Category Archives: Apple

Apple is a company that designs and manufactures computer devices. It is not immune to hackers who try by all means to hack their system.

Apple: $50 million against the disclosure of plans for future Mac M1s, the company's dilemma to apple

The famous hacker group behind the famous ransomware REvil, have launched a threat against the American company Apple.

They demand a ransom payment in exchange for information about future Macs to be produced by the Cupertino firm.These hackers could have accessed this information following the hacking of one of Apple's largest subcontractors: Quanta. It even seems that they have already tried to extort the subcontractor without success. To show their determination, they have already started publishing some plans of the famous MacBook dated March 2021 to put pressure on the apple giant.

This article will also interest you: Apple: The giant's security chip compromised

If this kind of situation is quite rare, it deserves to make the front page of all the presses. Apple is beautiful and well victim of the Russian hackers behind REvil. This group of cyber criminals are usually specialized in the deployment of ransomware. One of their actions that made them famous is nothing but the famous double extortion. Indeed, in addition to installing a ransomware on the targeted system to demand the payment of a ransom, they publish some confidential information on a forum present in the dark web. The aim is to prove that they are in possession of compromising information. To force the payment of another ransom but this time not to disclose the information.

It should be noted that these cyber criminals are organized as a business. It functions as an industrial society with multiple layers and complex prioritization. It was this group of hackers who created the famous Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) concept "a model in which the hacker group focuses on the development of ransomware and the maintenance of their payment interface to better commercialize access to its solutions. In this model, a kind of affiliation between hackers-clients and hackers-traders, customers can receive up to 70% of the loot – the rest goes to REvil who can finance the disturbing development of its activities. explains a cybersecurity expert.

While the practice has in some cases worked and brought a lot of money to these cyber criminals, there are some situations where blackmail does not work. Touched by REvil's ransomware, Apple's subcontractor Quanta, a Taiwanese woman who also outsources her services to Google and HP, categorically refused to pay the ransom demanded. Quanta Computer's IT security team worked with external IT experts in response to cyber attacks on a small number of our servers, she said in a statement. We have reported this to the relevant authorities with whom we are in full communication[…] No material impact on Quanta's operations is to be reported."

Faced with the refusal of Apple and its subcontractor, the hackers decided to change their strategy. By publishing of course, some information about the MacBook that will have to be released soon. This information dates back to March 9, 2021. It comes from the name of the Apple designer known as John Andreadis.

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Hack iPhones with AirDrop

Recently, a researcher from Google's IT security team exploited a security flaw that allowed him to certainly hack iPhone through AirDrop.

The vulnerability discussed here regarding a protocol used by Apple to link devices running on iOS to its AirDrop. The discovery of Google researchers has made it possible to access files in iPhones thanks to this security flaw

This article will also interest you: Unlock an iPhone without Apple: the FBI has succeeded this bet

The professional behind this discovery is part of Google's Project Zero initiative. The team of cyber professionals tasked with tracking security vulnerabilities through electronic devices. His name is Ian Beer. In reality it is not a security flaw regarding AirDrop, but several vulnerabilities affecting the AWDL (Apple Wireless Direct Link) protocol, a protocol used by Apple to create a mesh network for certain tasks such as AirDrop which serves particularly as file sharing between Apple devices or Sidecar between the iPad and the Mac for screen sharing.

According to the Project Zero researcher, the fault properly exploiting can allow you to read emails and correspondences from iOS users. It would even be possible to take control of the camera, the miro and the iPhone. But this is rare and difficult to put into practice. Cases of figures that highlight facts present in our television fictions.

In addition, it should be clarified that Apple has acknowledged the existence of its security vulnerabilities. According to the Cupertino firm, the vulnerabilities discussed here have already been resolved in recent versions of iOS.

Even after the manual shutdown of the AWDL protocol, Google's researcher in an interview with the online media, The Verge, claimed to have managed to find a way to force the activation of the same protocol. According to the latter, there is "no evidence that these faults have been exploited in the wild." He also notes that the discovery of these security vulnerabilities, as well as their verification and operation, took him nearly 6 months of study. Therefore, these are discoveries that should not be overlooked by Apple.

"The outcome of this experience should not be: no one will spend six months of their life hacking my phone, I'm fine. On the contrary, it should be: a person, working alone in his room, has been able to acquire a capacity that would allow him to seriously compromise the iPhone users with whom he is in contact," said Ian Beer

Apple, for its part, has acknowledged that it has done enough to fix the security flaws. The U.S. company says it has repeatedly mentioned the names of Google researchers in these notes. The security patches have reportedly been deployed since May. And that the majority of iPhone users already migrated to new versions of iOS that are protected from vulnerabilities stated by the Google researcher. As if to mitigate the seriousness of Ian Beer's comments, the Cupertino firm says that to succeed in the attack as demonstrated by the latter, the attacker must be within the wifi of the target iPhones. This in a way makes it difficult to execute such a hacker for a hacker.

