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  1. A security researcher has figured out how to brute force a passcode on any up-to-date iPhone or iPad, bypassing the software's security mechanisms. Since iOS 8 rolled out in 2014, all iPhones and iPads have come with device encryption. Often protected by a four- or six-digit passcode, a hardware and software combination has made it nearly impossible to break into an iPhone or iPad without cooperation from the device owner. And if the wrong passcode is entered too many times, the device gets wiped. But Matthew Hickey, a security researcher and co-founder of cybersecurity firm Hacker House, found a way to bypass the 10-time limit and enter as many codes as he wants -- even on iOS 11.3. "An attacker just needs a turned on, locked phone and a Lightning cable," Hickey told ZDNet. Normally, iPhones and iPads are limited in how many times a passcode can be entered each minute. Newer Apple devices contain a "secure enclave," a part of the hardware that can't be modified, which protects the device from brute-force attacks, like entering as many passcodes as possible. The secure enclave keeps count of how many incorrect passcode attempts have been entered and gets slower at responding with each failed attempt. Hickey found a way around that. He explained that when an iPhone or iPad is plugged in and a would-be-hacker sends keyboard inputs, it triggers an interrupt request, which takes priority over anything else on the device. An attacker can send all the passcodes in one go by enumerating each code from 0000 to 9999 in one string with no spaces. Because this doesn't give the software any breaks, the keyboard input routine takes priority over the device's data-erasing feature, he explained. That means the attack works only after the device is booted up, said Hickey, because there are more routines running. Hickey's exploit would be another black eye for the iPhone and iPad maker, which has been in a cat and mouse chase with the makers of one recently revealed phone unlocking tool. Little is publicly known about the company or its flagship product, but the $15,000 box allows law enforcement to break any iOS device's passcode, giving police full access to a device's file system -- messages, photos, call logs, browsing history, keychain, and user passwords, and more. That's thought to have been one of the reasons why Apple is rolling out a new feature called USB Restricted Mode in its upcoming iOS 12 update, which is said to make it far more difficult for police or hackers to get access to a person's device -- and their data. The new feature will effectively prevent anyone from using the USB cable for anything other than charging the device if someone hasn't unlocked the device with a passcode within the last hour. Hickey's attack is slow -- running about one passcode between three and five seconds each or over a hundred four-digit codes in an hour -- and may not stand up against Apple's incoming feature. His attack can work against six-digit passcodes -- iOS 11's default passcode length -- but would take weeks to complete. Hickey emailed Apple details of the bug, but he said it was "not a difficult bug to identify." A spokesperson for Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. "I suspect others will find it -- or have already found it," he said. Source Video
  2. Apple is trying to drag the U.S.'s antiquated system for handling 911 calls into the 21st century. If it lives up to Apple's promise, the iPhone's next operating system will automatically deliver quicker and more reliable information pinpointing the location of 911 calls to about 6,300 emergency response centers in the U.S. Apple is trying to solve a problem caused by the technological mismatch between a 50-year-old system built for landlines and today's increasingly sophisticated smartphones. An estimated 80 percent of roughly 240 million emergency calls in the U.S. this year will come from mobile phones, most of which are capable of precisely tracking where their users are. Emergency calling centers, however, don't get that detailed location information from mobile 911 calls. Instead, they get the location of the cellular tower transmitting the call, and must rely on other methods to figure out where the caller is. That can take up precious time and often isn't very accurate, especially when calls come from inside a building. Emergency responders are sometimes dispatched a mile or more away from a caller's location. Apple's upcoming 911 feature relies on technology from RapidSOS, a New York startup. The approach developed by Apple and RapidSOS sends location data from an iPhone to a "clearinghouse" accessible to emergency calling centers. Only the 911 calling centers will be able to see the data during the call, and none of it can be used for non-emergency purposes, according to Apple. Individual call centers will each have to embrace the technology required to communicate with the RapidSOS clearinghouse. Some centers already have the compatible software, according to Apple, but others will have to install upgrades to their existing software. Apple expects calling centers for large metropolitan areas to upgrade more quickly than those in rural areas. Tom Wheeler, a former chairman for the Federal Communications Commission, believes Apple's new approach for locating 911 calls will set a new industry standard. "This is going to save a lot of lives," said Wheeler, now a visiting professor at Harvard University. He said he hopes other phone makers will follow Apple's lead. The planned changes were announced Monday in Nashville, Tennessee during a 911 convention. They'll be part of iOS 12, the next version of Apple's iPhone software, which the company will release in September as a free update. Source (POSTER COMMENT: Since this is designed to work with 911 calls it will also work in reverse. If 911 calls a phone number then its exact location will be given to the 911 operator. A system police can use to track down suspects more precisely.)
