Tag - Flashback
The Flashback botnet -- a malware attack which first appeared in 2011 -- has been noted as being still a threat in 2014, according to Intego. Beginning January 2, Intego studied command and control domains, and its sinkhole servers recorded all connections from Macs where Flashback is still active, trying to contact the command and control servers. This research, as of Tuesday, counted 14,248 unique identifiers of Flashback variants.
The Java runtime environment has been updated for both OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8, and OS X Lion 10.7.4. While Apple historically doesn't discuss specific security updates, this package updates Java to version 1.6.0_33. All previous security fixes are included, such as the Flashback removal tool and automatic disabling of the Java plugin when it has been idle for 35 days.
After possibly infecting up to 1.8 percent of the Macintosh population with a click-fraud macro through a Java vulnerability, the Flashback creators won't get paid despite their efforts, reports Computerworld. Following a coordinated security effort between antivirus vendors and security experts, remote malicious orders were blocked or prevented from effecting an estimated peak 600,000 infected computers. Apple joined the fray late, but provided patches and a removal tool for the malware.
Apple has posted two separate security updates for OS X Leopard. The first, Leopard Security Update 2012-003, disables versions of Flash without the most recent security updates, and instead provides a method of getting the latest release from Adobe. Apple's update is 1.11MB and requires at least OS X 10.5.8.
The Java-exploiting malware OSX.Flashback.K variant has ceased to be a meaningful threat to Mac owners, and the number of infected Macs has dropped to one-sixth its high point in just over a week, reports utility vendor Symantec. The malware, which was the most successful attack thus far in the Mac world due to a slow updating of Java, was never much of an actual security threat but did manage to reach around one percent of installed base, a record for malware penetration.
Apple late Friday followed up its anti-Flashback Java update with its own dedicated Flashback removal tool. The tool finds the "most common variants" of the exploit and will either say if it found and pulled any variant. If needed, it will ask for a full reboot to wipe the malware entirely.
In response to the threat of the Flashback trojan, Norton has launched a free scan-and-removal tool. The utility follows remedies from both Kaspersky Labs and Apple, both which released their removal tools earlier this week. Apple's solution, which was released via Software Update, consisted of a Java update that was said to find and remove the "most common variants" of the trojan. The free utility weighs in at 0.6MB and can be downloaded from Norton's website.
Apple fulfilled promises of a cure for a rare Mac exploit on Thursday evening by posting another key Java update. Java for OS X 2012-003 for Lion owners, and Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 8, both actively remove the "most common variants" of Flashback. Loading the update automatically scans for Flashback and, if it's found, lets the user know that it was pulled.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE