Archive for the ‘PHONE PROBLEMS’ Category

Bend-gate: Apple iPhone 6 Plus found bending in the pockets of your pants

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

A picture of an iPhone 6 Plus with a kink in it.image

A picture of an iPhone 6 Plus with a kink in it. Photo: MacRumors/iBoost621

Apple is very concerned about how it’s seen by the outside world. After all, it affects profit. So when a number of respectable media outlets began reporting about the potential for its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus phones to bend in pockets, the tech giant took them on a tour of its “torture testing” facilities, where it bends iPhones all day long.


Henry Sapiecha

Mobile phone ingnites during the night under girls pillow -Watch video here

Thursday, July 31st, 2014



Henry Sapiecha

black diamonds on white line


Tuesday, August 27th, 2013



Henry Sapiecha

black diamonds on white line


Thursday, March 1st, 2012


SAN FRANCISCO: The private photos on your phone may not be as private as you think.

Developers of applications for Apple’s mobile devices, along with Apple itself, came under scrutiny this month after reports that some apps were taking people’s address book information without their knowledge.

As it turns out, address books are not the only things up for grabs.

Photos are also vulnerable. After a user allows an application on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to have access to location information, the app can copy the user’s entire photo library, without any further notification or warning, according to app developers.

It is unclear whether any apps in Apple’s App Store are illicitly copying user photos.

Although Apple’s rules do not specifically forbid photo copying, Apple says it screens all apps submitted to the store, a process that should catch nefarious behaviour on the part of developers.

But copying address book data was against Apple’s rules, and the company approved many popular apps that collected that information.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

The first time an application wants to use location data, for mapping or any other purpose, Apple’s devices ask the user for permission, noting in a pop-up message that approval “allows access to location information in photos and videos.”

When the devices save photo and video files, they typically include the coordinates of the place they were taken — creating another potential risk.

On phones and tablets running Google’s Android software, apps must ask for approval before transmitting any photos.

On Apple devices, full access to the photo library was first permitted in 2010 when Apple released the fourth version of iOS. The change was intended to make photo apps more efficient.

The knowledge that this capability exists is not new, developers say, but it was assumed that Apple would ensure that apps that inappropriately exploited it did not make it into the App Store. Based on recent revelations, phone owners cannot be sure.

“Apple has a tremendous responsibility as the gatekeeper to the App Store and the apps people put on their phone to police the apps,” said David Jacobs, a fellow at the Electronic Privacy Information Centre.

“Apple and app-makers should be making sure people understand what they are consenting to. It is pretty obvious that they aren’t doing a good enough job of that.”


Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

In the wrong hands, your gadgets could cost you big time

THE trend to go mobile hasn’t escaped the attention of the bad guys. They’re focusing more than ever on portable mobile devices as people shift from computers to hand-held gadgets.

We tend to leave a lot of sensitive & sometimes personal information lying around on our gadgets. Worse yet, we tend to stay logged in to many services. Imagine the havoc someone could wreak with access to your phone, email, calendar, financial records, online shopping, online banking, social networking and other services. Keep in mind that if it’s a business phone, you’re putting your organisation’s security at risk as well as your own.

Sophos head of technology for Asia Pacific, Paul Ducklin, warns it’s important to password-protect all your devices, particularly those that leave the house.

”In a recent Sophos survey, nearly one-quarter of people admitted they’d lost a device in the past year,” Ducklin says. ”But of those, close to three-quarters hadn’t even bothered to lock their device at all.

”Their excuse is often that it’s inconvenient to unlock it every time – but that’s surely not as inconvenient as trying to reclaim your digital life after someone gets their hands on your unlocked phone.”

Installing mobile security software in your gadgets can offer the ability to track, remotely lock and even wipe your devices, adds Symantec spokesman David Hall. It’s a sensible precaution to stop your data falling into the wrong hands should a gadget be stolen or lost. Regularly backing up your smartphone to a desktop computer or an online service makes it easy to transfer your data to a replacement handset, while the lost device is reverted to its factory settings.

Smartphone owners should take great care when installing applications, Hall warns, as some have been modified to snoop around in your phone & cause you grief.

