Apple

Apple Battery Hack Could Lead To Ransomware

0

I just read about the ‘Apple Battery Hack‘ where by specially crafted code could brick an Apple laptop battery.

Luckily the author who discovered the hack provided Apple with the information so they can fix it. Hopefully soon.

Imagine if hackers created a virus that took advantage of the bug and infected your laptop, threatened you to pay a ransom or else they render your laptop inoperable?  You are probably saying to yourself, ‘Apple doesn’t get viruses’, which is completely false. Just look at what happened with ‘Mac Defender‘. Websites were created in order to trick people to download and install the software, because the software looked legitimate. Lo and behold it was a virus. Hats off to those of you who can’t be tricked, but there were many who were duped.

As of July 28, 2011 an Apple laptop batteries costs $129 USD. How many times are you willing to replace the battery before you give in to the hackers demands?

I’m not saying it’s the end of the world either and freak out. Nothing can be done until Apple releases a fix. Until then, you need to stay vigilant and be aware of what you install on your computer. Someone else would have to discover how the vulnerability works and then create a conceivable way of delivering it and infecting a user with it. By then, Apple will have likely released a fix for it. It’s up to you apply the fix.

The moral of the story is, keep your operating system software up to date. Be it MAC or Windows. As the article pointed out other laptops weren’t tested, and they could conceivably be affected by the same type of issue.

 

Why The iPhone Tracking Issue Is More Hype Than Threat

0
Here is my two cents on Apple Gate, (the iPhone tracking issue), and why I believe its a red herring. It’s not a threat to your privacy based on the other research I have found.

First off, privacy has been a hot topic for the last year. Everyone is learning the lessons they faced with Facebook and are rightfully concerned. Also, reports of other companies, most recently Sony getting hacked, losing customer data is also getting more attention. So its understandable everyone is a little edgy when it comes to privacy.

Second, this is the opportune time for fans of BlackBerry and Android to take swipes at Apple. Unbeknownst to many people though, Android, BlackBerry and Microsoft all collect location information much like Apple did.

It’s likely this is the result of bad design or a bug, I’m guessing in the next version of iOS the location data might be encrypted and further buried again (security through obscurity). This information has actually been available before the blog post by Pete Warden last week.

I’m guessing the fact they store the entire history of your location is a bug. The fact that after disabling ‘Location Services’, your location continues to be logged sounds like a bug – and nothing more.

Let’s not forget that Apple is still trying to make an entry into social networking and using location based services would be an ideal way to jump in. The market for location based services is still relatively new, Foursquare is definitely leading the pack in that area, however there is still no clear market leader. I’m guessing Apple wants to dominate here.

Apple has testified previously to US Congress about collecting location data and they’ve indicated the data is anonymized. We’ll just have to wait and see when Apple responds.

Update, April 27, 2011: Apple has just confirmed it’s a bug, among many other details released in this Q&A

Google Employees Can Use Only MAC or Linux, not Windows

0

While it’s nothing new that another company is moving away from using Windows operating system software internally, Google is certainly the most popular of them all.

Google is finally big enough and powerful enough to stand up to Microsoft and say “enough is enough”.

From the sounds of it, Google is probably very close to releasing a consumer operating system designed to compete with Windows.

There is even a Wikipedia article devoted to Linux adoption, where they list many other businesses, educational facilities and governments that have already made the switch.

Google even prefers MAC OS X over Windows, even if it is sworn enemies with Apple, in some respects. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”.

Here are some of my random thoughts about the situation:

  • Linux and MAC OS X will be new targets for those who create malware as their popularity increases. One of my previous posts on tumblr discusses spyware infecting MAC OS X.
  • The operating system is not the sole defense mechanism in a computer network, there MUST be other components like firewalls, anti-virus, up to date browsers etc.
  • Microsoft has long been the whipping post when it comes to security related incidents. IT administrators and hackers haven’t forgotten about the “I Love You” and “Melissa” viruses. Microsoft was the only mainstream choice available in terms of operating systems when Internet use increased in popularity. (approx. 1996 to 2003) It was natural that Microsoft became the big target.
  • Microsoft had to learn how to build security into their software development processes, only after building many of its earlier products. They’ve since standardized on a Security Development Lifecycle Process for developing secure products.
  • Lots of Apple and Google products have roots in open-source software, many of which were developed with security built-in, from the ground up, and not as an after thought.
  • Education/Training about security, both for users and software developers, is a key factor to maintaining safe computing environments and developing secure products.
  • Nothing is impenetrable. It’s only a matter of time and resources before a software exploit for any piece of software is discovered. Humans create software, and humans aren’t perfect.

Microsoft released a response about the security of Windows. Throughout the blog post, there are links to various articles that support its argument that it is a secure product, though Google isn’t directly mentioned, there was a link to the Financial Times article.

I actually found the comment section to be quite entertaining as it provided many different thoughts and perspectives to the issue. I recommend reading that as well!

Go to Top