Thanks to CTOnews.com netizen Alejandro86 for the clue delivery! CTOnews.com, December 10, the Beeper team recently announced the launch of Beeper Mini, which allows users to send blue bubble iMessage messages directly from Android devices without the need for any relay servers. However, just 24 hours later, Apple took steps to block the feature. Apple also issued an official statement on the matter.
Apple said it took the action to protect users' iMessage privacy and security. "We have taken steps to prevent technologies that use fake credentials to gain access to iMessage to protect our users," Nadine Haija, a senior public relations manager at Apple, said in a statement. "these technologies pose significant risks to user security and privacy, including potential metadata leaks and enabling spam and phishing attacks. We will continue to update to protect our users."
Apple's announcement hints at several things. First of all, they did block Beeper Mini. Beeper Mini uses a custom service to connect to iMessage,Beeper through Apple's push notification service to effectively intercept these messages and send them to the user's device. To do this, Beeper must convince Apple servers that it is from a real Apple device, but this is not the case. Beeper uses what Apple calls "fake credentials."
Beeper said that their technology will not damage the encryption or privacy of users, only users can read the content of the message. But Apple cannot verify this and says it poses a risk to users and the people they chat with.
The deeper problem is that Apple has always made it clear that they don't want to bring iMessage to the Android platform. When someone asked how to better chat with a mother who uses an Android device, Apple CEO Tim Cook said: "buy her an iPhone." Apple executives have discussed the Android version in the past, but concluded that it would affect iPhone sales.
Although Apple recently said it would adopt the cross-platform RCS protocol, it is not clear what the details will be, and it can be expected that Apple will still be committed to improving the experience of native iMessage users.
CTOnews.com notes that Beeper has been around for several years, and there are more security problems with the way they intercepted iMessage. Applications such as Beeper and Sunbird simply forward users' iMessage traffic through Mac Mini on the server, which makes messages more vulnerable. Beeper Mini directly took advantage of the iMessage protocol, prompting Apple to strengthen its security measures.
Since Beeper Mini was blocked, the Beeper team has been trying to get it back up and running. On Saturday, the company said that the iMessage function had been restored in the original Beeper Cloud app, but that Beeper Mini was still unavailable. Eric Migicovsky, founder of Beeper, said he did not understand why Apple blocked them: "if Apple really cares about the privacy and security of its iPhone users, why should they block a service that allows their own users to send encrypted messages to Android users instead of using insecure SMS?"
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