Released nine days ago, iOS 10.3 appears to be randomly re-enabling iCloud features that users previously disabled in Settings. The software update consolidates the various iCloud and Apple ID-related features under one central place at the top of the Settings app. The new organization has nothing to do with this behavior. It’s a bug, Apple told customers in an email message obtained by MacRumors, that affects a small number of users.
Starting with the release of iOS 10.3 and macOS 10.12.4, iPhone, iPad, and Mac users are able to help Apple improve its products and services by letting the company analyze their iCloud data. As much as you may trust Apple, you should know there is a simple way to stop sharing your iCloud analytics data, whether you use an iOS or macOS device.
A sketchy rumor released Monday by the Israeli outlet The Verified claims that Siri will gain some interesting new capabilities when iOS 11 launches this fall. For starters, Apple’s personal digital assistant will tap into machine learning deeper than ever before to learn from user behaviors within the context of individual apps. Moreover, Siri will integrate with Apple’s iMessage service and sync data via iCloud.
Yesterday, a hacker group known as “Turkish Crime Family” told Motherboard it had obtained access to hundreds of millions iCloud and Apple ID accounts. They’ve threatened to reset passwords and remotely wipe Apple devices of all their data, including photos, videos and messages, unless the company pays a ransom of either $75,000 in the Bitcoin/Ethereum cryptocurrencies or $100,000 in iTunes Gift Cards, by April 7. Today, Apple denied the hacking claims, telling Forbes that iCloud, Apple ID and other systems haven’t been hacked into directly.
As reported Tuesday by Motherboard, hackers that go under the code-name “Turkish Crime Family” have allegedly obtained, through unknown means, access to hundreds of millions of Apple email accounts, including iCloud inboxes with email addresses on @icloud and @me domains.
They’re threatening to remotely wipe iOS devices unless Apple pays a laughable ransom. It’s notable that iCloud has never been hacked into directly and other reasons make this story hard to swallow.
In January, Apple took down a web tool that allowed anyone to check status of the theft-deterrent Activation Lock feature. While the link to the iCloud Activation Lock webpage is now dead and the associated support document detailing Activation Lock no longer references the tool, UnlockBoot has discovered that potential buyers in the market for a secondhand iOS device can still check Activation Lock status by IMEI through Apple’s Support website.
A Russian forensics firm named Elcomsoft has discovered that Apple was storing users’ Safari browsing histories in iCloud going back more than a year, possibly much longer. This was happening even after users had asked for any deleted records to be wiped from their iCloud-connected devices. Soon after Elcomsoft announced a way to extract deleted browsing histories from iCloud, Apple applied a server-side fix to stop the retrievals and apparently purged all records older than two weeks.
As we reported, Apple recently took down its tremendously useful Activation Lock webpage for reasons unknown. The theft-deterrent tool allowed legitimate iOS device owners and just about anyone else to check the status of the Activation Lock feature by entering a serial number. Apple provided no explanation for the removal, but all checks point to it being a precautionary measure meant to prevent hacks relying on stolen serial numbers, as a reader pointed out in comments.
Apple recently took down its web tool for checking if a used iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Apple Watch was stolen. The firm gave no explanation for the move.
The link to the Activation Lock webpage no longer works and the support document detailing the feature does not contain any reference to the web tool as of January 24. It was unclear at post time if a new version of the tool might be returning in the future in one form or another.