”The current trend is towards ‘Trojanised’ applications, with the majority targeting the Android platform,” Hall says. ”These are legitimate apps that scamming authors have altered to include malicious code capable of harvesting data or opening a back door. In many instances, such apps still carry out their legitimate functions as a way of disguising their malicious behaviour.”

”You should always check permissions requests before installing new apps or app upgrades, to see what the app is allowed to do. It’s also important to check your phone bill regularly for unusual premium-rate calls or data charges, which can be a sign that something is wrong.”

Apple’s tight rules for vetting apps frustrate some users but it helps create a safer mobile computing environment for iGadgets.

Google’s more lax approach offers users and developers more freedom but leaves the door open for malicious applications. Google has already been forced to pull dozens of malicious mobile applications from the Android Market app store.

Android also allows users to install applications from sources other than Google’s official Android Market – presenting extra security threats. Microsoft has vowed to strike a balance between the two approaches with its Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Sunday, July 31st, 2011

The new smartphone

virus is upon us.

So watch for it

NO ONE knows who lies behind Zeus. Security experts believe he or she is Russian, although no one is completely sure. But what they all agree is that Zeus is the most pernicious ”Trojan Horse” on the internet. During the past four years it has infected millions of PCs, taking control of the computer and stealing personal banking details.

Microsoft has fought a running battle against Zeus, which is one of the most difficult types of malware to detect – but the great fear among cybercrime experts is no longer home computers. A new strain of Zeus, dubbed ”Zitmo” (it stands for ”Zeus in the mobile”) has begun to exploit a huge hole in personal banking security: the smartphone in your pocket.

In the past fortnight, this malicious new version of Zeus, which attacks phones using the Android operating system, has sparked intense concern among security companies. One major US internet security provider, Trusteer, claimed Google Android is ”fraudsters’ heaven”. Trusteer chief executive Mickey Boodaei said in a blog: ”Bad news: fraudsters have all the tools they need to effectively turn mobile malware into the biggest customer security problem we’ve ever seen.”

But it’s not just Zeus that smartphone customers should be worrying about, according to Alex Fidgen of MWR InfoSecurity, one of the biggest cybercrime-busting outfits in Britain. It legally hacks into computers to test security. More recently it has turned its attention to smartphones and found that it can crack open every new handset it sees.

”The mobile phone industry is not fit for purpose, especially for financial transactions,” says Fidgen. ”The evidence is irrefutable. You cannot be assured of security with modern smartphones. As soon as the handset is compromised, then any data is up for grabs.”

Fidgen says the fault lies with the handset manufacturers rather than the network providers or banks. In the race to bring new phones and new features to the market, many have left security low on the agenda. Modern smartphones, particularly when they are used in public Wi-Fi hot spots, can become fatally compromised. Trojans can enter a smartphone in many ways. All you have to do is click on a link or attachment that contains the virus, and within seconds it can secretly seize control. That link might be a TinyURL in Twitter. The attachment could be a vCard, the standard format for sending a business card to a phone.

Or it could be that you are accessing a website in a cafe. At Wi-Fi hot spots, fraudsters create bogus gateways, known as ”evil twins”, to which the latest mobile phones will automatically connect. Once a connection is established, all the information passing through the gateway can be read directly or decrypted, allowing fraudsters to harvest user names, passwords and messages. Until now, these attacks have been rare. But experts say that’s just because smartphones are still taking off. ”We’re walking into a minefield,” says Fidgen, who has been warning about the risks for several months, ”but nobody’s bloody listening.”

At Trusteer, Boodaei forecasts that ”within 12 to 24 months, more than one in 20 of all Android phones and iPads/iPhones could become infected by mobile malware”.

Are Apple iPhones safer than Android? MWR InfoSecurity says Apple’s famed security from viruses doesn’t quite translate to mobile devices. ”Both platforms have problems,” says the company. ”The Android market has quite a reputation for serving malware regularly, whereas Apple seems to be in better control of the content of the App Store. Android, however, has Sandbox [a security feature], which limits the impact of malicious or vulnerable applications. This can help limit the effectiveness of the malware, a feature that does not exist on the Apple platform.”

