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Apple's new Activation Lock Status tool

Posted by cRazEY-G , 02 October 2014 · 775 views

Apple today launched a utility on its website that allows anyone to check the activation lock status of an iPhone handset. Users will be required to provide the IMEI or serial number of the device they wish to test. Check it out here: https://www.icloud.com/activationlock/

The tool will be useful for customers who are buying a used iPhone, iPad or iPod touch on popular reseller sites such as eBay or Craigslist. Prospective buyers will be able to confirm the phone has been removed from iCloud and is ready for use by a new owner before purchasing used hardware.

Activation Lock is a theft deterrent feature of Find My iPhone in iOS 7/8. It requires a user to enter the Apple ID and password of the original owner before resetting the phone or disabling iCloud on the device. The feature is turned on automatically when Find My iPhone in enabled on a device running iOS 7 or later.

Though useful for iOS device owners concerned about theft, the feature can be a problem for used phone buyers who inadvertently acquire a device with activation lock enabled. To use these locked devices, the new owner must obtain the Apple ID account credentials of the previous user before enabling iCloud on the device or resetting their newly purchased phone.

This new utility will allow a buyer to check the status of a device before purchasing it. It also makes it easy for the original owner to confirm that Activation Lock has been successfully disabled before selling a device. You can check out the new Activation Lock tool on Apple's website.


Advanced iOS virus targeting Hong Kong protestors

Posted by cRazEY-G , 01 October 2014 · 508 views
(Reuters) - Cybersecurity researchers have uncovered a computer virus that spies on Apple Inc's iOS operating system for the iPhone and iPad, and they believe it is targeting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

The malicious software, known as Xsser, is capable of stealing text messages, photos, call logs, passwords and other data from Apple mobile devices, researchers with Lacoon Mobile Security said on Tuesday.

They uncovered the spyware while investigating similar malware for Google Inc's Android operating system last week that also targeted Hong Kong protesters. Anonymous attackers spread the Android spyware via WhatsApp, sending malicious links to download the program, according to Lacoon.

It is unclear how iOS devices get infected with Xsser, which is not disguised as an app.

Lacoon Chief Executive Michael Shaulov told Reuters that Xsser is the most sophisticated malware used to date in any known cyberattack on iOS users.

"This is one the most interesting developments we have seen," he said. "It's the first real indication that really sophisticated guys are shifting from infecting PCs or laptops to going after iOS devices."

The code used to control that server is written in Chinese. The high quality of the campaign and the fact it is being used to target protesters suggests that it is coming from a sophisticated attacker in China, Shaulov said.

"It is the first time in history that you actually see an operationalized iOS Trojan that is attributed to some kind of Chinese entity," he said.

A Trojan is a term used by cyber researchers to describe malware that enters a device disguised as something harmless.

Still, he said that his company's research team has yet to identify any specific victims of the iOS Trojan.

Lacoon said on its blog that it is possible the attackers might have deployed the Trojan in other places, in addition to spying on pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

"It can cross borders easily, and is possibly being operated by a Chinese-speaking entity to spy on individuals, foreign companies, or even entire governments," they said in a blog post describing their analysis.


AdThief malware found infecting 75,000 jailbroken devices

Posted by cRazEY-G , 17 August 2014 · 898 views

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Security researcher Axelle Apvrille recently published a paper about AdThief, a malware aimed at hijacking ad revenue from a reportedly 75,000 infected devices. First discovered in March 2014, and also known as “spat,” the malware, which comes disguised as a Cydia Substrate extension, was found to replace the publisher ID of publishers with the one of the malware creator, effectively attributing all ad revenue to him.
A publisher ID is used to identify a publisher’s account on an ad platform, which helps track revenue generated by said publisher. By being able to swap the publisher’s publisher ID with his own, the malware creator was able to hijack revenue from about 22 million ads. In effect, when clicking on an ad, an infected user would generate ad revenue for the attacker instead of the developer of the application or website.
The malware was designed to target ad kits from 15 ad networks, including Google-owned AdMob and Google Mobile Ads, both representing a large share of mobile advertising at least here in the US. Other American companies targeted by AdThief are AdWhirl, MdotM, and MobClick. The remaining targeted ad networks were all from China or India.

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Thanks to some debugging information that was left in the malware code, the security researcher was able to track down the creator and identify him as Rover12421, a Chinese hacker specializing in mobile platforms. Posing as “zerofile” on some forums, he admitted working on a publisher ID swapper for AdMob, but denies being involved in developing the code further, or even being part of the malware propagation.
At this time, it is unknown how the Cydia Substrate extension gets on jailbroken devices. We could speculate that it makes its way to devices after being installed from third party packages in Cydia, likely from a non-default repository. So far, there is no known way to find out if you’ve been affected. As always, it is very likely that jailbreak users who’ve been adding pirate repos are more likely to be affected than others.
In April of this year, another malware targeting jailbroken iOS devices surfaced. Dubbed unflod, the malware was found to capture the Apple ID and password of the infected device and send them to a Chinese IP address.
Because there is so little known so far about AdThief, we can only warn our readers to be careful about what repositories they add and what package they download.


