WhatsApp rolls out encrypted chat backups on iPhone

By

WhatsApp encrypted chat backup
Ensuring only you have access to your chat data.
Image: WhatsApp

WhatsApp’s encrypted backups features is now rolling out on iPhone. Users can create a password to prevent unauthorized access to their chat data, while still uploading it to iCloud or Google Drive for their convenience.

The feature ensures that your WhatsApp chats are protected, even if the backup file itself somehow makes it into the wrong hands.

By

iPhone sideloading isn't safe, Apple says
iOS restrictions make it safer than Android, Apple says.
Image: Apple

High-end Zorachka Homam camera ups your HomeKit video quality

By

Mount this space-helmet-looking cam in your house and the burglars will know you mean business.
Mount this space-helmet-looking cam in your house and the burglars will know you mean business.
Photo: Zorachka

Not too long ago you didn’t have a whole lot of choices for high-quality cameras to run with Apple’s HomeKit system, but that’s changing all the time. For example, Zorachka has released its new, high-end Homam 64GB camera. It joins recent offerings from the likes of Aquara, Eufy, Eve and others.

Apple issues surprise iOS 14.8 update to fix severe security threats

By

Surprise! Apple releases iOS 14.8
Just when you thought Apple’s next software release would be iOS 15…
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

Apple rushed out updates for iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple Watches on Monday to patch a pair of critical security vulnerabilities. The updates protect users from arbitrary code execution that can be triggered by maliciously crafted PDFs or web content, Apple said in its release notes.

In both cases, “Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited,” the company said.

The updates include iOS 14.8, iPadOS 14.8, macOS Big Sur 11.6, watchOS 7.6.2 and security patches for Safari and macOS Catalina.

WhatsApp patches security hole that could expose sensitive user data

By

Facebook messaging apps
Keep your app up to date to stay safe.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

WhatsApp recently patched a serious security vulnerability that could expose sensitive user data. Security researchers discovered the hole, which could be exploited by opening an attachment that contained a malicious image file.

More recent versions of WhatsApp now check the integrity of image that has been edited with filters to keep users safe.

Apple CEO Tim Cook will discuss cybersecurity with President Biden this week

By

Tim Cook congressional antitrust hearing: Should Tim Cook be worried about Congress breaking up Apple?
Cybersecurity is a big concern for many countries.
Photo: C-SPAN

Apple CEO Tim Cook, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and other tech executives will meet President Biden at the White House this week. The focus of the meeting will be the efforts of private companies to improve cybersecurity following an increase in online attacks, one report claims.

90+ organizations urge Tim Cook to drop Apple’s photo scanning plan

By

Groups oppose Apple photo scanning
The largest campaign so far against Apple's new child safety features.
Photo: Benjamin Balázs

An international coalition of more than 90 policy and rights groups is urging Apple to drop plans to scan user photos for child abuse material (CSAM).

In an open letter addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook, published on Thursday, the coalition said it is concerned the feature “will be used to censor protected speech, threaten the privacy and security of people around the world, and have disastrous consequences for children.”

Corellium will support security testing of Apple CSAM scanning feature

By

Corellium Apple CSAM scanning
It is offering funding and free access to its iPhone virtualization platform.
Photo: Corellium

Security research firm Corellium on Monday revealed its new Open Security Initiative, which will support independent research into the privacy and security of mobile apps and devices. Its first target is Apple’s controversial CSAM scanning feature, set to roll out to iPhone users later this year.

Corellium said it applauds Apple’s commitment to holding itself accountable, and it believes its platform of virtual iOS devices is best for supporting any testing efforts. It hopes that researchers will use it to uncover “errors in any component” of Apple’s feature, which could be used to “subvert the system as a whole, and consequently violate iPhone users’ privacy and security.”

Install these critical security patches for Mac, iPhone,iPad and Apple Watch today [Updated]

By

Mac malware is real. Watch out.
macOS Big Sur 11.5.1, iOS 14.7.1 and iPadOS 14.7.1 each take care of the same dangerous bug.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Three of Apple’s biggest products received security patches Monday — and another got its version on Thursday. You should probably install them as soon as possible.

The company started with macOS Big Sur 11.5.1, iOS 14.7.1, and iPadOS 14.7.1 to fix a security hole reportedly used by at least one hacker already. That’s why they are “recommended for all users,” according to Apple.

Apple followed up Thursday by releasing watchOS 7.6.1 to patch the same bug on Apple Watch. It’s also recommended.