Apple has already released the best iPhone of 2020, but now millions of iPhone owners – both old and new – need to be careful because the company has just confirmed a massive iOS security hole which impacts almost every iPhone on the planet.
Following the publication of a devastating report from security firm ZecOps (covered here by Forbes), which claimed that every iPhone running a version of iOS 6 or newer is vulnerable to remote attacks, Apple has now confirmed the problem is real.
So what are we dealing with? What ZecOps discovered is a serious vulnerability in Apple’s iOS Mail app which allows an attacker to remotely infect an iPhone and gain control over their inbox. In addition, not only did ZecOps find that the attacks can happen without an iPhone owner’s knowledge but they have been happening for more than two years, with the first attack subsequently detected back in January 2018.
And there’s a further kicker: ZecOps found that the attacks are easier to perform on iOS 13 than previous generations of iOS. For example, ZecOps explains that with iOS 12, an attacker requires the iPhone user to open a malicious email. But with iOS 13, it can be triggered unassisted simply from the Mail app being opened in the background.
The good news? Apple has confirmed to Vice that it has managed to patch the vulnerability in the latest iOS 13.4.5 beta and it looks like the company will now accelerate its release (with iOS 13.4.1 the previous update, it appears that Apple will now be skipping some digits unless it pushes out a dedicated iOS 13.4.2 release instead).
Until then, ZecOps states that there are two ways to stay safe: disable the Mail app (Apple has a guide here) and use a third-party app instead. Notably, it found both Outlook and Gmail are not vulnerable to the exploit so there’s no need to bury your iPhone in a box and drop it in the sea.
That said, none of this hides the fact that a serious exploit running through eight iOS generations (iOS 6 was released in September 2012) is eye-opening. It also means that almost every iPhone in use today (Apple claims 1.5 billion active devices of which iPhones make up the majority) is impacted. This is because iOS 6 was released for all iPhones other than the original (released 2007) and it’s successor, the iPhone 3G.
Watch this space, because I expect Apple to move quickly on this.
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Google looking to provide support services for satellite internet providers: job listing – 9to5Google
Within Alphabet, there are currently three products that directly provide internet service to end-users: Google Fi, Google Fiber, and Loon. According to a new job posting, Google looks to be getting into the business of supporting satellite internet providers.
A Google Careers listing today reveals a “Partner Manager” role to “help launch a global satellite-based broadband service.” The emphasis is on “help,” with the next line noting how “you will support satellite broadband service providers, productize the solution and make it available to other satellite broadband ISPs.”
As a Partner Manager, you will help launch a global satellite based broadband service. You will support satellite broadband service providers, productize the solution and make it available to other satellite broadband ISPs. You’ll manage partners on a day to day basis to make sure that we meet their growth plans in existing markets. You’ll manage the pod and service delivery timeline, work with Google and cross functional teams to handle and process monthly/quarterly PO and Invoices, and ensure continued availability of transit in the existing and new markets.
From this description, Google does not appear to be launching its own satellites, but rather helping an existing partner establish their network. It’s unclear who that partner is, but Google will use what it learns to offer similar services to other companies.
A “Responsibilities” section later on provides more details:
- Negotiate any deal with a 3rd party vendor to support product and partner development.
- Build a pipeline and start engaging with other satellite broadband service providers to explore expanding product offering to other players.
The satellite internet access space is currently dominated by Starlink from SpaceX, which launched 60 satellites yesterday. The goal is to have internet delivered from space rather than through wires in the ground. Coincidentally, Google in 2015 led a $1 billion investment round into the Elon Musk company.
It’s unclear what Google’s service would look like, but Alphabet’s Loon division provides a possible clue. Known for balloons that provide internet service following disasters, the company last year announced that it was adapting its routing technology for low Earth orbit satellites with Telesat. The system helps ensure a connection between the many moving parts of such a network.
That said, this role is based within Google and located in Mountain View. There are no other satellite job listings at the company, and we’ve reached out to Google for more details.
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Three finalists chosen in Canadian Electric vehicle design competition – MobileSyrup
The Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (AMPA) in Canada has decided on three finalist designs for its zero-emissions vehicle competition.
