Items tagged with iMessage

There are few things more inconvenient in the modern world than a bricked smartphone. A security researcher recently disclosed an iMessage bug that could brick a user’s iPhone. The bug was severe enough to require users to wipe and restore their device. What caused the bothersome issue? Google Project Zero security researcher Natalie Silvanovich noted that a “malformed message” contained a text key, but not a string. She noted that another method would try to use the key as if it was a string without confirmation. This created “an exception as the selector does not exist in that class”. This exception caused Springboard, an application launcher for iPhones, to crash... Read more...
Apple's annual developer conference, WWDC, is just a few days away (it runs from June 13-17) and as such rumors and speculation are swirling in regards to what the Cupertino outfit might announce or reveal. One of the more interesting rumors out there is that Apple is bringing iMessage support to Android.That tidbit comes from a "source familiar with the company's thinking," who told MacDailyNews that the encrypted messaging protocol will indeed find its way onto Apple's rival mobile platform. Bringing iMessage to Android would be a big deal—it would allow users of the two most popular mobile OSes in world to chat securely with one another using end-to-end encryption, and without having to turn... Read more...
Encryption is a hot topic right now, especially as it pertains to the differences of opinion between Apple and the FBI. In short, the FBI wants the courts to force Apple to assist it with thwarting security measures in place on an iPhone 5c model that belonged that one of the San Bernardino shooters, while Apple is so far refusing to help on the basis that doing so would compromise the security of hundreds of millions of iPhones. Ironically enough, that might already be the case, as researchers at Johns Hopkins University have uncovered a troubling bug in Apple's encryption. The bug in question is limited to Apple's iMessage platform and doesn't really have any bearing on the FBI's case. However,... Read more...
The FBI came a’knockin’ at Apple’s doorstep this past summer, but instead of opening the door to welcome in the agency, Apple simply turned its back and went about its business. This standoff between Apple and the Justice Department has gotten a bit testy in recent months, with the latter imploring the former to hand over real-time access to iMessages to aid in ongoing investigations involving suspected criminals running drugs and/or guns. However, Apple has simply ignored calls from the Justice Department to hand over access to text messages because it simply has no way of doing so. In Apple’s case, it uses end-to-end encryption for both its iMessage messaging and FaceTime video chatting services.... Read more...
Imagine that without any misguided action or behavior of your own your iOS device were to crash, simply as the result of receiving a text string via your iPhone or iPad's Messages app. Next, imagine that after this "What the heck!??!!" event (and device reboot, of course) you subsequently could not even open the Messages program.  Imagine no longer. A new bug has been revealed in Apple's Messages app that will crash your device and render Messages mostly unusable upon receipt of a text containing a unique text string comprised of various symbols and Arabic characters. And the bug isn't confined to receipt from other iOS devices either, displaying the same behavior... Read more...
Environmental stewardship may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Apple, but it’s certainly becoming a large part of the company’s self-perception under CEO Tim Cook’s leadership. Today, Apple announced that it will soon build two data centers in Europe to support its online services in the region and claimed that both data centers will be powered by “100 percent renewable energy.” Apple has been adding jobs feverishly in Europe, with more than 2,000 employees coming on board this year, and seems likely to add more positions when the data centers open in 2017. Apple is planning one data center in Denmark’s central Jutland and the other in County Galway, Ireland. The centers... Read more...
Still smarting from an embarrassing iCloud breach last fall, Apple is beefing up protection for its users. This week, the company indicated that it will roll out two-step authentication for two Apple services that are frequent targets of hackers and other malicious users: FaceTime and iMessage. If this seems like old news to you, you’re thinking of two-step authentication for iCloud, which Apple made available back in 2013. Now, if you log out of FaceTime or iMessage, you’ll need to enter a code to get back in. That code will be sent to a device of your choosing, or you can use a recovery key, which is backup code that is meant to be used when you lose your mobile device. Two-step authentication... Read more...
Apple is doing iOS defectors a solid by making available a simple web tool that simplifies the process of freeing up their SMS text messages from being tied to iMessage, Apple's proprietary messaging service. Without doing so, users who switch over to a new phone on a different mobile platform, be it Android, Windows Phone, or BlackBerry, may not receive incoming text messages. It's been a nightmare for some people who didn't heed Apple's advice to deactivate iMessage before jumping over to a different platform. In those cases, the easiest way to restore text messaging order would be to grab hold of their iPhone device, re-insert the SIM card, and deactivate iMessage. However, that obviously... Read more...
Just how secure is your favorite chat app? The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) found out and is sharing the results of its research as part of its battle against NSA surveillance. As you’d probably expect, it has some complaints about the security of certain mainstream chat programs, but there are a few surprises on the EFF’s Secure Messaging Scorecard.  A portion of the Electronic Frontier Foundation Secure Messaging Scorecard. Image Credit: EFF For one thing, Skype received poor marks, garnering only two positives (out of a possible seven). The video chat service encrypts communications during transit and doesn’t have a way to monitor the content of your chats, according... Read more...
Yell loud enough, long enough, and even Apple will hear you. For years now, users who have dabbled in the iOS universe, only to switch back to a rival platform, have grumbled about lost messages. You see, once iMessage knows your phone number, it attempts to route texts and short messages to that via the iMessage platform. But if you ever switch your number back to a non-Apple device, many of those messages can be left in limbo. Moreover, many have griped that iMessage-to-Android communications get hung up, or are lost in the ether entirely. Now, Apple is finally acknowledging that there is indeed a problem. The heart of the issue is switching away from an iPhone without first disabling iMessage,... Read more...
Earlier this week, Apple released an updated set of legal guidelines spelling out exactly what it can and cannot access on your iDevice, what material it will turn over to the police, and under which circumstances it will surrender it. What's particularly interesting is the split response we've seen from different corners of the Internet. Everything Apple does tends to generate attention, but this particular set of announcements is getting a great deal of press -- and two very different narratives have emerged over what it means. Some readers and authors have reacted rather poorly to news that Apple can access user information even without knowing the passcode key. As my colleague, Rob Williams... Read more...