Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 183

Show 183 – March 27, 2017

Run Sheet ~ Garth & Michael & Nick

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Happy belated Birthday to Garth

Our Aussie Apple Ramblings

Story 1

Hackers threaten to wipe 200 million iCloud accounts unless Apple pays ransom

Can it be true?

news.com.au reports HACKERS who claim to have control of at least 200 million iCloud accounts have issued a public demand to Apple: pay ransom or we wipe them all.

The hacking group calling itself the Turkish Crime Family has provided video evidence of its claims to the tech site Motherboard, with a demand to Apple that it pay the ransom or face the consequences.

The hackers have listed the price of the ransom as either US$75,000 ransom in Bitcoin or US$100,000 in iTunes gift cards.

While the demands seem both outlandish and alarming, Motherboard confirms it has seen screenshots of emails appearing to be communications between the hackers and Apple’s security team.

The hackers also have shown off video which appears to demonstrate how they can log into the compromised accounts.

Apple has not commented on the report.

Without confirmation from Apple, it is difficult to verify the claims of the hackers.

There are also some discrepancies in their story. One account from the hackers says it has access to 200 million accounts, another says 300 million and a third says 559 million.

The hackers have given Apple an April 7 deadline before it performs a factory reset on the accounts, wiping all of their data.

Tyler Moffitt, senior threat research analyst with Webroot, said the threat illustrates that every company was vulnerable to attack no matter how reputable or confident it was with its security.

“Unless there are adequate backup policies in place, I have no doubt that ransom will be paid, regardless of what Apple publicly claims,” Mr Moffitt said.

“There is a high chance of this data eventually appearing on the dark net.”

Security analysts said Apple users should consider changing their iCloud passwords to prevent unauthorised people having access to their accounts.

Chris Roberts, chief security architect at threat detection and defense solutions firm Acalvio, said consumers should be concerned if the hackers claims were true.

“If, and it’s a big if, they have the data then yes, consumers should be concerned. They need to be ready for another round of password resets and hopefully some two-factor authentication discussions,” Mr Roberst said.

“If, and again it’s an if, they have access to that volume of accounts, they will have already harvested anything good out of them therefore it sucks. However, once again, data is out in the wild.

“Finally, if this is real, then what the heck is Apple doing with security? And why the heck are they not putting anything official out?”

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Story 2

Some Numbers, to keep it in perspective

Apples low iPad sales

  • more sales then Dell computers
  • more sales the Business class laptops

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Story 3

Apple has acquired Workflow, a powerful automation tool for iPad and iPhone

techcrunch is reporting ~mApple has finalised a deal to acquire Workflow today — a tool that lets you hook together apps and functions within apps in strings of commands to automate tasks. We’ve been tracking this one for a while but were able to confirm just now that the ink on the deal is drying as we speak.

The app was made by a small team that includes Ari Weinstein, a former iPhone jailbreaker. I’ve been following his efforts since the iPod Linux days and covered his very useful DeskConnect app a few years back.

This is not a “pure acqui-hire” in that Workflow — not just the talent — is being purchased in this deal. This makes sense, and I’m glad to see it because Workflow itself was a prime meat example of how to find a need in the iOS ecosystem, tackle it in an interesting way and execute it with cleverness and attention to honoring the platform. Simply put, it’s super smart, really well designed and works very well.

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Story 4

Just after our show last week

    • Apple Introduces iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition
    • New 9.7-inch iPad Features Stunning Retina Display & Incredible Performance
    • Apple Introduces Clips: The Fun, New Way to Create Expressive Videos on iOS

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This Weeks Discussion

iPads Future

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Story 5

Apple patent reveals docking gadget to turn iPhone and iPad into a complete computer

news.com.au reports ~ APPLE has a simple plan to turn your iPhone or iPad into a new type of MacBook that is possibly Apple’s smartest, and dumbest, computer ever.

A day after news of Samsung’s smartphone dock broke, the US Patent office has approved an Apple patent to use the smarts in the iPhone or iPad in a “dumb” MacBook dock.

Unlike the Samsung dock, which adds ports to a Samsung smartphone but no extra keyboard, the Apple idea for the iPhone and iPad is a more complete computing solution.

While some patents, by the time they are approved, show ideas that are several years old, this latest patent by Apple was only lodged about the time Apple released the iPhone 7 last year.

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How To 1

Curtis emailed this week asking how to rename a drive in Disk utility. Can no longer just select in left column and retype

  • Select the drive in the left column
  • Highlight the name on the right side
  • Type the new name
  • Hit Return

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How To 2

Had an issue were a customer could not hear when on his iPhone 6. There was audio BUT very low, volume was set to full.

  • Went into Settings
  • General
  • Accessibility
  • Hearing
  • Phone Noise Cancellation
  • Switch to Off

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