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  1. iTunes will be published in the Windows Store You probably didn’t see this coming, but one of the biggest announcements at Build today is that Apple is bringing iTunes to the Windows Store. That’s right, Apple, which is Microsoft’s big rival in the software market, has agreed to port iTunes to the Windows Store, bringing it with the full feature package just like the desktop version. Microsoft hasn’t provided too many details on the Windows Store version of iTunes, but Terry Myerson has said that full support for iPhones will be provided, which means that you should be able to manage your phones just like on a Mac or a Windows desktop. Is this a bad move for Apple? Probably not, especially because iTunes was already available on Windows, so bringing it to the Windows Store only helps Cupertino make sure that its customers get access to its services and have an easy way to manage their iPhones. At the same time, with this application, Apple also seems to be suggesting that it expects Windows 10 S to be a hit, as the operating system is limited to Windows Store and the iPhone maker doesn’t want to be late to this party. Windows 10 S customers will thus be able to manage their iPhones, even if Win32 software is not available. The Windows Store version of iTunes will be touch optimized, so it’ll work like a charm with tablets and pretty much all devices running Windows 10. There’s no ETA when iTunes arrives in the Windows Store, but expect that to happen very soon, as Microsoft is already working with Apple to publish it for all users already on Windows 10. Source
  2. It's not yet known if the woman was charging the iPhone with the original charger or not If you’re reading this article on an iPhone, you'd better read fast because you never know what’s going to happen. An iPhone 7 Plus caught fire in the middle of the night while charging, with the owner sleeping only a few inches away from the device. While sleeping with the phone close to the head is not a recommended thing to do because of all the radiations, you now have another reason not to do it: the device could go boom and cause severe injuries. The Chinese owner of the iPhone 7 Plus explained she purchased the device in March, so it was barely one month old when it exploded. The woman, who only wanted to share her surname Chen, explained that she was sleeping in her home in Nanjing with the iPhone charging on a pillow right next to her. She was woken up at approximately 2 am because of what she describes as cracking sounds, so naturally, the first thing she did was to have a look at the device. The iPhone was emitting smoke, so she tried to throw it to the ground to reduce the risk of a fire and injuries, before noticing that the device caught fire and burned for approximately 3 minutes. Although no injuries were reported, Chen says the iPhone is completely ruined and pictures of the aftermath show the body melted in the place where the battery typically resides. iPhones? Never again Chen explains that she already took the broken iPhone to the retailer and an investigation already started, though a refund would only be issued when the cause of the incident is determined. It’s not yet clear if Apple already got in touch or not, but as it usually happens with such incidents involving iPhones, very little is known about Apple’s involvement and the outcome of the investigations. On the other hand, Chen says she no longer wants an iPhone unless Apple can guarantee that devices can’t burst into flames. “Even if they decide to give me a brand-new iPhone, I won’t accept it until they can provide guarantees that something like this won’t happen again,” she was quoted as saying. A statement from Apple is not yet available and there’s a good chance the company will remain tight-lipped on this case and everything regarding overheating iPhones. The iPhone melted in the region of the battery Source
  3. Apple’s iPhone 8 is certainly one of the most exciting devices to come out of Cupertino facilities in a while, but it seems that the smartphone could face a two months release delay. Recent Korean reports confirm the previously rumored delay, but provide a different reason. According to a report from Nikkei Assian Review, one of the reasons why Apple’s iPhone 8 could be delayed is Samsung. Specifically, Samsung is facing some issues with production of OLED panels for Apple’s iPhone 8. Originally, Samsung planned to start production of OLED panels for the upcoming iPhone 8 in May, but the schedule will most likely be delayed to the end of June or even July. Apple is said to have ordered 70-90 million high-quality OLED panels from Samsung for its iPhone 8 smartphone. The delay could be caused by a number of reasons The OLED display isn’t the only reason behind iPhone 8’s delay, recent reports have revealed that Apple is facing issues with wireless charging modules, which cause the device to overheat. Moreover, the smaller printed circuit board is causing some problems for Apple, together with the 3DNAND flash supply. The report also reveals that memory chip suppliers are concerned “whether the upcoming iPhone's migration to advanced 3D NAND flash memory chips would be smooth enough to avoid tight supply or a shipment delay." Still, the supply chain source believes Apple and parts makers have enough time to make sure components are prepared for expected production and shipment schedules. The latest information does confirm the sayings of analysts, who predicted that the iPhone 8 will be announced in September, together with the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus. Hopefully, Apple will fix any issues that’s it has been encountering and won’t make customers wait until November to get their hands on the new phone. Aside from an OLED display and wireless charging technology, iPhone 8 is also expected to feature a larger battery and slimmer bezels. Source
  4. Technology giant Apple is working on sending low-orbit satellites to beam broadband internet, Bloomberg has reported. The company has hired two ex-Google executives and constituted a new hardware team. According to the report, Apple had previously carried out discussions with Boeing, which is already working on similar project. After conquering the consumer electronics world with its iDevices, Apple is now looking to the skies. According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple Inc. has poached two top Google satellite executives to constitute a new hardware team. The hired engineers are John Fenwick and Michael Trela, who led Google’s spacecraft operations and satellite engineering, respectively. This pair of executives left Google in the recent week. These former Google executives will report to Greg Duffy, co-founder of camera maker Dropcam. Duffy was hired by Apple in 2015, who himself left Alphabet after Nest acquired Dropcam. At the moment, the details of the project Duffy is working on are unclear. But, recent developments suggest that Apple is looking for satellite-based internet. Apple had held discussions with Boeing about being an investor-partner in Boeing’s plans to beam broadband using more than 1,000 satellites in low orbit. The exact details of the Apple-Boeing deal are unknown. Apple’s fellow technology giants like Alphabet and Facebook are already making bet in delivering the internet from the air, Apple is looking to do some catch-up. Tim Farrar, a satellite and telecom consultant, recently wrote, “It’s not hard to discern why Apple might want to consider a satellite constellation.” He also outlined a forecast made by Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp., which has predicted $30 billion revenue from satellite internet in the next 8-9 years. Source