BlackBerry phones are considered safer to use, as their maker, RIM, ”keeps details of the platform a secret, which makes it much harder for attackers to write malware”.

All the experts are agreed that ”jailbreaking” – where you remove the limitations imposed by Apple on iPhones and iPads – exposes the user to much wider security threats.

Why not simply add an anti-virus program to your smartphone? The bad news is that the phones may have been built so poorly in the first place that the anti-virus programs won’t be much help. All they do is give a false sense of security to users, say the experts.

Last week, a report in InformationWeek, a respected US technology magazine, warned of an ingenious new approach by Zeus/Zitmo that tricks home PC users into downloading it on to their smartphone. The Trojan sleeps on the home PC until the user logs into a bank website. At that point it wakes up, intercepts the process, asking the user to download a new security device on to their mobile phone to complete the banking log-in process. But in reality, the new security device is the Zeus Trojan infecting their phone. Once it’s on, it takes control of the user’s phone.

At the heart of Zeus is a Russian developer who produces the source code and then licenses the program to numerous fraudsters in the criminal underworld. This software genius regularly sends out patches and updates so that every time it is detected Zeus bounces back again.

Don Jackson of Dell’s security arm, SecureWorks, is the person who first discovered Zeus, in 2007.

”Zitmo has all the hallmarks of the original author of Zeus. This brand new version is his flagship new product, which he’s making available to a select few. He writes it, sells it for huge amounts of money, and even supports his ‘customers’ to rid it of any bugs that develop.”GUARDIAN

Sourced & published by HenrySapiecha


Monday, June 20th, 2011

As hacking evolves and attacks become more sophisticated, the threat continues to escalate, writes Patrick Kingsley.

Late last month, the US media group PBS ran a strange story on its website. ”Prominent rapper Tupac has been found alive and well in a small resort in New Zealand,” it reported. ”The small town – unnamed due to security risks – allegedly housed Tupac and Biggie Smalls [another rapper] for several years.”

For two reasons, this was a surprising piece of journalism. First, Tupac died in 1996. Second, the piece wasn’t written by PBS. It had been planted on their site by a group called Lulz Security, a loose collective of anonymous hackers who wanted revenge for a recent PBS program that criticised WikiLeaks.

”Greetings, Internets,” Lulz wrote on their own website. ”We just finished watching WikiSecrets and were less than impressed. We decided to sail our Lulz Boat over to the PBS servers for further … perusing.” Above the message the tagline: ”Set sail for fail!”

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A message from  Lulz Security.A message from Lulz Security.

The extraordinary episode was by no means isolated. In March, hackers stole a database of email addresses from the marketing group Epsilon in what one commentator called the largest email address heist in history. Then the computer security firm RSA had their servers breached in an attack that may have led to the hacking of defence giant Lockheed Martin, an RSA client. In April, persons unknown cracked Sony’s PlayStation network and stole 77 million users’ data. And in the past month, the IMF, Citibank, the Spanish police, Google, the Turkish and Malaysian governments, the US Senate and (earlier this week) the CIA have all been hacked.

In simple terms, there are three kinds of attack taking place. Hacktivism is the most prominent: raids by amateur groups such as Lulz (who took down sites belonging to the CIA, the Senate and the Spanish police) or Anonymous (PayPal, PlayStation, MasterCard and Visa), for fun – ”for the lulz” – or, increasingly, as an act of political protest. There is the criminal kind: professionals hunting for credit card details or email address directories. Finally, there’s state-sponsored espionage, or even cyber-warfare. ”Google, RSA, Lockheed Martin, IMF – the strong suspicion is all those were state-sponsored, or state-approved,” Dave Clemente, a cyber security expert at Chatham House, the international affairs experts, said..

Are all three categories really on the rise? Well, possibly. Disclosure laws obliging companies to come clean about data breaches have been in place in many parts of the US for several years. But, when Google went public last year with the news it had been hacked by Chinese sources, ”that got the ball rolling”, Clemente said. ”It suddenly seemed more permissible to report a hack.”