  3. Apple has been fined US $6.6 million after remotely disabling iPhones that had been repaired independently. Regulators ruled it was wrong to claim the phone owners have violated their repair warranties. The ruling came in a court case brought by the Australian Competitor and Consumer Commission. It's similar to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) but with a more emphasis on protecting consumer rights. The case stemmed from a 2016 software update that disabled "unidentified" touch sensors, a part of the phone screen. With the sensor disabled, it became impossible to use the phone as it effectively no longer had a touchscreen. This was a major problem for anyone who had had their phone screen replaced by a third-party repairer who hadn't sourced the screen from Apple itself. At the time Apple said the move was a necessary security measure to protect customers from a "fraudulent Touch ID sensor" being used. Customers Were Misled Apple told at least 275 customers in Australia affected by these problems that they were no longer eligible for a remedy such as repair, replacement or refund. (Source: gov.au) In it's ruling, the court pointed out that Australian law did not allow Apple to void its legal obligations regarding faulty devices simply because a third party had carried out a repair. That meant it had misled the customers by telling them they were ineligible for a remedy and it's these misleading statements that broke consumer law. Apple will have to pay a fine of nine million Australian dollars. It has also agreed to put clearer information about warranty rights on its website and train its staff better to avoid making misleading statements. (Source: theregister.co.uk) Refurbished Replacements Unacceptable The court also ordered that if customers are entitled to a replacement because their phone develops a fault under warranty, they should get a new handset where available, rather than a refurbished unit. Source The situation on third-party repairs and warranties in the US is somewhat more complicated and varies from state to state. Several states have considered or implemented a "right to repair" law that guarantees customers can get devices repaired by a third party without voiding a warranty.
  4. This patent battle between Apple and Samsung is the lawsuit that just won’t go away. Since 2011, the two smartphone giants have been fighting over five patents due to the claim that Samsung infringed on Apple’s intellectual property when it made a handful of devices including the original Galaxy S 4G, the Galaxy S2, and the Droid Charge. In earlier hearings, the court had already determined Samsung did infringe on two of the utility patents in question, which was determined by the jury in the most recent trial to be worth a fine of $5.3 million. However, the more contentious part of the lawsuit involves the three design patents (1, 2, 3) in question, which describe a device with a black front, rounded rectangular corners, similarly curved surrounding bezels, and a colorful grid of icons. Originally, Apple was seeking damages of $1.05 billion, though that number had been reduced down to $399 million back in 2015. In the end, the jury ended up splitting the difference by ruling that Samsung needs to pay Apple $533.3 million in damages for violating the three design patents—that’s on top of the $5.3 million for violating two utility patents, bringing the total to about $539 million. However, instead of adding clarity to the debate, this ruling, issued on Thursday in the U.S. District Court for Northern California, only seems to make things more confusing, as the colorful grid of icons Apple sued Samsung for is one of the most common features found in smartphones today, regardless of whether a phone comes from Apple, Samsung, or an entirely different manufacturer. But potentially the worst part about all this is that even after seven years, it doesn’t seem this recent decision will actually put this issue to rest. As Samsung told Cnet, “Today’s decision flies in the face of a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in favor of Samsung on the scope of design patent damages. We will consider all options to obtain an outcome that does not hinder creativity and fair competition for all companies and consumers.” Source
  5. Towards the end of last year, some evidence came to light claiming that Apple may have been slowing down older models of the iPhone, according to Geekbench results. The following day, Apple confirmed that it had released "a feature" for the iPhone 6, 6s, and SE in order to "smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down" in instances where a high amount of current was demanded. It then came as no surprise that the company ended up being sued and soon offered discounted battery replacements to try and manage the fallout. While customers could now obtain battery replacements for the iPhone 6 or later for $29 instead of the usual $79 until the end of 2018, this was of no consolation for customers who had already paid for out-of-warranty before the offer's availability. Now, it seems that Apple is attempting to make amends for this situation. According to a support document spotted on the Apple website, customers will receive a $50 refund if they had a battery replacement undertaken for their devices at an Apple authorized service location. The Cupertino giant began notifying eligible customers yesterday, an exercise that will continue until July 27, 2018, with advice on how to avail themselves of the reimbursement. However, customers who miss out on the communication and believe they are entitled to the partial refund can contact Apple directly by the end of this year. The news comes after Apple added the ability to check the battery health of an iPhone in iOS 11.3almost two months ago, enabling device owners to be better informed about device throttling due to a diminishing charge capacity. Source
