The flaw, fixed in Monday’s iOS 10.3 update, had been reported to Apple a month ago by researchers at San Francisco-based mobile security firm Lookout.
“One of our users alerted us to this campaign, and said he had lost control of Safari on his iPhone,” Andrew Blaich, a Lookout security researcher, said in a Tuesday interview. “He said, ‘I can’t use my browser anymore.'”
At the same time, the attack showed a message, purportedly from a law enforcement agency, demanding payment to unlock the browser for, in one instance at least, simply steering to a URL that suggested the site’s content was pornographic. Payment was to be made by texting a £100 ($125) iTunes gift card code to a designated number.
Blaich stressed that the attack was as much scam as scare: To regain control of Safari, all one had to do was head to Settings, tap Safari, then Clear History and Website Data.
“This was a scareware attack, where [the attackers] were trying to get people to not think and just pay,” said Blaich.
Scareware is a label applied to phony security software that claims a computer is heavily infected with malware. Such software nags users with pervasive pop-ups and fake alerts until they fork over the “registration” fee, sometimes in the hundreds of dollars.
“[The hackers] hoped you would just react, want to cover it up, then pay and move on,” Blaich said.
Samsung’s Note 7s were permanently scrapped in October following a global recall, roughly two months from the launch of the near-$900 devices, after some phones self-combusted. A subsequent probe found manufacturing problems in batteries supplied by two different companies – Samsung SDI Co Ltd and Amperex Technology Ltd.
Analysis from Samsung and independent researchers found no other problems in the Note 7 devices except the batteries, raising speculation that Samsung will recoup some of its losses by selling refurbished Note 7s.
A person familiar with the matter told Reuters in January that it was considering the possibility of selling refurbished versions of the device or reusing some parts.
Samsung’s announcement that revamped Note 7s will go back on sale, however, surprised some with the timing – just days before it launches its new S8 smartphone on Wednesday in the United States, its first new premium phone since the debacle last year.
Samsung, under huge pressure to turn its image around after the burning battery scandal, had previously not commented on its plans for recovered phones.
“Regarding the Galaxy Note 7 devices as refurbished phones or rental phones, applicability is dependent upon consultations with regulatory authorities and carriers as well as due consideration of local demand,” Samsung said in a statement.
South Korea’s Electronic Times newspaper, citing unnamed sources, said on Tuesday Samsung will start selling refurbished Note 7s in its home country in July or August and will aim to sell between 400,000 and 500,000 of the Note 7s using safe batteries.
Samsung said in a statement to Reuters the company has not set specifics on refurbished Note 7 sales plans, including what markets and when they would go on sale, though noting the phones will not be sold in India as some media reported earlier this year.
The firm said refurbished Note 7s will be equipped with new batteries that have gone through Samsung’s new battery safety measures.
“The objective of introducing refurbished devices is solely to reduce and minimize any environmental impact,” it said.
A Chinese court has ruled in favor of Apple in design patent lawsuit between the Cupertino, California company and a domestic phone-maker, overturning a ban on selling iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus phones in China, Xinhua news agency reported.
Last May, a Beijing patent regulator ordered Apple’s Chinese subsidiary and a local retailer Zoomflight to stop selling the iPhones after Shenzhen Baili Marketing Services lodged a complaint, claiming that the patent for the design of its mobile phone 100c was being infringed by the iPhone sales.
Apple and Zoomflight took the Beijing Intellectual Property Office’s ban to court.
The Beijing Intellectual Property Court has revoked the ban, saying Apple and Zoomflight did not violate Shenzhen Baili’s design patent for 100c phones.
The court ruled that the regulator did not follow due procedures in ordering the ban while there was no sufficient proof to claim the designs constituted a violation of intellectual property rights.
Representatives of Beijing Intellectual Property Office and Shenzhen Baili said they would take time to decide whether to appeal the ruling, according to Xinhua.
In a related ruling, the same court denied a request by Apple to demand stripping Shenzhen Baili of its design patent for 100c phones.
Apple first filed the request to the Patent Reexamination Board of State Intellectual Property Office. The board rejected the request, but Apple lodged a lawsuit against the rejection.
The Beijing Intellectual Property Court on Friday ruled to maintain the board’s decision. It is unclear if Apple will appeal.
The two biggest cities in the U.S. — New York City and Los Angeles –still fall below many smaller U.S. cities in overall wireless performance, according to millions of field tests performed by RootMetrics in the second half of 2016.
The New York metro area, with 18 million people, ranked just 66th in the latest round of tests of the nation’s largest 125 metro areas. Meanwhile, L.A., with 12.1 million people, ranked 49th. In testing done by RootMetrics in the first half of last year, New York finished 59th, L.A., 99th.