If increased openness in part accounts for the apparent hike in hacking, there has still been an exponential rise in cyber threats. In 2008, security giant Symantec counted 120 million malware variants; last year, that figure was 286 million. Symantec security strategist Sian John has also noted a large increase in ”targeted attacks”. Hackers are using a new tackle called ”spear phishing”, which enables them to be more specific about who they target. ”In the past, if you got a phish attack, it would be from a Nigerian offering you lots of money,” said John. ”Now it’ll be from someone saying: ‘Oh, we saw you at that conference last week. Here’s some minutes of that conference’.” Contained within those minutes will be a virus.

This kind of targeted attack has become dangerous because of the amount of information we divulge on the internet. ”One of the first places a hacker will visit is LinkedIn,” said Rik Ferguson, director of security research at computer protection firm, Trend Micro. ”[There] you can see all my connections, see everyone I’ve worked with, everyone I know … I’m far more likely to open an attachment from your email, because it’s far more credible.”

However, the arrival of groups such as Anonymous and its offshoot LulzSec does mark a changing of the guard. ”Hacktivism is definitely on the rise,” said Ferguson. ”Anonymous were previously quite a cliquey underground community. But as the WikiLeaks thing unfolded … they have garnered a lot of coverage.”

The anarchist collective Deterritorial Support Group recently posted an essay ”Twenty Reasons Why it’s Kicking Off in Cyberspace”, which aimed to explain the rise of Anonymous and Lulz. ”Make no mistake, this is not a minor struggle between state nerds and rogue geeks,” they wrote. ”This is the battlefield of the 21st century, with the terms and conditions of war being configured before our very eyes.”

It is tempting to think of this kind of debate as irrelevant to our everyday lives. Symantec says mobile phone technologies will be hacking’s next target, and perhaps it is physical problems such as this that we should be more concerned about. But as we increasingly live more of our lives online, and as that boundary between physical and virtual is increasingly blurred, perhaps it is the conceptual questions posed by hacking that will prove more significant.

Guardian News & Media

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Queensland Australia mum gets a $91,000 phone bill from Telstra

A $91,372 phone bill has Highfields mother of two Kym Ford at breaking point.Kym Ford is tired of getting the run-around by Telstra over a ridiculously large, $91,372 bill.

Callum Bentley

A $91,372 phone bill has Highfields mother of two Kym Ford at breaking point.

The Telstra bill, comprising mainly unknown SMS charges, is a mystery to Ms Ford.

She contacted Telstra’s complaints department to have the charges cleared and was told the “simple computer glitch” would immediately be corrected.

But a month later she received another bill which this time had an outstanding balance of $91,412.98.

Ms Ford again contacted Telstra.

“I was told that the first bill would be credited straight away and the complaint was closed,” she said.

“But then they told me the second time that nothing had actually been done.”

Ms Ford said it just took some simple maths to shed light on just how ridiculous the charges were.

At 25 cents a text message, she would have had to have sent 365,488 messages a month or eight messages every minute.

The ludicrous phone bills were not the last of Ms Ford’s worries.

After returning from holidays in January, she found an iPhone waiting for her complete with a bill of $1100.

Ms Ford said she had never ordered or signed-up for the iPhone.

“I sent it back to them straight away as I had only just signed up for this phone that I have now,” she said.

“Now I’m receiving late charges for overdue amounts for this mystery iPhone.”

The overdue charges for the iPhone have added up to $340 which Ms Ford said was adding to the financial pressure she was already feeling.

“As a single mother of two with a house to pay off, I’m afraid the overdue fees will affect my credit rating,” she said.

“I don’t understand why it’s such a problem; all of the calls were recorded.”

A Telstra representative said the charges applied to Ms Ford were still being investigated and she would be contacted shortly.

“It appears that the charges may be a result of fraudulent activity,” the representative said.

“The customer may have replied to an email or phone call requesting her details.”

The representative said all of the charges relating to the iPhone would be waived.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Monday, April 25th, 2011

Your smartphone

spies on you

for Google, Apple

Charles Arthur
April 25, 2011 – 8:08AM

With the iPhone tracker, researchers were able to map out the location data their phones were collecting.

