John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

iOS 7 Will Immunize iPhones From Bogus Charger Attacks

ios-trust-charger

Ars Technica

Apple has patched an obscure vulnerability in its iOS operating system that could have allowed a malicious hacker to install malware on an iPad or iPhone via a bogus USB charger.

Discovered by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the vulnerability can be exploited only by a custom-built USB charger outfitted with a tiny Linux computer. But it can be exploited quickly — in under 60 seconds.

“Despite the plethora of defense mechanisms in iOS, we successfully injected arbitrary software into current-generation Apple devices running the latest operating system (OS) software,” the researchers explain in their Black Hat security conference presentation summary. “All users are affected, as our approach requires neither a jailbroken device nor user interaction. … attackers can hide their software in the same way Apple hides its own built-in applications.”

Potentially nasty stuff. But Apple has already developed a fix that will bolster iOS’s defenses against it. It has programmed the operating system to ask users if they trust the computer to which they’re connecting their device. A simple and effective fix for a nascent exploit that could have evolved into a real threat, given enough time.

Twitter’s Tanking

December 30, 2013 at 6:49 am PT

2013 Was a Good Year for Chromebooks

December 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm PT

BlackBerry Pulls Latest Twitter for BB10 Update

December 29, 2013 at 5:58 am PT

Apple CEO Tim Cook Made $4.25 Million This Year

December 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm PT

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik