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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WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R