Comey: FBI wants 'adult conversation' on device encryption
FBI Director James Comey warned again Tuesday about the bureau's inability to access digital devices because of encryption and said investigators were collecting information about the challenge in preparation ...
Researchers have replicated one of the NSA’s scariest hacking tools
One defense against malware is locking sensitive data that hackers want to steal from the Internet. That’s done through air-gapped PCs or computers that are not connected to the Internet or any network. Theoretically, one could not retrieve anything from such a device without physical access to it. But researchers have been able to replicate a tool the NSA reportedly uses and improve it, to steal information from an air-gapped computer. DON’T MISS: We have some bad news about this year’s new Nexus phones Called USBee, and developed by security researchers at the Ben-Gurion University ’s Cyber Security Center, the technology lets attackers move data from a protected computer over the air. Certain conditions have to be met. First, an insider must infect the computer with the malware. Then, any USB stick must be plugged into that computer. Finally, the attacker needs to be near the compromised device. Once that’s done, USBee will send the USB drive a sequence of “0” in a way that makes the device generate detectable emissions at frequencies between 240Mhz and 480Mhz, Ars Technica explains . That’s enough to steal a 4096-bit decryption key in less 10 seconds at speeds of about 80 bytes per second. The attacker still has to be up to 9 feet away from the entire thing for USB thumb drives, or at up to 26 feet, when the USB device uses a short cable, which is turned into a transmitting antenna. The trick sounds cool but seems unrealistic for actual attacks. The NSA has a similar product dating back to at least 2013. The NSA uses a specially modified USB device to siphon data out of air-gapped computers. But USBee works with any off-the-shelf USB stick. In case the technology sounds familiar, that’s because the researchers at Ben-Gurion came up with all sorts of spy-worthy products recently, including a way to transmit data in hard-drive noise or turn a fan’s sound into transmittable data . The full research paper on USBee is available at this link , while a video demo follows below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E28V1t-k8Hk
Monster's lawsuit against Beats has gone very poorly
Monster's claims that Beats Electronics fraudulently ended their relationship were dismissed in a Los Angeles Superior Court today, leaving Beats and Apple off the hook. The judge ruled that Beats was allowed to end their partnership, meaning its actions were not, as Monster and its CEO Noel Lee claimed, a "sham" designed to take control of their shared headphone line. The case continues, but not in a way that Monster's going to be happy about: Beats is now countersuing for attorneys' fees, claiming its termination agreement with Monster should have prevented this lawsuit — or really any other lawsuit — from being filed in the first place. Apple declined to comment, and Monster attorney Philip Gregory did not return a request for comment.
Apple adds 2TB iCloud storage option before iPhone 7 launch
Apple has introduced a new storage tier for iCloud that grants 2TB of space for $19.99 a month. Apple’s new plan is not replacing a previous one, so you’ll still be able to pay $0.99 a month for 50GB, $2.99 for 200GB, or $9.99 for 1TB. For those who like to read into subtle Apple moves, the timing of this change could indicate a new storage tier for the upcoming iPhone 7.
Factbox: EU crackdown on multinational tax deals
The European Commission on Tuesday ordered Ireland to reclaim up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in taxes from U.S. technology giant Apple . Below is a list of previous cases in which the EU has ruled against tax deals for large corporations. Completed Investigations: STARBUCKS, The Netherlands In October 2015, the Commission ordered the Netherlands to recover 20 million to 30 million euros in back taxes from U.S. coffee shop chain Starbucks .
Why the EU says Apple must pay Ireland $14.5 billion in tax
The European Commission (EC) ordered Apple Inc. to pay Ireland unpaid taxes of up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) on Tuesday as it ruled the firm had received illegal state aid. The European Union's (EU) executive arm has ruled that Ireland made a deal with Apple that had no basis in tax law. The Commission said this involved cutting Apple's tax bill to almost zero, in return for Apple building factories in Ireland.
EU hits Apple with $14.5 billion Irish tax demand
By Foo Yun Chee and Padraic Halpin BRUSSELS/DUBLIN (Reuters) - The European Commission ordered Apple Inc to pay Ireland unpaid taxes of up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) on Tuesday as it ruled the firm had received illegal state aid. Apple and Dublin said the U.S. company's tax treatment was in line with Irish and European Union law and they would appeal the ruling, which is part of a drive against what the EU says are sweetheart tax deals that usually smaller states in the bloc offer multinational companies to lure jobs and investment. The U.S. feels its firms are being targeted by the EU and a U.S. Treasury spokesperson warned the move threatens to undermine U.S. investment in Europe and "the important spirit of economic partnership between the U.S. and the EU." Starbucks Corp has been ordered to pay up to 30 million euros ($33 million) to the Dutch state, while Amazon.com Inc and McDonald's Corp are also under investigation by the Commission, the EU's executive arm.
Exclusive: SWIFT discloses more cyber thefts, pressures banks on security
SWIFT, the global financial messaging system, on Tuesday disclosed new hacking attacks on its member banks as it pressured them to comply with security procedures instituted after February's high-profile $81 million heist at Bangladesh Bank. In a private letter to clients, SWIFT said that new cyber-theft attempts - some of them successful - have surfaced since June, when it last updated customers on a string of attacks discovered after the attack on the Bangladesh central bank. "The threat is persistent, adaptive and sophisticated - and it is here to stay." The disclosure suggests that cyber thieves may have ramped up their efforts following the Bangladesh Bank heist, and that they specifically targeted banks with lax security procedures for SWIFT-enabled transfers.
Study finds flaws in criticism of St. Jude cyber security
University of Michigan researchers on Tuesday said their own experiments undermine recent allegations of security flaws in St. Jude Medical Inc's pacemakers and other implantable medical devices. Shares of St. Jude fell 5 percent on Thursday after short-selling firm Muddy Waters and its business partner, cyber security company MedSec Holdings Inc, alleged finding significant security bugs in the company's [email protected] device for monitoring implanted heart devices. The university said its researchers came "to strikingly different conclusions" after generating the conditions reported by Muddy Waters.
New MacBook Pro feature virtually confirmed in Apple code
The MacBook Pro is getting a massive redesign this year, multiple reports have said. The laptop will be even thinner and lighter than predecessors, but its best new feature might be a touch-ready secondary OLED display that’s supposed to replace the entire function key row atop the keyboard. DON’T MISS: The worst thing about yesterday’s big iPhone 7 specs leak The secondary display would offer contextual shortcuts to the user, making it even easier to interact with frequently used features that will be just one touch away. The OLED bar should offer system-wide shortcuts, but also app-specific shortcuts, assuming developers will support them. One of the first apps to allow the customization of the function row will be Apple’s Pages, a new leak indicates. Discovered by French site Consomac , the image above shows code from the Pages application that includes the phrase “Customize Function Row.” That’s a clear indication that users will be able to customize the function row inside Pages, likely to display shortcuts to some of their most frequent actions. The leak doesn’t tell us what Apple will end up calling the OLED display on the 2016 MacBook Pro models. A report from Bloomberg on Monday said that Apple refers to it internally as the “Dynamic Function Row” but that’s not the official marketing name for it. Apple’s MacBook Pro refresh is due in the coming months, though the redesigned new laptop might not be unveiled during Apple’s busy iPhone 7 event next week.