In an embarrassing incident for Apple, a 15-year-old boy managed to get his app which contained a hidden feature onto iTunes.
On the face of it, the lad had created Handy Light, a torch app which could change the colour of the screen, so you could turn it all white for a kind of makeshift torch. Or all red, or green for… well, holding up to your face and pretending you’re turning into the Hulk?
Of course, this was all just a cover, as what the app really did was execute code in the background which enabled tethering.
In other words, using the iPhone as a 3G modem so you can get your laptop online via your smartphone.
Apple doesn’t allow such apps on the store, as tethering is a service which a substantial fee is exacted for (AT&T charge $20 per month on top of the user’s plan for tethering). The Handy Light app was priced at just $1.
While the app has now been pulled, anyone who has already downloaded Handy Light will be able to keep the app and its tethering abilities on their mobile, thus ducking out of any subscription.
Lucky for them, but embarrassing for Apple, particularly given the age of the chap who managed to get this past the company’s app sniffer dogs.
How long will it be before the next app comes along with a hidden tethering (or otherwise) payload?