  6. Collective action seeking up to £3.2bn for claims Google bypassed privacy settings of Apple’s Safari browser The collective action is being led by former Which? director Richard Lloyd over claims Google bypassed the privacy settings of Apple’s Safari browser on iPhones . Google is being sued in the high court for as much as £3.2bn for the alleged “clandestine tracking and collation” of personal information from 4.4 million iPhone users in the UK. The collective action is being led by former Which? director Richard Lloyd over claims Google bypassed the privacy settings of Apple’s Safari browser on iPhones between August 2011 and February 2012 in order to divide people into categories for advertisers. At the opening of an expected two-day hearing in London on Monday, lawyers for Lloyd’s campaign group Google You Owe Us told the court information collected by Google included race, physical and mental heath, political leanings, sexuality, social class, financial, shopping habits and location data. Hugh Tomlinson QC, representing Lloyd, said information was then “aggregated” and users were put into groups such as “football lovers” or “current affairs enthusiasts” for the targeting of advertising. Tomlinson said the data was gathered through “clandestine tracking and collation” of browsing on the iPhone, known as the “Safari Workaround” – an activity he said was exposed by a PhD researcher in 2012. Tomlinson said Google has already paid $39.5m to settle claims in the US relating to the practice. Google was fined $22.5m for the practice by the US Federal Trade Commission in 2012 and forced to pay $17m to 37 US states. Speaking ahead of the hearing, Lloyd said: “I believe that what Google did was quite simply against the law. “Their actions have affected millions in England and Wales and we’ll be asking the judge to ensure they are held to account in our courts.” The campaign group hopes to win at least £1bn in compensation for an estimated 4.4 million iPhone users. Court filings show Google You Owe Us could be seeking as much as £3.2bn, meaning claimants could receive £750 per individual if successful. Google contends the type of “representative action” being brought against it by Lloyd is unsuitable and should not go ahead. The company’s lawyers said there is no suggestion the Safari Workaround resulted in any information being disclosed to third parties. They also said it is not possible to identify those who may have been affected and the claim has no prospect of success. Anthony White QC, for Google, said the purpose of Lloyd’s claim was to “pursue a campaign for accountability and retribution” against the company, rather than seek compensation for affected individuals. He said: “The court should not permit a single person to co-opt the data protection rights of millions of individuals for the purpose of advancing a personal ‘campaign’ agenda and should not allow them to place the onus on individuals who do not wish to be associated with that campaign to take positive steps to actively disassociate themselves from it.” Tom Price, communications director for Google UK said: “The privacy and security of our users is extremely important to us. This case relates to events that took place over six years ago and that we addressed at the time. “We believe it has no merit and should be dismissed. We’ve filed evidence in support of that view and look forward to making our case in Court.” Source
  7. A group of 26 suspects were arrested in China for smuggling almost USD $80 million worth of smartphones into Southern China from Hong Kong. Suspects were able to transport upwards of 15,000 devices in a single night, which were mostly refurbished iPhones, (according to the Chinese Customs’ report) across the border that divides Hong Kong from mainland China. Drones were used to run 200-meter (660-foot) lines across the border and small bags, which held up to 10 smartphones each, were quickly carried through these lines. The criminals ran their operations after midnight to avoid being caught. This is definitely a new kind of crime and the Legal Daily reports that it might be China’s first cross-border smuggling crime performed with drones. Shenzhen Customs, the city adjacent to the Hong Kong – China border, said it will closely monitor new types of smuggling with high-tech devices and enhance its monitoring capabilities with high-resolution monitors and drones to detect future smuggling activity. Gsmarena.com
