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. Continue reading »
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.
* * *
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.
* * *
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: Continue reading »
“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.””
* * *
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:
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. Continue reading »
– 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. Continue reading »
– 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. Continue reading »
– 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. Continue reading »
– 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.
– MasterCard joining push for fingerprint ID standard (USA Today, Oct 2, 2013):
The addition of MasterCard will help FIDO expand its standard to more types of transactions. The company’s experience handling the multitude of existing payments industry standards will also be valuable.
SAN FRANCISCO — MasterCard is joining the FIDO Alliance, signaling that the payment network is getting interested in using fingerprints and other biometric data to identify people for online payments.
MasterCard will be the first major payment network to join FIDO. The Alliance is developing an open industry standard for biometric data such as fingerprints to be used for identification online. The goal is to replace clunky passwords and take friction out of logging on and purchasing using mobile devices.
Apple’s new iPhone 5s smartphone has a fingerprint sensor, but the tech giant is not part of FIDO. However, Google is part of the Alliance, and devices running Google’s Android operating system will have fingerprint sensors by next year.
– Hackers Breach iPhone 5S Fingerprint Security (ZeroHedge, Sep 23, 2013):
Dubbed as a “game-changer” despite being around on devices for years (Motorola Atrix anyone); a ‘paradigm’ shift in mobile payment security; and a revolution in handheld devices by any and all investors bullish of the stocks; Appl’s fingerprint-scanning TouchID is everything you want it to be – apart from secure. As Der Spiegel reports, the well-respected German hacker group Chaos Computer Club (CCC) has thrown a wrench in the works by bypassing the smartphone’s much-heralded fingerprint scanner just two days after launch. The CCC, as the clip below illustrates, successfully bypassed the biometric security system, called TouchID, using “easy everyday means.” So, the question now is – will the NYPD demand everyone downgrade their phones?
It is supposed to represent a major step forward in mobile phone security by replacing the password. But the fingerprint sensor on Apple’s new iPhone 5S has already been compromised just two days after it went on sale. The German hacker organization Chaos Computer Club (CCC) says it has successfully bypassed the biometric security system, called TouchID, using “easy everyday means.”
the CCC said in a blog post, it wanted to demonstrate how fingerprint biometrics is “unsuitable as [an] access control method and should be avoided.”
Such fingerprint technology has been around for a while — it was included as a feature on the Motorola Atrix smartphone, launched in 2011 — but TouchID has been reported as a significant step forward. That assertion is categorically denied by the CCC, with a hacker known as Starbug, who was responsible for bypassing the fingerprint security, saying: “In reality, Apple’s sensor has just a higher resolution compared to the sensors so far. So we only needed to ramp up the resolution of our fake.”
“It is plain stupid to use something that you can’t change and that you leave everywhere every day as a security token,” he said, referring to fingerprints.
– iMORONS UNITE (The Burning Platform, Sep 20, 2013):
You can’t make this shit up. Three minutes that will crush any illusions you might have of the masses rising up and shaking off the yoke of corporate fascism. The decades of mass media propaganda and dumbing down of the people through our government run public education system has succeeded beyond Edward Bernays’ wildest dreams. I give you the next head of the Department of Commerce:
From the commentaries:
DOOMED I TELL YOU!!!!
Lowest labor participation in 35 years, 47 million people on foodstamps, and real incomes haven’t gone up in four decades, but idiots by the thousands will stand in line for two days to whip out their credit cards for a fucking phone that they can order on-line. We are so fucked. And most of these iMorons are Millenials.
“Think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider”
– George Carlin
– Privacy Scandal: NSA Can Spy on Smart Phone Data (Spiegel, Sep 7, 2013):
SPIEGEL has learned from internal NSA documents that the US intelligence agency has the capability of tapping user data from the iPhone, devices using Android as well as BlackBerry, a system previously believed to be highly secure.
The United States’ National Security Agency intelligence-gathering operation is capable of accessing user data from smart phones from all leading manufacturers. Top secret NSA documents that SPIEGEL has seen explicitly note that the NSA can tap into such information on Apple iPhones, BlackBerry devices and Google’s Android mobile operating system.
The documents state that it is possible for the NSA to tap most sensitive data held on these smart phones, including contact lists, SMS traffic, notes and location information about where a user has been.
Tags: 1984, Android, Apple, Barack Obama, Blackberry, Cell Phone, Dictatorship, Fascism, George Orwell, Google, Government, Internet, iPhone, Mobile Phone, New World Order, NSA, Obama administration, Politics, Smartphone, SMS, Surveillance, U.S.
– So Which Is It: iPhone 5 Now Blamed For Q4 GDP Drop (ZeroHedge, Jan 11, 2013):
It was only a month ago when JPM’s Michael Feroli humorously predicted that Q4 GDP would be boosted by 0.5% due iPhone 5 sales, a comment which even the most clueless economists saw right through, and which we commented on as follows: “don’t laugh: yes, US GDP, not that of China where the iPhone is actually produced, but the US where the consumer merely incurs more record student loans to be able to afford it.” Well, in a prime example of goal-seeking data to fit reality, here comes that other quite humorous “economist”, Deutsche Bank’s Joe LaVorgna (recall that Joe is sadly a loser when pitted against the groundhog), who has come up with a slightly different solution: namely that the iPhone led to a drop in Q4 GDP. Step aside Bush, now everything (both good and bad) is the iPhone’s fault.