L.A. improved in two of six measurements: call and data performance. New York’s drop was largely driven by a “steep decline” in network speed and data performance, RootMetrics said.
The reasons for New York’s decline — and declines in other cities — depend on multiple factors. “These metro rankings are relative; the most common reason for a ranking drop is not that performance is declining in a particular city, rather than performance is improving faster in other cities,” said Annette Hamilton, director at RootMetrics.
RootMetrics evaluates the nation’s four largest carriers using actual phones the carriers sell in tests conducted outdoors and inside buildings. Sometimes a carrier will temporarily take down service in a cell tower while improvements are made; also, a recent increase in the number of users and the rich video content they download could burden a cell tower’s capacity and affect performance. As some cities improve in overall performance, they can displace other top-ranked cities.
“While mobile performance is generally strong across most areas of the country, our data shows that not all metro areas are created equal when it comes to network performance,” RootMetrics said in a report.
Besides New York, other large metro areas dropped in several categories from the first half of 2016. Boston, the 10th largest in population, fell from 17th to 97th, finishing in the bottom on network reliability and call performance. Miami, fourth in population, dropped from 84th to 89th, due to a decline in network reliability and call performance.
Both Atlanta and Chicago declined from their top five finishes in early 2016. Chicago finished 8th overall in the latest tests, and dropped to 65th in text performance. Atlanta dropped from third to 23rd, with declines in all six categories that RootMetrics measures: overall performance, network reliability, network speed, data performance, call performance and text performance.
Hamilton said while Atlanta placed 23rd, it had a “stellar reputation for speed and data performance” with Verizon showing the fastest median download speed of 37.7Mbps. Further, while Boston came in 97th, three of the four wireless carrier there clocked median download speeds above 20Mbps, which she described as “more than fast enough to easily complete typical mobile tasks.”
In 2017, she added, “We expect to see metro rankings shift again as carriers continue to deploy new capabilities to meet mobile demands.”
Houston, the seventh-largest metro area, improved — moving from 51st to 18th. RootMetrics reported that all four carriers showed “superb” rates of getting connected and staying connected to the network during data reliability testing and saw a big leap in call performance.
The top five metro areas by overall performance were Indianapolis; Richmond, Va. ; Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio; and Minneapolis. The bottom five of the 125 measured were Hudson Valley, N.Y., in 121st place, descending to Springfield, Mass.; Santa Rosa, Calif.; Worcester, Mass.; and Omaha.
That means that organizations looking for smartphones offering government-grade security will be able to buy the Samsung Galaxy S7 or, soon, the S8 rather than the now-discontinued BlackBerry OS smartphones.
In addition to encrypting communications and data stored on the device, the new SecuSuite also secures voice calls using the SNS standard set by Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). Organizational app traffic is passed through an IPsec VPN, while data from personal apps can go straight to the internet. Encrypted voice calls go through a different gateway, not the VPN.
When it goes on sale, likely around July, an S7 running SecuSuite for Samsung Knox will cost around €1900, said BlackBerry Secusmart managing director Christoph Erdmann. That’s the same price as the existing BlackBerry 10 version, and includes the phone, a microSD smartcard to secure the encryption keys, and the first year of service.
Secusmart is demonstrating the new system on its stand at the Cebit trade show in Hanover, Germany this week.
This is not Secusmart’s first collaboration with Samsung: Two years ago at Cebit, in conjunction with IBM, the companies unveiled an ultrasecure (and ultra-expensive) version of the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 tablet, called the Secutablet. It cost $2,300.
Users of SecuSuite for Samsung Knox will see the icons of applications managed by their employer tagged with a small padlock. When these applications are launched, they will ask for a PIN to authorize use of the encryption keys in the microSD card. Without these, neither the app nor its associated data can be accessed.
Other applications, including popular messaging platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp, can be installed in accordance with the employer’s security policies: Some organizations, like the German government, will allow only limited whitelists, while others may allow full access to the Google Play Store.
The controls are imposed by the organization’s MDM (mobile device management) and MAM (mobile applications management) servers, typically BES 12 and EASE respectively.
Even if a user inadvertently downloads and installs one of the malicious apps that occasionally sneaks into the Google Play Store, data in the work-related apps is still securely protected, said Erdmann.
“Every good OS has to have a way to stop processes reading other processes’ memory,” he said, adding that the Android OS is one of the ones that does.
So far, only a couple of Android manufacturers offer devices with secure boot systems: Samsung, and TCL, the company that now manufactures BlackBerry-brand Android phones under license.
