Apple launches new privacy-focused site with government request figures and more

By Cody Lee on Sep 17, 2014

Apple this evening launched a new privacy site in an effort to increase transparency on how it protects user data, and to educate users on how they can better protect themselves. Additionally, Tim Cook has posted an open letter to Apple Customers detailing the various sections of the new site, as well as Apple’s stance on user privacy.

The move follows recent bad publicity for Apple, in which its laxed iCloud security measures were blamed for the hacking of high profile celebrity accounts, which resulted in a slew of nude photos being leaked. The company maintains that its servers were never breached, but Tim Cook promised to double down on security anyway.

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1Password 5 launches with Touch ID support, App Extensions, goes freemium

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 17, 2014

AgileBits, the maker of the popular password-keeping utility, 1Password, has issued a major new version of the app following Apple’s release of the iOS 8 software update earlier this morning.

1Password 5 for iOS 8 now takes full advantage of Touch ID fingerprint scanning to unlock your vault and comes with a brand new iOS 8 App Extension in Safari and other apps that also uses Touch ID.

The Safari extension is available right in the Share sheet and permits you to fill Logins directly into web pages. Taking advantage of AgileBits’ own proprietary extensions for integrating third-party apps with 1Password, supported apps can now log you in with just a tap. And as you update passwords in these apps, 1Password updates the corresponding item in its database.

As for the price, the new 1Password 5 is a free update to existing users and a freemium download for everyone else, with a one-time In-App Purchase to unlock features like folders, tags, custom fields, Multiple Vaults, as well as the full range of items including Bank Accounts, Email Accounts, Memberships, Passports, Reward Programs, Wireless Routers, Software Licenses and many more. Read More

 

iCloud web portal again employing two-factor authentication

By Cody Lee on Sep 16, 2014

Several users have noticed that iCloud.com is once again employing two-factor authentication for users who have activated the security measure. The two-step process first popped up on the iCloud web portal back in June, but the feature was quickly pulled for unknown reasons.

For those unfamiliar with Apple’s implementation of two-factor authentication, it requires users to verify their identity via text message or Find My iPhone push notification. It provides an extra layer of security in the event a user’s device or Apple ID info becomes compromised. Read More

 

Tim Cook already being questioned about Apple Watch and privacy

By Cody Lee on Sep 15, 2014

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen announced this afternoon that he’s sent a letter to Tim Cook regarding the new Apple Watch and user privacy. Jepsen wants Cook to explain what data the device will collect, how that data will be stored, and what Apple’s policies are on apps that access health information.

Specifically, Jepsen asks whether Apple will allow consumers to store personal/health info on its servers, and if so. how will that information be safeguarded. He also wants to know what kind of data Apple Watch will collect from users, and how it and its developers plan to obtain consent for this collection from users. Read More

 

‘AppBuyer’ malware steals Apple IDs and passwords from jailbroken devices

By Cody Lee on Sep 15, 2014

Security research firm Palo Alto Networks reported this weekend about a new iOS malware that’s affecting jailbroken devices. It’s called ‘AppBuyer,’ and it’s programmed to steal a user’s Apple ID and password for the purpose of purchasing apps from the App Store.

It’s not clear exactly how AppBuyer is being installed, but the group says it could be done a number of ways including through a malicious Cydia Substrate tweak or PC jailbreaking utility. Those infected complain of random apps periodically popping up on their devices. Read More

 

Apple Watch security feature prevents thieves from making payments

By Cody Lee on Sep 10, 2014

Leander Kahney of Cult of Mac reports today that the Apple Watch comes with a built-in security feature that disables Apple Pay in the event that it is stolen. Apparently the Watch can use its sensors to tell when it is being worn, and when it has been taken off.

Kahney says that during the hands-on time at Apple’s event yesterday, an employee for the company told him that when you first put the watch on you, you must enter a security code. When the watch is removed, Apple Pay locks up until you enter the code again. Read More

 

Apple starts sending email alerts when you sign in to iCloud via a web browser

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 8, 2014

As noted by Letem světem Applem and confirmed by MacRumors editor Eric Slivka, Apple in the aftermath of the nude celeb pics scandal seems to have taken the first in a series of promised steps to bolster up the security of its cloud.

