Leaked files outline NSA-sponsored hacker training, use of vulnerability within Safari web browser to gain access to devices

Posted by:
Date: Monday, January 19th, 2015, 12:30
Category: Hacks, iOS, News, security, Software

politerain

It’s interesting what the intelligence community gets up to in its day to day work.

According to Spiegel Online International, the Politerain hiring process posted ads for candidates who wanted “to break things.”

Politerain is not a project associated with a conventional company. It is run by a US government intelligence organization, the National Security Agency (NSA). More precisely, it’s operated by the NSA’s digital snipers with Tailored Access Operations (TAO), the department responsible for breaking into computers.

Potential interns are also told that research into third party computers might include plans to “remotely degrade or destroy opponent computers, routers, servers and network enabled devices by attacking the hardware.” Using a program called Passionatepolka, for example, they may be asked to “remotely brick network cards.” With programs like Berserkr they would implant “persistent backdoors” and “parasitic drivers”. Using another piece of software called Barnfire, they would “erase the BIOS on a brand of servers that act as a backbone to many rival governments.”

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Bank of America cites 1.1 million cards using Apple pay, Savers and FoodMaxx add support

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Date: Friday, January 16th, 2015, 12:19
Category: iOS, News, retail, Software

applepayicon

Apple Pay is gaining some momentum.

Per 9to5Mac, Bank of America, which partnered with Apple to rollout Apple Pay at launch last October, has announced new customer data on adoption of the iPhone-based mobile payment service. The bank’s most recent quarterly earnings reveal that nearly 800,000 of its customers have begun using Apple Pay with a total of about 1.1 million debit and credit cards activated.

In addition to the latest customer data from Bank of America, support for paying with Apple Pay is popping up at Shoppers in Northern California and Nevada, which now offers the option to check out with Apple Pay at Lucky, Save Mart and FoodMaxx stores, Save Mart Supermarkets announced on Thursday.

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Swift demonstrates impressive growth in January 2015 rankings

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Date: Friday, January 16th, 2015, 12:37
Category: Developer, iOS, News, Software

Apple_Swift_Logo

Apple’s Swift programming language is growing.

Per Cult of Mac’s Twitter post and RedMonk, the Swift programming language is gaining ground on GitHub and Stack Overflow,

Besides the noted plot, which can be difficult to parse even at full size, we offer the following numerical rankings. As will be observed, this run produced several ties which are reflected below:

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Updated version of Google Drive gains new status menu, bandwidth controls

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Date: Thursday, January 15th, 2015, 11:35
Category: News, Software

googledrivemenu

Google Drive will be getting some additional muscle this week, a new version becoming available for OS X and Windows.

Per 9to5Mac and the Google blog, the new version includes an improved status menu to show much more information than before. Now, you can see the files that are being synced up to the cloud as well as a check mark next to them that will appear as they do so. The app will also make it clear which files are currently syncing and which files are yet to be synced. Additionally, hovering over an item will let you share it straight from the menu.

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Google Translate app updated, now offers Word Lens, fast live action translation

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Date: Thursday, January 15th, 2015, 11:11
Category: iOS, News, Software

googletranslatelogo

It always helps to know the local language.

According to the Google blog, Google has released a new version of Translate for Android and iOS.

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Google releases Chrome Remote Desktop app for iOS, Android

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Date: Wednesday, January 14th, 2015, 18:17
Category: iOS, News, Software

chromeremotedesktop

This could come in handy.

On Wednesday, Google released its Chrome Remote Desktop app for iOS and Android.

The app, which connects mobile devices to Mac, Windows & Linux-based computers for desktop access, requires the Chrome web browser and application to install and run as well as a user-configured 6-digit PIN.

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Google Domains enters public beta

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Date: Wednesday, January 14th, 2015, 10:03
Category: News, Software

google_logo1

This could come in handy.

According to VentureBeat, Google on Tuesday announced that Google Domains, the company’s domain registration service, is now available to all in the U.S. While the invitation restriction has been lifted in the company’s home country, other countries still have to wait – you can sign up here to be notified when the service arrives in your country.

Google Domains first went into testing in June 2014, with the goal of helping businesses not just get online, but to build a proper online presence. To pull this off, Google partnered with website building providers Shopify, Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix.

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Apple releases iOS 8.2 beta 4 SDK, reveals Apple Watch Bluetooth pairing details

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Date: Tuesday, January 13th, 2015, 14:27
Category: iOS, News, Software, Wearables

ios8icon

It’s the beta seeds that show the cool stuff coming down the pipe.

Per Bidness Etc, Apple has begun seeding iOS 8.2 beta 4 to developers, revealing new details about the upcoming Apple Watch. The new iOS 8.2 beta 4 build, numbered 12D5461b, includes WatchKit support. In addition to this, website traffic data from multiple sources, have also suggested that Apple is looking to expand its iOS beta testing program to include a wider pool of users; this move reflect’s the company’s aim to improve the quality of feedback and to have the iOS 8 system running smoothly with some of the company’s new ambitious products such as Apple Pay or the Apple Watch.

There have been reports of some Apple employees already testing out iOS 8.3 and iOS 9.

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Appreviewtimes.com provides crowdsourced estimate of iOS, Mac App Store review times

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Date: Tuesday, January 13th, 2015, 11:59
Category: Developer, iOS, News, Software

appreviewtimes

If you’re a developer, this is pretty interesting.

Shiny Development’s recently-launched appreviewtimes.com has begun tracking review times for both the iOS and Mac App Store using data crowdsourced from iOS and Mac developers.

While the site’s data is not official Apple data and is based on anecdotal data gathered from people posting their latest review times on Twitter and App.net using the #macreviewtime or #iosreviewtime hash tags, it is a public effort to obtain more accurate review times.

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Chinese smuggler arrested with “iPhone suit” of 94 iPhones attached to his body

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Date: Monday, January 12th, 2015, 11:55
Category: Fun, Humor, iPhone, Legal, News

iphone-suit

If you’re going to smuggle iPhones, you might as well do it en masse.

Per 9to5Mac, one Chinese man seemingly couldn’t wait for an official Apple wearable, and tried to smuggle no less than 94 iPhones from Hong Kong – where they are cheaper – into mainland China by wearing them inside his clothes.

Initial reports stated that the man was pulled aside by customs officials as a result of his “weird walking posture, joint stiffness, muscle tension.”

It’s unknown which iPhone models were involved, but the total value of the iPhones would likely exceed US$50,000, making his saran-wrapped iPhone suit one of the most expensive suits in the world.

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