  5. Apple has been making some major changes when it comes to suppliers of various components for iPhones and iPads. A report by Bloomberg reveals that Apple could be working on its own custom power management chips and therefore intend to drop long-time supplier Dialog. An analyst from Bankhaus Lampe has recently stated that the Cupertino-based company is working on its own power-management integrated circuits, which would replace in part the chips made by supplier Dialog. However, Apple is unlikely to make the switch in the near future and the in-house built chip could be featured on iPhones released in 2019. Thus, there’s no chance of seeing them run inside the anniversary iPhone 8, or the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, set to launch later this year. Following the analysis, Dialog shares dropped as much as 36 points on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The memo reveals that Apple might be intending to set up power-management design centers in Munich and California, while about 80 Apple engineers already started working on the new custom chip. Apple is also working on its own graphics architecture This is clearly bad news for England-based Dialog, considering that Apple accounts for about 74% of sales at the chipmaker. Apple’s move towards custom built power management chips is part of a wider strategy that marks a shift towards making the company more self-reliant in terms of components for new iPhones and iPads. In this regard, the 2019 iPhone might feature power management chips built by Apple, but also custom graphics architecture. Recently, Imagination Technologies has revealed in a press release that Apple is working on a separate graphics chip for its iPhones and iPads. Apple didn’t specifically say that it was dropping Imagination Technologies, as the chipmaker is still interested in discussing commercial arrangements with Apple. Until the new technology comes, Apple is preparing to announce the anniversary iPhone 8 with OLED display and new iterations in the iPhone 7 lineup. Source
  6. iOS 11 concept Apple’s intention to drop 32-bit support isn’t a surprise, the Cupertino-based company has been hinting at the new move for quite some time now, ever since it started sending notifications to update apps to improve compatibility. “iOS 11 won’t have 32bit app support at all”, said prominent developer Steven Troughton-Smith. He apparently received information that Apple intends to ditch 32-bit support completely and even future A-series chips won’t include this configuration. Apple first started warning developers in the first beta version of iOS 10.3, saying that 32-bit apps won’t work in future iOS versions. In addition, Apple did say that 32-bit applications could slow down a device, while a recent study showed that about 8% of all applications in the App Store will be affected by Apple’s move. This means that about 187,000 applications for iPhones and iPads could become obsolete, unless developers update them. Apple has been working on removing certain items from the App Store for quite some time now. In November last year, Apple removed a total of 50,000 iOS “problematic and abandoned apps”. Most of them were games that didn’t meet the latest guidelines and didn’t feature updates to the latest iOS version. iOS 11 should be revealed this June Apple’s next iOS version should arrive this summer, during WWDC and aside from the lack of 32-bit support, iOS 11 should also come with Siri iMessage and iCloud integration. This means that Siri could get features for adapting to user habits and suggest different actions based on context. iMessage integration would provide Siri with the tools to perform actions based on conversations and suggest restaurants when users type in a certain dish. Another high requested feature that could finally make its way to iOS 11 is Night Mode, which automatically changes the theme across applications installed on the iPhone. iOS 11 will surely be featured on the upcoming iPhone 8, iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, set to be announced this fall. Source
  7. Due to the affordability of entry-level and mid-range notebooks and desktop computer systems, Microsoft’s Windows 10 is the clear winner here, but the statistics of Mac users show that Apple’s macOS operating system is not lagging behind as initially expected, even though it is miles behind Microsoft’s Windows 10 in terms of user base. According to a briefing with TechCrunch, Apple’s Phil Schiller admitted that the company’s Mac platform had been adopted by nearly 100 million users. At the same time, Microsoft announced earlier on that its Windows 10 user base was standing in at 400 million users, showing the dominance of the company’s desktop OS. In order to help increase that user base, Apple is going to be reviving a few products later in the year. The iMac lineup, which is the company’s desktop computer family is going to be refreshed later this year, while the desktop workstation named Mac Pro is going to be reintroduced in 2018. Apple’s MacBook Pro 2016 models are also a good option, but their ‘Thunderbolt 3 only’ interface means that you will have to spend a lot of money on adapters and dongles. These notebooks are also limited to just 16GB of RAM, which will put off a lot of creative professionals and publishers alike. Source
