Google services like Gmail and Google Now added to phone in five steps
A member of the XDA-developers forum who won a Nokia X at the Mobile World Congress has managed to hack and gain root access to the phone in order to bring Google applications and services to the device. The Nokia X, known for using the bare-bones free version of Android at its core, had opted to pull in Microsoft services to intentionally avoid Google's integration.
Role unspecified, but had reverse-engineered iOS, OS X for porting
A well-known hacker of OS X and iOS, who single-handedly rewrote the core of both operating systems to allow them to be ported to other devices and contributed to various jailbreak apps for iPhones, has announced that he will be joining Apple as an intern or employee later this year. The coder, known as "winocm," is 17 years old but already an expert reverse-engineer who says he has been doing "insane things" with the cores of iOS and OS X.
Use of security tokens allows Snapchat denial of service attack
Snapchat, the picture based messaging platform, appears to have more problems on its hands after its recent account breach. It has been discovered that the program can be used in denial-of-service attacks against iOS and Android based phones to disable or crash the devices through sending thousands of messages to the device in a matter of seconds.
Exploit blocked in iOS 7.1
A newly-discovered hack lets people disable Find My iPhone without first entering a password. Shown in a YouTube video (below), the exploit requires only making a few simple changes to a device's iCloud account. It's confirmed to work on iPhones and iPads running iOS 7.0.4, although it appears to be blocked in iOS 7.1, which is still in beta.
Continues minor interface tweaks
(Updated with evasi0n hack break, samples of new voices) Apple is now seeding a fifth beta of iOS 7.1 to developers. Changes appear relatively minor, but release notes mention "new natural-sounding Siri voices" for Japanese, the UK and Australian English dialects, and Mandarin Chinese. Apple also appears to be continuing visual tweaks to the OS, for instance by adding new Shift and Caps Lock buttons (below).
Will fight Bromwich appointment, 'roving' investigation, excessive fees and qualifications
Apple has officially filed for an appeal of US District Judge Denise Cote's recent decision, which denied both Apple's request to suspend an antitrust external compliance monitor (ECM) while an appeal of the main judgement is considered, and a request to disqualify the current appointee, Judge Cote's personal friend and former DOJ Inspector General Michael Bromwich.
Group has made dubious boasts before, claims probably untrue
[Update: the group has closed its Twitter account, saying it has "suspended operations" indefinitely] A hacker "group" that has previously made dubious claims of playing a role in attacks such as the recent Dropbox outage has now claimed it hacked into Apple's "user database" and posted a printout of some outdated user information on Pastebin as "proof." The group previously claimed to have hacked into Dropbox's database, but then changed its story and said that it was responsible for a "denial of service" attack that caused the outage (Dropbox have denied both claims).
Custom graphics card not upgradable, PCIe storage still in doubt
A teardown of the new Mac Pro by upgrade experts Other World Computing will give cause for much celebration among DIY technophiles (who are, ironically, unlikely to be customers of the new workstation) -- the retailer says both the RAM and, more surprisingly, the central CPU unit of the Mac Pro are removable, paving the way to future upgrades. Its also possible that the proprietary connector used for the PCIe-based storage may be upgradable as well.
Taig now hosting unofficial version of jailbreak
Evad3rs -- the team behind the evasi0n jailbreak for iOS 7 -- has issued a second open letter, admitting that it "dropped the ball" on investigating whether Taig's app store contained pirated content. The evad3rs team recently acknowledged benefiting financially from its work. Around the same time the team severed ties, pulling Taig's store from evasi0n completely. In the new letter, evad3rs states that "after investigation and after notification from the community," it found examples of piracy such as "pirated tweaks, Apple App Store apps, and even pod2g's PodDJ app."
Does better in some areas, but can't compete on cost or specs
For many consumers, a quad-core i7 "Haswell" computer with SSD storage -- whether it is a Mac or PC -- is by far the fastest computer they've ever used, and meets everyday needs handily. Some, however -- creative professionals, scientists and others -- need all the power they can get and then some. The rapid sellout of the new Mac Pro -- surprising even Apple -- may revolve around the fact that its new design is a tough combination to beat, even for DIY PC builders.
Unofficial app store's pirated content creates firestorm
Chinese company Taig paid evad3rs $1 million to include its third-party app store for Chinese users of the evasi0n jailbreak for iOS 7, rumors claim. The store appeared only for Chinese users of the jailbreak, in place of the distribution platform offered elsewhere, Cydia; it has since been removed as an option. Taig's offering has been controversial, since it hosts a number of apps pirated from Apple's official App Store.
