Serial hacker Charlie Miller has been given the boot from Apple’s iOS developer program for releasing an app that highlights numerous critical security vulnerabilities in the iPhone’s operating system.
The app in question, titled InstaStock, was approved in to the App Store in September and was hitherto known as just an innocuous stock price checker. However, yesterday, Miller revealed the app contains additional code that bypasses the built-in security measures in iOS that are meant to protect devices against unauthorised and malicious applications.
Not surprisingly, Miller’s revelation struck a nerve with Cupertino, which soon emailed him notifying that he has been terminated from the iOS developer program.
However, Miller admits that Apple was within its legal right to do what it did, as he had violated the terms of the program which states developers aren’t allowed to “hide, misrepresent or obscure any features, content, services or functionality” of their apps, even if it was to make a point. What he finds offensive, though, is the manner in which they cut him loose, rather than work with him on the discovery to find a solution.
Explaining his reason for submitting the app to the App Store in the first place, Miller said: “Without a real app in the App Store, people would say Apple wouldn't approve an app that took advantage of this flaw”.
Apple has yet to comment on the issue, which only adds to a series of embarrassments it has suffered since the release of the iPhone 4S last month. From battery problems to call issues, the fifth-gen iPhone has been something of a PR nightmare for the company in recent weeks and with news of a potential major security meltdown at its hands, it’s not likely to end anytime soon.