  8. A new phishing scheme targets Apple customers Apple customers should pay extra attention to the emails they're getting because there's another wave of phishing taking place right now. In fact, bogus "Welcome to iCloud Mail" scam emails are hitting inboxes as we speak and they should definitely be avoided. According to these messages, published by Hoax Slayer, Apple hasn't been able to confirm your account information and warn that your account has been suspended pending resolution of the problem. The problem, however, can easily be fixed if you'd just click on a link they provide and log into your ID and follow instructions. This, of course, is just an effort to collect all your credentials so they can hack into your account. Clicking on the link provided by the scammers will take you to a fake website that looks like the real Apple sign-in page. There, you have to provide your Apple ID and password. Doing so will not be good for you. The scammers take things a step further and go on and ask for additional details like your credit card details, home address, date of birth, phone number and every other little detail they need to pull off identity theft or to at least credibly impersonate you when they clean out your bank account. At this point, if you've gone through all these steps, criminals can access your Apple account, steal all the information you have stored there, including your private photos stored in the iCloud, buy things in your name, use your Apple email account to send spam and scam messages, use your credit card for whatever they want and, as mentioned, attempt to steal your identity. Prevention is best It's not uncommon to see phishing attacks targeting Apple customers, just like it's not uncommon to see such campaigns targeting other high-profile companies. Make sure to always check where the emails are coming from and never ever follow links provided via email asking you to change your credentials or to log into your account. Just go to the extra trouble of typing in the official address on your own and see if there's any real problem with your account. Source
  9. The iPhone caught fire while charging Apple fans making fun of Samsung’s exploding phones you better think twice before doing it again because another iPhone 7 just went boom and evidence seems to indicate it was because of the battery. The whole thing happened in China where iPhone owner Yin, from Suqian City in East China's Jiangsu Province, left her device charging on the bedside table and went out for a walk. Even though leaving phones unattended no longer seems to be a good idea given the risks posed by overheating lithium-ion batteries lately, the woman only stepped outside her home when she heard what she describes as “a loud bang.” “My phone ran out of battery, so I left it to charge on my bedside table. I went out for a walk and heard the explosion when I came home. Then I realised it was my phone,” she was quoted as saying by the Mail. Second iPhone bursting into flames in two months Fortunately, nobody was injured in this incident, and although the charger and the cable are suspected to be at fault for the explosion, there’s only a small chance this is the case. As you can see in the photos below, the explosion left a huge mark on the display, which indicates that the fire started from the battery, with overheating most probably the cause. Overheating batteries were also at fault for the series of explosions impacting the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, but incidents affecting Apple devices have until now been scarce and there was no confirmation of a widespread problem with iPhones. The iPhone that went boom has already been sent to the Apple store for investigation and additional information will probably never emerge, as Apple likes to do things quietly and we’re pretty sure all the other details will be kept secret. On the other hand, as the Daily Mail indicates, this is the second incident involving an iPhone in the last couple of months, as another Apple customer posted a video with an iPhone catching fire and emitting smoke from the battery compartment. In that case, however, the phone wasn’t charging, but actually experienced issues turning on. Source
  10. Samsung logo Samsung subsidiaries in China must pay $11.6 million to Huawei Technologies for patent infringement, following a ruling made by a Chinese court. This is Huawei’s first victory against Samsung in legal disputes over intellectual property, according to Reuters. Last year, Huawei accused Samsung of patent infringement, claiming that the South Korean smartphone maker allegedly used 4G communications technology without a license. In addition, Huawei said Samsung infringed on user interface software and operating systems in smartphones. Samsung’s response to Huawei was its own patent infringement lawsuit, filed two months later. Samsung accused Huawei of allegedly infringing on six of its patents and sued the company through multiple courts in China. The court ruling regards more than 30 million smartphones and tablets One such court, the Quanzhou Intermediary Court, ruled in Huawei’s favor and ordered Samsung to pay $11.6 million in damages, as well as to stop infringing Huawei’s copyright immediately. Huawei’s claim affects over 30 million products, estimated to worth $12.7 billion, according to Reuters. The company sued for a total of 20 smartphone and tablet models that supposedly incorporated its technology, one of them being the Galaxy S7. Huawei stated that it welcomes the court’s ruling, while Samsung intends to decide on its response after reviewing the decision. Most likely, Samsung will look for ways to appeal the decision. Huawei currently holds over 50,000 technological patents, while Samsung has been involved in many patent disputes over the past few years. Last year, Samsung managed to overturn a decision made by the Supreme Court when it was ordered to pay $399 million in damages to Apple. The ruling was overturned and reopened by the Court of Appeal. Samsung had been ordered to pay the high sum for using rounded corners, bezels and an icon grid on its smartphones, very similar to what Apple employs on its iPhones. Source
  11. Used An iPhone And Social Media Pre-2013? You May Be Due A Tiny Payout Twitter, Instagram, and others are stumping up $5.3m to settle a privacy suit with implications for those who used social-media apps on an iPhone in 2012 or earlier. Given the millions who downloaded the social-media apps in question, it's likely the settlement will result in a very small payment for each individual. Eight social-media firms, including Twitter and Instagram, have agreed to pay $5.3m to settle a lawsuit over their use of Apple's Find Friends feature in iOS. The main problem that complainants had with the accused firms was that their apps, which used Apple's Find Friends, didn't tell users that their contact lists would be uploaded to company servers. The lawsuit alleged the privacy incursions occurred between 2009 and 2012, the year the class action suit began. Instagram, Foursquare, Kik, Gowalla, Foodspotting, Yelp, Twitter, and Path have agreed to pay in to the settlement fund, which will be distributed to affected users via Amazon.com, according to Venture Beat. Yelp had previously argued it was necessary to store user contact lists to enable the Find Friends feature, which consumers understood would occur in the context of using a mobile app. However, US District Judge Jon Tigar countered that the key question was whether Apple and app developers "violated community norms of privacy" by exceeding what people reasonably believe they consented to. "A 'reasonable' expectation of privacy is an objective entitlement founded on broadly based and widely accepted community norms," said Tigar. If the judge approves the settlement, Apple and LinkedIn would be the only remaining defendants among 18 firms originally accused of the privacy violation. Given the millions of people who downloaded these apps, it's likely the settlement will result in a very small payment for each individual. However, people who took part in the class action suit could receive up to $15,000 each. Source
