Category Archives: Apple

Valve removes game purchases from Steam Link’s iOS beta

Apple and Valve have been at an impasse for weeks over the release of Steam Link for iOS, but it looks like they might be closer to an arrangement… if not necessarily the one you'd hope for. TouchArcade has discovered that the latest beta test for…

Samsung targets 100 percent renewable energy use by 2020

Samsung has announced plans to power its US, Europe and China operations entirely by renewable energy sources within two years. It's already making good on its sustainability commitment in Korea, where the company is installing 42,000 square meters o…

Apple’s next show is based on a real preteen reporter

Apple is still lining up shows for its upcoming streaming video service, and its latest might not be quite what you expect. Deadline and Variety have learned that the tech giant has ordered a drama "inspired" by the real story of Hilde Lysiak (shown…

Apple bans developers from creating, selling user Contacts databases

Enlarge / A customer inspects the 2013 iPhone at the Wangfujing flagship store in Beijing. (credit: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Apple is trying to make it harder for developers to abuse users’ information collected through apps. According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple updated its App Store Review Guidelines last week with more detailed rules on what developers can do with users’ Contacts address book information. Now, developers cannot make databases using address book information collected from iPhone users, nor can they share or sell such databases to third parties.

“Do not use information from Contacts, Photos, or other APIs that access user data to build a contact database for your own use or for sale/distribution to third parties, and don’t collect information about which other apps are installed on a user’s device for the purposes of analytics or advertising/marketing,” states the updated guidelines. Those found in violation of the new rules could be banned from the App Store.

Users must already opt in to sharing Contacts information with app developers, but now Apple has placed more restrictions on what developers can do with that information after they obtain it. Once permission is given, though, users can’t pull back data funneled to a developer. However, there are controls in an iPhone’s settings to revoke permission for a particular app to access Contacts information so the developers can’t get any additional information from your address book.

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For almost 11 years, hackers could easily bypass some macOS signature checks

Enlarge / The Little Snitch firewall was one of at least eight third-party Mac security tools affected by a code-signing bypass. (credit: Okta)

For almost 11 years, hackers have had an easy way to get macOS malware past the scrutiny of a host of third-party security tools by tricking them into believing the malicious wares were signed by Apple, researchers said Tuesday.

Digital signatures are a core security function for all modern operating systems. The cryptographically generated signatures make it possible for users to know with complete certainty that an app was digitally signed with the private key of a trusted party. But, according to the researchers, the mechanism many macOS security tools have used since 2007 to check digital signatures has been trivial to bypass. As a result, it has been possible for anyone to pass off malicious code as an app that was signed with the key Apple uses to sign its apps.

The technique worked using a binary format, alternatively known as a Fat or Universal file, that contained several files that were written for different CPUs used in Macs over the years, such as i386, x86_64, or PPC. Only the first so-called Mach-O file in the bundle had to be signed by Apple. At least eight third-party tools would show other non-signed executable code included in the same bundle as being signed by Apple, too. Affected third-party tools included VirusTotal, Google Santa, Facebook OSQuery, the Little Snitch Firewall, Yelp, OSXCollector, Carbon Black’s db Response, and several tools from Objective-See. Many companies and individuals rely on some of the tools to help implement whitelisting processes that permit only approved applications to be installed on a computer, while forbidding all others.

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Apple just banned cryptocurrency mining on iOS devices

(credit: Jhaymesisviphotography)

Apple recently announced new restrictions on the use of cryptocurrencies on iPhones and iPads, a change first noticed by Apple Insider on Monday.

“Apps may not mine for cryptocurrencies unless the processing is performed off device,” Apple’s app store guidelines for iOS now say. This requirement was absent from the same document just a few weeks ago.

Apple’s new policy is apparently motivated in part by concerns that cryptocurrency mining could drain the batteries of mobile devices. “Apps, including any third party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining,” the policy states.

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Apple hires another BBC veteran in its bid to rule hip-hop music

Hip-hop is quickly becoming a key battleground for streaming music services: companies like Spotify and YouTube have been poaching influencers in a bid to become tastemakers and lure millions of listeners. And Apple is certainly no exception to the…

After Math: It’s trade show season

Ah June, the January of summer. With Computex winding down and E3 getting started, the weeks are just going to be packed with new gadgets and forward-looking announcements. Oh yeah, Apple had a keynote this past week as well but since there weren't a…

iOS 12 uses third-party apps to report spam calls and messages

Right now, there isn't much you can do to fight spam calls and text messages directly from your iPhone. You can report iMessages, but not much more. That's all set to change with iOS 12, however. Hidden amidst the many other feature updates is suppor…

The Apple Watch will soon ditch its mechanical buttons, report says

Enlarge / Buttons on the side of an Apple Watch Series 3. (credit: Valentina Palladino)

FastCompany published a report today citing “a source with direct knowledge” of Apple’s plans for a future Apple Watch that will feature solid-state, touch-sensitive buttons instead of the clickable ones that are currently part of the device.

This will apply to both the crown and the single traditional button that brings up a view of currently opened apps. But the button configuration—which buttons exist, and where they’re located—will not change, the report says. The user will be able to touch each button to register it, but instead of the buttons moving up and down, the device will give the user haptic feedback using Apple’s taptic engine.

Apple made a similar change to the home button on the iPhone starting with the iPhone 7. Reactions were mixed, from critics who found it to be just fine to critics who found it to be undesirable. Even before that, the company did the same with MacBook trackpads, though that implementation offered better, localized feedback.

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