| Cult of Mac

SpyBuster app keeps iPhone data out of Russia’s hands

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The app helps you weed out iOS apps that may be transmitting data to Russia or Belarus.
The app helps you weed out iOS apps that may be transmitting data to Russia or Belarus.
Photo: MacPaw

The new SpyBuster iOS app scans your iPhone for other apps that may be surreptitiously sending your data to Russia or Belarus.

The privacy-oriented app comes from Ukraine-based developer MacPaw, which released a version of SpyBuster for macOS in the spring of 2021, not long after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Putin opposition app returns to the App Store in Russia

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Putin opposition app returns to the App Store in Russia
The Smart Voting app was removed ahead of Russia's election last September.
Photo: Imad Alassiry/Unsplash

Smart Voting, an app run by supporters of jailed Putin critic Alexei Navalny, has returned to the App Store in Russia following its removal last September.

Cupertino pulled the app after Russia made threats about prosecuting top Apple employees in the country. Google, which also removed the app after the Kemlin lashed out, allowed the app back into the Play Store soon after Russia’s election last year.

Ukrainians use ‘Find My’ to track Russian troops who stole devices

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Find My AirPods can also track Russian troops.
Find My AirPods can also track Russian troops.
Photo: Franak Viačorka

Ukrainians have turned to Apple’s Find My device-tracking technology to follow Russian troop movements. After Russian soldiers stole Apple gear during the invasion, the devices’ Ukrainian owners can see and report on where the troops toting the gadgets are going in real time, including a recent retreat into Belarus.

MacPaw’s SpyBuster helps you weed out Mac apps reporting to Russia

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SpyBuster stops apps reporting to Russia
It's completely free to use.
Image: MacPaw

Ukrainian developer MacPaw today released SpyBuster, a new (and completely free!) Mac app that identifies software built by and reporting to “undesirable countries of origin” — such as Russia and Belarus.

SpyBuster also lets you block those connections so that you can prevent additional data being sent to overseas servers, where it may not be protected by the same privacy laws that we’re accustomed to in other countries.

Putin threatens companies like Apple that quit Russia

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Putin threatens to nationalize assets left in Russia by companies like Apple
Any Apple computers left in Russia could become the property of the Russian government.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Russia is considering nationalizing the assets of companies like Apple that pulled out of the country in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine. Vladimir Putin, Russia’s leader, reportedly endorsed the plan on Thursday. The Mac-maker is just one of hundreds of companies that could be affected, but it’s a prominent one.

It’s not known how much inventory Apple left behind after it pulled out of Russia on March 1.

Ukrainian devs work in bathtubs as Russian bombs and missiles fly

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MacPaw's Julia Petryk works in her bathtub, the safest place in her Kyiv apartment as Russian bombs and missiles fall.
MacPaw's Julia Petryk works in her bathtub, the safest place in her Kyiv apartment during the Russian bombardment of Ukraine.
Photo: Julia Petryk/MacPaw

Between air raids and missile strikes, Julia Petryk works in her bathtub in Ukraine. It’s the safest place in her Kyiv apartment.

“The last interview I gave for media was in the bathtub,” she told Cult of Mac in an email. It’s “the safest place in the apartment during bombardment.”

Donate a drone to help protect Ukrainian civilians [Updated]

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Want to help protect Ukrainian civilians during the Russian invasion? Donate a surveillance drone.
Want to help protect Ukrainian civilians during the Russian invasion? Donate a surveillance drone.
Photo: Skylum

Among the various calls for help on behalf of Ukraine during the Russian invasion, software company Skylum offered a way for you to donate a surveillance drone that could help safeguard Ukrainian civilians from the ravages of war.

“You can help Ukrainians to protect themselves as your drone will provide real-time pictures of the situation on the ground,” Skylum said in a blog post Thursday.

Reached for comment via email from Western Ukraine, Skylum Marketing Manager Sabina Iliasova told Cult of Mac how drone deployment will work and why it’s so crucial. She is the contact who will handle donations.