[FREE GAME] IGN names ‘OTTTD’ its Free Game of the Month

Posted by Marsh , 12 July 2014 · 6,840 views

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IGN has announced its Free Game of the Month for July to be OTTTD by SMG Studio, a tower defense game for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch running iOS 6 or greater. The app, available for free with IGN’s promo code, is currently priced at $2.99 (regularly $4.99) and holds a 4.5 star-rating in the App Store.

OTTTD — which stands for Over The Top Tower Defense — is a step above typical tower defense games, with features including dozens of enemy types, a 25-level storyline campaign, an endless mode, and much more…

Gameplay is comical but may be considered somewhat violent, as enemies explode when killed and cartoonish body parts build up quickly. However, the game settings contain an option to turn down the level of gore.

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There are multiple in-app purchases available for players who want to quickly advance through the upgrades, but these purchases are completely optional, in that they merely provide extra coins or gems; a purchase isn’t required to unlock exclusive levels or units. Succinctly put, this shouldn’t discourage you from downloading the game for free, as you’ll be getting the complete package.

If you’re not already familiar with OTTTD, be sure to check out the trailer below.

Provided that you’re remotely interested in giving the game a try, there’s no point in letting a chance go by to grab it for free. Simply visit IGN’s website for an iTunes promo code.


ps there is no limit to the amount of codes you can receive (to the extent of my knowledge)


Apple's 'Photos' for OS X to come with pro-level image search, editing, plugins, more

Posted by TheShadow , in Mac 02 July 2014 · 523 views

Less than a week after Apple announced plans to ditch both its pro-level Aperture and consumer-minded iPhoto photography tools for OS X, a report on Tuesday offers additional details on the upcoming replacement app, Photos for OS X.

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Last Friday, Apple revealed it has ceased development of Aperture and iPhoto in favor of "Photos for OS X," which is set to debut in 2015 as an accompaniment to the next-generation OS X 10.10 Yosemite operating system.

At the time, little was known about Photos aside from a brief onstage mention at WWDC and a screenshot that shows a user interface and toolset befitting of a "prosumer" title.

On Tuesday, Apple revealed a bit more background on the upcoming app, telling Ars Technica that Aperture-level features will be built into the title at launch, including image search, editing, effects and third-party extensibility, or plugins.

As seen in the above screenshot provided by Apple, Photos for OS X will be an in-between product, blurring the line between consumer and professional-grade image editing and management software. For example, while image adjustments like saturation, temperature and contrast exist in iPhoto, the upcoming Photos app appears to have a higher level of control ala Aperture.

The most enticing promise, however, is third-party extensibility, which could potentially bring advanced customization options that users can apply to tailor Photos to their specific needs. If developers take to Apple's software, the app may one day offer an image editing framework robust and powerful enough to rival true pro-level tools. That being said, it looks as though out-of-the-box functionality will be somewhere between iPhoto and Aperture, as Apple alluded to in its previous statement.

As for current Aperture users, Apple said it will roll out a final update to bring compatibility with OS X Yosemite, but there are no plans to continue software development beyond that point. To ease the transition, the company is working on a solution to streamline image transfers from Aperture to Photos for OS X, which will likely to built into the forthcoming title.

Interestingly, Apple also mentioned it is concurrently working on a transitionary workflow from Aperture to Adobe's Lightroom, suggesting Photos may not fit the needs of photography professionals.


Apple's security lock adapter will chain your Mac Pro to your desk

Posted by TheShadow , in Mac 02 July 2014 · 494 views

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Apple has released a new tool to increase the security of your Mac Pro, a security lock adapter. This allows you to attach one of several Kensington computer locks to the Mac Pro, securing it to your desk. It also prevents the Mac Pro from being opened, blocking access to the internal components while a lock is engaged.

Officially, the adapter is compatible with the following Kensington locks: the MicroSaver, the MicroSaver DS Keyed lock, the Combination Laptop lock, the Portable Combination laptop lock, and the WordLock Portable Combination laptop lock. The adapter can also be used with a number of other locks that are similar to Kensington's models.

The Mac Pro Security Lock adapter costs $49, and can be ordered from the Apple Online Store right now. Will you be getting the adapter to secure your Mac Pro? Tell us below in the comments.


Pangu untethered jailbreak still works with iOS 7.1.2

Posted by TheShadow , in Uncategorized, iOS 30 June 2014 · 807 views

Apple today seeded iOS 7.1.2, and we’ve confirmed that the recently-released Pangu jailbreak does indeed work perfectly fine with the new build. While Pangu was released after Apple seeded 7.1.2 to carriers (meaning that the likelihood of the security holes being patched was fairly low), there was still the slim possibility that Apple would make a few changes and patch the holes before pushing the update to the masses.

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But alas, the untethered jailbreak that we told you about last week is still capable of jailbreaking iOS 7.1.2, and you can still follow the very same guide that we published if you need help getting the famed Cydia application running on your device. It’s worth noting, however, that the jailbreak also recently got an update to support OS X, and that we would recommend you use this version if you’re planning on jailbreaking your iOS 7.1.2 device.