  8. Grayshift is a cyber security firm that creates advanced technological solutions for local, state, and federal governments. This firm has created a solution which allows for a government body to plug in any iPhone and it will unlock the phone. The part of this technology that makes it very appealing for governments is the price model. Grayshift has created two different pricing models for agencies. One way is to buy the tool at full price for an unlimited amount of unlocks which would set an agency back $30,000. The other more economical solution for agencies is the same tool connected to the internet with a limitation of 300 devices costs $15,000 which comes down to $50 per device. According to the US government's public federal procurement data system, the State Department had a purchase order from Grayshift for a little over $15,000 indicating that they purchased the online 300 device unlocking tool. The listing is vague with the category listed as "computer and computer peripheral equipment". Motherboard has confirmed that the Grayshift in the State Department listing is the same as the one from the Indiana State Police purchase order of a GrayKey. You can see a screenshot of the State Department's purchase order below. Grayshift does not have much competition in this space either as the only other known company to do something similar is Cellebrite who's pricing is much higher with the tool costing $200,000 or $5,000 per device. This is a significantly higher price than the one that is offered by Grayshift making it the preferred firm of agency's purely based on price. Modmy.com
  9. Apple launched the iPhone X at $999, and some people jokingly said that it should be made of gold for that price. The Russian luxury company Caviar took the statement to heart and had been introducing various versions of the flagship, including one with a meteorite-coated body and a variant with over 300 precious stones. The latest product by Caviar is called iPhone X Putin Golden Age and celebrates Vladimir Putin’s win at the Russian elections last week where over 76% of the citizens voted for him. Instead of having a fancy sticker or a bumper case, Caviar has rebuilt the entire back. This variant has the face of Vladimir Putin in the center, instead of Apple’s logo. Below the portrait is placed an embossed logo of the Russian Federation and the back panel is completed by Kremlin in 3D, and a quote that is translated as “We are ready for the brightest future and we will get there”. The coating of iPhone X’s back is 24K pure gold, including the rim and the buttons. There are 76 units of the phone, each of them marked with its serial number on the side. The number celebrates the 76% vote. Caviar says the phone is a symbol of triumph and the unity of the Russian people as one team, “just like the President said”. You better be seated now as we get to the price. The 64 GB version costs RUB269,000 or over €3,800/$4,600. You can also get the 256 GB iPhone X, but it will cost you RUB284,000 that translates to around €4,000 оr nearly $5,000. The phone comes with 1-year warranty, and at least the delivery is free. Gsmarena.com
  10. iPhone Suffers Massive Explosion in Hair Salon, Just Next to Customers Yet another Apple devices catches fire suddenly It’s really a bad day for Apple. After a customer revealed that his AirPods caught fire while listening to music, here’s another report pointing to an iPhone that burst into flames with a huge blast in a hair salon. Details aren’t available right now, but a video published by the Daily Mail shows what appears to be a hair salon in Vietnam, with one woman having her cut and two members of the staff just next to her. CCTV cameras have caught the moment of the explosion, though the video doesn’t clearly show the device, but only the flames generated by the blast. And while these are indeed sketchy details, one of the hair salon employees records the aftermath of the incident, revealing that the phone allegedly causing the massive blast was actually an iPhone. Now word from Apple By the looks of things, it’s an iPhone 6s, but again, without any specifics known at this point, it’s hard to take this video for granted for the time being. And yet, this isn’t the first iPhone that catches fire, though there could be lots of factors causing the battery to overheat and to eventually burst into flames. In many cases, third-party chargers or cables can lead to such damage, and this is one of the reasons phone makers in general, and Apple in particular, recommends using only genuine and certified accessories. Apple hasn’t commented on this new incident, but there’s no doubt the company will at least try to investigate. The worst is that Cupertino is likely to remain tight-lipped on what exactly happened, so we’ll never know if the blast was caused by a broken accessory or a device issue. In the meantime, you better keep an eye on your smartphones whenever they’re charging, though recent incidents have shown that such blasts are possible even when not plugged in if hardware issues are involved. Source