  12. Mac users need to install the Anniversary Update and then upgrade to Creators Update Clean-installing the Windows 10 Creators Update on Apple Mac computers isn’t possible right now due to an error experienced at the beginning of the process, Microsoft acknowledged earlier today. The company explains that this is a known issue and while it’s working for a fix, users trying to install Windows 10 in Boot Camp need to first install the Anniversary Update and then perform the update to the Creators Update manually. Users trying to clean-install the Creators Update on a Mac with Boot Camp are getting error 0xc000000f in winload.efi, Microsoft confirms. “Mac customers using Boot Camp: Instead of performing a new install of Creators Update, download and install Windows 10 Anniversary Update ISO. Then install the Creators Update via the normal Windows update process,” Microsoft explains. “For a new installation of Windows 10 Creators Update on an Apple Mac using Boot Camp, you must first install the Windows 10 Anniversary Update using the ISO file, and then update to Windows 10 Creators Update.” It goes without saying that installing the Anniversary Update and then updating to the Windows 10 Creators Update is not the most convenient workaround for Mac users, but at this point it’s the only way to get it running in Boot Camp. Once the Anniversary Update is installed, users can start the Creators Update install by going to this site and clicking the “Update Now” option. Source
  13. Apple iPhone 6 Plus The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission sued Apple for allegedly disabling iPhones and iPads that had received repairs by unauthorized third parties. Apparently, Apple had disabled hundreds of iPhones and iPads last year. Following an update to iOS 9 last year, certain iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units were bricked after the Touch ID button was repaired by unauthorized third party services. When the device stopped working, they would show an “error 53” message. The error appeared when the Touch ID module or screen had received third-party repairs or were replaced by firms operating outside of Apple’s Authorized Service Provider network. The lawsuit regards iPhones and iPads that were bricked by error 53 between September 2014 and February 2016, as Apple refused to service these defective units, as they were no longer eligible for Apple warranty coverage. "Consumer guarantee rights under the Australian Consumer Law exist independently of any manufacturers warranty and are not extinguished simply because a consumer has goods repaired by a third party," ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said. Apple was slapped with a similar lawsuit in the US Last year, Apple acknowledged the issue and stated that the error message was connected to the Touch ID security, being a result of security checks put in place to protect customers. Apple is known to perform routine Touch ID module checks and automatically disable Touch ID sensors that fail these tests. Consumers in the US were also displeased with Apple’s “error 53” and decision to brick certain iPhones and iPads. Several customers from the country filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple, but the suit was eventually thrown out for lack of standing. Eventually, Apple rolled out a patch that allowed owners of affected iPhone and iPad units to update their devices to iOS 9.2.1 by connecting to iTunes over a Mac or PC. Nevertheless, the ACCC is now seeking penalties, injunctions, declarations, compliance program orders, corrective notices and costs in the lawsuit against Apple. Source
  14. Owners of Android and iOS devices should pay special attention to security updates released by Google and Apple on Monday, as they contain fixes for a series of critical bugs affecting their phone's WiFi component. The issues, discovered by Google Project Zero security researcher Gal Beniamini, affect the Broadcom WiFi SoC (Software on Chip), included with many Android and iOS smartphones, and for which both Google and Apple include custom firmware with their OS. Bugs allow remote hacking of Android and iOS devices According to Beniamini, a stack buffer overflow vulnerability in the Broadcom firmware code allows an attacker in the phone's WiFi range to send and execute code on the device. Depending on the attacker's skills, he can deploy code that takes over the user's device and installs applications without the user's knowledge, such as adware, banking trojans, or ransomware. The possible ways in which these bugs can be leveraged range from evil WiFi spots up to wardriving scenarios. Both companies addressed the issue with updates released on Monday, with Apple releasing iOS 10.3.1, and Google delivering updates via its Android Security Bulletin for April 2017. Beniamini described his findings, in the context of attacking a fully-patched Nexus 6P Android device, in a blog post published today. Broadcom needed four months to patch all issues The iOS and Android RCE attacks are two of ten flaws Beniamini discovered in Broadcom's WiFi SoC firmware. None of these flaws affected the Android and iOS operating systems per-se, but the source code of the Broadcom firmware. Both OS makers had to wait for over four months until the chip maker finally managed to fix all flaws. These security bugs were particularly difficult, both in numbers and complexity, as Broadcom asked Beniamini for an extension to Project Zero's 90-day public disclosure policy so they could finish the patching process. Source