Apple will no longer develop Aperture or iPhoto, OS X Yosemite Photos app to serve as replacement

Posted by TheShadow , 30 June 2014 · 536 views

Apple on Friday revealed that development on Aperture, its professional-grade photo editing application, has ceased, leaving Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro as its only remaining flagship pro-oriented Mac apps.

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The news was broken to Jim Dalrymple of The Loop, who also revealed that iPhoto, Apple's consumer-level photo app, will be discontinued as well. Both applications are due to be replaced by Apple's forthcoming Photos application, which will be a part of OS X Yosemite, but isn't set to launch until early 2015.

Apple did make it clear that development of Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro will continue.

"With the introduction of the new Photos app and iCloud Photo Library, enabling you to safely store all of your photos in iCloud and access them from anywhere, there will be no new development of Aperture," said Apple in its statement. "When Photos for OS X ships next year, users will be able to migrate their existing Aperture libraries to Photos for OS X."

The company also said in a statement to TechCrunch that it will provide compatibility updates to Aperture, allowing it to run on OS X Yosemite. However, further support will not exist after that.

Apple also said it is working with Adobe to help users transition to its Lightroom app for Mac.

Included with the reports was a new picture of the OS X Photos application, as seen above. From the picture, it would appear that the application has a "prosumer" layout. The app is also shown with a darker user interface, which is different from the predominantly white app shown off at the Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, as shown below.

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Aperture hasn't seen a major update since 2010, when version 3.0 of the suite launched with 64-bit support, along with "Faces" and "Places" for sorting pictures. Its chief competitor for professional photographers is Adobe's Lightroom.

As for iPhoto, its last major update came in 2011, as part of the iLife '11 suite release. iPhoto also debuted on the iPad in 2012, and later came to Apple's iPhone for more advanced photo editing on the go.


Apple releases OS X Mavericks 10.9.4 with fixes for Wi-Fi, wake from sleep

Posted by TheShadow , 30 June 2014 · 475 views

As Mac users await this fall's launch of OS X Yosemite, Apple's current Mac operating system received a minor update on Monday, with OS X Mavericks 10.9.4 fixing minor bugs related to Wi-Fi and wake from sleep.

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OS X 10.9.4 is now available to download through Software Update on the Mac App Store. Apple has said the update is recommended for all users of the Mavericks operating system, and it improves the stability, compatibility and security of Mac systems.

Specifically, the update is said to fix an issue that could prevent some Macs from automatically connecting to known Wi-Fi networks. The update also improves the reliability of wake from sleep.

In addition, the new software update also includes Safari 7.0.5, the latest version of Apple's desktop Web browser.

OS X 10.9.4 only received two betas before Monday's launch to the public. The first developer beta was supplied at the end of May.

Any updates to Mavericks going forward are likely to be minor similar to the security and stability update issued on Monday. That's because Apple's attention has focused to OS X Yosemite, which is set to become available for free on the Mac App Store this fall.


Apple updating its Maps with user corrections every day at 3 am Eastern

Posted by TheShadow , in iOS 30 June 2014 · 401 views

Apple is now routinely updating its mapping database on a daily basis with user corrections submitted through the native Maps applications for iOS and OS X, it has been discovered.

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Apple Maps POIs appear to be updated every day at 3 a.m., user "heyyoudvd" disclosed in a thread on Reddit. That person has been actively tracking Apple's progress with its Maps application, and they believe they have seen more updates to the mapping data in recent weeks than in the previous two years combined.

"Over the past month, Maps were being updated once a week (every Friday) for me, but now, that has improved even further," they wrote. "Over the past few days, I've noticed an update occur every single day at 3 a.m. Eastern."

For years, reporting problems in Apple's Maps application did not result in swift changes to the company's data. But now that appears to have changed, and significantly, with infrastructure in place to push out updates on a daily basis.

Those posting in the Reddit thread noted that they are seeing points of interest fixed in a prompt fashion, while various side roads and other small changes have been implemented. These changes appear to be going into place worldwide, with one user noting that they marked issues on beaches in Sydney, and the problems were addressed accordingly.

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Users can report issues with Apple's Maps application on an iOS device by tapping the "i" button in the bottom right corner and selecting "Report a Problem." From there, users can notify Apple about incorrect search results, inaccurate street names, missing locations, problems with directions, and more.

Mapping issues can also be reported in OS X by selecting the main Maps menu from the Menu Bar and choosing "Report a Problem." The feature has been available since Apple brought Maps to Mavericks last year, extending tools for reporting and fixing errors to a large installed base of Mac users.

Apple's iOS Maps debuted in September of 2012 along with iOS 6, and immediately drew criticism and complaints from many users, who found inaccuracies in the location data and faulty rendering of the 3D flyover data. The ensuing controversy was so widespread that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was compelled to issue an apology to his customers, and even recommend alternative options.

Since then, Apple has acquired a number of mapping companies, including Embark, HopStop, Broadmap, Locationary, and earlier this month, Spotsetter.

Despite those acquisitions, Apple Maps continue to lack built-in public transit directions, including the current beta of iOS 8. One report from this month claimed that a lack of updates for Maps in iOS 8 were as a result of a "failure" of the project management team.