  11. There may be multiple different players in the jailbreak community all looking to offer solutions, but we’ve always admired those who keep trying to produce great work for the benefit of device owners. That admiration is extended to CoolStar, most recently for his creation and publishing of the Electra jailbreak for iOS 11, and the fact that it’s been tirelessly updated. Well, there is now a new update available, and it’s one you’re going to want to take notice of as it features a very special addition. CoolStar and his band of highly-capable merry men have finally released the final 1.0.x version of Electra jailbreak, complete with Cydia Installer support built right in. This version of Electra jailbreak is deemed stable enough and hence is marked as 1.0 rather than any beta or RC. Just about anyone can go ahead and download it right now. For those who don’t know, Electra works with iOS 11.0-11.1.2 firmwares and is compatible with all 64-bit devices, including iPhone X, as long as those devices are running the aforementioned compatible firmwares. This is because Electra is based of Ian Beer’s exploit which was only applicable on iOS 11.0-11.1.2. Original released back as beta in January sans Cydia, this latest final version of the tool is the first jailbreak for iOS 11 which offers support for Cydia out-of-the-box. As for the jailbreak process, it pretty much remains exactly the same. Once the latest version of the Electra jailbreak is downloaded, and the IPA is sideloaded to the device, the jailbreak process will be exactly as it was previously, but this time with the added benefit of actually installing a usable version of Cydia to the device. And yes, that means that compatible tweaks and packages will be able to be installed through the Cydia interface. Here are important notes from changelog of Electra 1.0.x: An APFS snapshot is created of / so you may revert it at a later date if needed Substitute, Tweak Loader and Substrate Compatibility Layer available from Electra repo Many packages need to be updated for both Electra and iOS 11 (make sure they’re updated before installing as they may not work yet) It’s great news for device owners that CoolStar and his highly capable team have once again put the effort to the benefit of the jailbreak community even before Saurik could come up with his own “promised” jailbreak with iOS 11 Cydia update. Final version of Electra jailbreak for iOS 11 can be downloaded from coolstar.org/electra/. Once downloaded, you can follow our guide here on how to jailbreak your device using Electra: How To Jailbreak iOS 11.1.2 Using Electra With Cydia [Tutorial]. Redmondpie.com
  12. On Wednesday, an anonymous person published the proprietary source code of a core and fundamental component of the iPhone’s operating system. A user named “ZioShiba” posted the closed source code for iBoot—the part of iOS responsible for ensuring a trusted boot of the operating system—to GitHub, the internet’s largest repository of open source code. Jonathan Levin, an iPhone researcher, called it the “biggest leak” in the history of the iPhone. The iBoot code is for iOS 9 and the code is two-years old. But even today, it could help iOS security researchers and the jailbreak community find new bugs and vulnerabilities in a key part of the iPhone’s locked-down ecosystem. The leak of the iBoot source code is not a security risk for most—if any—users, as Apple said in a statement. But it’s an embarrassment for a company that prides itself in secrecy and aggressively goes after leaks and leakers. How does something like this happen? A low-level Apple employee with friends in the jailbreaking community took code from Apple while working at the company’s Cupertino headquarters in 2016, according to two people who originally received the code from the employee. Motherboard has corroborated these accounts with text messages and screenshots from the time of the original leak and has also spoken to a third source familiar with the story. Motherboard has granted these sources anonymity given the likelihood of Apple going after them for obtaining and distributing proprietary, copyrighted software. The original Apple employee did not respond to our request for comment and said through his friend that he did not currently want to talk about it because he signed a non-disclosure agreement with Apple. According to these sources, the person who stole the code didn’t have an axe to grind with Apple. Instead, while working at Apple, friends of the employee encouraged the worker to leak internal Apple code. Those friends were in the jailbreaking community and wanted the source code for their security research. The person took the iBoot source code—and additional code that has yet to be widely leaked—and shared it with a small group of five people. “He pulled everything, all sorts of Apple internal tools and whatnot,” a friend of the intern told me. Motherboard saw screenshots of additional source code and file names that were not included in the GitHub leak and were dated from around the time of this first leak. According to two people who were in that original group, they hadn’t planned on the code ever leaving that circle of friends; a third friend who didn’t want the code but saw it on a friend’s computer also confirmed this account. Eventually, however, the code was shared more widely and the original group of people lost control of its dissemination. "I was really paranoid about it getting leaked immediately by one of us," one of the original people to receive the code told me. "Having the iBoot source code and not being inside Apple...that's unheard of.” “I personally never wanted that code to see the light of day. Not out of greed but because of fear of the legal firestorm that would ensue,” they said. “The Apple internal community is really full of curious kids and teens. I knew one day that if those kids