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1. Everything You Know Is Wrong > The Myth of a Monoculture

The Myth of a Monoculture

Since the release of the original iPhone in 2007, Apple has engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with hackers to secure their suite of devices for what has grown to nearly 100 million end users. Over this time, many improvements have been made to the security of the device, and the stakes have been raised by their introduction into circles with far greater security requirements than the device and its operating system have thus far delivered. The introduction of hardware-accelerated encryption came with the iPhone 3GS, as did many other features, and helped to begin addressing the requirements needed for use in these environments.

Software engineering principles tell us that code reuse is one of the keys to writing good software. Many managers and engineers alike also generally assume that, if a given device (or a security module within that device) is certified or validated by a government agency or consortium, its security mechanisms should be trusted for conducting secure transactions. As a developer, you may put your trust in the suite of classes provided in the iOS SDK to develop secure applications because that’s what you’re led to believe is the best approach. While code reuse has its benefits, a security-oriented monoculture creates a significant amount of risk in any environment. The thought process that typically sta....


  

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