July 21, 2013

Security researcher Ibrahim Balic is claiming to have reported a Developer Center security hole just hours before the portal went down.

After reviewing the information and speaking with Balic, it seems as if Apple’s website could be breached through a simple unescaped injection attack. We haven’t seen the script ourselves, so this isn’t completely confirmed.

Balic was able to access first and last names, Apple IDs/email addresses, and user IDs. From the information he showed in a YouTube video (update: the video has now been taken down) and what he described to me in an email, the leak does not show any other information.

In an email to me, Balic also states that the exposed Apple IDs belong to developers as well as regular users. His YouTube video description stated he was able glean over 100,000 users’ information, but is planning on deleting all of the information.

He is insistent in stating he did this for security research purposes and does not plan to use the information in any malicious manner.

Apple just started sending out the above explanation for the Developer Center outage that has been going on since Thursday. According to the note, Apple’s security was breached and an intruder might have gotten some personal information (specifically names, mailing addresses, email addresses, etc.). In the spirit of (just a bit late) transparency, Apple is now informing developers who may have been affected.

Also, because of the intrusion, Apple has decided to totally overhaul its developer systems, including updating server software and rebuilding databases seemingly from scratch. That would explain the significant, now over 4-day, outage.

Apple expects the developer site to be up soon. The full address is below: expand full story

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As the success stories keep piling up, so do the number of projects filling up crowdfunding websites with, among other things, neat hardware- and software-related products. Some projects, like Pebble, gain thousands of supporters as well as millions of dollars in funding (and end up at Best Buy’s retail stores). Other projects flop and don’t reach their necessary funding amount.

Rather than make you sift through all of these projects, we’re rounding up the best or most notable projects from around the web and delivering them to you in a simple roundup.

  • WigWag (Kickstarter project) – In short, WigWag is an “if this, then that” system that works with WigWag devices and other “smart” devices like the Phillips Hue or Belkin WeMo outlets. The WigWag Sensor Block can detect humidity, light, motion, sound, temperature, and more. In addition, it can control other things through IR or an electronic relay.

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As I was making my list of devices and chargers to bring on vacation last week, I realized that I was going to have to get something that could easily charge my iPhone 5 on the go. I’m a hardcore mobile Internet user and the battery life has never met my needs, especially on vacation, where it’s often my most used gadget. I started off by looking at standalone power packs like the Mophie Powerstation, which we’ve reviewed before.  I was intrigued by those type of devices because they could charge more than one device, whereas a dedicated iPhone 5 battery case could solely charge the phone and nothing else. The standalone battery packs also offered a lot more power than a case, especially when you compare the prices of the two.

Battery cases, however, are much more convenient than power packs. Just put your phone in the case and anywhere you go, you have the ability to charge it. In the end, the ease of use and simplicity of battery cases was the deciding factor for me. After much research and reading our own reviews of  the Mophie Juice Pack and Otterbox Defender cases, I ended up going with the Lenmar Meridian case for the iPhone 5. expand full story

July 20, 2013

This is the second article in our new Saturday how-to series (see last week’s post about safely deleting an iCloud account)

It is highly recommended that you tie an active, valid email address to your Apple ID. The Apple ID is your login for Apple services such as iTunes, App Store, iMessage, and FaceTime.

By actually using an active email address for your Apple ID, you will receive important emails from Apple. Additionally, iTunes will email you whenever you purchase paid content from iTunes, including iBooks and Apps.

Apple will also email you if the password for your Apple ID was changed, someone tried using Find My Device, or your Apple ID was used on a brand new device.

It is important to track this information in order to stop an issue if someone has hacked your account. Keeping tabs on iTunes purchase alerts could also ensure that someone is not using your account to get their content at your cost…

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