Sentence derided as 'vengeful, spiteful act'
Hacker Jeremy Hammond has been dealt a 10-year prison sentence for his role in the 2011 theft of emails and credit card data from intelligence company Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor). The sentence was handed down in a federal court in Manhattan, where the 28-year-old pleaded guilty to violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).
Classic programs re-created in HTML5 for web play
In unrelated developments, two recent "recreations" of former Mac and Nintendo classics have made their way into "web app" versions, bringing back familiar software for those of a certain age, providing a "living" demonstration of "old-school" programs and games and at the same time offering a showcase for the growing flexibility of web technologies. The year-old "CloudPaint," a tribute to the Macintosh's original graphics program MacPaint, has recently been updated with five levels of "undo" -- and another site offers a fully-playable HTML5 version of Super Mario. Both are available for use free of charge.
Airplane Mode, lack of warnings identified as soft spots
A new SRLabs video demonstrates one possible method of getting around both Touch ID and Activation Lock on a stolen iPhone 5s. The video points out that while Apple lets users locate and/or remotely wipe a device using the Find My iPhone app, a 5s can be set to Airplane Mode without unlocking if lockscreen access to Control Center is left enabled. Since Find My iPhone can only perform a wipe if a device is connected to the Internet, that may give a thief enough time to lift and mold a fingerprint to bypass TouchID, and begin hijacking Apple, Google, and other online accounts.
Patch fails to resolve lockscreen vulnerabilities
A newly-documented technique lets people bypass the lockscreen in iOS 7.0.2 and dial any phone number, not just emergency numbers. The method involves waiting for a notification, or forcing one by sending a text message or ejecting the SIM card. Once the notification pops up, a hacker has to swipe right on it while simultaneously swiping up on the Camera icon. While keeping a finger on the Camera icon, a person must then slide to unlock and tap the Emergency Call button. After dialing, hitting the Call button quickly two or three times should crash Springboard, but allow the call to go through once Springboard restarts.
Hacker group offering unusual reward for breaking iOS authentication
A group in German claims to have successfully worked around Apple's new Touch ID biometric system, albeit using an extremely elaborate system to do so, involving a high-resolution lifted fingerprint and creating a "fake finger" that mimics a real one that has the lifted fingerprint printed onto latex milk or wood glue and then applied -- and of course physical access to the iPhone that utilizes that particular fingerprint. A different hacker group is offering a reward for such a solution, including cash, Bitcoins, liquor and books as a reward.
Mimics previously-documented vulnerabilities
[Update: Apple acknowledges issue, says fix is on the way] A newly-documented technique lets people bypass an iOS 7 device's security to look at personal photos, according to accounts. Several steps are involved: swiping up Control Center from the lockscreen, opening Stopwatch, opening the Alarm Clock, holding down the power button until the "Power Down" prompt appears, then finally tapping Cancel and double-tapping the home button twice, but slightly longer on the second press. This opens up the multitasking menu, from which point a person can jump into the Camera app and browse or share a person's photos.
Command server down; risk low, but points out potential vulnerability
A file that looks like a image file and bears a camera-like filename with the extension not visible by default has been discovered to actually be a rogue application that could install a permanent "backdoor" on Mac systems and triggers Preview to open an image, fooling the user into thinking it was simply an unusual picture file. The purpose of the Trojan appears to be supportive of the hacker Syrian Electronic Army, which is in league with the totalitarian regime of Syria's present government. It is currently considered low-risk for a number of reasons.
Developer criticizes Google
Google has allegedly disabled media streaming capabilities for certain third-party apps available for the company's Chromecast dongle. Developer Koushik Dutta claims the company intentionally disabled his AllCast app, which allowed users to wirelessly stream a wide range of content, including locally stored media files, via HDMI.
Already in iOS 7 beta; hack demonstrated earlier today
Apple says it has already fixed an obscure security flaw that could have allowed hackers to access data on an iOS device through the use of a specially-designed custom USB device that looks like a charger but in fact contains a tiny Linux-powered computer designed to insert malware. The fix is already present in the most recent iOS 7 beta and will be incorporated into the OS when it is released to the public this fall, the company says, and involves notifying users whenever they connect to another computer, even through the power adapter.