Apple and Google are using smartphones running their software to build gigantic databases for location-based services, according to new research following revelations that iPhones and devices running Android collect location data about owners’ movements.

iPhones and Android smartphones swap data – which does not contain information directly identifying the user or the phone – back and forth with their respective companies.

The news has led some European governments to announce investigations into whether either company is breaking privacy laws.

Samy Kamkar, a hacker and researcher, has shown that Android phones, which run on software written by Google, collect the location data every few seconds and store it in a local file, but also transmit it to Google several times an hour.

This functionality is almost certainly used in any phone that provides mapping services, meaning that similar files will exist in some form on all smartphones, including those from Nokia and BlackBerry-maker RIM. It is not known whether these models synchronise data from the phone to the companies’ servers as well as storing it locally on the handset.

Sources familiar with Google’s systems said the location data was used to help the phones orient themselves by identifying nearby mobile phone masts and wi-fi sources and comparing them with Google’s own database, with which they are synchronised continually. The file is also updated so that if the mobile signal is interrupted – for example when the user is on a train and goes into a tunnel – it will be able to re-establish contact more quickly by knowing which towers are in the vicinity.

Apple and Google are collecting the data, which amounts to an international map of the locations and unique identities of cell towers and wi-fi networks, to improve targeting of their adverts based around mobile phones.

In a letter to the US congress last July, Apple confirmed it collected the data and said that, in order to be useful, “the databases [of tower and network locations] must be updated continuously”.

The value of location-based services, which feature advertising, is reckoned to be $US2.9bn already and forecast by the research group Gartner to grow to $US8.3bn by 2014.

In 2009, Google itself pointed to the value for users of having Android phones upload real-time location data to its servers, suggesting it could give “a pretty good picture of live traffic conditions”. It said: “We continuously combine this data and send it back to you for free in the Google Maps traffic layers. It takes almost zero effort on your part – just turn on Google Maps for mobile before starting your car.”

A Google spokesman said Android phones explicitly asked to collect anonymous location data when users turned them on.

Apple iPhones and iPads also ask whether users want to have “location services” turned on, and the iPhone licence has a passage that says Apple “and its partners and licensees” may transmit, collect, maintain, process and use location data, including the real-time geographic location of the iPhone, though it points out that this is anonymised and can be disabled by turning off the “location services” feature.

However, even if users disable location services, the iPhone and Android phones are believed to continue storing locations of cell towers and wi-fi networks in what is known as a “neighbour list”.

Google’s list is limited to the most recent 50 cell masts and 200 wi-fi networks, while Apple’s list is retained for up to a year. Sources close to Apple have suggested the long-term retention may be an error which it will correct in a future software update.

Privacy advocates fear that although the data is anonymised, the Apple data is not encrypted and could be misused by law enforcement or others who wanted to capture information about someone’s movements.

One security researcher, Alex Levinson of Katana Forensics, said on Thursday that US law enforcement had already made use of the location data recorded by the iPhone in investigations.

Some police forces, such as those in Michigan, already carry readers that can copy all the files from a smartphone even if it is protected with a password, and that it has been used on motorists stopped for minor traffic violations. The American Civil Liberties Union says such examination amounts to an “unreasonable search”, which would be illegal in the US.

In Germany, the Bavarian Agency for the Supervision of Data Protection said it would examine whether and why Apple’s devices were capturing the information, and that it had asked Apple for more information.

“If it is true that this information is being collected… without the approval and knowledge of the users, then it is definitely a violation of German privacy law,” Thomas Kranig, the agency’s director, told the New York Times.

Italy and France are expected to do the same. France’s data protection authority suggested that a major source of concern would be over whether Apple transferred any of the data to any commercial partners. “If the information is marketed without the knowledge of the consumer, it is much more serious,” Yann Padova of France’s CNIL said.

The Guardian

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Monday, January 31st, 2011

‘La-la land’ law:

Call to ban iPods

and phones

while crossing roads

Asher Moses

January 31, 2011 – 12:30PM

Would you stop your iPod to cross the road?

Are people in NSW prepared to put down their iPods, mobile phones and other electronic devices while crossing the road?

