Posts Tagged With ‘apple&8217

FixMeStick for Mac is a Bootable Anti-Malware USB Stick for Scanning and Remediation

Geeky Gadgets on a new Kickstarter fund for FixMeStick, a USB thumb drive designed to scan and remediate Mac OS X malware infections:

FixMeStick for Mac is the plug-in and plug-out device that anyone can use to remove hard to detect malware from Apple computers and it is a bootable USB utility that makes virus removal easy, and won’t harm your Mac in the process.

The recent Flashback virus infected around 1% of the world’s Macs and if you would like an easy way to check your Mac is clean the FixMeStick for Mac might be worth more investigation.

Interesting solution to the multi-faceted malware problem end points face today.

This post is part of the thread: Security – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

Apple’s Bid to Stay Monitorship Denied

Reuters on Apple losing its bid to stay the request of the monitorship due to his interest in accessing documents and personnel outside the scope of their e-book business practices:

At a hearing, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan denied Apple’s request to stay an order requiring an external compliance monitor pending the company’s appeal.

“I want the monitorship to succeed for Apple,” she said.

The judge also said there was “nothing improper” about a declaration filed by a lawyer chosen to serve as monitor, Michael Bromwich, that became the basis of Apple seeking his disqualification.

Expect Apple to appeal this ruling, as this fight is far from over. What the government is trying to do here makes absolutely no sense in the context of Apple’s e-book business, which was the focus of the trial and the reason for the monitorship in the first place.

HOWTO Root A Mac in 10 Seconds or Less

Patrick Mosca on how easy it is to root a Mac and a very simple method for preventing such attacks:

Since physical access to the machine is required, time is precious and must be cut to a minimum. There are two methods for optimizing time, scripts and a little tool called the USB Rubber Ducky. The Rubber Ducky is small HID that looks like a flash drive and acts like a keyboard. It is designed to pound out scripts at freakish speeds, as if you were typing it yourself. Of course, a flash drive will work too.

This backdoor is almost identical to the basic backdoor described in OSX Backdoor – Persistence. Read that article if you would like to better understand the inner workings of this backdoor. Similarly, we will create a script that sends a shell back home through netcat. Finally, we will add the script as a Launch Daemons where it will be executed as root every 60 seconds.

The bottom line: enabling FileVault full-disk encryption will prevent this type of attack.

This post is part of the thread: Security – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

iPhone Helps DoCoMo Add More Subscribers Than Competition for the First Time in Two Years

Mariko Yasu and Takashi Amano of Business Week on the iPhone helping DoCoMo add more subscribers than KDDI and Softbank for the first time in two years:

Japan’s largest carrier added more subscribers than rivals for the first time since December 2011, gaining 279,100 net users last month for 62.2 million total customers. That compares with 222,600 more for KDDI Corp. (9433) and 224,300 additional users for SoftBank Corp. (9984), the companies reported yesterday.

It’s a sign Docomo can compete against carriers that have been swiping its customers since they started carrying Apple (AAPL:US) Inc.’s smartphone. Docomo started selling the iPhone 5s and 5c when they were released in September, ending a holdout that saw smaller competitors win market share and lure customers with Apple’s handsets.

This should not really be a surprise. General speaking, DoCoMo has the best mobile network with the widest range of coverage in Japan. Many people switched away from DoCoMo because of the iPhone, and were more than happy to return to the service upon it finally deciding to offer the best smartphone around.

SoftBank, which almost tripled in value last year, rose 1.1 percent in Tokyo trading yesterday. KDDI, whose market value more than doubled in 2013, dropped 0.6 percent yesterday.

Mobile carriers in Japan are doing exceptionally well, primarily thanks to the iPhone and other smartphones. It’s only going to get better because post-PC is where the money is at these days.

NSA Guide to Hardening Mac OS X

This article on how the NSA recommends hardening Mac OS X is a worthwhile read, with plenty of valid advice applicable today, even though it was originally published in September 2013:

Back in 2010 the NSA published “Hardening Tips for Mac OS X 10.6 ‘Snow Leopard’” (PDF), a terse, two-page pamphlet recommending a series of security precautions. The agency hasn’t updated that pamphlet for more recent versions of OS X—so I thought I’d do so in the agency’s stead.

Practically speaking, these precautions would seriously degrade the Mac user experience for anyone who implemented all of them. So as I was updating the NSA’s advice for OS X 10.8, I decided to add a little guidance as to how much pain some of these tips might cause you. I certainly don’t use all of these tricks myself. But they are still good to know.

Security is all about tradeoffs. Security may degrade the user experience no matter the platform. This is not a problem isolated to Mac OS X.

Windows users are well aware of the increased resource utilization anti-virus software consumes. Often times these measures considerably slow down a computer, sometimes to the point where it is almost unusable. Unfortunately, security precautions are a necessary evil these days. You need to take some steps to ensure your computer is not worth the time it may take a malicious actor to compromise.