Can affect Messages app thanks to group MMS, SMS use
While under normal circumstances most users would never see an unwanted or "spam" message in the OS X and iOS program Messages, Apple has now set up abuse reporting mechanism to help deal with those who have the issue. Using the email address firstname.lastname@example.org, users can send a screenshot of the unwanted message, phone number or email address of the spammer or harrasser, and time/date info on the message. Unwanted or spam SMS and MMS messages should still be reported to users' cellular providers rather than Apple.
Hacking attack has prompted changes, systems will be rolled out soon
MacNN has received reports that iTunes Connect, a crucial part of Apple's crippled Developer channel, is now online after an unprecedented week of closure following a hacker attack by a security researcher that exposed some data. While the attacker, Ibrahim Balic, has claimed he was just doing "security research," the company shut the system down and said it has been "working around the clock" to overhaul developer systems, update server software and rebuild the entire database to close vulnerabilities. Apple has launched a new "system status" page for the Developer Center.
AT&T equivalent harder to manage
A new hack should allow T-Mobile subscribers to use iOS' personal hotspot feature for free without jailbreaking, says the workaround's creator, iTweakiOS. A component buried in iOS, CommCenter, normally checks the signatures in carrier PLIST files and prevents those files from being usably edited. The T-Mobile hack is said to bypass CommCenter checks while also being relatively easy to apply.
Also promises HSPA speed boost for iPhone 4S
An updated hacked carrier profile for AT&T unlocks early access to HD Voice for the iPhone 4S and 5, among other features, says developer iTweakiOS. The update is moreover said to enable faster HSPA speeds on the iPhone 4S, up to 21Mbps down, as well as early access to disaster and Amber alert systems. Troubleshooting efforts deal with unstable HSPA+ connections and iPad users losing signal entirely with a previous update.
iFixit holding giveaway in the spirit of Independence Day
Today, iFixit, the self-repair advocate and tutorial site, announced its upcoming event, Liberation Week, running from July 1-5, 2013. iFixit seeks to combat planned obsolescence by giving users access to the information needed to repair and upgrade products. Citing Independence Day, iFixit will be giving away free iPhone Liberation kits - tools to open one's iPhone for self-repair access - to the first 1776 claimants. Stating that the consumer should have the right to open their phone, the kits includes a pentalobe screwdriver, so that users can replace the original screws with ones with standard Phillips head screws provided. Pentalobe screws are intended to be tamper-resistant, as there are no readily available screwdrivers with a compatible head. Also in the kit is a #00 Phillips screwdriver, to use in future openings of one's iPhone.
Some will be driven to distraction by 'unanswered call' in music
Indie LA-based band Mars Argo have prominently used the iPhone's distinctive "Marimba" ringtone -- the default one that relatively few owners ever change -- as the basis of an entire song for their latest single, ironically titled "Don't Call Me." While many will find the gimmick catchy in the effervescent pop song, iPhone owners who are Pavlovian in their response to a ringing iPhone should likely approach the song with caution -- the tone is used continuously throughout the track, though there are sections where it fades into the background.
iFixit's tear down reveals one of Apple's most repairable products
Tech site iFixit has uploaded a new teardown for the latest AirPort Extreme, Apple's first 802.11ac wireless base station. Opening the device revealed an interior space to allow for a hard drive to be installed, however hopes of at-home storage upgrades were dashed by no available plug-in options on the logic board. The AirPort Extreme offers a Delta Electronics 12V, 5A power supply, much akin to Mac Mini technology. Thanks to a simply disassembly iFixit staff have categorized the wireless base station, along with Apple TV and Mac Mini, as the most repairable Apple product in recent history.
Bigger-capacity battery, dual mics, Samsung-provided storage
Two initial teardowns of the latest MacBook Air model by Mac specialists OWC and iFixit have revealed a number of small changes but mostly similarities between the latest revision and the current model. Overall, no huge changes were made to the interior layout of the 11-inch device, apart from a completely redesigned Airport card and other minor tweaks. The investigation did turn up that the battery in the unit features a 6.7 percent capacity increase in the same space, aiding the dramatically increased battery life.
Leaked documents allegedly cover PRISM, supporting systems
More documents allegedly related to the National Security Agency (NSA) and its data harvesting activities has surfaced, courtesy of hacking collective Anonymous. The group released a total of 13 documents that it claims "prove that the NSA is spying on you," and that its spying activities are not just covering Americans, but also people in over 35 different countries.
