iPhones secretly storing call data in iCloud, allows later access for law enforcement (Updated)

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Date: Friday, November 18th, 2016, 05:43
Category: iOS, iPhone, privacy, security, Software

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This definitely qualifies as a mess between privacy, security and law enforcement.

While Apple emerged as a guardian of privacy earlier this year, fighting the FBI’s demands to help crack San Bernadino shooter Syed Farouk’s iPhone, implementing improved encryption for all its handsets and refusing to undermine that encryption, it appears that private data is being sent to the iCloud without user consent.

Russian digital forensics firm Elcomsoft has found that Apple’s mobile devices automatically send a user’s call history to the company’s servers if iCloud is enabled — but the data gets uploaded in many instances without user choice or notification.

“You only need to have iCloud itself enabled” for the data to be sent, said Vladimir Katalov, CEO of Elcomsoft.

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Apple posts $9 billion profit on $46.9 billion in revenue from Q4 of 2016, down from Q4 of 2015 numbers

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 26th, 2016, 05:51
Category: Apple, Finance, iPad, iPhone, MacBook, MacBook Pro, News

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Apple’s annual revenue has fallen for the first time since 2001. The company went from $233.7 billion in 2015 to $217 billion in the 2016 fiscal year. This marks a 9 percent decline since 2001, largely due to the continued decline in iPhone sales, down 5 percent year over year.

The company sold 45.5 million iPhones in the fourth quarter—also its final quarter of fiscal 2016—though that includes just two weeks of iPhone 7 sales and only the earliest signs of Samsung’s Galaxy Note7 catastrophe impact.

As such, Apple made a $9 billion profit from $46.9 billion in revenue in Q4 of 2016, down year-over-year from an $11.1 billion profit off $51.5 billion in Q4 of 2015. And while profits and revenue are down pretty much across the board, Apple is again choosing to focus on its services, a bright spot in the company’s portfolio. Services revenue, which includes iCloud, Apple Music, iTunes, and the App Store, grew 24 percent to $6.3 billion in the fourth quarter.

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Apple releases macOS 10.12.1 Sierra update

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Date: Tuesday, October 25th, 2016, 05:37
Category: macOS, News, security, Sierra, Software

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On Monday, Apple released macOS 10.12.1, the first major update to its recently-released macOS 10.12 Sierra operating system.

The update, which weighs in around 584 megabytes, includes the following fixes and changes:

Fixes:
Adds an automatic smart album in Photos for Depth Effect images taken on iPhone 7 Plus.

Improves the compatibility of Microsoft Office when using iCloud Desktop and Documents.

Fixes an issue that may prevent Mail from updating when using a Microsoft Exchange account.

Fixes an issue that caused text to sometimes paste incorrectly when using Universal Clipboard.

Improves reliability of Auto Unlock with Apple Watch.

Improves security and stability in Safari.

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Officials look into Friday’s Mirai-based DDoS, cite Apple’s HomeKit security protocol

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Date: Monday, October 24th, 2016, 05:02
Category: Hack, Hardware, HomeKit, News, security

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Following up on the large-scale distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on Friday that temporarily took down large chunks of the Internet, it looks like Apple’s controversial “walled garden” approach to its HomeKit devices may have worked out.

As detailed in recent reports, the attack, which also targeted unprotected “Internet of Things” (IoT) devices, focused on Dyn, an internet management company that provides DNS services to many major web entities.

A series of repeated attacks caused websites including The Verge, Imgur and Reddit, as well as services like HBO Now, and PayPal, to see slowdowns and extended downtimes. Follow-up waves played havoc with The New York Times, CNN, Netflix, Twitter and the PlayStation Network, among many others.

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Apple acknowledges iOS 10 security flaw that reduces security for iTunes-based backups

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Date: Monday, September 26th, 2016, 05:50
Category: Hack, iOS, News, security, Software

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Well, this is why they invented bug fixes and updates.

A new discovery by iOS and security forensics company Elcomsoft has revealed that encrypted iOS backups saved via iTunes are now much easier to crack in iOS 10 than in recent years. The change in security is apparently due to a new password verification method in iOS 10.

The discovery focuses on the backup method, which in iOS 10, apparently “skips certain security checks” that were present in past versions of iOS. This allows passwords to be attempted signficnatly faster than before. The new backup method works alongside the old back up method, meaning that for pre-iOS 10 backups, the old method is used.

