Android subject to Near Field Communications Hack – Not Apple!

Many of you already know about the constant feud that goes on related to Android versus Apple hardware around here. While the conversation mostly centers around the ecosystem that Apple has developed, it sometimes strays into the nuances between the two companies as it relates to music management, engineering and physical design.

This installment includes another round of conversations from our last meeting, where we initially began discussions on the latest reports of Near Field Hacking on the victim, an Android based Nokia phone. See below…


-Read this guys, look like Android went on vacation and left the house unlocked!

NFC Hacking report

Apple’s “closed” ecosystem allows complete security testing and control of publishers and api’s they use to provide the most secure environment to us kool-aid drinkers.

Android sucks, Apple does not,

-And its on now! Get him Warren!

Your turn Mac!

-In general, I give all of you my blessing to continue deluding yourselves about the greatness of your platform

In particular, I don’t have one of those model phones currently, nor does my android have NFC capabilities, so I am not vulnerable to that attack.

Further, I ALWAYS disable all communications options that I am not currently using any bluetooth, and consequently, it has never been enabled on this phone. I have WiFi configured at locations I frequent, but I keep it turned off if I am not doing specific large app updates, or specific LAN transfers. So, my likely hood of being vulnerable to this in the future is minimal.

Additionally, as soon as this guy published/demoed this attack, the responsible coders will be changing those default behaviors, so the next update for those devices they will be fixed, and if/when I get a phone with NFC this will be old news, no longer a vulnerability.

Lastly, I honestly don’t hate the iPhone/Pad/Pod platform, but do hate more than any other technology in the world: iTunes. As recently documented here, once again it completely and utterly defeated me when attempting to set up that give-away old iPhone, not that it is buggy or not working properly, just that it works exactly the way they want it to and those restrictions are unacceptable to me.

Until such time at the iPhone, iTouch, and iPad are completely decoupled from iTunes I will not have one, it this makes me the last person on earth without one, all other platforms have gone out of business and I am keeping all my notes and appointments in a paper day planner, then that is how it will be.

-Most of this is typically over my head but I always find this debate incredibly entertaining none the less!!!!!!

Warren served, Mac returned the ball, ball is now in Warrens court….

-I will let Mac debunk this one, I’m on vacation.

-I agree fully with this assessment, and give the it the coveted Edith golden stamp of approval.

-Edith, you’ve misplace the golden seal here. Mac’s statements didn’t deserve it, and aren’t accurate.

1. The platform is much better than android’s.
2. You doesn’t even have the phone in question?
3. Mac’s always disabling all communications on phones is irrelevant as most users wouldn’t go to this kind of extreme suspecting someone may hack them if they didn’t. Android has failed it’s users, opening them up to major security risk. Not Apple, Android…fail. Sure they will fix it on the next update.
4. iTunes not being able to sync video from one pc and audio from another is simply personal issue. One that the majority of people don’t have and wouldn’t be bothered by. I’ve never met anyone that’s had as much trouble with iTunes as you have. Which makes me think that you just go around looking for reasons to hate iTunes.
5. Rathe than continue to be the 1% that doesn’t like the way iTunes is coupled with iPads, iPhones, iPods etc, why don’t you go buy some Microsoft devices that do whatever it is you think they need to do. How exactly did you get knee deep in apple products with such a distaste for them.

ps, I don’t give a shit which products you use, or like, or don’t like…i Just enjoy the banter that ensues from me mentioning iTunes! lol I truly hope you find solace in your audio listening world.

as you were,

-Ahhhh, the eerie silence is broken…

I think you are addressing both Edith and I here, but I will go ahead and reply.

1. That the platform is better, is a matter of opinion, one that you share with a dwindling number of people, as samsung is currently shipping 100% more phones than apple each month, and that is only one of several companies making android. Here are my sources for the above statement:
Engadget report
Washington Post report

2. I don’t know if this one was for Edith or I, but the hack published on the link you posted was limited to a very few devices that have NFC capability, my phone does not.

3. I don’t think it is beyond reason for the ordinary user to turn off radios that they have no use for. My wife for one, on her own disabled WiFi on her original iphone after the 9th or 10th time that the pop-up asked her if she wanted to join a network… with unlimited 3G she found it annoying to be asked that over and over as we drove down the road. Anyone with a modicum of tech savvy knows to turn off things you dont need or use to conserve battery life.

As for a platform shipping with vulnerabilities and those vulnerabilities being fixed as they are discovered… Apple plays that game pretty well themselves, I seem to recall you commenting once regarding the total bandwidth usage and disk space that must be wasted by itunes coming out with a multi-hundred Meg update on a near weekly basis. As my kids don’t have admin rights on most of their machines, I basically have to do all the updates whenever I walk by and notice that update app poped-up, so I know that this behavior hasn’t changed much.

