Tools can be used for good or bad, as humans have known since one whittled the first stone knife. Take nuclear energy–power a city with it, or annihilate one. Taken as a whole, software is probably the most powerful tool man has yet invented. And the truism follows suit–for every miracle of communication and life-saving application, there’s an underside. After the cloud confidence-shaking Fappening this weekend, which if you haven’t heard about it nevermind, fingers are pointing in all different directions: blame the hackers, the lazy password makers, Apple’s security (the photos were hacked from the iCloud).
Or what about a piece of software that’s made for police and governments to use. Designed ostensibly so law enforcement can keep citizens safe from terrorism, etc. That’s Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker or EPPB. It’s made by a Moscow-based company and it’s basically an espionage tool. According to Andy Greenberg at Wired, which just did an excellent article on the breach, “EPPB lets anyone impersonate a victim’s iPhone and download its full backup rather than the more limited data accessible on iCloud.com. And as of Tuesday, it was still being used to steal revealing photos and post them.” The tools are meant for the good guys. But you know what happens. Old story.