“There’s great potential” for running SecuSuite on non-Knox Android phones, Erdmann said, but it won’t happen right away.
By using Finicity’s technology, which aggregates data on accounts from thousands of banks and financial institutions, Experian’s new service will give lenders real-time access to information on a customer’s assets, income and ability to pay, the companies said.
This means consumers will be able to apply for mortgages without having to provide reams of paper-based verification documents during the underwriting process, the companies said. Instead they will only need to authorize lenders to view their account data, the companies said.
They said the new service, set to launch on Monday, could reduce the underwriting process from as many as 70 days to up to 10 days.
The launch reflects the growing pressure faced by banks and other brick-and-mortar lenders to offer better digital services to their customers. Banks have been facing more competition from a new cohort of online lenders which are able to offer loans online in days or minutes by automating much of the process.
Some banks have responded by either partnering with digital lenders or launching their own online lending services. JPMorgan Chase & Co said in February that it was gradually introducing a digital mortgage platform where customers can apply online and track applications by mobile phone, while Goldman Sachs Group Inc launched online consumer lending platform Marcus last year.
Experian and Finicity said their product will also help consumers with little or no credit history by enabling lenders to access alternative data which can be used to demonstrate whether they would be able to repay a loan. This includes information such as their rent payments and utility and phone bills.
It comes as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau conducts an inquiry into ways to expand access to credit for consumers with little or no credit history through the use of alternative data. The regulator is seeking public feedback on the benefits and risks of using such alternative data sources.
The app now features Quick Actions, so that users can tap a couple of buttons and get Cortana to create an alarm, set a reminder, or tell them a joke. That means users can get at key features without having to talk or type queries, and it also gives them a framework for what they can do with the app, without them having to discover it on their own.
The virtual assistant market is a crowded one, between Cortana, Siri, Alexa and the Google Assistant all competing for users’ time and interest. Microsoft’s assistant is built deeply into PCs with Windows 10, but the company also needs to keep its apps for other mobile platforms up to date in order to meet users where they are.
In addition, the app’s phone call and messaging functionality got a facelift, so users who want to text using Cortana can do so, in a move that makes it even more competitive with Apple’s Siri.
Cortana’s messaging and calling capabilities got a redesign as well. When users ask Cortana to make a call, the app will fire up the iPhone’s dialer. Sending a message pulls up a view of the built-in messaging app.
The redesign is similar to one that the company gave Cortana’s Android app in December of last year.
Both Apple and Samsung shipped 74.5 million smartphones during the period, each claiming close to 20 percent share of the market, research firm Strategy Analytics said Wednesday.
It’s a big change from a year ago, when Apple’s iPhone 5s only helped the company gain a 17.6 percent share of the market, as opposed to Samsung’s near 30 percent share.
The data from Strategy Analytics comes a few days after Apple reported huge profits of $18 billion made in last year’s fourth quarter, from record sales of its new smartphone.
“Demand for iPhone has been staggering, shattering our high expectation,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an earnings call.
He added that the smaller iPhone 6 was the better selling of the two models, but that some markets preferred the bigger iPhone 6 Plus. Although the U.S. still remains the company’s largest market, China was another major contributor to the phone’s sales in the quarter, with sales in the market up by over 100 percent year over year.
Samsung isn’t faring as well in the smartphone market. It is losing market share at the high-end to the iPhone 6, and at the mid-tier and low-end range to products from Chinese vendors Huawei and Xiaomi.
“Samsung may soon have to consider taking over rivals, such as Blackberry, in order to revitalize growth this year,” Strategy Analytics said in a statement. But for the whole year 2014, Samsung still remained the top smartphone vendor, with a 24.7 percent share, followed by Apple, which had a 15 percent share.
Trailing far behind the two players is third place Lenovo, which acquired Motorola Mobility from Google last year. By buying the U.S. handset maker, Lenovo’s market share in the fourth quarter reached 6.5 percent.
Huawei was in fourth place during the quarter, with a 6.3 percent share.
Overall, the world’s smartphone market grew 31 percent during the period, with shipments reaching a record 380.1 million units.
“We are not currently aware of any attacks or exploits against BlackBerry products or services, including QNX. Still, the news is a bit frightening, now that we are in the semi-autonomous driving age and evolving towards fully self-driving cars,” Marty Beard, BlackBerry’s chief operating officer stated in a blog.
BlackBerry claims its QNX software is in 60 million cars represented by more than 240 car models. The company has its sights set on becoming the leading end-to-end software platform provider in connected cars.
