Jonathan Zdziarski’s talk at hacker conferences shows backdoors on every iOS device, questionable services being run

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Date: Monday, July 21st, 2014, 16:25
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, security

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There’s apparently a back door access point on every iOS device on the market.

Per The Apple Core, forensic scientist and author Jonathan Zdziarski has posted the slides (in PDF format) from his talk at the Hackers On Planet Earth (HOPE/X) conference in New York called Identifying Backdoors, Attack Points, and Surveillance Mechanisms in iOS Devices.

Zdziarski, better known as the hacker “NerveGas” in the iPhone development community, worked as dev-team member on many of the early iOS jailbreaks and is the author of five iOS-related O’Reilly books including “Hacking and Securing iOS Applications.”

In December 2013, an NSA program dubbed DROPOUTJEEP was reveled by security researcher Jacob Appelbaum that reportedly gave the agency almost complete access to the iPhone.

The leaked document, dated 2008, noted that the malware required “implant via close access methods” (presumably physical access to the iPhone) but ominously noted that “a remote installation capability will be pursued for a future release.”

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Apple adding transition encryption to boost iCloud email service security

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Date: Wednesday, July 16th, 2014, 12:36
Category: iCloud, News, security

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Apple looks to be overhauling its iCloud email service security by including end-to-end encryption for messages sent from me.com and icloud.com, according to new data from Google’s Gmail transparency effort and The Unofficial Apple Weblog.

The report suggests that at least 95 percent of the messages sent to Gmail from users of iCloud mail is now encrypted, just one month after Apple initially promised that such a change would be forthcoming.

Apple is using industry-standard Transport Layer Security, or TLS, infrastructure for the encryption. With TLS, both sending and receiving servers as well as the email messages themselves can be verified for authenticity, nearly eliminating the possibility of email being unknowingly intercepted by a third party.

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Apple blocks older Flash plug-in version if Safari, pushes users to adopt new, more secure, version

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Date: Friday, July 11th, 2014, 11:51
Category: News, security, Software

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You may not like doing it, but you’re going to have to snag the newest version of Adobe’s Flash Player plug-in.

Per AppleInsider, Apple late Thursday issued a security message saying it has blocked old versions of Adobe’s Flash Player plug-in for Safari, citing a recent flaw that could potentially allow hackers to harvest browser data like cookies.

Users with out of date plug-ins will be met with a message saying, “Blocked plug-in,” “Flash Security Alert” or “Flash out-of-date” when attempting to access Flash content in Safari. Clicking on the alert takes users to Adobe’s Flash installer page, where the latest version of the plug-in can be downloaded and installed.

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Adobe warns against Flash Player security exploit, offers version 14.0.0.125 as fix

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Date: Wednesday, July 9th, 2014, 11:43
Category: News, security, Software

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Even if you’re not crazy about Adobe Flash Player these days, there’s a better reason than usual to upgrade to the new version.

Per AppleInsider and Adobe, a well-known vulnerability in Adobe’s Flash player that could allow malicious users to steal browser data — including cookies — on Macs, PCs, and Linux machines has been exploited for the first time. As such, Adobe has issued a patch and urged users to upgrade their system as soon as possible.

The company says that Flash Player versions 14.0.0.125 and earlier for Mac and Windows and version 11.2.202.378 and earlier for Linux suffer from the bug, which was exploited in a proof-of-concept by Google engineer Michele Spagnuolo. Mac and Windows users should update to version 14.0.0.145 while Linux users should update to version 11.2.202.394.

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Rumor: iOS 7.1.2 update to include fixes to Mail, security issues, iBeacon support

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Date: Monday, June 23rd, 2014, 10:46
Category: iOS, Rumor, security, Software

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Apple’s forthcoming iOS 7.1.2 update may fix an email attachment encryption issue, a lock screen vulnerability and improve iBeacon support along with other minor bug fixes.

Per MacRumors and AppleInsider, an anonymous source has claimed that Apple has distributed iOS 7.1.2 to carrier partners for testing ahead of a release sometime within the next two weeks.

The update supposedly contains a number of bug fixes and security patches, including a resolution to an email encryption issue discovered in April. Security researchers proved the flaw, which prevents email attachments to be saved with proper encryption protection, exists in recent iOS releases as far back as iOS 7.0.4.

