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Apple has fixed a major security hole that potentially allowed hackers to gain access to a user’s iPhone, potentially allowing them to steal sensitive data such as passwords.
The flaw allowed hackers to break into an iPhone simply by sending them a text message with a specially-modified image file.
Apple share are tumbling (as are the entire complex of suppliers) following a report from Nikkei that Taiwan Seminconductor’s shipments of iPhone 6s, iPhone 7 chips for June-Dec. period will likely shrink 70%-80% vs year earlier. As one anayst noted, a decline of more than 20-30% is not in consensus estimates. As Bloomberg reports, of particular interest is that this cut to orders is about upcoming iPhone 7, not about the well-publicized iPhone 6 slowdown.
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Luckily, the flaw only affects devices that have given Siri relevant permissions to access these applications. At the time of writing there does not appear to be an official fix for the bug however concerned users can fully disable Siri on the lock screen to ensure they don’t fall victim.
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Peak innovation? Meet the iPhone SE (Suckers’ Edition?)
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On Friday, we noted that one of the reasons that the FBI was unable to get access to the data on the remaining iPhone from Syed Farook was because after the shooting and after the phone was in the hands of the government, Farook’s employer, the San Bernardino Health Department, initiated a password change on his iCloud account. That apparently messed stuff up, because without that, it would have been possible to force the phone to backup data to the associated iCloud account, where it would have been available to the FBI. But, after we published that article, a rather salient point came out: the Health Department only did this because the FBI asked it to do so.
From a San Bernardino County Twitter account:
“Apple’s stance in the San Bernardino case may not be quite the principled defense that Cook claims it is… it may have as much to do with public relations as it does with warding off what Cook called “an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers.””
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Iphone maker Apple, Inc. claimed last month that their latest iteration of the wildly popular handheld device was unhackable. According to HackRead, the company is so convinced of its security successes that they issued a statement saying that data stored on a phone secured with a front screen passcode was impossible to access – even by highly talented intelligence agencies:
Now, with the new upgraded operating systems, Apple has termed it “impossible” to access any data from Apple devices. Though, the company can still access data from older phones.
The biggest scare haunting Apple stock in recent months has been whether the slow at first, then quite sudden collapse in both the Chinese economy, not to mention its burst stock market bubble (which in Chinese propaganda retrospect, is now a great thing), will put the breaks on Chinese purchases of Apple’s most important and profitable product – the iPhone. Indeed according to a just released UBS report, while it takes the average New York worker about 24 hours to afford a 16GB iPhone 6, this number rises to 218 hours in Beijing. And the great China’s economic slowdown the higher the number will go, and the lower Apple’s revenues in the coming quarters.
However, for China’s middle class, whose dreams of market bubble riches just went up in a margin call, there is still hope to pretend to be richer than one’s neighbor courtesy of a faux rose gold cell phone. The answer: a tablespoon of sperm.
As Xinhua reports, “technophiles may not have to reach far to find the cash for Apple’s latest model. According to an advertisement with the Shanghai Sperm Bank – all you have to do is donating.”
“No need to sell a kidney…Shanghai sperm bank can make your iPhone 6s dream come true,” says the ad which has gone viral on China’s most popular social networking app WeChat this week.
Capitalizing on the country’s lust for new technology, the sperm bank hopes to fix a shortage in donors ahead of the release of the iPhone 6s next week. Those who qualify to donate can receive up to 6,000 yuan for 17 ml of semen. The latest Apple model is expected to cost around 5,288 yuan.
The morbid jokes just write themselves:
“Why sell your kidney when you can donate sperm? It’s a great deed that can bring happiness to a whole family,” said microblog Weibo user “Wojiushiwutong”.
As a reminder, while “selling kidneys” is usually just a phrase, in China it became all too real in 2011 when a teenager sold one of his kidneys to buy and iPhone and an iPad. “To sell a kidney has become a well-known metaphor for the fever pitch surrounding Apple products.”
A sperm bank in central China’s Hubei Province posted a similar ad highlighting a picture of the new rose gold iPhone 6s, a color created mainly to attract Chinese consumers. The Shanghai ad is bluntly titled “New Solution to Get iPhone 6s”, evoking some criticism that the sperm bank is being insensitive.
“I don’t like the idea of making money out of sperm donation to buy new iPhones. Sperm donation is a very serious cause for public good,” one Weibo user said. But a spokesperson with the Shanghai sperm bank told Xinhua the campaign has worked well so far, raising awareness and attracting potential donors.
The reason why 17 ml of sperm are so valuable in China is because not only are there thousands of infertile couples in China, but all sperm banks across the country face donation shortages because many young men are unaware or too embarrassed to donate, forcing the banks to turn to social media.
Even if they do find a sufficient pool of potential donors, certain criteria must be met to be eligible. Donors must be between 22 to 45 years old, hold a college degree and have high-quality semen that can survive the rigors of freezing and thawing.Which still keeps the pool of eligible candidates in the tens if not hundreds of millions.
