The Phishing-Gang Edition Wednesday, March 15, 2017

If Your iPhone Is Stolen, These Guys May Try To iPhish You, by Brian Krebs, Kerbs On Security

Today, we’ll take an insider’s look at an Apple iCloud phishing gang that appears to work quite closely with organized crime rings — within the United States and beyond — to remotely unlock and erase stolen Apple devices.

Victims of iPhone theft can use the Find My iPhone feature to remotely locate, lock or erase their iPhone — just by visiting Apple’s site and entering their iCloud username and password. Likewise, an iPhone thief can use those iCloud credentials to remotely unlock the victim’s stolen iPhone, wipe the device, and resell it. As a result, iPhone thieves often subcontract the theft of those credentials to third-party iCloud phishing services. This story is about one of those services.

'Proton' Mac Trojan Has Apple Code-signing Signatures, Sold To 'Customers' For $50K, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

Security researchers have discovered the existence of a new trojan dubbed "Proton" being marketed in hacking forums to online criminals, claiming to ship with genuine Apple code-signing signatures that could make it a greater risk to victims.

Apple Hires iPhone Security Expert Jonathan Zdziarski, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

iPhone forensics expert, security researcher, and former jailbreak community figure Jonathan Zdziarski today announced he has accepted a position with Apple's Security Engineering and Architecture team. He did not reveal his official starting date or responsibilities at the company.

iPhone Photog Shoots Gritty Street Scenes 'From The Hip', by David Pierini, Cult Of Mac

To a photojournalist like Strazzante, the iPhone eliminates another barrier – camera awareness. Ethics dictate a storyteller like Strazzante mustn’t stage moments or request a do-over of something missed. Still, even as a photographer tries to blend into a scene to capture candid interactions, there is still a nagging feeling that the camera’s presence is somehow stunting what would otherwise be natural.

“I don’t like when people are aware they are being photographed and that is something I have always struggled with,” said Strazzante, who has more than 56,000 followers on Instagram. “Throughout my newspaper career, I would have to shoot from the hip, especially with kids. I got tired of kids looking right into the camera.”

The Apple Watch Is Still The Best Designed Smartwatch, by Vlad Savov, The Verge

Apple simply designed its way around the shortcomings of smartwatches better than everyone else. The company seems to have been conscious of the fact that, like a parked car, the watch will sit inactive most of the time, and so it needed to have an appearance that was appealing even without surfacing a time. Ideally, an appearance that made it look like a cohesive thing that didn’t have a screen at all. That’s part of why the Apple Watch looks the way it does: it’s a sculpted black monolith, whose darkness spills over the edges and either blends into a black metal frame or contrasts nicely with a lighter color.


Feeling Lonely? There’s An App For That, by Taylor Beck, Nautilus

Press a button and you reach a supportive voice. That’s the pitch made by Happy, a new app launching on March 21. It may seem like the latest in a trend of mental health apps—Talkspace, for example, connects patients with therapists by phone, and PRIORI, designed for bipolar patients, tracks the timing and frequency of calls and texts to predict shifts into mania or depression. But Happy’s goal is simpler—and more radical. Its founders want to help everybody who could use a sympathetic ear. The role “givers” play is less therapist, more bartender-without-the-booze. They are peers, not professionals, and the people who call are not typically mentally ill or in extreme distress.

Suicide takes 44,193 American lives a year, but everyday alienation is a stealthier killer. Loneliness is deadlier than diabetes, a 2015 analysis showed, raising the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Psychotherapy access, meanwhile, is often limited to those who can afford it, in communities with less stigma around mental illness. Poor and minority communities tend to go untreated. Plenty of people who aren’t ill also need someone to talk to. Happy hopes to reach them, too.

LiquidText 3.0: A Uniquely Digital PDF Experience, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

What makes LiquidText unique is how it uses the Pencil not just as a tool for annotations, but also as a tool for gestures.

Chrome For iOS Gains New 'Read Later' Feature, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Google today updated its Chrome browser for iOS devices to version 57, adding a new "Read Later" function for saving articles to a Reading List so they can be viewed at a later time even when an internet connection is unavailable.

The Chrome Read Later function is similar to the "Reading List" feature that's available in the Safari web browser for Macs and iOS devices.


Apple Found Guilty Of Price-fixing In Russia Over iPhone Prices, by Henry Foy, Financial Times

Apple had instructed 16 Russian retailers to hold the prices of its iPhone models and contacted them in the event that any products were being sold at “inappropriate” prices, the FAS said in a statement after a seven-month investigation, adding that it suspected Apple was able to terminate sale agreements with retailers if pricing guidelines were not met. [...]

On Tuesday, a spokesperson said: “We worked closely with FAS during their investigation and are glad to put this matter behind us. We work hard to make the best products and services in the world for our customers and are deeply committed to making sure our resellers are able to compete fairly in the markets where we do business.”

Apple, Amazon, And Microsoft Are Helping Google Fight An Order To Hand Over Foreign Emails, by Shona Ghosh, Business Insider

In the brief, the companies argue: "When a warrant seeks email content from a foreign data center, that invasion of privacy occurs outside the United States — in the place where the customers’ private communications are stored, and where they are accessed, and copied for the benefit of law enforcement, without the customer’s consent."

They claim that handing over foreign data "invites" other countries to demand emails from US citizens, stored on US soil, in the same way.

Why Is Silicon Valley So Awful To Women?, by Liza Mundy, The Atlantic

The dozens of women I interviewed for this article love working in tech. They love the problem-solving, the camaraderie, the opportunity for swift advancement and high salaries, the fun of working with the technology itself. They appreciate their many male colleagues who are considerate and supportive. Yet all of them had stories about incidents that, no matter how quick or glancing, chipped away at their sense of belonging and expertise. Indeed, a recent survey called “Elephant in the Valley” found that nearly all of the 200-plus senior women in tech who responded had experienced sexist interactions. (And just as the print version of this article went to press, a former Uber engineer added to the evidence of Silicon Valley’s gender problem when she wrote a blog post detailing what she said was a pattern of sexist behavior at the company.)

As Bethanye Blount’s and Susan Wu’s examples show, succeeding in tech as a woman requires something more treacherous than the old adage about Ginger Rogers doing everything Fred Astaire did, only backwards and in high heels. It’s more like doing everything backwards and in heels while some guy is trying to yank at your dress, and another is telling you that a woman can’t dance as well as a man, oh, and could you stop dancing for a moment and bring him something to drink?

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Some days, the first thoughts that came into my mind in the morning are: are these what my life has to offer, and is this all that I do with my life...

On some other days, the first thoughts that came into my mind in the morning are: I'm satisfied in what life has to offer and what I have to offer, and I am okay with all these.


Today, I am happily married for 21 years. Thank you.


Thanks for reading.