‘Highly plausible’ Apple servers could be infected with spy chips, says former Apple hardware engineer

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Instrumental founder and CEO Anna Katrina Shedletsky
Instrumental founder and CEO Anna Katrina Shedletsky, who is using her experience as an Apple product design engineer to bring AI to manufacturing.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Despite Apple’s denials, it’s “highly plausible” that secret spy chips could have been planted on the company’s servers, said a former Apple hardware engineer.

Anna-Katrina Shedletsky, who spent nearly six years at Apple helping build several generations of iPod, iPhone and Apple Watch, said spy chips could have been slipped into the design of servers used for Apple’s iCloud services, as alleged in a Bloomberg Businessweek story.

“With my knowledge of hardware design, it’s entirely plausible to me,” she said. “It’s very highly plausible to me, and that’s scary if you think about it.”

Teenager who hacked Apple’s servers gets 8 months’ probation

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hacking pic
Teenager got off without a jail sentence.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The Australian teenager who hacked into Apple’s servers and downloaded sensitive data has been given probation in place of a jail sentence.

The verdict was announced on Thursday. The teenager, who carried out the hacking between June 2015 and April 2017, has not been named because their identity as a juvenile offender is protected under Australian law. They were 16-years-old at the time that the first hacking incident took place.

Apple reassures customers after teenager hacked its servers

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The CIA has a team of more than 5,000 hackers.
Teenaged hacker recently plead guilty to charges.
Photo: Brian Klug/Flickr CC

Apple has reassured customers that none of their private data was compromised after a 16-year-old teenager plead guilty to hacking into the company’s servers.

An Apple spokesperson said that, “[We] want to assure our customers that at no point during this incident was their personal data compromised.” The hacker in question managed to download 90 gigabytes of secure files.

Teen pleads guilty to hacking Apple’s computer system

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hacking
Teenager was able to hack into Apple's system and access personal data.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

An Australian teenager who repeatedly broke into Apple’s computer system is facing criminal charges after Apple contacted the FBI.

The teenager, who hasn’t been named for legal reasons, reportedly downloaded 90GB of secure files and accessed customer accounts. The information was uncovered in a raid on his family home in Melbourne, found in a computer folder called “Hacky hack hack.”

iPhone hacking van is a spy’s wet dream

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WiSpear iPhone hacking van
The WiSpear hacking van sounds like a prop from Mission Impossible, not a product on sale at a recent trade show.
Screencap: Thomas Fox-Brewster

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if something is real or was dreamed up by a Batman villain. That’s the case with the WiSpear iPhone hacking van.

This tool supposedly can be used to install malware on an iOS or Android device from a third of a mile away.

Don’t take your iPhone, iPad, or MacBook to the World Cup

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soccer
While you're enjoying some football, criminals might be grabbing your credit card number thanks to some iPhone hacking.
Photo: Mxmystro/Flickr

The FIFA World Cup, soccer/football’s quadrennial championship, kicked off this week in Russia, and literally billions around the world are watching. If you’re planning to actually attend one of the matches, be sure to leave behind your personal electronics.

This is the recommendation of both British and American government security services. They warn that the odds of your devices being hacked in Russia are very high.

Find zero-day vulnerabilities in iOS and bag $3 million

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money
Startup will then sell your solution to (friendly) governments.
Photo illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

A new startup, based in the United Arab Emirates, promises to give $3 million to anyone who can successfully hack iOS devices.

The Crowdfense startup is looking for zero-day exploits, referring to hacking tools which exploit vulnerabilities unknown to the system creators. In addition to iOS, the company is seeking zero-day exploits for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.

Third man charged in ‘Celebgate’ iCloud hacking scheme

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iPhone hack
Phishing scam targeted dozens of celebrities, along with other users.
Image: Cult of Mac

A third man has plead guilty to hacking 550 iCloud and Google Gmail accounts, including those belonging to 40 celebrities — resulting in the leaking of sensitive photos and videos.

Chicago resident Emilio Herrera participated in the phishing scam between April 2013 and August 2014, which involved sending out alerts that appeared to have come from Apple, Yahoo, and Hotmail, requesting username and password information.