got it they’d be dumb enough to push it to GitHub.” According to the source, if the code had been spread around too much, it could have helped less well-intentioned people create exploits and malicious jailbreaks to attack iPhone users. "It can be weaponized,” they said. “There’s something to be said for the freedom of information, many view this leak to be good. [But] information isn’t free when it inherently violates personal security.” “We did our damnedest best to try to make sure that it got leaked [only after the code] got old,” they added. Around a year after the code was stolen and circulated among the small group of friends, someone inside that group gave it “to someone else who shouldn’t have had it,” one of our sources said. At that point, the story gets murky. No one I spoke to is exactly sure who leaked it outside of the first tight-knit group of friends. And no one knew exactly what happened next. But everyone I spoke to agrees that at some point they lost control of the code and it slowly spread further and further. Motherboard confirmed that this particular source code began circulating more widely in 2017 with a fourth and fifth source who are familiar with the jailbreaking and iPhone research communities. Then in the fall of 2017, people far-removed from that initial group of friends started sharing screenshots of the code in a Discord group of jailbreakers as a way to brag and tease other members of the group, according to one of the people I spoke to. “When I heard about that Discord group, I burned all the copies of iBoot that I had,” they said. “I don't need it anymore, and if this is going public I don't want to be part of leaking it. If it gets out there it gets out there but it is not coming from me.” At that point, however, it was too late. Soon after, someone with a throwaway Reddit account named “apple_internals” posted a link to a Mega archive with the iBoot source code on r/jailbreak. A screenshot of the little noticed Reddit post where the iBoot source code was first shared with the whole internet. Still, very few noticed because the post got automatically removed by a moderator bot. But then Wednesday, it was posted again to GitHub. Both of our sources say they believe that someone not associated with the original leak ultimately posted it on GitHub: “What leaked yesterday isn't even the full leak really. It’s not the original leak—it’s a copy,” one of them said. At that point, it went viral, first inside the jailbreak community, then within the larger iOS security research community. Within hours, infosec Twitter was talking about it, and then we (and the rest of the tech press) wrote about it. Apple declined to answer questions on whether the company knew about the leak before Wednesday, and whether they are investigating. “By design the security of our products doesn’t depend on the secrecy of our source code. There are many layers of hardware and software protections built into our products,” the company said in an emailed statement. On Wednesday, an Apple employee told me they knew of the leak before it was posted on GitHub, but didn’t say when the company learned the code was stolen. “None of this was ever supposed to leave a handful of people, what’s happened is quite disastrous,” one of the people who originally received the code told me. “It’s obviously ended up being a clusterfuck, but the original intentions were non malicious.” Clarification: One line in this post has been changed for clarity because the original phrasing was ambiguous. Apple did not encourage the employee to leak source code; the employee's friends did. source
  13. We all know that smartphone batteries can catch fire or explode in rare circumstances – something the folks at Samsung found out all too readily with the Galaxy Note 7 last year. Apple is no stranger to battery issues itself either, but a new report out of China by Taiwan News suggests that one of its iPhones exploded for a rather strange reason indeed. According to the report, a man went into a third-party retailer in order to have the battery on his iPhone replaced. Apparently, he had some doubts over the authenticity of the battery itself, with the only way of confirming it apparently being to bite into it. The end result? Well, let’s just say he is unlikely to go biting into batteries any time soon. Thankfully, nobody was injured during these somewhat surreal events, although when the man bit into the battery, it did explode in what can only be described as fairly big ball of flames. Perhaps the most amazing thing about all this is that the whole episode was captured on the store’s security cameras, meaning we can witness it in full color. We, of course, would not recommend doing this, even if you have a suspicion that the battery you are being given is not 100% genuine. If anything, if the battery is a knock-off then it’s even more likely that it will not take too kindly to being bitten, increasing the risk of an explosion. Our recommendation would be to head to an Apple Store or an Apple authorized retailer to get the battery checked out if you have any doubts at all. Check the video out and witness just what can happen when an iPhone’s battery is maltreated; it’s quite a sight to behold! (Via: Taiwan News | Video via: 9to5Mac [YouTube]) Redmondpie.com