  15. Windows leads the market with 91 percent share Linux has become a more powerful alternative to Windows, there’s no doubt about that, but this still doesn’t necessarily mean Microsoft is anywhere close to losing the number one desktop on the desktop. And statistics provided by NetMarketShare for the month of March 2017 show that Windows not only that is the leading choice for desktop computers across the world, but it also maintains a level that gives Microsoft absolutely no reason to be worried about that anything could change soon in this regard. Specifically, Windows is the number one operating system on the desktop with no less than 91.59 percent, while Mac is the runner-up with 6.27 percent. Linux is only third right now with 2.14 percent, so before overtaking Windows, it first needs to win again Apple’s operating system. No rival on the desktop Adoption of Windows, on the other hand, seems to remain steady, and even though its market share dropped below 90 percent for the first time in many years in 2016, Microsoft’s flagship product is back to growth and managed to recover to 91 percent in December 2016. On Christmas, Windows improved from 90.95 percent market share to 91.41 percent, only to continue its growth in February to 91.76 percent. Last month’s figures thus represent a slight decline for Windows and a small growth for Linux, which manages to grow from 2.05 percent to 2.14 percent. And yet, Linux is currently below the market share it held in July 2016, when it was running on 2.33 percent of the desktop computers out there. It goes without saying that Microsoft remains the king of the desktop, but we live in a world when this particular market is losing focus, and Redmond is actually losing in those sectors where everyone seems to go, including mobile. Microsoft failed to make Windows phones successful products, so the company is now trying to conquer Android and iOS by making its services available on these platforms, though without investing in its own platform makes the whole thing substantially more difficult. Source
  16. Apple's latest iOS 10.3 release patches a flaw that can be used to repeatedly dial a phone number, accidentally exploited last year to redial 911 call centers, protecting emergency operators from potential cyberattacks. As noted by The Wall Street Journal, the vulnerability was first discovered by an 18-year-old in Arizona who took advantage of a JavaScript flaw in a bid to collect a bug bounty last year. Last October, Meetkumar Hiteshbhai Desai, acting on a tip about a potential iOS flaw, wrote and shared code that caused target iPhones to continually dial 911 emergency call centers. After the code went live, the Surprise, Ariz., Police Department received more than 100 hang-up 911 calls within a few minutes, local publication AZ Central reported at the time. The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office traced the calls and discovered they originated from a link Desai posted to Twitter. Users who clicked the link would find their iPhone automatically dial emergency services. Due to the mass dissemination of the link, call volumes had the potential to shut down 911 services across Maricopa County, the Sheriff's Office said. Desai, when taken in for questioning, said the code was crafted to trigger pop-ups, open emails and dial phone numbers. The Twitter distribution was meant to be funny. He was also interested in proving the flaw could be exploited to collect a bug bounty from Apple. In previous versions of iOS, users who clicked on a phone number linked to in apps like Twitter and Messages would automatically trigger a call. With iOS 10.3, Apple has instituted a secondary confirmation to alleviate the potential for erroneous dialing. The new feature also restricts nefarious users from using the exploit to conduct cyberattacks. By Mikey Campbell http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/03/30/apples-ios-103-fixes-flaw-used-in-accidental-ddos-attack-on-911-call-system
  17. Google Play Store Starts Offering a Free Android App Every Week The first free app is Car Wars-Adventure Time Sadly, it’s only available in the US for now, but we expect Google to offer the new section globally soon enough. The first free app is Card Wars – Adventure Time, a game based on Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time show. The app normally costs $2.99, but Google is offering it for free for a limited time. The game is also available on iOS for the price of $3.99. This isn’t the first time that Google offered such a deal. Back in 2015, the tech giant ran a similar weekly promotion, but later decided against it. Google Play Store runs a similar promotion like App Store Google isn’t the only app store to offer free applications each week. Apple has been running a similar promotion in its App Store, providing iOS users with access to a “Free iOS app of the week” without requiring them to pay. This week’s free iOS app is a video camera and editing app called Musemage, which normally costs $3.99, but users don’t have to pay for it if they download the app this week. Apple offers both productivity and game apps for free each week, and we expect Google to adopt a similar move. Truth be told, the Play Store has lots of free applications and alternatives to paid apps that users can check out, but this is mostly applicable for productivity offerings. When it comes to paid games, there weren't any alternatives to those who don’t wish to use their credit cards when downloading apps. Google recently introduced a new feature that allows developers to run sales on their paid apps or make them available for free for a limited time. Moreover, the tech giant introduced playable ads for Android games and Play Store updates. Source
  18. Most people don’t give much thought to what happens when you connect to your bank’s website or log in to your email account. For most people, securely connecting to a website seems as simple as checking to make sure the little padlock in the address bar is present. However, in the background there are many different steps that are taken to ensure you are safely and securely connecting to the websites that claim they are who they are. This process includes certificate validation, or making sure that the servers that users are connecting to present “identification” showing they are legitimate. This helps to protect users from fraudulent servers that might otherwise steal sensitive information. Due to the sensitive nature of this process, software vulnerabilities that adversely impact the security of certificate validation could have major consequences. Unfortunately, digital systems are complex and bugs are an inevitable reality in software development. Identifying vulnerabilities and responsibly disclosing them improves the security of the internet by eliminating potential attack vectors. Talos is committed to improving the overall security of the internet and today we are disclosing TALOS-2017-0296 (CVE-2017-2485), a remote code execution vulnerability in the X.509 certificate validation functionality of Apple macOS and iOS. This vulnerability has been responsibly disclosed to Apple and software updates have been released that address this issue for both macOS and iOS. By Talos Group http://blogs.cisco.com/security/talos/1703-apple-x509