Today, QNX software can not only be found in a vehicle’s in-vehicle infotainment system, but also in support of vehicle telematics, instrument clusters and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).
On Wednesday, WikiLeaks released more than 8,700 documents it claimed came from the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence. Some of the documents indicated the intelligence agency had looked at exploiting security vulnerabilities in smartphones, smart TVs and vehicle computer systems. The aim is allegedly to be able to activate the devices’ microphones and cameras to be able to spy on enemies.
“As of October 2014, the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks,” the WikiLeaks post stated. “The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations.”
David Kleidemacher, BlackBerry’s chief security officer, said what keeps him up at night is that vehicles are such a rich target of opportunity for nation states and terrorists.
“If you’re a terrorist and you’re trying to do a lot of damage, would you rather hijack and fly airplane into the Twin Towers… or would you rather find a way to hijack 10 million cars at once because there’s a common Internet connection between them? Wouldn’t that be more attractive to a terrorist?” Kleidemacher said. “The fact that people don’t think that’s a real threat is deeply disturbing to me.”
QNX, however, doesn’t have the same vulnerabilities as consumer, or even enterprise-class, OSes, because as a system critical to vehicle safety, it has been designed without root vulnerabilities, according to Kleidemacher.
QNX, he said, is based on a microkernel architecture, which compartmentalizes functions such as the networking stack, the file system, software drivers, and memory.
In a standard OS, built using a monolithic kernel architecture, if an attacker gains root access they then have free run of the entire system. That’s why so many cyberattacks ultimately boil down to fooling the OS into thinking the attacker is a root user.
“There haven’t been any vulnerabilities in either the current or previous versions of QNX,” Kleidemacher said, adding that QNX is also the only automotive software that meets ISO 26262 — the highest automotive safety integrity level possible.
AT&T’s mobile subscribers in some states were not able to place 911 emergency calls late Wednesday, leading to complaints from police departments and emergency agencies in various parts of the country.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai wrote on Twitter that his agency was receiving reports of widespread AT&T 911 call outages and its public safety staff was investigating.
Pai tweeted about an hour later that AT&T had reported to him that 911 service was restored. “The @FCC will investigate the root cause of the outage and its impact,” he added.
AT&T tweeted that an issue that affected some calls to 911 from wireless customers had been resolved.
Mobile users in at least 14 states and Washington, D.C., were unable to call 911 for a few hours on Wednesday night, The New York Times reported.
The FCC has previously fined service providers for outages. In July 2015, the agency reached a $17.5 million settlement with T-Mobile USA, resolving an investigation into two separate but related 911 service outages that occurred on the company’s national network in 2014 and together lasted nearly three hours.
The outage on Wednesday will likely give momentum to plans to upgrade the current 911 system to a next generation system that would allow people to send text, images and video when reporting an emergency.
The National Emergency Number Association said Wednesday that the outage highlights the immediate need to transition 911 centers in the U.S. to the next-generation NG9-1-1 technology that can “intelligently route around outages, redirect calls to other regions, or use backup facilities in ways that legacy E9-1-1 systems cannot.”
U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson, a Democrat from Florida, and Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota, have released draft legislation to quicken the national transition to next generation 911 systems that will take advantage of new broadband and voice technologies.
LG is going to introduce G6 in Barcelona, Spain on the 26 February and start selling on the 10 March. Presale for G6 will take place from the 2-9 March. Samsung is going to introduce the Galaxy S8 in New York on the 29 March and launch it on 21 April. Presale for Galaxy S8 has not been figured out yet.
LG gets 42 days march on Samsung and this is the first time when LG has beaten Samsung to the punch. It will be about 50 days earlier if the presale schedule is included. However, they are more or less releasing at the same time, which means that a war is expected in a way not seen before.
Initially Samsung was going to launch the Galaxy S8 globally on the 21 April and domestically a week earlier. Its original plan was to have presale on the week of the 6th April and launch the Galaxy S8 in South Korea on the 14 April. To have stable supplies, it has modified its plan by having Galaxy S8 launch globally and domestically on the same day.
So it looks like both companies are competing against each other before they officially launch their premium smartphones.
The new thumb drives now match the top-capacity offered in iPhones and iPads and retail for $280 ($199 Amazon price).
The new iXpand Flash Drive can automatically back up an iPhone or iPad camera roll and lets users watch popular video formats (WMV, AVI, MKV, MP4, MOV) straight from the drive.
The drive has both a flexible Lightning connector that works with most cases and a USB 3.0 connector to plug into a newer Mac laptop or a PC.