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Apple: The giant's security chip compromised

During the course of last week, a computer security specialist alerted the Cupertino firm to a vulnerability affecting its T2 security chip.

According to Jonny Evans of Computerworld, the US giant's security chip is essentially based on a combined action of the software and the flea itself. On closer fire, a Belgian researcher specializing in computer security claims to have found a way to hack the T2 security chip into the recent Intel Mac. And this through the combination of several exploits already developed to hack old phones.

At the moment Apple has not yet commented on the subject. Note, however, that the T2 chip, would be based on an old processor produced by the American giant of the 10 series. Processors that were possible using 2 known jailbreak tools (Checkm8 and Blackbird), to change behavior or even to be able to install malware on the chip. In practice this hacking is not as easy as it seems. Indeed, to succeed the cyber attacker must have physical access to the targeted Mac, to which he must connect through a USB C cable called "debugging" non-standard.

Then he has to run the version of the program dedicated to jailbreaking, during the start of the machine. And it must be said that not all Macs are affected by this vulnerability. Indeed, not all silicon-turning terminals supplied by the American giant are affected by the problem. Moreover, regarding terminals that operate under newer versions of the chip are not as concerned not a vulnerability. In addition, when Macs are protected FileVault, even if attackers access the terminal's content, they will not be able to see the encrypted data, even if it installs malware.

Computerworld's Jonny Evans explains how the hack is developed by the Belgian researcher: "It uses a debugging interface that Apple has maintained on the T2 chip, which allows you to use the DFU (Device Firmware Update) mode without authentication; These tools can be used to "create a USB-C cable that can automatically operate the MacOS device at startup"; The attack allows hackers to gain root access to the T2 chip to modify and take control of what runs on the Mac, including access to encrypted data.

In short, according to the researcher' explanations, hacker who has his exploits, and having the possibility of physically accessing a Mac terminal, will be able to enter the system and of course access the data contained in the terminal in question, modify the operating system (MacOs) and even load Kernel Extensions (kexts).

The Belgian researcher who made the discovery explains why he made public the hacking process. He believes the US giant did not want to react when it announced that the hacking could not take place remotely. Engineers also claim to have found a way to scan and extract data from a device protected by T2 encryption. Which makes the researcher a little more convincing.

"The T2 chip is activated when the Mac starts, while the Apple logo appears. It acts as a trusted root and validates the entire startup process, checking security components and controlling legitimacy. The T2 chip is a kind of guard that maximizes hardware and software security. Therefore, highlighting such a vulnerability can be problematic. The chip uses Apple's Security Enclave to manage Mac computer encryption keys, biometric identification and secure start-up processes. It also includes several controllers such as the system management controller, image signal processor, audio controller and SSD controller. explains Jonny Evans. In a 2018 white paper, the US giant explains how the T2 chip works: "The way Apple's T2 security chip works is based on the concerted action of the chip, hardware, software and services available only at Apple. These capabilities combine to provide unmatched privacy and security features that have never been found before on Mac."

Given the complex nature of the hacking process, it would seem that Apple does not want to cause a general panic, since in any case it will be almost impossible for a hacker to succeed all this activity without any interruption. It is therefore unlikely that the majority of Macs will be exposed to this. However, a security flaw remains a security flaw. It should not be overlooked, at the risk of biting its fingers especially for people who constantly handle confidential data. Perhaps that is where we need to be much more careful, particularly the officers of government structures.

For now the only thing to do, avoid letting your computer drag within anyone's reach. And make sure when using a USB c cable, be sure of the connection.

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Apple: fifty security flaws discovered in its infrastructure

As usual, digital giants tend to be challenged when vulnerabilities are discovered on their infrastructure.

This was the case for Apple when five cybersecurity researchers warned it had discovered more than 50 vulnerabilities. If basically it was just a game, it ended up becoming something more serious.

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From July to October, in just three months, researchers named Brett Buerhaus, Ben Sadeghipour, Samuel Erb and Tanner Barnes, Sam Curry discovered 55 security flaws:

– 11 critical vulnerabilities

– 29 serious flaws

– 11 medium-level vulnerabilities

– 2 weak vulnerabilities

With all these discoveries, they managed to legally release nearly US$51,500 to Apple, as follows:

  • $5,000 to disclose the complete name flaw for iCloud users
  • $6,000 for IDOR security vulnerabilities
  • $6,500 for a loophole to access the company's internal environment
  • $34,000 for the discovery of system memory leaks containing personal customer data

It was, of course, as part of a bug-finding program that the Cupertino giant had opened since the end of 2019. For its part, the American company has been very reactive in immediately producing security patches to plug these vulnerabilities as soon as possible. In just a few days it should be noted and a few hours for some faults.