The above is derived from his discussion of today’s massive trade deficit surge, driven as we observed earlier, by a spike in imports: Continue reading »
– There Go Apple’s Margins: iPhone 5 To Sell At Wal-Mart For A Third Off Original Price (ZeroHedge, Dec 15, 2012):
Remember when less than brisk sales of the iPhone 5 after it was first unveiled (to the usual fawning media Borg collective ooh-ing and aah-ing) were blamed on “supply issues” even as “reputable” Wall Street analysts conducted channel checks which foretold of epic holiday sales and massive pent up demand. As it turns out the only commodity in short supply was, well, demand, particularly that coming from consumers, very much as we predicted during the last earnings report (which was merely the latest consecutive earnings miss in a row). And, as Reuters reports with its Friday night bombshell report, Apple has finally thrown in the towel on pretending there is a supply shortage and admitted there is simply not enough demand at the given price point, by proceeding to sell the margin flagship iPhone 5 at a third off the original price, at the bargain basement commodity expert Wal-Mart of all places. And not only the iPhone, but the Ipad too (we have no idea which generation is the latest one: the iPad 3, the New iPad, the iPad 4s, the iPad Mini, the MAXiPad, etc…) And just like that, the “niche premium” magic of the once uber-cool gizmo is gone, not to mention AAPL’s profit margins, very much as the stock price has been sensing over the past two months, during which time it lobbed off some $150 billion in market cap. And with the reflexivity of fad-ness, as long as the price of the stock is soaring for whatever reason, interest and demand in the product remains at virtually any cost. Sadly for AAPL bulls, the opposite is also true, as is being witnessed right about now. Continue reading »
– Woman Tasered after trying to buy too many iPhones (CNET, Dec 12, 2012):
A woman trying to buy too many iPhones at a New Hampshire Apple store and ends up being Tasered by police outside the store.Normally, when you hear screams outside an Apple store, it’s because, oh, the doors have opened and there’s a new gizmo for the insatiable.
– JPM Cuts Q4 GDP Forecast to 1.5%, Now Sees iPhone Sales Contribute 33% Of Growth Upside (ZeroHedge, Dec 3, 2012):
Remember Michael Feroli? The JPM economist who “predicted” US Q4 GDP would be boosted by 0.5% due to iPhone sales (don’t laugh: yes, US GDP, not that of China where the iPhone is actually produced, but the US where the consumer merely incurs more record student loans to be able to afford it)? Well, the same JPMorganite has now cut his Q4 GDP expectation to 1.5% for all the same reasons why we penned the second Q3 GDP revision: namely ugly internals, a surge in hollow government and inventory contributions to “growth”, and a collapse in the purchasing power of the US consumer (who somehow is still expected to boost Q4 GDP with iPhone sales). And while there is no mention of the iPhone in his just released downward revision, he still believes the cell phone will provide a boost to Q4 GDP. In other words, of the 1.5% in GDP growth in Q4, the iPhone will account for 33% of this! One really can not make this up.
From JPM: Continue reading »
– Apple Rejects App That Tracks U.S. Drone Strikes (Wired, Aug 30, 2012):
It seemed like a simple enough idea for an iPhone app: Send users a pop-up notice whenever a flying robots kills someone in one of America’s many undeclared wars. But Apple keeps blocking the Drones+ program from its App Store — and therefore, from iPhones everywhere. The Cupertino company says the content is “objectionable and crude,” according to Apple’s latest rejection letter.
It’s the third time in a month that Apple has turned Drones+ away, says Josh Begley, the program’s New York-based developer. The company’s reasons for keeping the program out of the App Store keep shifting. First, Apple called the bare-bones application that aggregates news of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia “not useful.” Then there was an issue with hiding a corporate logo. And now, there’s this crude content problem.
Both smartphones will destroy your health:
More links are down below.
– Samsung S3 Overtakes iPhone As World’s Best-Selling Smartphone (ZeroHedge, Nov 8, 2012):
Look up the phrase “inflection point” – it will be the most hated phrase by all those who day after day repeat that there is now way AAPL can ever drop because its “forward multiple is low” (hint: forward multiples are simply functions of forward earnings, and once the fadness and coolness of a memo, no matter how infectious in the past, is gone, so are “forward earnings’, especially once the sellside behavioral finance lemmings crew takes the machete to their Price Targets and has to justify why it has been massively wrong… and also for those who have a calculator, calculate how many years of dividends $100 billion in cash funds before the cash hoard also runs out).
Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S3 became the world’s best-selling smartphone model last quarter, pushing aside Apple Inc’s iPhone, which has dominated the chart for more than two years, research firm Strategy Analytics said on Thursday.
Strategy Analytics estimated Samsung sold 18 million S3 models in the third quarter, compared with iPhone 4S sales of 16.2 million.
– Thousands of Foxconn workers clash with security guards in China (WSWS, Sep 25, 2012):
Taiwan-based Foxconn, the world’s largest outsourcing electronics manufacturer, had to suspend production at one of its major facilities, in the northern Chinese city of Taiyuan, on Monday following a protest during which 2,000 assembly line workers clashed with 1,500 security guards.
The unrest is another sign of the rising social tensions in China, where the economy is slowing sharply due to the deepening slump in the major Western markets, threatening to fuel major working class confrontations with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime.