Analyst predicts Apple will switch from Touch ID to facial recognition technology for next-gen iPhone

Posted by:
Date: Monday, February 20th, 2017, 05:40
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Rumor, security, Touch ID

It’s rumored that the next-gen iPhone will feature a front-facing 3D laser scanner for facial recognition according to JPMorgan analyst Rod Hall.

Hall has stated that the scanner will replace the Touch ID on the next-gen iPhone, as Apple is apparently looking to replace the Home button to allow for an edge-to-edge display. Hall’s note cites that the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus could also have a 3D laser scanner based on increased volume of the module within Apple’s supply chain.

The scanner component is said to add about $10 to $15 to the next-gen iPhone’s bill of materials, which coupled with the OLED display, glass casing, and other increased production costs, could make its retail price up to $100 more expensive than it would be without those features, if Apple looks to maintain a similar profit margin.

(more…)

Security researchers at Bitdefender find evidence of X-Agent malware variant for macOS

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, February 16th, 2017, 05:13
Category: Hack, News, security, Software

The malware that may have swung the U.S. presidential election could be on its way to a Mac near you.

Security researchers have discovered a macOS malware program that’s likely part of the arsenal used by the Russian cyberespionage group blamed for hacking into the U.S. Democratic National Committee last year.

The group, known under such names as “Fancy Bear”, “Pawn Storm” and “APT28”, has been active for almost a decade and is believed to be the sole user and likely developer of a Trojan program called Sofacy or X-Agent.

X-Agent variants for Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS have been found in the wild in the past, but researchers from Bitdefender have now come across what appears to be the first macOS version of the Trojan.

(more…)

Touch Bar-equipped MacBook Pro notebooks banned from some state bar exams, security concern cited

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, February 1st, 2017, 05:53
Category: Legal, MacBook Pro, News, security, Touch Bar

If you have a new Touch Bar-equipped MacBook Pro notebook and are looking to take the bar exam, you might need to leave the notebook behind.

According to an announcement from testing software company ExamSoft, the Touch Bar’s predictive text feature could compromise “exam integrity.”

For law students looking to take the North Carolina bar exam, test proctors have been instructed to keep a look out for models with the Touch Bar and technicians will be on hand to ensure the feature is disabled. Test takers will be approved to use the laptops provided they followed ExamSoft’s helpful instructions for reverting the Touch Bar back to a row of standard function keys.

(more…)

Apple’s Activation Lock website could have played role in hack, thereby leading to its sudden closure

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 31st, 2017, 05:44
Category: Hack, iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, security, Software

Apple’s Activation Lock web site may have been involved in a hack, thus explaining its sudden removal and elimination.

As it turns out, the Activation Lock website was a vital part of a bypass hack used to unlock devices bricked by Activation Lock, perhaps hinting at why Apple shelved it.

The hack centered around the perpetrators changing one or two characters of an invalid serial number, thereby generating a valid serial number for an iOS device. The valid number could then be used to gain full access to the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

(more…)

Apple’s iCloud Activation Lock page removed without explanation

Posted by:
Date: Monday, January 30th, 2017, 05:48
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, retail, security

Without hint or warning, Apple has removed the iCloud Activation Lock status page, which used to exist at iCloud.com/activationlock, but that URL now leads to a 404 error instead. The utility let anyone type in the IMEI or serial number of an iOS device to find out if Activation Lock had been turned off, something which proved to be useful to verify the authenticity of a seller when buying a used iPhone online.

References to the web page have been removed from Apple’s support documentation, indicating this is not a temporary issue and the page has been intentionally pulled from service.

A previous Apple support document recommended that users check the Activation Lock status of an iOS device before buying it to ensure that the product was ready to use. The text was removed on January 24th and the iCloud.com/activationlock URL stopped working not long afterwards.

(more…)

Apple releases iOS 10.2.1 update

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 24th, 2017, 05:58
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, security, Software

It’s been a day for updates and Apple just released iOS 10.2.1, the current version of its mobile operating system.

The update, which weighs in between 65 megabytes and over a gigabyte depending on whether you download it over the air or via iTunes, offers the following fixes and changes:

Auto Unlock
Impact: Auto Unlock may unlock when Apple Watch is off the user’s wrist.
Desription: A logic issue was addressed through improved state management.

Contacts
Impact: Processing a maliciously crafted contact card may lead to unexpected application termination.
Desription: An input validation issue existed in the parsing of contact cards. This issue was addressed through improved input validation.

(more…)

Meitu selfie app apparently collecting, transmitting user data back to Chinese source

Posted by:
Date: Monday, January 23rd, 2017, 05:11
Category: Android, iOS, iPhone, News, privacy, security, Software

The good news is that the Meitu app adds some cool selfie editing tools, allowing you to pretty much transform your selfie pictures into nifty anime characters.

The bad news is that the app is apparently sending back as much private information as it can to a Chinese source.

The MeituPic app, launched in 2013, soared to the top of the Chinese app charts. It was rebranded as “Meitu” in 2016 and works by taking a selfie, smoothing a person’s skin, adding virtual makeup and a number of other effects.

(more…)

Apple patches “Fruitfly” malware, which relied on pre-OS X system calls

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, January 19th, 2017, 05:30
Category: Developer, News, security, Software

Apple appears to have nixed the “Fruitfly” malware strain.

The malware, which has been patched over, relied on antiquated code predating OS X. Although older, the Fruitfly malware had been used in real-world attacks on biomedical research groups according to security software maker Malwarebytes.

Fruitfly operated by communicating with two command-and-control servers, and can perform actions like typing, webcam and screen captures, and moving and clicking a mouse cursor, Malwarebytes said in a blog post on Wednesday. It also maps other devices on a network and tries to connect to them.

(more…)

Safari-get.com URL leads to new malware strain for macOS-based machines

Posted by:
Date: Monday, January 9th, 2017, 05:00
Category: macOS, News, security, Software

You’re going to need to be a little more careful when surfing the Web on your Mac.

For the past few weeks, people have been tricked into visiting a phony website embedded with malware that can freeze Macs, according to a report this week by the cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes.

The new malware, which can be activated by visiting safari-get.com, can trigger two sets of actions depending on the version of the computers’ operating systems.

In one case, the malware causes the computer’s Apple email client to create a deluge of draft emails that contain the words “Warning! Virus Detected!” in the email subject line. Although the emails don’t get actually get delivered to anyone, the sudden flood of draft emails hogs the computer’s resources, thus causing the computer to freeze.

(more…)

Yahoo discloses details of August 2013 hack, says more than one billion accounts compromised in effort

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, December 15th, 2016, 05:32
Category: Hack, Hacks, News, security

yahoomail

It doesn’t look good when half a billion of your company’s email accounts are hacked.

And it looks a bit worse when a cool billion of them in total were hacked.

Yahoo on Wednesday announced that it believes more than one billion Yahoo user accounts were compromised in a hack by an unauthorized third party in August of 2013.

The company disclosed that information stolen from affected accounts includes names, email addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, hashed passwords, and both encrypted and unencrypted security questions and answers. Clear text passwords, bank account information, and credit/debit card information were not believed to be accessed in the attack.

(more…)