To achieve what can be called a feat, the research team focused on Apple's entire infrastructure. A fairly massive infrastructure that has the entire IP, covering a total of more than 25,000 web servers, including 10,000 for The Cupertino-based firm also owns 7,000 domain names and its top-level domain, Apple. After an in-depth analysis of the security vulnerabilities discovered, the researchers mentioned that these vulnerabilities could have allowed hackers to infiltrate some of Apple's own computer programs, namely user applications and even those of Apple employees.

It would also have been possible to launch malware being able to steal confidential information from iCloud accounts. And even worse than that, hackers could have used the security flaw to steal the source code of some projects developed internally by Apple or even take control of software used by the American giant in order to manage certain activities in-house such as employee management, warehouse management or other important exchange. In short, all of the Cupertino's management tools were vulnerable.

Not all security vulnerabilities can be accurately described. However, the research team has received permission from American giant to detail some. It should be remembered only that this is a big trick, which will allow to increase even more the security determining Apple.

It is a view that bug premium programs are important enough for the safe development of any business. If for a long time Apple boasts of having the safest infrastructure possible, in recent years have demonstrated, that in no way can these infrastructures be invulnerable. Hackers have demonstrated this on several occasions.

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StopCoviD: the problem of iPhones

In a few days the Mobile Tracing application of the French government will be officially deployed.

StopCoviD is supposed to help a pretty laudable deconfinement plan. On Wednesday, May 27, the National Assembly, like several French state authorities, finally gave its consent to allow the public availability of mobile tracking software. The tool is supposed to help control the spread of the virus. And for that to happen, StopCoviD will trace the contamination. By collecting information related to the different interactions between individuals. But first, it should be noted that the application does not geolocate its user. Everything works with Bluetooth. This has the merit of increasing the confidentiality of the information. When two individuals within a perimeter of about 1 meter, their applications will mark the interaction. If one of these individuals is subsequently tested positive for covid-19, a notification is sent to the other, informing him of his contact, prompting the latter to not only isolate himself but also to be tested in turn. The identifications are anonymized, and everything works on the basis of pseudonym. Perhaps one of the problems with the application would be the fact that it is typically based on volunteerism. Information about a person's status can only be shared with their consent, even though the information is anonymized. Indeed, as stated by the President of the National Commission for Information Technology and Freedoms, Marie-Laure Denis, the application will have to require the consent of users in advance on various points: "What data is used, by whom, with whom they are shared, for what purpose, for how long. It is important to ensure that there is no pre-checked box. ».

However, another problem remains. This would be the use of the app on iPhones. When these smartphones running on iOS are on standby, it doesn't put a bluetooth signal. This prevents cross-breeding with other smartphones in the same area. According to the secretary in charge, Cédric O, the crossing should work in the majority of cases, but he acknowledges that it will not work 100%. The most common failures will be linked to the iPhones because of a particular setting. Indeed, the manufacturer of iPhones, Apple, has set up its device so that the bluetooth is automatically blocked when the tool it has activated no longer works. For example, when putting the phone to sleep, for example. Following tests, it was confirmed several times that the mobile tracking application no longer emits a signal a few minutes after the iPhone is locked. That's why the digital secretary said, "It doesn't work 100% of the time. Indeed, if two iPhones on standby intersect, the application does not work, but this is not a very common situation. ». But this limit is not insignificant. According to a study conducted by Fellow Kantar, French smartphone users are made up of 21% iPhone owners, 19% of which are owners of devices running Android. The team in charge of designing the application reportedly claimed to find a way around the problem of iPhone sleep and turning off the bluetooth signal. "If an Android crosses an iPhone, it wakes it up," explains the experts in charge of the project. But the effectiveness of all this will depend on the smartphone model of the operating system version. "Maybe on some very old phones, maybe on some particular versions of iOS or Android that are not widely distributed among the French population, there is a lot to improve," Cédric O said at a hearing in the National Assembly on Tuesday. The Secretary of State states that according to the tests carried out: "We capture between 75 and 80 per cent of the people nearby, or less than a metre away."

In addition, the French government had asked the American firm to remove the protective barrier on the bluetooth to facilitate the operation of the tracing application. Unfortunately, true to itself, Apple simply refuted the request. The pretext remains the same. The security and privacy of iPhone users.

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