Charges of widespread monitoring follow discovery of Verizon NSA data collection
Just a day after respected UK newspaper The Guardian reported that a leaked secret US court order showed that the National Security Agency (NSA) was harvesting millions of phone records and "telephony metadata" from Verizon customers, a new report from The Guardian and the Washington Post has charged that the NSA is further using a secret program called PRISM to harvest usage data from the internal servers of most of America's major tech companies -- including Apple, Google, Microsoft and many others.
Enables use with third-gen Apple TV
A new hack dubbed PlexConnect allows the third-party Plex media server to run on second- and third-generation Apple TVs without jailbreaking, the creators of Plex say. The technique involves running a program on a computer which disguises itself as the Trailer app; changing a setting on the Apple TV is then all that's needed to put everything into motion. The Plex team notes that PlexConnect uses the latest transcoder, supports iTunes DRM, and can also handle AC3 5.1 sound when using the current preview release of Plex.
Apps claimed to be compromised, Sky advises apps safe
British broadcaster Sky is the latest victim of hacking by the Syrian Electronic Army. Just as in previous attacks, one of its Twitter accounts was taken over by the hackers, but in an unusual maneuver, SEA also managed to gain access to the corporation's Android app listings, replacing the app descriptions on Google Play with "Syrian Electronic Army was here."
Does not require jailbreaking, doubles throughput rates
An altered carrier update that has been modified by two hackers successfully increases the bandwidth available for iPhone 5 units on T-Mobile's US network, tests have found. The patch to the carrier update file, which was originally distributed to add LTE signal to the iPhone 5 using T-Mobile's 1900MHz band, works on both unlocked AT&T units as well as "native" T-Mobile iPhone 5 devices without requiring a jailbreak, though instructions vary for customers using jailbroken iPhones.
Rogue broker ruins own firm, defrauds another in bad bet
David Miller, a former stock trader who brought down his employer in a bet on Apple stock, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy in a plea deal reached with prosecutors. The incident began when Miller improperly bought 1,000 times the number of shares requested by a customer, expecting Apple's stock price to rise and then selling off the excess stock and pocketing the profit before the fraud was noticed. He had been facing up to 25 years in prison for the fraud, but instead will likely see a five-to-eight year sentence.
Jailbreak devs targeted, reveals flaw in Messages app
A flaw in the Messages application used widely on iOS devices has been revealed through a denial-of-service (DoS) attack on a group of jailbreak app developers. The program is subject to simple "flood" type attacks in which an attacker automatically sends messages incredibly rapidly, effectively rendering an account useless. Grant Paul, who goes by "chpwn" on Twitter and was one of the half-dozen victims in the attacks, said that the problem is that "Apple doesn't limit how fast messages can be sent," thus filling up the inbox and requiring the user to clear notifications and text in order to use the app.
Requires unlocked model
A new hack allows a current-generation AT&T iPhone 5 to operate on the 1700MHz band of T-Mobile's network, reports claim. The method involves a custom carrier file, and demands an unlocked A1428 model of the phone, whether with AT&T or officially unlocked by Apple. Once active the hack only provides access to LTE, and not T-Mobile's HSPA+ network.
Amazon adds X-Ray functionality to popular TV shows
Amazon has updated the X-Ray feature of its Instant Video service to now include television shows. The update will allow users to view IMDB information for individual episodes of programs, including the names of actors, what other shows they have appeared in, and other similar content. Expanding what the company has done to movies in the last six months since the feature's launch, X-Ray is available to use for a number of popular TV shows on the Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, and the Amazon Instant Video app on the Wii U.
Quick response prevents any reports of actual account compromises
A security flaw exposed earlier on Friday has already been fixed, just hours after it was discovered, according to Apple. The issue, which could have allowed malicious users to hijack and lock out the legitimate owners, just by knowing the email address and exact birthdate of a victim. In response, Apple temporarily took its "iForgot" password-resetting service offline while it resolved the issue.
New updates patches six exploits, breaks evasi0n jailbreak
In closing six potential exploits in the security-oriented iOS 6.1.3 update released earlier today -- and simultaneously breaking compatibility with the evasi0n jailbreak -- Apple has acknowledged the contributions of the Evad3rs team behind the jailbreak with finding four of the six flaws that, in the wrong hands, could have lead to an increased risk of malware rather than just a path to unofficial apps and customizing. Though the jailbreak hack no longer works, the team suggest that other flaws still exist.
Users can collect unused data for later; 30 percent already on board
FreedomPop, a cellular internet service provider and maker of an iPod Touch case that can turn it into a full working smartphone, has just implemented a new "data rollover" feature for its plans, which let users keep unused data from month to month. The service, which offers 500MB of monthly WiMAX and LTE cellular data for free following the purchase of one of its custom sleeves for iPhones or iPod touch models, allows users to share data with friends and earn additional free data through referrals. It provides either mobile or home internet service.