  14. Of the many new features in Apple’s iOS 11—which hit your iPhone a few weeks ago—a tool called Core ML stands out. It gives developers an easy way to implement pre-trained machine learning algorithms, so apps can instantly tailor their offerings to a specific person’s preferences. With this advance comes a lot of personal data crunching, though, and some security researchers worry that Core ML could cough up more information than you might expect—to apps that you’d rather not have it. Core ML boosts tasks like image and facial recognition, natural language processing, and object detection, and supports a lot of buzzy machine learning tools like neural networks and decision trees. And as with all iOS apps, those using Core ML ask user permission to access data streams like your microphone or calendar. But researchers note that Core ML could introduce some new edge cases, where an app that offers a legitimate service could also quietly use Core ML to draw conclusions about a user for ulterior purposes. "The key issue with using Core ML in an app from a privacy perspective is that it makes the App Store screening process even harder than for regular, non-ML apps," says Suman Jana, a security and privacy researcher at Columbia University, who studies machine learning framework analysis and vetting. "Most of the machine learning models are not human-interpretable, and are hard to test for different corner cases. For example, it's hard to tell during App Store screening whether a Core ML model can accidentally or willingly leak or steal sensitive data." The Core ML platform offers supervised learning algorithms, pre-trained to be able to identify, or "see," certain features in new data. Core ML algorithms prep by working through a ton of examples (usually millions of data points) to build up a framework. They then use this context to go through, say, your Photo Stream and actually "look at" the photos to find those that include dogs or surfboards or pictures of your driver's license you took three years ago for a job application. It can be almost anything. 'It's hard to tell during App Store screening whether a Core ML model can accidentally or willingly leak or steal sensitive data.' Suman Jana, Columbia University For an example of where that could go wrong, thing of a photo filter or editing app that you might grant access to your albums. With that access secured, an app with bad intentions could provide its stated service, while also using Core ML to ascertain what products appear in your photos, or what activities you seem to enjoy, and then go on to use that information for targeted advertising. This type of deception would violate Apple's App Store Review Guidelines. But it may take some evolution before Apple and other companies can fully vet the ways an app intends to utilize machine learning. And Apple's App Store, though generally secure, does already occasionally approve malicious apps by mistake. Attackers with permission to access a user's photos could have found a way to sort through them before, but machine learning tools like Core ML—or Google's similar TensorFlow Mobile—could make it quick and easy to surface sensitive data instead of requiring laborious human sorting. Depending on what users grant an app access to, this could make all sorts of gray behavior possible for marketers, spammers, and phishers. The more mobile machine learning tools exist for developers, the more screening challenges there could be for both the iOS App Store and Google Play. Core ML does have a lot of privacy and security features built in. Crucially, its data processing occurs locally on a user's device. This way, if an app does surface hidden trends in your activity, and heartbeat data from Apple's Health tool, it doesn't need to secure all that private information in transit to a cloud processor and then back to your device. That approach also cuts down on the need for apps to store your sensitive data on their servers. You can use a facial recognition tool, for instance, that analyzes your photos, or a messaging tool that converts things you write into emojis, without that data ever leaving your iPhone. Local processing also benefits developers, because it means that their app will function normally even if a device loses internet access. iOS apps are only just starting to incorporate Core ML, so the practical implications of the tool remain largely unknown. A new app called Nude, launched on Friday, uses Core ML to promote user privacy by scanning your albums for nude photos and automatically moving them from the general iOS Camera Roll to a more secure digital vault on your phone. Another app scanning for sexy photos might not be so respectful. A more direct example of how Core ML could facilitate malicious snooping is a project that takes the example of the iOS "Hidden Photos" album (the inconspicuous place photos go when iOS users "hide" them from the regular Camera Roll). Those images aren't hidden from apps with photo access permissions. So the project converted an open-source neural network that finds and ranks illicit photos to run on Core ML, and used it to comb through test examples of the Hidden Photos album to quickly rate how salacious the images in it were. In a comparable real-world scenario, a malicious dev could use Core ML to find your nudes. Researchers are quick to note that while Core ML introduces important nuances—particularly to the app-vetting process—it doesn't necessarily represent a fundamentally new threat. "I suppose CoreML could be abused, but as it stands apps can already get full photo access," says Will Strafach, an iOS security researcher and the president of Sudo Security Group. "So if they wanted to grab and upload your full photo library, that is already possible if permission is granted." The easier or more automated the trawling process becomes, though, the more enticing it may look. Every new technology presents potential gray sides; the question now with Core ML is what sneaky uses bad actors will find for it along with the good. Article
