O'Grady's PowerPage » iOS

Security firm FireEye reports updated XcodeGhost loose in the wild, possibly infecting genuine iOS apps with malware

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, November 4th, 2015, 08:23
Category: iOS, News, security, Software


The XcodeGhost thing may have reared its ugly head again, this time in a different form.

Security firm FireEye stated via a blog post that a variant of the XcodeGhost code, which has been known to inject malware into genuine apps, is still out there. The firm stated that it has identified a more advanced version of the compromised app development tool, XcodeGhost S, which has been designed to infect iOS 9 apps and allow compromised apps to escape detection by Apple.

The company offered the following statement:

XcodeGhost is planted in different versions of Xcode, including Xcode 7 (released for iOS 9 development). In the latest version, which we call XcodeGhost S, features have been added to infect iOS 9 and bypass static detection.

We have worked with Apple to have all XcodeGhost and XcodeGhost samples we have detected removed from the App Store.


Hound app currently in development, could provide rival to Siri, other voice-based assistants

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 27th, 2015, 08:20
Category: iOS, News, Software


The Hound is en route.

Perhaps competing with Android’s Assistant, Cortana and Siri, SoundHound has begun working on Hound for iOS, an app that provides results to spoken inquiries like Siri on iOS.


Chase announces Chase Pay payment system, will be modeled off MCX’s CurrentC method

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 27th, 2015, 08:31
Category: Finance, iOS, News, retail, Software


There’s always money to be made in the payment service industry.

A new report has announced that Chase Chase CEO of Consumer and Community Banking, Gordon Smith, who announced “Chase Pay” at the Money20/20 payments conference in Las Vegas.

The Chase Pay service will work via QR code instead of over NFC, allowing customers to make purchases with their smartphones by showing a QR code to a cashier. The method is similar to MCX Consortium’s upcoming CurrentC platform, with whom Chase is partnering for its payments service.


Apple cites that it’s “impossible” to unlock iPhones running iOS 8 or later for authorities

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 23rd, 2015, 13:41
Category: iOS, iPhone, Legal, News, privacy, security, Software


The legal/encryption squabble continues.

On Wednesday, Apple, representing itself in a New York court, took sides regarding backdoor access to iPhone encryption and stated that the company could not unlock iPhones running iOS 8 or higher even if it wanted to.

Apple called the request to access an encrypted iPhone “impossible to perform” on more than 90 percent of devices running iOS 8 and up.


Facebook iOS app update resolves battery drain, reasons for the bug explored

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 23rd, 2015, 08:12
Category: iOS, News, Software


With any luck, this nipped the Facebook app’s battery drain issue.

Facebook on Thursday released a new version that it states will fix a major battery draining bug that some Facebook users have been experiencing in recent weeks. Affected users were seeing large amounts of battery drain on their iPhones due to Facebook running in the background, something that happened even when background app refresh was toggled off in the Settings app.

While the app’s release note don’t specifically reference the issue, Facebook engineering manager Ari Grant wrote a post explaining the issues behind the battery drain and what Facebook has done to fix it. According to Grant, there were several factors that contributed to the problem, including a “CPU spin” in the network code and silent background audio sessions that kept the app awake even when it wasn’t open.


iOS 9.1 update grants Continuity-style calling to Sprint customers

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, October 22nd, 2015, 08:42
Category: iOS, iPhone, News, Software


This could come in handy.

Following the release of iOS 9.1 on Wednesday, Sprint announced that iPhone users updating their firmware will be able to take advantage of improved Wi-Fi Calling, expanding on Apple’s Continuity feature.

These calls can now be set to ring on any Apple device signed into the iCloud with the same Apple ID.


Apple releases iOS 9.1 update, includes bug fixes, more than 150 new emoji symbols

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 21st, 2015, 17:54
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, Software


Apple released iOS 9.1 on Wednesday, adding a slew of new features including the following:

– Improved Live Photos on the iPhone 6s with motion sensing capabilities to identify when a user raises and lowers their phone.

– Access to more than 150 new emoji characters.


Apple reportedly blocking News app content in Chinese marketplace

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 20th, 2015, 08:09
Category: iOS, News


The good news is the Apple News app is out and doing well.

The bad news is that Apple has apparently chosen to block it in the Chinese marketplace.

A source has confirmed that Apple the company has blocked users in China from accessing Apple News, which offers an iOS-optimized way to read stories from around the web.

This is not completely new, as tech companies are typically required to censor the media available in their apps to hew to China’s demands. If not, they risk being cut off by the so-called “Great Firewall of China”, like Facebook and Twitter. In this case, Apple, which sees China as a massive market for new iPhone sales, is itself blocking people in the country from accessing Apple News.


Apple removes hundreds of apps from App Store, third-party APIs found to collect private information

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 19th, 2015, 08:02
Category: Developer, iOS, News, privacy, Software


Well, this is a bit of a mess.

Code analytics platform SourceDNA has found hundreds of apps on the App Store that used private APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to collect private user data, like email addresses and device identifiers, slipping under Apple’s radar in the approval process. The code got into these apps through the inclusion of a mischievous third-party advertising SDK, which secretly stored this data and sent it off to its own servers.

Apple has confirmed that the SourceDNA report contributed to its removing all of the apps that included the advertising SDK from the store, as using private API calls is a breach of App Review Guidelines. Apple has also patched its approval processes to prevent any more apps that use this technique to make it onto the App Store.


Facebook iOS app draining inordinate amounts of battery life, Facebook says it’s aware of the issue

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 16th, 2015, 09:02
Category: iOS, News, Software


It’ll probably get a fix soon, but in the meantime, the Facebook app for iOS appears to be draining an inordinate amount of battery life as it runs. In a recent interview, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed the company’s awareness of the bug and promised a fix would be in place “soon.”

“We have heard reports of some people experiencing battery issues with our iOS app. We’re looking into this and hope to have a fix in place soon,” the spokesperson said.