Vulnerability comes from carrier, enterprise configuration profiles
An Israeli security firm has published a proof-of-concept pointing a weak link in Apple's otherwise very tight security for its mobile platform iOS -- mobileconfig files. The profiles, which are often installed by carriers or enterprise device management solutions, can be downloaded from unencrypted websites, reports Skycure Security. If users were tricked (through social engineering or redirected websites) into installing a malicious profile, it would configure system-level settings to allow attackers access to several key iOS services.
Firefox, older 32-bit browsers may avoid worst effects
On the heels of more problems with browser plug-ins such as Java and Flash, a newly-discovered flaw in HTML5 -- used throughout the web and a fundamental part of all modern browsers -- can be used maliciously to fill hard drives to capacity with junk data. The exploit can be demonstrated on a website set up to document the flaw, called Filldisk. All browsers are susceptible to it -- though Mozilla's Firefox features a hard cap of 5MB of such data and thus mitigates the effect, while some older 32-bit browsers may crash rather than fill up the drive.
Service available over 29 counties across NY, CT, NJ, PA
Aereo today announced that its Internet-repeating television service is now available to the more than 19 million people living in the New York City metropolitan area. The region includes 29 counties across New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Previously, Aereo was only available to residents of New York City's five boroughs.
Could potentially force hackers to start 'from scratch' on new app
iOS 6.1.3 beta 2 -- seeded to developers late last week -- wrecks the evasi0n jailbreak, one of the members of evad3rs tells Forbes. David Wang elaborates that it closes at least one of the five exploits evasi0n currently depends on, specifically a glitch in iOS' timezone settings. Wang says he is still testing v6.1.3, but notes that if "most" of the v6.1.2 exploits have been fixed, evad3rs will have to start "from scratch" on opening up the new firmware.
Third emergency update may be the charm for recent malware issues
Oracle has once again released an updated version of Java SE 7 in order to combat serious vulnerabilities that have resulted in malware attacks on both Macs and Windows PCs. The new version, Update 15, comes less than three weeks after the previous patch, and follows an Apple-issued update to Java SE 6 in the wake of hacker attacks against Apple's own employees' work Macs. The new update is said by Oracle to "enhance security" as well as improve performance and stability.
All devices supported by original hack still usable with update
Holding true to a promise made on evasi0n spokesperson "planetbeing's" twitter feed, the iOS jailbreak tool has been released enabling support for the new 6.1.2 OS update. No bug fixes are noted for the release, or specific notes on what the group had to modify to enable the hack.
Not yet spotted 'in the wild' but could become a threat
Anti-malware software maker Intego is confirming reports of a new OS X-based malware it called "Pintsized" that uses a modified version of OpenSSH to potentially set up a remote connection into Mac accounts, whereupon it could be used to snoop for private owner information. Though not yet seen "in the wild," the malware attempts to disguise itself by using filenames that appear as part of the normal OS X printing system, and sets itself to launch on startup.
Algorithms protect against spammers
Google has claimed victory against account hijackers, claiming the number of legitimate accounts compromised by spammers has dropped by 99.7 percent since 2011. The company's latest security protocols have been developed in response to a surge in account hijacking starting in 2010, as cyber criminals began using stolen passwords to distribute spam from legitimate accounts in an attempt to bypass ever strengthening spam filters, according to a blog post from Google security engineer Mike Hearn.
Expected to fix Exchange glitches, lockscreen vulnerability
iOS 6.1.2 is already in development and should go live early next, say sources for German website iFun. The site adds that the firmware will probably go live before February 20th, and that it's expected to close the lockscreen vulnerability discovered in iOS 6.1, along with Exchange problems. It could conceivably fix other issues as well, but these aren't mentioned by iFun.
Not first instance of lockscreen glitch
(Updated with Apple response) A vulnerability in iOS 6.1 allows people to bypass the iPhone's lockscreen without entering a passcode, reports say. To accomplish the hack, a person has to go to the Emergency Call screen, begin to power off, but then cancel and make a call which should also be cancelled. The phone next has to be put into standby, woken up, and then swiped; the bypass is finally possible by tapping the Emergency Call button after holding down the power button for three to four seconds. The home button has to be hit right away to prevent the phone from shutting off, and users are still blocked from email, messaging, and browsing.