Apple’s iCloud Activation Lock page removed without explanation

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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.

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Tim Cook releases memo to Apple employees, states Trump administration’s immigration-based executive orders “are not a policy we support”

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Date: Monday, January 30th, 2017, 05:18
Category: Apple, Legal, News

The Donald has spoken regarding immigration this past weekend.

So has the Tim.

In a message to Apple employees, Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that he was concerned about Donald Trump’s executive orders limiting immigration from seven countries, and that “it is not a policy we support.”

In the memo, Cook noted that there were employees that were affected by the executive orders, and that the company’s human resources, legal, and security teams were in touch to support them. He also noted that the company had reached out to the White House to protest the orders.

Cook noted that he had listened to concerns from assorted employees who were concerned about the executive orders and that he also shared those concerns.

He also released the following memo regarding the situation:

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Apple releases iOS 10.2.1 update

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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Apple releases iOS 10.2 update

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Date: Tuesday, December 13th, 2016, 05:02
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, Software

ios10logo

On Monday, Apple released iOS 10.2, the new version of its iOS operating system.

The update, which weighs in between 360.6 megabytes and 2.4 gigabytes (depending on whether you use over-the-air or iTunes to update it), adds the following fixes and changes:

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Bluetooth 5 spec officially approved, will offer four times the range, twice the speed, other new features

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Date: Thursday, December 8th, 2016, 05:21
Category: Bluetooth, Hardware, News, Software

bluetooth

The Bluetooth protocol is about to get a nifty upgrade.

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group today announced that the Bluetooth 5 standard has been officially adopted, which means manufacturers are now able to build it into their devices.

Compared to existing Bluetooth 4.2 protocol, Bluetooth 5 offers four times the range, two times the speed, and eight times the broadcast message capacity, bringing whole home coverage and more reliable connections between connected devices.

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Rumor: Apple in negotiations with movie studios to offer in-theater movies for rental via iTunes

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Date: Thursday, December 8th, 2016, 05:09
Category: Apple TV, iTunes, iTunes Store, Rumor, Software

Apple-TV

You might be able to snag movies that are currently in theaters as well as pre-order them months ahead of time via iTunes.

Apple is apparently in negotiations with movie studios to allow customer to rent movies at home for a premium shortly after they hit theaters.

The deal is apparently focused on allowing Apple to offer home rentals for new movies two weeks after they’re released in theaters. Currently, most new movies are available for renting on iTunes after a short period of only being available for purchase.

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Some newer MacBook Pro units arriving with System Integrity Protection feature disabled

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Date: Friday, November 18th, 2016, 05:06
Category: MacBook Pro, macOS, News, OS X, security, Software

macbook_pro_sip_off

This is kind of strange.

Since the days of OS X El Capitan, Apple has activated a protection feature called System Integrity Protection, which is designed to keep your Mac safe from malware by restricting the permissions of the root user account and preventing unauthorized access to protected files and folders.

The program runs behind the scenes and is generally enabled by default in Mac running OS X El Capitan. Developer Jonathan Wight noticed that the System Integrity Protection feature has been disabled on newer Macs, prompting developer Steven Troughton-Smith to do an informal Twitter survey asking users about the status of their new machines.

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