Tag - SMS
The revelations of the NSA surveillance first broken by Edward Snowden continue. The NSA is accused of building the "Dishfire" surveillance network, which targets 200 million text messages per day for collection and analysis. Information collected by the program allegedly includes names, phone numbers, and images.
While under normal circumstances most users would never see an unwanted or "spam" message in the OS X and iOS program Messages, Apple has now set up abuse reporting mechanism to help deal with those who have the issue. Using the email address firstname.lastname@example.org, users can send a screenshot of the unwanted message, phone number or email address of the spammer or harrasser, and time/date info on the message. Unwanted or spam SMS and MMS messages should still be reported to users' cellular providers rather than Apple.
Apple has released an official statement on reports from hacker Pod2g and others that a serious flaw exists in the SMS protocol that allows spoofing of addresses, meaning that users could receive messages (directing them to websites or phone numbers) that aren't from the party they appear to be from. Apple's statement points out that iMessage does not have the same problem.
Security researcher Pod2g has discovered a flaw in the way iOS handles SMS messages that could conceivably allow for malicious texters to disguise messages as being from a known or trusted source, potentially getting users to reveal information they normally would not, or rack up inadvertent charges on their bill. Pod2g refers to the flaw as "severe" and plans on releasing a tool to allow iPhone 4 users to send messages in "raw" PDU format until the vulnerability is fixed.
Google has increased the reach of Google+ SMS accessibility to include 41 new countries. The extended list of nations that can send and receive updates to the social network are primarily based in Asia and Africa, helping users in some areas where mobile data is not widely available.
Twitter has upgraded the direct messaging capabilities for its texting service. Now, in addition to tweets, users whose service providers support MMS can attach and share videos. To send, all a user need do is enter the text of a tweet as normal, attach a photo to the message, and send it to the relevant Twitter code.
The iPhone Dev Team, a group better known for iPhone jailbreaking, has allegedly found a way to send SMS messages from a 3G iPad. The additional functionality reportedly requires raw code, as the feature has yet to be officially enabled on the tablet, according to details listed on a Twitter post. SMS messages are also prohibited from AT&T accounts bundled with the 3G models.
A number of iPhone users, including MacNN reader NyxoLyno "Nick" Cangemi, have voiced frustration with the lack of a character counter when typing SMS messages. The handset's messaging interface does not provide any notification when 160 characters have been exceeded in the communication bubble.
Yesterday's release of the iPhone 2.2.1 firmware may have also fixed a problem with SMS messaging, accounts on Apple's support forums suggest. The issue involves an error message triggered every time a user attempts to send a text, previously impossible to resolve with any resets or settings adjustments, though some success has been reported after switching SIM cards. The problem appears only to manifest after installing the v2.2 firmware.
Filemailer 2.0 ($15) is a utility that helps users share files between computers. The content can be dragged to the desired recipients name and the software will then automatically compress the file, enter its information in the subject line, insert the pre-composed message into the body, and send the file. The 2.0 update now features support for TLS authentication, and includes a new option to organize contacts into groups for sending to multiple recipients. [Download - 4.2MB]