  19. Your Apple iCloud account may be open to attacks. Worried about hackers destroying your iCloud music, pictures, and documents? Here are three things you should do right now. Maybe the London-based hacker group -- which goes by the name "Turkish Crime Family" -- doesn't have access to 250-million Apple iCloud account names and passwords. But they do have access to some indeterminate number of accounts, and that's more than enough reason to exercise caution: Protect your iCloud password and data today or risk losing it tomorrow. Here's how to do it. Back up vulnerable data First, you need to back up your iCloud data. Yes, I know Apple's idea was you could use iCloud to back up your Apple device data, and that's fine, but it's iCloud itself we're worried about today. For your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, the easiest way to do this is to back up your device's files to your Mac or PC with an iTunes backup. Plug your device into your Mac or PC with iTunes on. In iTunes' top left-hand corner, under the play controls, there's a tiny phone icon. Click here and it will take you to your device's menu. Click on Summary in the left-hand column. You will be presented with three boxes. Choose Select Backups. Choose to automatically or manually back-up your device. If you choose automatic, every time you plug your gadget in, iTunes will start to back it up. Backing up your Apple device locally, and not just to iCloud, is a good idea The only problem here is that iTunes doesn't back everything up. For example, it won't back up your Apple Pay information and settings, photos already on iCloud, or purchased iTunes and App Stores content. So, to be safe, you really must change and secure your password. Change your passwords Apple could help here -- and not just by paying off the Turkish Crime Family. Other major sites -- like Amazon, Netflix, and LinkedIn -- buy cracked password lists, and use one-way hashing matches to check for existing passwords. They then reset vulnerable passwords and ask users to switch passwords. Apple hasn't done that, but it should consider doing it, given just how large the threat appears to be. Since Apple isn't doing this, it's up to you. One thing that has always annoyed me is that Apple talks as if your Apple ID and iCloud ID are different. They're not. They're the same, and they use the same password. To change your Apple ID password, sign in to your Apple ID account page with any web browser and follow the instructions to reset your password. I changed mine using Google Chrome from a Mint Linux system. Your new Apple ID password must contain at least eight characters, a number, an uppercase letter, and a lowercase letter. You also can't use spaces, the same character three times in a row, your Apple ID, or a password you've used in the last year. Whatever you do, do NOT use dumb passwords such as "abcdefgh," "qwerty," or "password." The easiest way to create a secure password that won't try your memory is to use passphrases instead of passwords. Instead of working your nerves into a frenzy trying to memorize what the cat wrote when he jumped on the keyboard (e.g. "sdf9usdf"), use an easy-to-remember but nonsensical phrase instead. For example, "Plump/Trotting Pups:" or "UNC?Win!Duke?Lose!" or "AC!DC!Tesla!Edison?" These are easy to recall and hard for crackers to break. Once you've changed your password, you'll need to change it on all your Apple devices. Then, you're going to want to add another layer of protection: Two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA Apple's 2FA is clunky, but it still does a great job of protecting your account. For additional protection, turn on Apple's two-factor authentication. When you activate 2FA, you can access your account only from trusted devices such as your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. When you want to sign in to a new device for the first time, you'll need to provide two pieces of information. These are your Apple ID password and the six-digit verification code that's automatically displayed on your trusted devices. To use Apple 2FA, you'll also need a trusted phone number so you can receive verification codes. To add a trusted phone number, take the following steps: Go to your Apple ID account page Sign in with your Apple ID Go to the Security section and click Edit Click Add a Trusted Phone Number and enter the phone number Now, you're ready for 2FA. For a trusted device, you need an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 9 and later, or you need a Mac running OS X El Capitan or later that you've already signed into with 2FA. To turn on Apple 2FA, take the following steps. On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 9 or later: Go to Settings > iCloud > tap your Apple ID Tap Password & Security Tap Turn on Two-Factor Authentication On your Mac with OS X El Capitan or later: Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > iCloud > Account Details Click Security Click Turn on Two-Factor Authentication Yes, this can be a lot of work. On the other hand, how much work would it take you to replace your important photos, music, books, or documents if your Apple iCloud account goes up in smoke? Take the time, do it now. You'll be glad you did. Source
  20. Apple has received a ransom threat from a hacking group claiming to have access to data for up to 800 million iCloud accounts. The hackers, said to be a London-based group called the "Turkish Crime Family," have threatened to reset passwords and remotely wipe the iPhones of millions of iCloud users if Apple fails to hand over a total of US$700,000. They have given the company an ultimatum to respond by April 7. Apple reportedly has denied that the group succeeded in hacking its systems, maintaining that it obtained the email addresses and passwords from previously compromised third-party services. Apple is working with law enforcement on the threats. The data set in the iCloud hack matches the data found in the 2012 hack of 117 million accounts on LinkedIn, according to some published reports. However, the Turkish Crime Family strongly denied that in a message to TechNewsWorld on Friday. Correcting the Message The initial reports of a ransom demand of just $75,000 were incorrect, the group said in response to our email query. It actually demanded $100,000 for each of its seven members, plus "extra stuff from Apple that are worth more to us than money," which it promised Apple it would keep secret. The group also told TechNewsWorld that the only member based in London is Kerem Albayrek, who is facing charges related to listing a hacked Yahoo database for sale. It claimed that its iCloud ransom demands were in part to spread awareness of Albayrek, as well as of Karim Baratov, a Canadian resident charged earlier this month, along with a second hacker and two Russian FSB agents, in the 2014 breach of 500 million Yahoo account holders. The group told TechNewsWorld that it