Rumor has it that Sony is creating a “hack-proof” PS3 to combat the massive rebel hacker militia (err—one guy in his basement) that has managed to crack the console’s digital defenses. Even the mere idea of an “unhackable” device is laughable—very few electronics have managed to resist the gentle probing of curious coders. If a devices hasn’t been hacked, it’s not because it’s “unhackable” per se, but rather because nobody can be bothered to tinker with it. Apple has released many variations of the iPod Touch and iPhone (along with many iterations of iOS), but the valiant engineers have yet to keep out jailbreakers for good.
The best companies can do is delay the inevitable. Claiming that a device is “hack-proof” will likely only entice hackers even more, if only to prove the smug executives wrong. Unlike Sony, Apple has never attempted to prosecute jailbreakers (even before it was deemed legal), and while they do patch exploits in iOS, they don’t implement any extreme preventative measures (like a self-destruct system). The backlash and negative PR Sony is receiving over the Geohot trial is huge, and if they do try to create a “hack-proof” PS3, they will only be shunned further. Companies like Microsoft and Palm (R.I.P.) have opened their doors to hackers, earning them brownie points within the community. Apple may be too straight-laced to do the same, but hopefully, if the Geohot trail has a positive outcome, Apple and others will be forced to give users more freedom with their devices.