Hacking the Iphone for Fun, Profit, and Maybe Espionage

The story of one man who stumbled on a flaw in Apple’s operating system, a way to hack the phone.
Every time there is a big new release of some software, an operating system or a new browser, hackers get to work. There’s money to be made. But it’s not just hackers looking for these glitches. Tips on how to break into phones, computers, and Internet-connected televisions helps C.I.A. too.

Planet Money

The British Hacker’s Fight for His Life

Lauri Love is charged with masterminding a 2013 attack by Anonymous on US government websites. He has not protested his innocence – he only points out that, without seeing the evidence, which the US Department of Justice refuses to reveal until he is on US soil, he cannot say one way or the other. But he had the means, motive and opportunity to carry out the crimes of which he stands accused. Even if Love is guilty, however, there are important legal and moral questions about whether he should be extradited to the US – a nation that has prosecuted hackers with unrivalled severity, and one where Love could be sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. Had Love been allowed to stand trial in the UK following his initial arrest, and had he pled guilty to every charge, he would have spent a maximum of 18 months in prison. Four years after his initial arrest, Love has nearly exhausted his legal options. His extradition to the US is now perilously close. In September 2016, a district judge refused to block Love’s deportation.

The Guardian’s Audio Long Reads

Angles of a Hack

Photo by dustball / CC BY-NC

Sixty years ago, when hacking meant nosing around the telephone network, it seemed innocent enough. And not all modern hacking has criminal intent. Today, there are biohackers who experiment with implanted electronic devices to improve themselves, and geoengineers who propose to hack the climate. But in our efforts to cool an overheated planet, might we be going down a dangerous path?

Big Picture Science

Plan of a Hack

Long before cyber criminals were stealing ATM passwords, phone phreaks were tapping into the telephone system. Their motivation was not monetary, but the thrill of defeating a complex, invisible network. Today “hacking” can apply to cyberwarfare, biological tinkering, or even geoengineering. Often it has negative connotations, but the original definition of “hacking” was something else. Today we look at the original practitioners – the teenagers and mavericks who hacked Ma Bell for thrills – and the difference between hacking for fun and for profit.

Big Picture Science