It was not exactly clear how potential female consumers of iPhone are supposed to capitalize on this latest Chinese craze, and while there are countless, and very humorous, places one can take this latest manifestation of capitalism perhaps gone too far, one potential Chinese “channel check” may have appeared: masturbation as a leading indicator of iPhone sales. Because just when sales were starting to turn flaccid, here comes China’s sperm-for-iPhones Hail Mary, promising at least several more quarters of firm stock reactions to EPS beats.
– The CIA Campaign to Steal Apple’s Secrets (The Intercept, March 10, 2015):
RESEARCHERS WORKING with the Central Intelligence Agency have conducted a multi-year, sustained effort to break the security of Apple’s iPhones and iPads, according to top-secret documents obtained by The Intercept.
The security researchers presented their latest tactics and achievements at a secret annual gathering, called the “Jamboree,” where attendees discussed strategies for exploiting security flaws in household and commercial electronics. The conferences have spanned nearly a decade, with the first CIA-sponsored meeting taking place a year before the first iPhone was released.
– Man Tries to Trade Decrepit Detroit House for New iPhone (ABC News, ‘
One homeowner is resorting to bartering for the latest iPhone as a tactic to sell a beleaguered property in Detroit.
The owner has dropped the asking price on a three-bedroom home in east Detroit from $5,000 to a new iPhone 6 as the owner is desperate to sell ahead of the area’s tax auction season where “thousands” of homes near foreclosure will flood the market, real estate broker Larry Else told ABC News.
“This house is really not worth much at all,” Else said.
– Apple engineered surveillance back door into 600 million iPhones (Natural News, July 22, 2014):
A highly skilled hacker who presented at the recent Hackers On Planet Earth (HOPE/X) conference in New York has dropped a massive bomb on the state of smartphone privacy. Jonathan Zdziarski, an active member in the iPhone development community who helped work on many early iOS “jailbreak” iterations, says Apple has deliberately engineered back door surveillance systems into the iPhone, allowing both the company and the government easy access to users’ personal data.
During his presentation, Zdziarski, who goes by the hacker alias “NerveGas,” showed detailed slides explaining how iOS is inherently insecure — on purpose. His investigation into the coding behind iOS revealed that the seemingly user-friendly system, which is used on hundreds of millions of Apple iPhones, contains a number of “undocumented high-value forensic services” and “suspicious design omissions,” both of which make it relatively easy for private data to be extracted from users’ phones.
– China Fears iPhone Is “Threat To National Security” (ZeroHedge, July 12, 2014):
With threats and promises over cyber-crimes fleeting back and forth between the US and China, it appears – through the ‘back-channel’ of the nation’s state broadcaster CCTV – China has stepped it up once again. As AFP reports, China has accused US technology giant Apple of threatening national security through its iPhone’s ability to track and time-stamp a user’s location. While not exactly a ‘new feature’ of the phones, the timing of China’s public lambasting reflects the escalating mutual distrust between the US and China over the extent of cyber-espionage.
Chinese state broadcaster CCTV has accused US technology giant Apple of threatening national security through its iPhone’s ability to track and time-stamp a user’s location.
– Minimum Wage Consequences? iPhone 6 Will Be Made By “FoxBots” (ZeroHedge, July 7, 2014):
First it was burgers, then waiters, traders, and recently earnings-report-writers; but now it’s iPhones. The endless pressure to raise minimum wages, demand bathroom breaks, expect to sleep, and tolerable breathing standards have finally culminated in China’s FoxConn – manufacturer of the iPhone – to use a ‘robot army’ to build the new model. As The Daily Mail reports, The firm has pledged to have a million robot workers by the end of the year – and CEO Terry Gou has revealed the robots, dubbed ‘Foxbots’, are in the final stages of testing.
It is believed Foxconn will install 10,000 robots as a test.
– Foxconn Working With Google on Robotics (Wall Street Journal, Feb 11, 2014):
Foxconn has long been associated as the partner for Apple, assembling the majority of the U.S. company’s iPhones and iPads.
But few people know the Taiwanese contract manufacturer, also known as Hon Hai Precision industry, has been quietly working with Google.
People familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal that Foxconn has been working with former Android executive Andy Rubin since last year to carry out the U.S. company’s vision for robotics.
To speed up robot deployment at its own factories, Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou met with Rubin in Taipei recently and they discussed new robotic technologies, they said.
– Obama Says He’s Not Allowed iPhone For ‘Security Reasons’ (Huffington Post, Dec 4, 2013):
The troubled mobile phone maker BlackBerry still has at least one very loyal customer: U.S. President Barack Obama.
At a meeting with youth on Wednesday to promote his landmark healthcare law, Obama said he is not allowed to have Apple’s smart phone, the iPhone, for “security reasons,” though he still uses Apple’s tablet computer, the iPad.