Security researcher demonstrates Thunderbolt firmware hack proof of concept at Chaos Computer Congress

Posted by:
Date: Monday, January 5th, 2015, 10:15
Category: Hack, Hardware, News, security, Thunderbolt

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As great as Thunderbolt is, there are vulnerabilities to consider.

Per 9to5Mac, a security researcher speaking at the Chaos Computer Congress in Hamburg demonstrated a hack that rewrites an Intel Mac’s firmware using a Thunderbolt device with attack code in an option ROM. Known as Thunderstrike, the proof of concept presented by Trammel Hudson infects the Apple Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) in a way he claims cannot be detected, nor removed by reinstalling OS X.

Since the boot ROM is independent of the operating system, reinstallation of OS X will not remove it. Nor does it depend on anything stored on the disk, so replacing the hard drive has no effect. A hardware in-system-programming device is the only way to restore the stock firmware.

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Alpine to showcase iLX-007, the first in-dash system centered around CarPlay, at CES 2015

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Date: Friday, January 2nd, 2015, 16:30
Category: Hardware, iOS, News

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Alpine always did have some nifty stuff in its product line.

In a recent development, Alpine has announced that it will be debuting its 2015 product lineup at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The lineup will also feature the iLX-007, the first in-dash product dedicated to Apple’s CarPlay technology, which was introduced in October.

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iDict brute-force security tool for hacking iCloud account passwords becomes available on GitHub

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Date: Friday, January 2nd, 2015, 15:21
Category: iCloud, News, security, Software

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This may be worth keeping an eye on if you’re concerned about iCloud security.

Per 9to5Mac, a new tool submitted to developer web site GitHub claims to be able to perform password dictionary attacks on any iCloud account, seemingly able to evade detection from Apple’s rate-limiting security that is supposed to prevent such dictionary attacks from happening. In September, Apple reported it had closed one such hole that allowed brute-force attacks to occur.

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iCloud.com Photos beta pulls disappearing act, no longer available

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Date: Friday, January 2nd, 2015, 10:17
Category: News, Software

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It’s hard to say exactly what’s happening here, but sometimes Apple makes changes with no warning.

Per AppleInsider, the beta iCloud.com Photos application is no longer available to access via the website, as a vague “early 2015″ launch date for a new Photos for OS X app also looms.

The iCloud Photos app had been available in beta form since last October, when it first debuted. In the following weeks, Apple had gradually added features, such as the ability to manually upload photos to the cloud.

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New York City considering Apple Pay, Bitcoin as options for parking ticket payment

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, December 31st, 2014, 16:02
Category: Finance, iOS, News, Uncategorized

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You might just be able to pay your parking tickets in New York City with Apple Pay in the new year.

In an effort to reboot an old and obtuse parking ticket payments system, the city of New York is investigating alternative forms of payment, including mobile transactions powered by services like Apple Pay and PayPal.

Per AppleInsider and MarketWatch, the city’s finance department is looking to upgrade its parking ticket platform, which currently handles some US$600 million annually from about 10 million issued tickets.

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Samsung edges out Apple in holiday customer satisfaction report

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Date: Wednesday, December 31st, 2014, 11:59
Category: iPhone, News, retail

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Samsung just beat out Apple in terms of customer service this holiday season.

Per Engadget and Boy Genius Report, the latest stats from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, which surveys 70,000 consumers every year, show Samsung slightly beating out Apple by two points with a satisfaction score of 81. Sure, it’s not a huge lead, but it’s a big jump for the company from last year’s score of 76. Apple, meanwhile, saw its score fall more than two points since last year. It’s always tough to read much into these numbers (was it the Galaxy S5 that helped, or just Android improvements?), but it’s still a decent win for Samsung. Don’t be surprised if Samsung ends up marketing the heck out of this during the Super Bowl.

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Apple hit with class action suit over iOS 8 space requirements

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Date: Wednesday, December 31st, 2014, 11:02
Category: iOS, Legal, News, Software

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If you were annoyed by how much space iOS 8 took up, you aren’t alone.

Per SiliconBeat, Apple has been hit with a lawsuit alleging that it doesn’t inform users just how much storage its new operating system will eat up – and then prods them to buy more space through its iCloud service.

The case, filed in the Bay Area’s federal court on Tuesday, claims iOS 8 can take up as much as 23.1 percent of the advertised storage capacity on Apple gadgets, but few users realize that when they make their purchases. Seeking damages and changes to Apple policies under California state law, plaintiffs hope to represent sweeping classes of users who bought Apple gadgets with iOS 8 already installed and users who upgraded to the latest version of the software.

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Some iPhone 6 owners citing that cards can’t be entered into Apple Pay after software restore

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Date: Wednesday, December 31st, 2014, 10:53
Category: iOS, iPhone, News, Software

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This will need to get sorted out.

Especially if the only current resolution requires replacing the handset.

Per 9to5Mac, a bevy of users in the Apple Support Communities are reporting that they are unable to add cards back into Apple Pay after their phone has been restored – whether as a new phone or from a backup. According to reports there, Apple has been able to resolve the issue only by replacing the phone.

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Apple accounts for 51% of devices as Christmas gifts

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Date: Wednesday, December 31st, 2014, 10:51
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod, News, retail

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These are the days of giving devices as gifts.

Specifically, Apple devices.

Per Flurry, 2014 turned into a banner year for Apple, its devices accounting for 51 percent of the new device activations worldwide Flurry recognized in the week leading up to and including Christmas Day (December 19th – 25th). Samsung held the #2 position with 18% of new device activations, and Microsoft (Nokia) rounded out the top three with 5.8% share for mostly Lumia devices. After the top three manufacturers, the device market becomes increasingly fragmented with only Sony and LG commanding more than one percent share of new activations on Christmas Day. Up-and-comers Xiaomi, Huawei, and HTC all had less than one percent share on Christmas Day. One reason is surely their popularity in Asian markets where December 25th is not the biggest gift-giving day of the year.

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Chevron to integrate Apple Pay at the pump in 2015

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, December 30th, 2014, 11:55
Category: iOS, News, retail, Software, Uncategorized

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Chevron will expand Apple Pay support from inside its convenience stores to the pump, allowing drivers to refill and pay with their iPhone or Apple Watch.

According to AppleInsider, Apple is working directly with Chevron, the gas company revealed via Twitter Monday afternoon, to bring Apple Pay support. The company hopes to have its systems in place for Apple Pay to be used at the pump by early 2015.

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