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PayPal is eager to integrate Touch ID

Posted by:
Date: Friday, June 6th, 2014, 08:07
Category: Apple, Finance, Hardware, iOS, iPhone, retail, security, Services, Software

touch-id_PaypalLittle was said about Touch ID in the WWDC keynote except that the API would be opened to third-party developers for use in iOS 8. Craig Federighi did show a nice pie chart claiming that since the introduction of Touch ID on the iPhone 5s, 83% of users now use passcodes, up from the 49% that used their iPhone’s security previously. Just days after this announcement, PayPal is reportedly dipping their toes into the Touch ID API with hopes of incorporating fingerprint recognition into their iOS app’s authentication system. This isn’t really surprising as it has already done this on Android with the Samsung Galaxy S5. Hopefully the process will be more hacker-proof on iOS.

PayPal may just be the first of several companies including other mobile payment services, banks, and even large retail chains, to take advantage of access to Apple’s fingerprint scanner. Getting users familiar with using Touch ID for purchases may be just the first step in Apple’s own long rumored plans to get into the mobile payments game, using it in tandem with their Passbook software. Apple is expected to start building Touch ID sensors into all of its mobile hardware soon. Here’s hoping the technology becomes more reliable than many users’ past experiences or people may get frustrated with the process and just not use it.

 

 

1Password updated to 4.4.1

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, June 5th, 2014, 10:34
Category: News, security, Software

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Even a minor update to 1Password brings a hefty list of changes.

On Thursday, AgileBits released 1Password 4.4.1, the newest version of its password security utility. The new version, a 40.8 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

New:
- Added support for the WhiteHat Aviator web browser.

Improvements:
- 1Password will now keep monthly backups for the last two years.

- The Password Generator in 1Password mini can now generate passwords up to 50 characters long.

- Added Watchtower vulnerability status column in the Top View.

- The Watchtower database last updated date is now visible in Preferences > Watchtower.

- Improved the performance of code signature verification when web browsers connect to 1Password mini.

- The details view Generate Password button is now accessible in Edit Mode.

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Is Apple doing anything about iCloud breach?!

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Date: Tuesday, May 27th, 2014, 08:16
Category: Apple, Hack, iCloud, iOS, iPhone, security

icloud-iconUnfortunately, Apple has not acknowledged the supposed hack into the iCloud systems, and rarely comments publicly on such matters, so we’ll just have to hope they are working towards protecting users’ accounts. The incursion was claimed by two hackers going by the handles AquaXetine and MerrukTechnolog, who form Team DoulCi (derived by spelling “iCloud” backwards-ish). The hack exploits an iCloud security flaw that allows someone to bypass Apple’s Activation Lock system to unlock a lost or stolen iPhone. By utilizing the DoulCi web site, and making a simple change to a file on your computer, the iPhone can be fooled into thinking DoulCi’s site is actually Apple’s iCloud servers.

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Apple releases Safari 6.1.4 update

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 22nd, 2014, 16:14
Category: News, security, Software

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On Thursday, Apple released Safari 6.1.4, an update to its web browser for its OS X 10.7 and 10.8 operating systems. The new version, a 52.9 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), includes the following fixes and new features:
- Addresses a significant memory corruption issue in the WebKit engine powering Apple’s browser.

- Addresses an issue with handling of unicode characters that could be exploited.

According to Macworld, it’s also been rumored that Apple is currently working on a significant security update for the iOS version of its Safari web browser, the company having been criticized for patching discrepancies between the iOS and OS X versions of the software.

Safari 6.1.4 requires an Intel-based Mac running OS X 10.7.5 or OS X 10.8.5 or later to install and run and can also be located and downloaded via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature. If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know.

Apple releases Safari 7.0.4 update

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 22nd, 2014, 11:43
Category: News, security, Software

Apple_Safari

Late Wednesday, Apple released Safari 7.0.4, an update to its web browser. The new version, a 53.7 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), includes the following fixes and new features:
- Addresses a significant memory corruption issue in the WebKit engine powering Apple’s browser.

- Addresses an issue with handling of unicode characters that could be exploited.

Safari 7.0.4 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.9.3 or later to install and run and can also be located and downloaded via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature. If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know.