New York district attorney calls for federal law to unlock seized iPhones

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iPhone 7 back
Law enforcement officials still want Apple to hack the iPhone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance wants the Trump administration to help create federal legislation requiring Apple and Google to remove default encryption from their smartphones.

The recommendation comes from the DA office’s second report on Smartphone Encryption and Public Safety, presented by Vance at the opening of the Manhattan DA’s new cyberlab. New York County is currently sitting on 423 iPhones it can’t break into, even with a warrant, so the DA’s office is pushing for change.

Hackers can use this tiny $5 device to attack your locked Mac

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PoisonTap is tiny but deadly.
PoisonTap is tiny but deadly.
Photo: Samy Kamkar

The next time you leave your Mac unattended, make sure to turn it off.

A well-known hacker has created a cheap tool that can steal data off of locked computers in minutes. The clever new device called PoisonTap is created using a $5 Raspberry Pi Zero and some open source code. Attackers can plug PoisonTap into a machine and as long as the victim has a web browser open, it can steal data and leave remote backdoors.

Ex-NSA staffer reveals way to hack Mac’s camera and mic

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Mac App Store
You might want to put tape over your webcam.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Security researchers discovered a new way to hack the Mac’s built-in webcam this week, and the method is undetectable by users.

Apple built a green LED light into every Mac with firmware-level protection that turns on anytime the sensor is tripped by unauthorized access. The security feature has become increasingly difficult for hackers to beat, but former NSA staffer Patrick Wardle found a way to piggyback on outgoing feeds and record them.

Hackers can make $1.5 million jailbreaking iOS 10

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iPhone 7
You can make big bucks hacking the iPhone.
Photo: Ste Smith

Looking for a quick way to become a millionaire? Just try hacking the iPhone.

Software security firm Zerodium revealed today that it has raised the price of its permanent bounty on iOS zero-day exploits, giving hackers a chance to earn up to $1.5 million if their exploit meets all the requirements.

Apple is ready to pay hackers a big bounty for bugs

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iOS 10
Apple needs help squashing bugs.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s head of security and engineering architecture, Ivan Kritic, revealed yesterday that the iPhone maker is finally creating a bug bounty program that will offer rewards of up to $200,000 to security researchers who find vulnerabilities on the company’s various software platforms.

The news came during a keynote at the annual Black Hat Conference in Las Vegas where Kritic also gave attendees a behind-the-scenes look at iOS 10 security as part of Apple’s effort to become more open about its architecture in hopes of improving it.