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  16. The overpriced, and mostly unnecessary iPhone X is what happens when the elite stop caring about appearances and start producing products expressly for the rich. Therefore, it only makes sense that, if you're going to have a fuck-you iPhone, you might as well have the fuck-you iPhone case as well. Meet the iPhone X Elite 24k Gold Edition. Yes, it's covered in actual gold, not just the color. Offered by London-based Goldgenie, the actual product is an Apple iPhone X (no affiliation with Apple) that is custom-plated in gold, rose gold, or platinum metal. The customized iPhone is presented in cherry oak finished box — just an additional touch of faux premium in case you ever have doubts about your financial sanity in the middle of the night and need a little reassurance in the form of product framing. But you want to know how much it costs, so let's just get to it: about $3,700, all in, for the 256GB model (£2,797). And if, for some reason, you have the ego necessary to justify buying this, but decide to save a few bucks, you can get the 64GB version for just around $3,570 (about £2697). Scoff all you want, but a gold-plated iPhone X makes a certain kind of narcissistic sense. After all, the most notable differences between the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X are Face ID and the ability to send Animoji texts using you face. Reality Check: If you don't care about taking selfies, you might as well get an iPhone 8. So while you quietly judge those willing to pay roughly $1,200 for a smartphone whose main feature is rewarding you for pointing your face at it, somewhere, the unapologetically tacky are already trying to figure out if they prefer their selfie iPhone in gold, or the less gaudy platinum. Fuck you, peasant. Clic View article complete and Source
  17. Apple suffers 'major iPhone X leak' Developers are still scouring the leaked code for fresh discoveries Details of new iPhones and other forthcoming Apple devices have been revealed via an apparent leak. Two news sites were given access to an as-yet-unreleased version of the iOS operation system. The code refers to an iPhone X in addition to two new iPhone 8 handsets. It also details facial recognition tech that acts both as an ID system and maps users' expressions onto emojis. One tech writer said it was the biggest leak of its kind to hit the firm. Apple is holding a launch event at its new headquarters on Tuesday. The California-based company takes great efforts to keep its technologies secret until its showcase events, and chief executive Tim Cook spoke in 2012 of the need to "double down" on concealment measures. Some details about the new devices had, however, already been revealed in August, when Apple published some test code for its HomePod speakers. But while that was thought to have been a mistake, it has been claimed that the latest leak was an intentional act of sabotage. "As best I've been able to ascertain, these builds were available to download by anyone, but they were obscured by long, unguessable URLs [web addresses]," wrote John Gruber, a blogger known for his coverage of Apple. "Someone within Apple leaked the list of URLs to 9to5Mac and MacRumors. I'm nearly certain this wasn't a mistake, but rather a deliberate malicious act by a rogue Apple employee." Neither Mr Gruber nor the two Apple-related news sites have disclosed their sources. However, the BBC has independently confirmed that an anonymous source provided the publications with links to iOS 11's gold master (GM) code that downloaded the software from Apple's own computer servers. GM is a term commonly used by software firms to indicate that they believe a version of a product is ready for release. "More surprises were spoiled by this leak than any leak in Apple history," Mr Gruber added. Apple could not be reached for comment. Several developers are still scouring the leak for new features, but discoveries so far include: - a reference to iPhone X, which acts as fresh evidence that Apple intends to unveil a high-end model alongside more modest updates to its handset line -images of a new Apple Watch and AirPod headphones -a set-up process for Face ID - an alternative to the Touch ID system fingerprint system - that says it can be used to unlock handsets and make online purchases from Apple, among other uses -the introduction of Animoji - animated emoji characters that mirror a user's captured facial expressions More at Source
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  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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