card industry. No one knows the exact details of Apple's contracts with the credit card providers. But ApplePay transactions are processed as qualified card-present transactions and get the lowest transaction fee that the industry offers. (Walmart is especially butt-hurt about, and has complained publicly. That's why they're so ardently supporting CurrentC.) To get that concession, Apple woul

  • by SensitiveMale ( 155605 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @12:21PM (#51519855)

    From what I understand and I could be wrong, but this issue isn't repairing an iPhone. I don't see how there is a problem replacing a screen or battery. It's when a shop replaces some part that is within the Apple Pay environment. Apple could have a point that using third party hardware can compromise security.

    • Apple could have a point that using third party hardware can compromise security.

      "Security" would be a good reason to not trust a third party component and refuse to all that piece to opperate. But "security" is not an excuse for bricking an entire device, even the parts that haven't been altered, months after the other alteration was done. If someone is going through the trouble to replace the fingerprint scanner to access data on the phone, the damage would be done long before the device would be bricked. This is about making money, plain and simple.

  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @12:21PM (#51519863)
    Think of it as a three-legged stool. The first leg is to mete out feature and function improvements so that each new model has just enough goodness to entice an upgrade. The second leg is to release iOS updates that run so slowly on existing models that users are forced to upgrade just to restore the relative performance they used to get on their current phones. The third leg is to charge exorbitant prices for authorized repairs while making it impossible for third-parties to provide affordable repair services.

    This strategy is designed to gently encourage and then forcibly coerce users to keep upgrading their phones.
    • by david_thornley ( 598059 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @12:54PM (#51520161)

      Apple wants to keep making better phones. They normally succeed (although I'm not a fan of the size of the 6 and 6S). Apple keeps upgrading the software on their phones more than pretty much anyone else, but usually when a phone gets old it's a trade-off whether to run an OS designed for a much more capable phone or fall behind on the software. I read the reviews first. Third, nobody's stopping you from getting repairs of the non-security-sensitive components.

      The thing is that Apple works hard to make iPhones secure, and since Apple doesn't sell many different models you don't get an option to buy a less secure one.

    • Well spoken, I just picked up a newer iPad to replace an iPad 2 where several of my sons games have been failing to start for the past couple of weeks (some reviews describe exactly what we are seeing).

  • From all of the accounts that I have seen or heard about this I gather that the "Error 53" problem only rears it's head during an upgrade or restore operation.

    That is all well and good, but it is not clear to me whether or not the fingerprint scanner, once "un-paired" from the secure enclave continues to function immediately after the repair.

    If it continues to function until an upgrade/restore then how the hell is that adding any kind of security?

    And, as far as the right to repair, it has been stated many t

    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      According to what I have read, the repairs worked fine and the phones so repaired worked flawlessly for months after, until they were updated.

      Naturally it has nothing to do with actual security.

      • Yup. A later upgrade had better security features, and caught this case. Presumably, with the new OS, it will detect replacement of security-linked hardware much faster. This is about security.

        • Except the part about the restore operation.

          Presumably you are restoring the same version of the OS you already had on your device.

  • by stealth_finger ( 1809752 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @12:24PM (#51519905)
    If you get your phone bricked for having the absolute audacity to take to phone

    For example, an unauthorized or faulty screen replacement

    . Who authorised the failure dickheads? They should be made to replace every single device they bricked with no reason or warning. Maybe this is how they plan on getting over their stagnation in sales, make all the dumb fucks who bought one in the first place buy another one just because. And you know most will because they can't be without their idevice.

    • As it happens, Apple had reasons to brick the phones, although definitely without enough warning, which I will interpret as informing customers that their security system is hosed and this upcoming update will check for it.

      Most iPhone repairs are screen and battery and stuff like that, and that's not security-sensitive. Very few people break the fingerprint reader, so the error 53s will never be all that common.

  • by mveloso ( 325617 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @12:31PM (#51519967)

    I'm not sure there's a right to repair, but it was always convenient that I could repair hardware. As things go more solid-state and have tighter tolerances the repairability obviously goes down...and security adds another level of issues on top of all that.

    I think it's prudent for Apple to lock down hardware, especially given the world we live in. It would be nice, though, that instead of locking everything down the OS could run in a reduced state. Of course, for some components that would be impossible - like if the screen got replaced you'd be screwed. How do you tell the user that "the screen is unauthorized - do you want to use it anyway?" if the screen has been compromised and could tap on anything?

    As a first-gen feature, I'm not surprised that the 53 lock was all-or-nothing. Hopefully future revisions will be more granular in their disabling.

    • How do you tell the user that "the screen is unauthorized - do you want to use it anyway?" if the screen has been compromised and could tap on anything?

      There is a speaker and a few external buttons.

      Audio could prompt you to hit a button sequence...

  • I am not a fan of Apple by any means but "If you can't open it, do you really own it?" Is a nonsense question. In my time I have been in possession of several devices that if I tried to open them, they would self destruct. That was the intent, and that intent was fair and a very valuable feature. Apple is fair to build in this feature, and it could be very valuable to the right crowd. BUT the problem is that that the sheeple are buying IPhones without any clue about their functionality. That is a problem wi
    • So then you wouldn't mind at all if the manufacturer of your car stated in their EULA that you may not alter the vehicle in any way. So adding that snazzy after market stereo or muffler will render the vehicle inoperable because security.

  • If you don't people messing around with "their" phones - license them, don't sell them.
  • by Holi ( 250190 )
    Error 53 is just a way that they will have public support when they backtrack on key escrow.
  • Lies (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dkman ( 863999 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @04:37PM (#51522271)
    If they wanted what they claim they wanted then they could simply show a warning that "certified parts were detected" or a "tamper detected" every time the phone boots, or more annoyingly every time it wakes.
    What they really want is for you to come suck from their teat any time you need help with their device so they can enjoy the cash flow and laugh all the way to the bank with their 18 billion in profits.
  • by Khashishi ( 775369 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @05:32PM (#51522739) Journal

    How can I avoid Error 53?
    Don't buy Apple

"Probably the best operating system in the world is the [operating system] made for the PDP-11 by Bell Laboratories." - Ted Nelson, October 1977