showed Apple scan logs that contain 800 million iCloud accounts, and that Apple claimed the data had come from outside sources. The group said it planned to launch a website that would list iCloud user names, last names, dates of birth and a captcha of their current location from an iCloud app. The site will not disclose passwords initially, the group said, but it would do so "most probably in the future." Shaking Down Apple The Turkish Crime Family threat should be taken seriously, said Pierluigi Paganini, a cybersecurity analyst and member of the Cyber Group G7 2017 Summit in Italy. "I consider the threat is credible, even if it is quite impossible to know the exact number of iCloud credentials in the hands of hackers," he told TechNewsWorld. The group is known in the hacking underground for the sale of stolen databases, Paganini said. The group reportedly has approached several media outlets directly; it told TechNewsWorld that it had been in contact with five. However, it is unlikely that the group's efforts to stir public pressure against Apple will be effective, noted Mark Nunnikhoven, vice president for cloud research at Trend Micro, in an online post. Apple is too large and has too many resources to give in to public pressure, he pointed out. The group's demands are similar to a shakedown in the physical world, in which criminals demand monthly payments to "protect" a business, Nunnikhoven noted. "In the digital world, the pressures that make victims pay (e.g. keeping your store in one piece) don't apply," Nunnikhoven wrote. "With iCloud accounts, Apple has the ultimate safety valve ... they control the infrastructure behind the accounts," he added. "Which removes most of the pressure points criminals could use." There is no evidence of state involvement in this cyberthreat, Nunnikhoven told TechNewsWorld. However, there is "mounting evidence that this is a group whose eyes are bigger than their stomachs," he suggested. "Selling credentials on the underground is rather commonplace. Attempting to extort one of the biggest companies on the planet with poor quality data is quite another." Credible Threat A report in ZDNet appeared to lend credence to some of the hacking group's claims, however. The group provided 54 credentials to the publication, which were verified as authentic based on a check of the password reset function. Most of the accounts were outdated, but 10 people did confirm to the publication that the obtained passwords were legitimate and that they since had changed them. Those 10 people were living in the UK, and had UK mobile numbers. Trend Micro is urging iCloud users to protect their accounts by using two-factor authentication, and also to use a password manager. A password manager helps users create unique passwords for every account and stores them remotely so that hackers cannot access one or two accounts and thereby gain access to many more. The FBI declined to comment for this story. Apple officials did not respond to our request to comment, and a Yahoo spokesperson was not immediately available. Source
  21. New Vault 7 leaks show CIA can install persistent malware on OS X and iOS devices A new trove of documents belonging to Wikileak’s Vault 7 leaks, dubbed “Dark Matter” reveal that Apple devices including Macs and iPhones have been compromised by the CIA. They are affected by firmware malware meaning that even a re-installation of the operating system will not fix the device. The CIA’s Embedded Development Branch (EDB) have created several tools for exploiting Apple devices, these include: Sonic Screwdriver – allows an attacker to boot its malware from peripheral devices such as a USB stick. DarkSeaSkies – is an “implant” that persists in the EFI firmware of MacBook Air computers. It consists of “DarkMatter”, “SeaPea” and “NightSkies” which affect EFI, kernel-space, and user-space respectively. Triton – macOS malware. Dark Mallet – Triton infector. DerStake – EFI-persistent version of Triton. The documents show that DerStake was at version 1.4 as of 2013, but other documents show that as of 2016, the CIA was working on DerStake 2.0. According to Wikileaks, NightSkies can infect Apple iPhones, the organisation said what’s noteworthy is that NightSkies has been able to infect iPhones since 2008. The CIA documents say NightSkies is a “beacon/loader/implant tool”. It is “expressly designed” to be physically installed onto factory fresh iPhones meaning the CIA has been intercepting the iPhone supply chain of its targets since at least 2008. "Dark Matter" is just the latest release of documents from the wider Vault 7 leaks, more CIA documents are expected in the future. Main Source: Wikileaks Source
  22. Apple animation for Siri Apple’s Siri is one of the most advanced virtual assistants out there, with the capacity to speak in more than 20 languages and pull up relevant information for its users. But Siri also has some safety features built-in, which have been abused by some users. There’s a prank that requires iPhone users to say “108” to Siri and place phone calls to emergency services. Apparently, the number prompts Siri to dial 911, or the emergency phone number in whichever country the user is at the time. 108 is India’s emergency number, but Apple embedded numerous such numbers into Siri as to protect users and make it easier for them to stay safe. The numbers embedded into Siri redirect users to emergency services in the countries where they’re currently residing. For example, saying 911 into Siri while in the UK would dial the 999 emergency service number in the country. Emergency lines could be tied up The Harris County Sheriff’s Office and Texas NENA warned iPhone users against testing the 108 command into Siri. “This viral prank is becoming increasingly popular on social media, with various speculation as to what the command does. The command, in fact, will instruct Siri to call emergency services, which could potentially tie up emergency lines.” The warning does suggest that the command is becoming an issue for emergency services, as it could potentially tie up emergency lines and delay legitimate 911 calls. It’s worth mentioning that the command does offer users a few seconds to hit the cancel button, before an operator picks up the call. However, pranksters who share the trick encourage others to close their eyes and wait 5 seconds before looking at their phone. 5 seconds is plenty of time for someone to pick up the call and treat it like a genuine emergency. Still, the command could be used in legitimate emergency situations, by simply activating Siri and saying the 108 number out loud. The Sheriff’s Office aims to raise awareness and discourage people from abusing the command. Source
