Could the current wave of iPhone hacks open the door to more serious security problems? Possible but unlikely. Cell phones in general have poorly written software, although iPhones are actually better than most, Kocher says. Yet cell phones are much less attractive as targets for malicious hackers because of the heterogeneity of the cell phone world: different manufacturers making different phones that operate on different networks. PCs, because so many of them run on the same Microsoft Windows platform, have been a much richer target for attackers.
Apple brought this type of attention onto itself by telling people up front that they couldn't write software for the iPhone, Kocher says. "Telling people they couldn't do it was the best way to get people to do it," he adds. Paul Schmehl, senior information security analyst at the University of Texas at Dallas, agrees, saying, "Both Apple and AT&T were unrealistic in their expectations if they truly thought that no one would figure out a way around their proprietary arrangement."