Apple implements two-step authentication protocol for iCloud Web services

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, September 17th, 2014, 11:23
Category: News, security, Software

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It’s a step in the right direction.

Or at least a step to make the iCloud user base feel more secure.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Tuesday activated two-factor authentication for iCloud.com access, allowing only basic access to Find My iPhone for those opted-in to the security layer.

The authentication system now requires users to enter a dynamically generated code sent to a trusted device prior to gaining access to the service.

Apple first tested the extra layer of iCloud.com security in June, more than one year following the protocol’s introduction for Apple ID accounts in 2013.

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Apple to institute 2-step iCloud authentication protocol after recent celebrity photo leaks

Posted by:
Date: Friday, September 5th, 2014, 14:52
Category: iCloud, security

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Sometimes you’ve gotta go the two step security authentication route to keep everyone happy.

Especially the celebrities.

Following a rash of nude photos apparently stolen from celebrities’ iCloud accounts, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company plans to activate new security measures designed to thwart future attacks.

Per AppleInsider and the Wall Street Journal, Cook reiterated Apple’s previous stance that iCloud was not breached before announcing new security protocols meant to give users a heads-up when changes are made to their accounts.

“When I step back from this terrible scenario that happened and say what more could we have done, I think about the awareness piece,” Cook said. “I think we have a responsibility to ratchet that up. That’s not really an engineering thing.”

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Apple releases Safari 7.0.6, 6.1.6, addresses WebKit security issues

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Date: Thursday, August 14th, 2014, 10:12
Category: News, security, Software

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On Wednesday, Apple released version 7.0.6 of its Safari web browser for OS X Mavericks and version 6.1.6 for its OS X Lion and Mountain Lion operating systems. The new version, features fixes for several WebKit-related security and memory corruption issues that could let attackers run arbitrary code on victim’s computers. The security issue could also cause app crashes.

According to the security release notes, seven security issues were patches, all related to WebKit memory corruption. The notes state, “These issues were addressed through improved memory handling.”

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Apple posts support document detailing iOS “backdoor” allegations

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Date: Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014, 16:26
Category: iOS, News, security, Software

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The timing’s a bit strange, but Apple seems to be trying to explain what its assortment of “backdoor” services are doing on its iOS devices only days after forensic scientist Jonathan Zdziarski disclosed the services during a speech at a hacker convention.

Per AppleInsider, a recently published support document on Apple’s web site.

In what appears to be a response to allegations of installing “backdoor” services with the intent to harvest data from iOS devices, Apple on Tuesday posted to its website an explanation of three diagnostics capabilities built in to the mobile OS.

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

Posted by:
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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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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TSA to require closer look at cell phones, notebooks on U.S.-bound flights, targets Apple and Samsung models

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Date: Monday, July 7th, 2014, 12:42
Category: iPhone, MacBook Pro, News

iphone5s The TSA’s going to want to take a closer look at your iPhone and notebooks on U.S.-bound flights. Per NBC News, The Transportation Security Administration will not allow cellphones or other electronic devices on U.S.-bound planes at some overseas airports if the devices are not charged and functional. The new measure is part of the organization’s effort to boost security amid concerns that Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the Islamist Nusra Front, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, are plotting to blow up an airliner, U.S. officials said.

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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.