I do remember fake hacking with bluetooth, and sending a v-card to open bluetooth handsets “Virus Downloading 85%…”, then another one a minute later saying “Virus Download Complete, begin erasing phone…” it was kind of funny watching a complete stranger pulling the battery out of their phone. Since then, and in general, I keep unnecessary comms disabled.

4. This is true, this is my opinion and it is a personal use issue. For example, my most recent issue where i was trying to copy (using itunes) video from one PC and music from another to the same iPhone, and it was defeating me as I was using ipod instructions. you were the one who alerted me that iphones behave differently. So, why is is that the iphone can’t do this, but an ipod can??? because someone at apple decided for you what you will and what you will not be allowed to do. It is this level of restriction that turns me off of itunes/iphone/ipod/ipad. I don’t go looking for reasons to hate itunes, I am just lucky enough to have had to support apple long enough to know that it is not for me, and consequently never been dopey enough to drop real money, and more importantly be trapped into a 2 year contract, on an iphone where I would be forced to learn how to do things the apple way and probably after 2 years of pretending that i made a good decision to get an iphone I would have forgotten all that inconvenience.

I believe that Edith has enjoyed the same experiences I have, being help desk for his daughter’s iPod.

I think a lot of us were excited when apple announced the iPad, but then bemoaned their decision when it was discovered that it would run the iphone OS, rather that some variation of OSX. I believe that you were one of us who expressed this opinion. You have compromised your principals embracing the watered down platform. (on an unrelated note, considering how litigious apple is, it would be wholly appropriate if Cisco were to sue the crap out of them for copyright/trademark infringement for the use of iOS as the name of their iPxxxx OS)

5. On this subject, I think your numbers may be off just a wee bit, based on the articles I linked above, it is probably a bit higher than 1% who are looking for something other than apple’s “sit down, shut up, you can’t have it your way, this ain’t Burger king” attitude.

On this subject I have heard the three major three leading desktop OSs compared to air transportation.

Linux = first you build the plane, then you fly it where ever you want to go.
Microsoft = Southwest, no frills, no assigned seats, no meals, but pretty decent transportation for the money, gets you where you need to go.
Apple(desktop) = Delta, here is your assigned seat, sit in it, buckle your belt, we will let you know when it is time to get up.
I’ll add the next one…
Apple(iPhone/Pad/Pod): Con Air (1997; Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, John Malkovich, et al…), you get the picture…

To continue with the aviation theme:
I have heard that no pilot ever completely trusts another pilot, and consequently few pilots like to sit in the back of the plane. I guess I am that way with technology, I don’t want to be told something can’t be done, when technologically it can, but the policy of the closed ecosystem is what is preventing it.

As for disliking the platform or the company, i don’t. I have had apple personal computers in my home continuously since 1992, I think that was MACOS 3 or 4, the OS was on a single floppy, I was lucky that I had an external floppy so I could save a file with out switching disks in and out. I was the first of us to attempt the switch to Apple as my primary business machine. My current business machine is a Mac, unfortunatly due to the lack of Visio or a viable/compatible substitue I am almost always booted into windows, A lot of my co-workers keep a VM humming along but I spend my life in visio don’t want the overhead associated with running 2 operating systems. I am about to do a refresh, into the MBP Retina but am waiting a few weeks to request the refresh so that all the ones in the pipeline have 10.8 pre-installed. With an Intel Core i7 and 16 Gig of memory I am contemplating giving the VM method another try.

Note to self: I will have to remember to install VLC and set it as default for all video and audio filetypes… I always hate the first time I double click a video or audio file on a new mac (or new OS load), iTunes opens and starts to import (make useless duplicate) the file into the itunes library and I am sitting there clicking Cancel, Cancel, Cancel…

As for buying a Microsoft tablet, that would be nice, as they at least haven’t umfuked up their tablets by having a watered down tablet OS, they function with the full desktop OS… but these come with some costs associated, primarily weight, secondarily $$$; those winders tablets cost so much, you would think that Apple was selling them. Isn’t that right Edith?

For my new tablet, I am going with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, at $279 it was a little more than I would have spent at my chickity china knock off shop for a 10.1″ device, but it is one of the few that have ABGN WiFi (specifically, A/5Ghz is very rare on tablets), and since I am in Fluke’s AirMapper(AirMagnet survey pro on android) beta testing program it will be a sweet gadget.


More on this thread when it happens, for now we are letting Mach simmer and consider his next rant!

Until then,

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