  23. Apple dismisses new WikiLeaks revelations Apple says those exploits the CIA used to hack into iPhones and Macs were fixed years ago. Following the new release of CIA classified documents by the WikiLeaks, Apple adopted the same stance it did after the first round of revelations, saying that it had already fixed the bugs mentioned there. The documents, which WikiLeaks say come from the CIA, detail a number of methods for compromising and breaking into Apple devices if an agent can get his or her hands on the device. "We have preliminarily assessed the Wikileaks disclosures from this morning. Based on our initial analysis, the alleged iPhone vulnerability affected iPhone 3G only and was fixed in 2009 when iPhone 3GS was released. Additionally, our preliminary assessment shows the alleged Mac vulnerabilities were previously fixed in all Macs launched after 2013," Apple said on the matter. The Wikileaks poke The company also took the time to poke WikiLeaks a bit. Although it admits they have not negotiated any deals for information via WikiLeaks, Apple does say it has given them instructions to submit any information they wish via their normal process under standard terms. So far, no details were shared with them. This comes after Julian Assange said WikiLeaks would cooperate with tech companies to fix any security problems mentioned by the files, imposing a few conditions, however, like the companies having to release a patch within 90 days. Companies have been somewhat reluctant to make deals with WikiLeaks, especially since there are concerns regarding the source of the CIA files and whether writing patches based on them is a good idea under the circumstances. That being said, it's not exactly a surprise that the CIA has developed various techniques to get into people's phones. The Wiki files today discuss methods that require agents having physical access to the device. With enough time on one's hands, getting into a locked device, even an iPhone isn't impossible, although it's extremely difficult. If you'll remember, the CIA had a row with Apple last year over the decryption of the iPhone of the San Bernardino's shooter. Apple said it couldn't open the phone even if it wanted to, and the CIA eventually found another way in, a technique they are refusing to share with the public despite being sued over it. Their answer was, in short, that they're still using it and they can't share their secret cracking ways. Source
  24. Police officers push back demonstrators as they protest against US President Donald Trump in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2017. Court papers say data is being extracted from 100 locked phones seized during arrests at anti-Trump protests. Prosecutors are trying to pull data from 100 locked phones seized during arrests made in Washington, DC on Inauguration Day, according to court papers filed Wednesday. Prosecutors said they have search warrants to extract data from the phones, which were seized by law enforcement officers on January 20 from 214 individuals arrested on felony rioting charges related to demonstrations protesting the inauguration of Donald Trump, according to a BuzzFeed report. The filing suggests that even though the phones are locked prosecutors have successfully copied data from them, although it doesn't describe their methods. Prosecutors said in the filing they expect to "produce all of the data from the searched [phones] in the next several weeks." Wednesday's filing comes amid a mounting war of words between tech companies and policy makers, who contend that terrorist groups are benefiting from encryption, the technology that jumbles communications and files so that only the intended recipient can read them. Tech companies have become increasingly diligent about including encryption in products and services in the wake of revelations about US government surveillance programs from documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Apple's iPhone was at the center of a legal back-and-forth between the government and Apple last year after the December 2015 attack that left 14 people dead. The government wanted Apple to write new software that would unlock the phone and make its data readable, but Apple refused, saying that weakening the encryption would potentially leave other iPhone users at risk. In a surprise revelation in March 2016, the Department of Justice said an unnamed outside party helped agents break into an iPhone 5C that was used by shooter Syed Farook. However, the agency wouldn't disclose exactly how the hacker got into the phone. The data extracted from protesters' phones includes personal information irrelevant to the charges, so prosecutors are seeking a court order that would prohibit defense lawyers from copying or reproducing information unless it's relevant to the defense of their client. Representatives for the US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, which filed the papers Wednesday in the DC Superior Court, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Source
  25. Apple hinting towards new hardware being released today Apple recently announced that it will be closing its Apple Store today, and customers won’t be able to place orders for Apple products from 3 a.m. to 8 a.m. Eastern. The company didn’t reveal the reason for the scheduled maintenance downtime, but it did hint towards new products being released. The Apple Store is currently down, but the message that appears when accessing it reads “We’ve got something special in store for you. And we can’t wait for you to see it. Please check back soon.” This does hint towards new products being added and made available to users once the store returns to service. An official announcement has yet to be made; a press release will most likely be issued later today. Apple could introduce a 128GB iPhone SE, aside from new iPads Recent rumors stated that Apple is working on a series of new iPads, which would be released in the near future. One of such iPads will be the highly anticipated 10.5-inch iPad Pro model with a very thin-bezel display and overall size just slightly larger than the current 9.7-inch iPad Pro. However, reports have pointed that this iPad might arrive during an event in April, when Apple will also open its new Apple Park campus. Aside from this, Apple is also said to release a revamped 12.9-inch iPad Pro and a 9.7-inch variant, while the latter product would replace iPad Air 2 as Apple’s enterprise tablet. The Cupertino company is said to introduce a new variant of iPhone SE, one that would have 128GB of internal storage. iPhone SE isn’t at the forefront of Apple products, but the phone released last year does have a solid user base consisted of customers who enjoy smaller iPhones, but with powerful capabilities. There’s also talk of a red color variant for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, as well as new Apple Watch bands, but the latter solely wouldn’t justify a scheduled downtime for the Apple Store. Source