NSW Police said it would support laws banning the use of iPods, mobile phones and other electronic devices while crossing the road and while riding bicycles.

It is the latest attempt to improve traffic safety by legislating against technological distraction, but questions have been raised over whether such rules could ever be properly enforced.

In New York, a bill is pending in the transport committee that would ban pedestrians, including joggers, from using gadgets while crossing the street.

Lambs to slaughter ... the image used in the Pedestrian Council of Australia's campaign.Lambs to slaughter … the image used in the Pedestrian Council of Australia’s campaign.

Other states including Oregon, Virginia and California are moving to ban devices such as iPods from being used while riding a bicycle. Culprits would be fined between $US20 and $US100.

Similar legislation has yet to be introduced in Australia but NSW Police said “should legislation such as that described be introduced, it would receive our support and ongoing attention”.

The position is a marked turnaround from the views of NSW Police State Traffic Commander John Hartley, who said in 2007, when the US laws were first talked about, that “you can’t legislate stupidity”.

The reason for the change in position is unclear – national pedestrian road deaths have been falling consistently, from 351 in 1996 to 173 last year. In NSW, there has been a slight rise in pedestrian road deaths from 59 to 64 between 2009 and 2010, the RTA says.

The Pedestrian Council of Australia has been running advertisements showing people with lamb heads using their gadgets while crossing the road at a red light under the banner “Lambs to the slaughter, wait for the green”.

The council’s spokesman, Harold Scruby, said there should be a much stricter legislation and enforcement campaign to complement his awareness campaign. He also said device manufacturers had a “moral and corporate responsibility” to put warnings on their mobiles and music players.

In September last year a 46-year-old Sydney woman from Glebe was knocked down and killed by an ambulance – reportedlywhile wearing headphones – as she crossed Parramatta Road.

“They put you in la-la land, aside from the fact that, if you’re using two buds you’ve lost the stop, look and listen awareness of things around you,” Mr Scruby said.

He also criticised current laws that allowed drivers to operate vehicles and bicycles with an earbud in each ear (“they don’t hear tooting, fire engines, police vehicles, ambulances … “) and said police were generally not enforcing laws governing people crossing roads.

“You step off the footpath against a red light in America and they book you [but] in Australia they don’t touch you – you see cops standing next to people who are walking against the lights,” he said.

Already, Australian motorists face significant fines and three demerit points for driving or riding a vehicle while using a mobile phone, even when stopped at traffic lights. Hands-free kits are allowed but not “if it causes you to lose proper control of your vehicle”, the RTA says.

People with learner or P1 provisional licenses are prohibited from using their phones while driving, with or without a hands-free.

But with drivers now gadget-free, attention is turning to pedestrians and their risk of walking into oncoming traffic while zoning out with their music players or sending texts.

The ability of mobiles to distract people from the outside world was brought home to a global audience this month when a US woman tumbled head first into a shopping centre fountainwhile texting. She later threatened to sue the mall.

The New York senator who has been pushing the new rules for pedestrians, Carl Kruger, said people could not be fully aware of their surroundings while “fiddling with a BlackBerry, dialling a phone number, playing Super Mario Brothers on a Game Boy or listening to music on an iPod”.

He cited a rise in “accidents stemming from pedestrian distraction”, including the death of a 21-year-old man crushed by a Mack truck while listening to music.

In Australia, official figures do not allow one to drill down to see the number of people killed or injured while distracted by their gadgets.

However, according to the Department of Infrastructure, 173 pedestrians were killed on Australian roads last year, down slightly from 195 in 2009.

NSW Police said the community should be mindful that road use – whether as a driver, rider or pedestrian – was a complex task requiring alertness, awareness, compliance with the road rules and good judgment at all times.

“Any distraction from the task of safely using our roads has the potential consequence of reducing road safety and for that reason we encourage all road users to apply their best efforts and full attention to the task at hand when on our roads,” it said.

Spokespeople for the NSW Police and transport ministers directed requests for comment to the office of the Roads Minister, David Borger.

Mr Borger’s office did not immediately respond to questions over whether any legislation similar to that adopted in the US would be introduced in NSW

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha