Leaked recording reveals Apple’s plan to stop leakers

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Photos of alleged glass panels for the iPhone 8, 7s and 7s Plus.
Apple's on a mission to keep iPhone 8 parts like these from leaking.
Photo: Reddit

Tim Cook’s mission to double down on secrecy at Apple is producing results that even Steve Jobs would be envious of, based on a new report that details the extreme lengths Apple has gone through to stop leaks.

Ironically, a recording of Apple’s security team discussing leaks has been leaked online, giving all-new details on how Apple prevents employees and factory workers from leaking information and parts to the public.

WikiLeaks: CIA lost control of its iPhone hacking arsenal

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Wikileaks'
Wikileaks' "Vault 7" data dump allegedly reveals CIA hacking tools used to compromise iPhones, Android phones and other devices.
Image: Gordon Johnson/Pixabay

The Central Intelligence Agency has been using malware to spy on iPhone and Android users, according to the largest-ever publication of confidential documents from WikiLeaks — and the spy tools are now in the hands of others.

As part of a covert hacking program, the CIA created a “malware arsenal” and dozens of “zero day exploits” to infiltrate smartphones, tablets and even smart TVs to extract data and turn them into covert microphones.

But the agency recently lost controls of these tools. Those who have obtained them now have “the entire hacking capacity of the CIA” at their disposal, according to WikiLeaks.

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.

Oliver Stone amps up spy action in first Snowden trailer

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The first Snowden trailer reveals how he leaked the NSA's secrets.
The first Snowden trailer reveals how he leaked the NSA's secrets.
Photo: Open Road Films

Joseph Gordon-Levitt busts out his best nerd voice in the first trailer for Oliver Stone’s new film, Snowden.

The film is based on the true story of how Edward Snowden went from enlisting in army reserve, to exposing the illegal surveillance activities conducted by the NSA and thus becoming the most wanted man in the world.

Check it out:

Senate wiretapping debate comes to an end

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wiretapping debate
The U.S. Senate is hashing out the USA Freedom Act, which concerns government wiretapping.
Screencap: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

The U.S. Senate has taken one step closer to a final vote on changing the government’s controversial program to freely tap and monitor citizens’ phones.

Senators voted 83-14 to end debate on the “Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection and Online Monitoring” (USA Freedom) Act. The bill will extend lapsed provisions of the anti-terrorism Patriot Act and aims to add transparency to the NSA’s activities surrounding wiretapping and data collection.

A final vote could happen as early as this afternoon.

Apple urges Obama to block government snooping

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Apple has taken steps to avoid snooping.
Apple has taken steps to avoid snooping.

Apple has put its name to a letter which will be sent today, appealing to the White House to protect individual privacy rights in the face of suggestions that law enforcement should be able to access encrypted smartphone data via a backdoor.

“Strong encryption is the cornerstone of the modern information economy’s security,” argues the letter, which is signed by more than 140 tech companies, technologists, and civil society groups.

CIA spends years trying to break Apple’s security

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The CIA is gunning for Apple's security. Photo: Spy vs. Spy
The CIA is gunning for Apple's security. Photo: Spy vs. Spy

The CIA has been been involved in a multi-year effort to crack iOS security, according to new information provided to The Intercept by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The attempts have been the focal point of multiple yearly CIA conferences called “The Jamboree.”

Among the possible solutions proposed include a means of “whacking” Xcode, the software used to create apps for iOS and Macs. Researchers claimed they had discovered a means by which Xcode could be manipulated to allow devices to be infected, so as to allow for the extraction of private data — thereby creating a “remote backdoor” that would disable core security features and allow undetected access to Apple devices.

Apple is working on fix for newly discovered ‘FREAK’ security bug

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This login screen for a Quanta Computer database led to sensitive documents containing details on upcoming Apple products. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
The Freak bug went unnoticed for over a decade. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

A newly discovered security bug has secretly left Safari users on both iOS and OS X vulnerable to attacks on hundreds of thousands of websites for years.

The ‘FREAK’ security flaw was exposed today by a group of nine researchers who discovered web browsers could be forced to use an intentionally-weakened form of encryption. FREAK effects iPhones, Macs, and Android browsers, but Apple’s spokesman says the company will release a fix next week.

Maybe the NSA hasn’t hacked your iPhone after all?

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The NSA has just hacked 2 billion SIM cards around the globe, but Gemalto says it isn't that bad.  Photo: Wikicommons
The NSA has just hacked 2 billion SIM cards around the globe, but Gemalto says it isn't that bad. Photo: Wikicommons

Late last week, we reported on the newest leak from Edward Snowden, indicating that the NSA had hacked the SIM cards of pretty much every smartphone on Earth. iPhones included.

It looked bad. The hack allowed the NSA to tap into your phone without a court order. But today, the Dutch company responsible for 2 billion SIM cards released a statement, saying that as far as they can tell, fears of a massive NSA invasion are overblown.