Now each time you sign in to iCloud through a web browser, the Cupertino firm will issue an email notice which contains a date and time that the account was accessed. This behavior is now enabled by default.

Previously, login alerts had been sent only if there was an attempt to log in to iCloud on an unknown Apple device. Read More

 

Apple said to use tokenization tech to secure mobile payments

By Cody Lee on Sep 7, 2014

Bank Innovation is out with a new report this evening, claiming that Apple will be utilizing tokenization technology in conjunction with NFC in its upcoming mobile payment service. Token tech is a favorite amongst financial institutions, as it’s considered to be extremely secure.

How it works is that instead of transmitting account and credit card numbers, tokenization sends complex codes over the air between devices. These codes are only used one time, so even if they are intercepted by a third-party with the intent of fraud, they would be of no use. Read More

 

The best password manager apps for iPhone and iPad

By Lory Gil on Sep 7, 2014

In light of recent hacking antics that have come to light regarding Apple’s iCloud service, we are all much more aware of how important it is to secure our personal data. One of the best way to ensure that your iCloud account is protected is to enable two-step verification, but this alone might not always be enough to prevent hackers from gaining access to some of your data.

Of course, a strong password manager helps ensure that you aren’t using those dreaded simple passwords for dozens of different accounts, which makes it even easier for a predator to gain access to even more of your private data. Today, we’ve got a list of what we think are the best password manager apps for iPhone and iPad. Read More

 

Tim Cook speaks out on recent iCloud hacks, promises new security measures

By Cody Lee on Sep 4, 2014

Tim Cook sat down with The Wall Street Journal today, but not to talk about how excited Apple is about next week’s iPhone event. Instead, the CEO answered questions regarding the recent iCloud scandal, which led to the posting of dozens of nude celebrity photos earlier this week.

Apple has already released a statement on the matter, claiming that iCloud and its subsequent services had not been breached. Cook reiterated those claims today, and added that the Cupertino company plans to rollout a number of new security features to make its devices more safe.

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Apple shares drop 4% amidst iCloud security concerns

By Cody Lee on Sep 3, 2014

Shares of Apple dropped 4% today, closing this afternoon at $98.94. That’s the stock’s worst percentage slump since late January, and its worst value since it began its march towards its highest price ever in early August.

The news comes amidst the recent iCloud scandal, in which Apple’s cloud security was blamed for the leaking of several revealing celebrity photos, and ahead of the company’s highly anticipated iPhone event next week. Read More

 

Celeb hacking tapped law enforcement tools to gain access to data inside device backups

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 3, 2014

The alleged iCloud hacking, which has resulted in a massive leak of hundreds of revealing celebrity photos, has most likely been made possible because attackers reportedly used a piece of software that law enforcement officials rely on to siphon data from iOS device backups, Wired reported last night.

Rather than obtain a user’s iCloud username and password with brute-force attacks, the article points to web forum reports describing using specialized software called Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker (EPPB) to impersonate the user’s device in order to obtain the full device backup which holds data like photos, videos, application data, contacts, text messages and more. Read More

 

Apple updates App Store guidelines with new rules for HealthKit and more

By Cody Lee on Sep 2, 2014

Apple posted an update this evening for its App Store review guidelines—a set of instructions for third-party developers on what iOS apps may or may not contain. Tonight’s refresh adds rules for upcoming iOS 8 features such as extensions, HealthKit and HomeKit.

Most of the changes are only pertinent to developers, but there are a few things worth mentioning. Perhaps the most important item, in light of recent events, is that Apple says apps using the HealthKit framework that store user health data in iCloud will be rejected. Read More

 

Apple ‘actively investigating’ alleged iCloud hack that led to celeb photo leak

By Cody Lee on Sep 1, 2014

After nearly 24 hours of silence, Apple has finally commented on the alleged iCloud hack that led to a massive leak yesterday of nude celebrity photos. The Cupertino-based company says that it is aware of the reports and is “actively investigating” the claim.

“We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report,” Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris told Recode in a statement. She did not, however, provide any additional details on the attack, or if iCloud was even the source of the photos. Read More

 
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