Consider using security software, such as anti-virus, similar to wearing a seat-belt while in a moving vehicle. Seat-belts restrict your ability to move freely and are uncomfortable. However, in the event you are unlucky enough to be involved in an accident, wearing a seat-belt exponentially increases your ability to live through the event. Security software works in much the same way.

Most of the advice in the guide is common sense. Some of the recommendations are probably not practical for home users. Disabling important features like bluetooth, Airport, iSight and audio input are not useful for most people. Other than nitpicking, the majority of the recommendations are well worth implementing.

This post is part of the thread: Security – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

Unfettered Access

Christie Smythe of Bloomberg News on the U.S. government stipulating in a court filing that Justice Department inspector general Michael Bromwich should be provided unfettered access to Apple executives:

The government said the monitor, former Justice Department inspector general Michael Bromwich, should be allowed to interview the company’s leaders, as such activities are “standard procedure in monitorships,” according to a filing yesterday in Manhattan federal court. Bromwich was appointed in October by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote to evaluate Apple’s antitrust compliance policies.

The Cupertino, California-based technology company said in court papers filed in November that the monitor was operating in an “unfettered an inappropriate manner,” and was overstepping his authority by pressing for immediate interviews with senior management.

Notice how the Justice Department claims the ability to interview company leaders during monitorships is “standard procedure.” They do not, however, claim unfettered access to be a requirement to properly perform the monitoring duties. Since such access has been provided in previous cases, the government expects such advanced access all the time.

Seems legit.

Apple Japan to Offer New Years “Lucky Bag” on Jan 2

AppleInsider on the news that Apple Japan will be offering a traditional ふくぶくろ – aka lucky bag – on January 2:

In an update to Apple’s Japanese webpage, the company revealed sales of Fukubukuro, or “lucky bags,” will commence on Jan. 2, with stores opening two hours earlier than usual to accommodate an anticipated crush of customers. Apple will also hold a one-day sale on the Online Apple Store and the Apple Store iOS app.

The first hint that Apple would be continuing its Fukubukuro tradition was seen on Wednesday, when the company published special Apple Store hours for early January. Apple’s brick-and-mortar outlets across Japan are scheduled to open at 8 a.m. local time on Jan. 2 for the event, some two hours earlier than usual.

Apple’s Fukubukuro promotion has seen customers net savings of over $500 per bag in previous years, as some bundles contained “special gifts” like MacBook Airs and iPads. This year’s Fukubukuro are priced at 36,000 yen, roughly $343, but will likely contain products which hold a combined retail value of much more.

I am not very well versed in the ふくぶくろ – fukubukuro, or lucky bag – phenomenon here in Japan. I have never bought one because the thought of paying ¥10000 ($100) for a bag filled with goodies from, say, a standard department store – likely containing clothes and other dreck – does not sound attractive. However, I would love to get my hands on an Apple “lucky bag” because they have previously contained all kinds of nifty Apple goodies. Plus, it’s Apple.

The problem is, to get an Apple ふくぶくろ you will likely have to line up overnight, something I really do not want to do, no matter how much I adore Apple. It is cold enough in Tokyo during the day. I cannot imagine what it will be like hanging outside the Shibuya Apple Store all night in the middle of winter.

So count me out unless I can find someone willing to brave the elements with me all night. Otherwise, I look forward to reading about the excitement from the sidelines.

This post is part of the thread: Japan – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

Hidden iOS 7 Settings You Probably Do Not Know About

This is a good list of some new iOS 7 settings that you probably did not know about, or likely never would have accidentally run across.

Pragmatic Expectations for Apple’s Sep 10 Event

I will be a little bummed if updated Apple TV hardware is not announced, slightly less so if there is no “iWatch” released.

Although it will be interesting to see what Apple has to say, it will be far more fascinating watching the tech analysts dissect Apple, likely stipulating that they are no longer innovating and on a decline, even though Apple continues to make the best products the tech industry has to offer.

Japan’s NTT DoCoMo Finally Interested in the iPhone?

Jim Tanous of The Mac Observer on Japan’s NTT DoCoMo showing interest in offering the iPhone:

President Katoru Katō reportedly said that his company was eager to add the iPhone to its lineup, but that concerns over alleged sales quotas imposed by Apple had been a previous point of contention. Mr. Katō now says that DoCoMo could meet those quotas as long as the iPhone accounted for 20 to 30 percent of its overall smartphone sales.

NTT DoCoMo is Japan’s largest mobile telecom network by far. Overall, it has the best coverage throughout the entire country, often times offering service in areas where KDDI and SoftBank have very limited, or no, service. It would be a big win for Japanese consumers if DoCoMo were finally to get off its high horse and start offering the worlds most wanted smartphone on its network.

This post is part of the thread: Japan – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.