The iXpand Flash Drive also includes encryption software that allows users to password-protect files, so content can be shared while more sensitive files are kept secure across devices.
As part of the device update, users can now cast content from the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive to their television via Chromecast or Amazon Fire directly from the iXpand app. The app is available for download from the App Store for iPhone and iPad, and launches when the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive is plugged into one of those devices — allowing for access to the user’s content and easy file management.
The SanDisk Wireless Connect Stick wirelessly streams data via Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n); no Internet connection or router is required. The Connect Wireless Flash Drive also has a slide-out USB 2.0 connector that works like any thumb drive.
The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick can stream music, videos or HD movies to three devices at a time via the SanDisk Connect app and is designed to make it easy to share and stream content between multiple devices and computers.
The Connect app also supports streaming on large displays via AirPlay with Apple TV.
Wafer supply has been tight, said Hsu, though supply is expected to fall short of demand by three percent in 2017 and increase by seven to eight percent in 2018. Silicon wafer prices are negotiated on a square-inch basis and reached an 11-year low of $0.67 up until January, when prices began a slight uphill climb. A large increase in demand is now coming from overseas foundries and prices are expected to undergo a higher increase in Q2, according to Hsu.
For now, the market outlook currently remains bullish and is characterized by rising share prices.
Demand for 6-inch, 8-inch and 12-inch wafers all up
Demand for 12-inch wafers has risen rapidly since the beginning of the year, while demand for 8-inch wafers has also pushed up wafer prices. Existing 6-inch fabrication plants are now running at full capacity and has driven up demand for this size as well.
Supply expected to remain tight in the long-run
Though chipmakers have been reluctant to strike long-term deals with wafer suppliers, global supply of wafers is expected to remain tight in the long run, according to Ming-Kuang Lu, chairman of Sino-American Silicon Products (SAS).
Chipmakers have been reluctant to strike long-term deals with wafer suppliers due to low profit returns over the past few years. Although negotiating details in the solar panel industry and other wafer-needing industries are a bit different, in the high-tech industry at least, foundries have more leverage in negotiating prices with wafer suppliers.
A patent war is being fought between two of the industry smartphone leaders of yesteryear – Nokia and Blackberry.
Blackberry filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Nokia Oyj, demanding royalties on the Finnish company’s mobile network products that use an industry wide technology standard.
Blackberry moaned that Nokia’s Flexi Multiradio base stations, radio network controllers and Liquid Radio software are using technology covered by as many as 11 patents owned by BlackBerry.
It added that Nokia was encouraging the use” of the standard- compliant products without a license from Blackberry.
Blackberry did not say how much it wanted Nokia to cough up, but it would appear to be part of Chief Executive Officer John Chen is working to find new ways to pull revenue out of Blackberry’s technology.
He’s used acquisitions to add a suite of software products and negotiated licensing agreements to take advantage of the company’s thick book of wireless technology patents.
Nokia is aware of the inventions because the company has cited some of the patents in some of its own patent applications, BlackBerry said.
Some of the patents were owned by Nortel and Nokia had at one point tried to buy them as part of a failed bid for Nortel’s business in 2009, according to Blackberry.
BlackBerry was part of a group called Rockstar Consortium that bought Nortel’s patents out of bankruptcy for $4.5 billion in 2011. The patents were split up between the members of the group, which included Apple and Microsoft.
Since Blackberry contends that patents cover essential elements of a mobile telecommunications standard known as 3GPP, it has pledged to license them on fair and reasonable terms.
Oracle has decided that it is not going to give up trying to convince the world that Google owes it billions for Android software.
For the last seven years, Google and Oracle have been slugging it out over copyright over Java applets, which Oracle insists are the key to making Android run. It has gone through two federal trials and bounced around at appeals courts, including a brief stop at the US Supreme Court. Oracle has sought as much as $9 billion in the case.
Other than one loss, which was successfully appealed, Google has won. Now Oracle briefs have decided it is time for another round and filed an appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that seeks to overturn a federal jury’s decision last year.
In the trial last year in San Francisco, the jury ruled Google’s use of 11,000 lines of Java code was allowed under “fair use” provisions in federal copyright law.
In Oracle’s 155-page appeal on Friday, it called Google’s “copying…classic unfair use” and said “Google reaped billions of dollars while leaving Oracle’s Java business in tatters”.
Oracle’s brief also argues that “When a plagiarist takes the most recognizable portions of a novel and adapts them into a film, the plagiarist commits the ‘classic’ unfair use”.
So all Oracle has to do is prove that Applets are the most recognisable part of Java which has been converted into a new product.