The Platform-Security Edition Friday, December 20, 2019

Apple's Platform Security Guide Details How Customer Data Is Protected, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

The Apple Platform Security guide is a 157-page document that gives an overview of how Apple treats security across its entire ecosystem. The guide which details how security technology and features are implemented on the platforms, is Apple's way to reassure curious and concerned users that its products are secure as they can be.

The documentation is also intended to help organizations combine Apple's platform security technology with "their own policies and procedures to meet their specific security needs," the guide mentions.

Apple Opens Public Bug Bounty Program, Publishes Official Rules, by Catalin Cimpanu, ZDNet

Apple has formally opened its bug bounty program today to all security researchers, after announcing the move earlier this year in August at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas.


Starting today, the company will accept vulnerability reports for a much wider spectrum of products that also includes as iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS, and iCloud.

In addition, the company has also increased its maximum bug bounty reward from $200,000 to $1,500,000, depending on the exploit chain's complexity and severity.

Apple Launches New IT Section Of Apple At Work To Spotlight More Of Its Business Services, by Lori Gil, iMore

Today, Apple has updated its Apple At Work web portal with a new IT section that explains how Apple's Business Manager can help companies get iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple TVs into the hands of their employees without having to go office-to-office to help set them up.

IT teams can automate the setup of new devices, implement certain configurations and manage them remotely, distribute apps across all devices, and ensure that corporate data is secure.

Coming Soon

Apple Introduces Specs For Photography Strobe Accessories That Augment iPhone 11's Flash, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

Apple’s iPhone 11 models could soon support new strobe and flash accessories for photography that connect via the device’s built-in Lightning connector, according to sources briefed on new specs shared with manufacturers in Apple’s Made-for-iPhone (MFi) licensing program.

The specs could allow for new types of accessories like a Made-for-iPhone battery case with a built-in flash that connects over Lightning.

Apple Held Preliminary Talks With Pac-12 Conference, MGM, by Tripp Mickle, Wall Street Journal

Though the conversations with MGM and the Pac-12 were preliminary and have yet to reach an advanced stage, the talks show Apple’s openness to striking a multibillion-dollar content agreement in support of its TV service— even as it forges ahead with a preferred strategy of developing its own shows, these people said. A deal with the Pac-12 would be Apple’s first foray into live sports.

Apple Has Secret Team Working On Satellites To Beam Data To Devices, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. has a secret team working on satellites and related wireless technology, striving to find new ways to beam data such as internet connectivity directly to its devices, according to people familiar with the work.

The Cupertino, California-based iPhone maker has about a dozen engineers from the aerospace, satellite and antenna design industries working on the project with the goal of deploying their results within five years, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing internal company efforts. Work on the project is still early and could be abandoned, the people said, and a clear direction and use for satellites hasn’t been finalized. Still, Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has shown interest in the project, indicating it’s a company priority.


Adobe Capture For iOS And Android Brings Full-color Vector Shapes To Mobile, Pattern Builder For Tablets, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Adobe has released an update for its Capture app for iOS and Android that brings a new pattern builder tool for tablets and for the first time, the ability to make full-color vector shapes on mobile devices.


FCC Retest Vindicates Apple On iPhone RF Exposure Claims, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

The iPhone complies with standards for RF exposure, the FCC has confirmed, after the regulator performed extra tests on the Apple smartphone following claims in August by the Chicago Tribune that the model was breaching consumer safety rules.

It's Hard To Ban Facial Recognition Tech In The iPhone Era, by Tom Simonite, Wired

After San Francisco in May placed new controls, including a ban on facial recognition, on municipal surveillance, city employees began taking stock of what technology agencies already owned. They quickly learned that the city owned a lot of facial recognition technology—much of it in workers’ pockets.

City-issued iPhones equipped with Apple’s signature unlock feature, Face ID, were now illegal—even if the feature was turned off, says Lee Hepner, an aide to supervisor Aaron Peskin, the member of the local Board of Supervisors who spearheaded the ban.

Twelve Million Phones, One Dataset, Zero Privacy, by Stuart A. Thompson, New York Times

Every minute of every day, everywhere on the planet, dozens of companies — largely unregulated, little scrutinized — are logging the movements of tens of millions of people with mobile phones and storing the information in gigantic data files. The Times Privacy Project obtained one such file, by far the largest and most sensitive ever to be reviewed by journalists. It holds more than 50 billion location pings from the phones of more than 12 million Americans as they moved through several major cities, including Washington, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Each piece of information in this file represents the precise location of a single smartphone over a period of several months in 2016 and 2017. The data was provided to Times Opinion by sources who asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to share it and could face severe penalties for doing so. The sources of the information said they had grown alarmed about how it might be abused and urgently wanted to inform the public and lawmakers.

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