The designs come from teams at the Wilson School of Design in B.C, Humber College in Toronto and Carleton University in Ottawa, according to a report from Automotive News Canada.
The AMPA launched this competition in January as a way to showcase how Canadian automotive manufacturing talent could build an electric vehicle from start to finish in Canada. The car is a concept that aims to showcase the power of the Canadian automotive sector and will be named Project Arrow. While a bit of a long shot, I reached out to the AMPA to find out if the name has anything to do with the cancelled Avro Arrow Canadian fighter plane project from the late 50s.
The three finalists have been chosen out of a pool of nine applicants by a panel of Canadian judges who have worked, or are working, in the Canadian automotive space. You can find out more about the judges on the AMPA’s blog.
The designs are as follows:
The Sea to Sky Electric’s E-Nova
Submitted by Marie-Peir Alary and Bailey van Rikxooort from the Wilson School of Design in Richmond, British Columbia, this design appears to be more in the shape of a large SUV with giant wheels and wide windshield, based on the drawing in the report. The name and its offroad looks lead me to believe it’s named after the popular Sea to Sky hiking trails in B.C.
From Stephen Byowy, a Humber College student in Toronto. This design seems to be the most practical in terms of it looking like a modern-day SUV.
Sent in by Kaj Hallgrimsson, Jun0Won Kim, Mina Morcos and Matthew Schultz from Carleton University in Ottawa, this drawing seems to be the most unique, with all the seats facing the center so people can face each other while the car presumably drives itself.
The second phase of the competition is ‘Engineering Specifications’ and its set to conclude in the Fall. There isn’t much on what teams will need to do, but they are tasked with creating supplier RFP report to request any odd or custom parts they might need for their vehicles.
Then in 2021, we’re expected to see a virtual unveiling of the cars and finally, in 2022, the concept car will release and people will be able to tour it.
Image credit: Automotive News Canada
Rumor: Alleged 2021 5.5-inch iPhone prototype shows notchless screen and USB-C port – 9to5Mac
A new mock-up of the 5.5-inch 2021 iPhone has been shared by Macotakara today that suggests a notchless screen and USB-C instead of a Lightning port (or nor port at all) could be in the works. The prototype also shows what could be a different camera setup compared to what we’re expecting on the iPhone 12 later this year.
At the end of last year, we learned that Ming-Chi Kuo expects the highest-end 2021 iPhone to be a fully wireless device, ditching the Lightning port and also skipping the USB-C port. However, today’s alleged 5.5-inch 2021 iPhone prototype shared by Macotakara suggests that the entry-level model could make the switch to USB-C along with a notchless screen.
This 2021 iPhone mock-up was made based on data from Alibaba, so it’s worth taking this rumor with grain of salt.
A 5.5-inch 2021 iPhone likely means it would be the entry model based on what we’re expecting for the 2020 iPhone lineup, with the more affordable iPhone 12 models coming in 5.4- and 6.1-inch sizes and the iPhone 12 Pro landing with 6.1- and 6.7-inch displays. Macotakara does mention that this is just one prototype that Apple is considering so naturally, there’s no guarantee this design and features will make it to market.
Macotakara says the case dimensions of this prototype are the same as the 5.4-inch 2020 iPhone but with a slightly larger screen at 5.5-inches. However, one interesting part of this prototype would be the entry-level 2021 iPhone gaining what could be a 3 or 4 camera setup. One major way Apple has differentiated its iPhone lineup is with camera hardware and features, like the 11 Pro having an additional lens over the iPhone 11.
Apple has been working toward a making iPhone with a “single slab of glass” design for many years. The iPhone X display design is still seen today in the iPhone 11 lineup (expected in the iPhone 12 series too) so removing the notch totally that houses the Face ID components and TrueDepth camera would be a big step forward in the screen to body ratio and Apple evolving the iPhone display’s design.
The iPhone 12 lineup may feature slightly smaller notches but if this prototype does turn out to ring true, the entire 2021 iPhone lineup would likely go notchless if the 5.5-inch entry-level model did.
The Macotakara video below suggests that Apple could launch its first under-screen front-facing camera with the 2021 iPhone lineup to make this potential notchless design happen.
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