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Apple updates iWork, begins adding real-time collaboration features to beta

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Date: Wednesday, September 21st, 2016, 05:00
Category: iOS, News, Software

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Some nifty stuff might in be coming down the pipe for iWork.

On Tuesday, Apple released Pages 6.0, Keynote 7.0 and Numbers 4.0 via the Mac App Store. The updates deliver the real-time, cross-platform iWork collaboration that the company promised earlier this month.

In addition to the updates, Apple is apparently working on real-time collaboration features for the suite. This would allow users to edit presentations, documents or spreadsheets with others at the same time across iOS, macOS and web.

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Apple releases iOS 10 update

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Date: Tuesday, September 13th, 2016, 12:08
Category: iOS, News, Software

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iOS 10 is out the door and it’s as hefty an update as we’ve seen in recent years. The update, which weighs in at 1.1 gigabytes if done over the air and 2.31 gigabytes if performed via iTunes, adds the following massive list of new features, fixes and changes:

Messages:
• Expressive Messaging
◦ Bubble effects let you send messages loudly, gently, slam or with invisible ink
◦ Full-screen effects to celebrate special moments
◦ Tapback for quick replies to messages, links, and photos
◦ Handwritten messages animate like ink on paper
◦ Digital Touch lets you send sketches, taps, and heartbeats 
◦ Tap to replace can emojify your text with just a tap
◦ Rich links show a preview of web pages you share
• iMessage apps
◦ New App Store for iMessage 
◦ Use the power of apps in Messages to share and collaborate with friends 
◦ Download stickers to send and place on text bubbles and photos

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Rumor: Apple working on professionally-gear iPads, new iMacs, new notebooks and is collaborating on a 5K monitor with LG

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, August 30th, 2016, 05:52
Category: Apple Pencil, Hardware, iPad, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, macOS, Rumor, Samsung, Sierra, USB-C

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Apple is rumored to be planning a slew of updates across its iPads, notebooks and desktops according to sources.

The company is said to be expanding its operating system support for the Apple Pencil while widespread hardware changes will emerge in next-gen versions of the iMac, MacBook Air and a 5K standalone monitor in collaboration with LG Electronics Inc., in addition to a thinner MacBook Pro notebook.

Apple is thought to be shipping an updated iPad next year, while new Macs are expected in late 2016 according to anonymous sources. Apple has declined to comment, but it’s been said that in the wake of iPad unit sales declining year-over-year for nine straight quarters, Apple is looking to create more professionally-geared models that have produced the first increase in quarterly iPad revenue in more than two years. New features aimed at higher-paying professional customers could support this trend, while the goal of the Mac updates is to keep the line’s sales numbers stable even as sales of rival personal computers continue falling.

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Rumor: Apple developing new video editing app for iOS devices, looks to target social media users

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Date: Thursday, August 25th, 2016, 10:12
Category: iOS, Rumor, Software

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Apple is apparently developing a video sharing and editing applications that is being tested within its iOS devices.

The early plans are part of a newly directed focus to integrate social networking applications within Apple’s mobile products and are a response to the success of social media-focused companies such as Facebook and Snapchat, according to people familiar with Apple’s strategy. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

Where it’s thought that Apple’s hardware business is slowing, Apple’s services, such as the App Store and iCloud, have been generating increased revenue. Apple has failed to successfully launch social-media services in the past, including an iTunes-focused social network called Ping in 2010. Now as Snapchat and Facebook’s Instagram and Messenger apps grow atop Apple’s iOS mobile operating system, Apple is seeking to create its own features to remain relevant, particularly for younger users.

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iOS researcher finds WhatsApp leaves traces of conversations behind

Posted by:
Date: Friday, July 29th, 2016, 16:05
Category: iOS, News, privacy, security, Software

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Well, at least the world of tech security isn’t boring.

Upon examining disk images taken from the most recent version of the app, iOS researcher Jonathan Zdiarski discovered that the software retains and stores a forensic trace of the chat logs even after the chats have been deleted, creating a potential treasure trove of information for anyone with physical access to the device. The same data could also be recoverable through any remote backup systems in place.

In most cases, the data is marked as deleted by the app itself — but because it has not been overwritten, it is still recoverable through forensic tools. Zdziarski attributed the problem to the SQLite library used in coding the app, which does not overwrite by default.

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