Apple responds to iCloud network attacks with guide on verifying browser security

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Following the recent attack by Chinese institutions on iCloud.com to attempt to steal account information, Apple has posted a new how-to article about verifying the page you visit when you type iCloud.com into your web browser is the genuine Apple site.

The page doesn’t offer a fix per se, but walks through how to check the certificates of the page in Safari, Chrome and Firefox.

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Chinese government apparently phishing iCloud account info with man-in-the-middle attack (Update: Apple confirms)

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Update: Apple is aware of the attack, via CNBC. As expected, Apple’s own servers were not compromised.

Although unconfirmed, GreatFire is reporting that Apple is now the subject of Chinese government hacking attempts. According to the report, the government is using the institutional firewall to redirect traffic directed at iCloud.com to a fake page that resembles the iCloud.com interface almost perfectly.

Like other phishing attacks, this page is pretending to be Apple’s portal but instead intercepts entered usernames and passwords for other means. Although some browsers in China are set up to warn users about these kind of man-in-the-middle attacks, many don’t and (assumedly) many citizens disregard the warnings as the site appears quite genuine otherwise.

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Yosemite & iOS 8 How-to: Send and receive phone calls from your Mac and iPad

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Now that Yosemite is out, with iOS 8 running on your iPhone, you can send and receive phone calls from your Mac and your iPad (also running iOS 8). This is one of the features of Continuity, which further integrates and connects your Mac and iOS devices. Continuity also includes Handoff, Instant Hotspot, AirDrop and SMS Relay (as part of the iOS 8.1 update).

Sending and receiving phone calls from the Mac and iPad is a benefit because sometimes when your iPhone rings it’s not where you are, but instead you are on your Mac or iPad. Now you can pick up the phone call directly from the Mac or iPad and don’t have to worry about stopping what you are doing to rush and find the phone. In this how-to article I will discuss how to set up and disable Phone Relay, how to send and receive iPhone Cellular Calls.

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iCloud Photos on the web goes live leading up to iOS 8.1 release

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While iOS 8.1 isn’t officially going to be released to the public until Monday, several reports across the internet are saying that Apple’s Photos app within the web-based iCloud website has now gone live for those using the iOS 8.1 beta. The interface looks a lot like that of the Photos app on iOS, letting you view your library as organized by either Moments or Albums.

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Yosemite & iOS 8 How-to: Set up and use Handoff

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Now that Yosemite is out, with iOS 8 devices you are now able to use Handoff. Handoff will allow you to seamlessly start a task on one device, and pick it up on another device. So for example you start writing a paper on your iPad and then you want to continue it on your Mac, or you start writing an email on your iPhone and want to finish it on your iPad, this is what Handoff does. When signed into the same iCloud account and Bluetooth is turned on, Handoff will allow you to transition your work flow from one device to another.

On the Mac, you will have an additional dock separate from the main dock indicating what is running on the iOS device. On the iOS device on the lock screen you will have an icon indicating the app that is being used on the Mac. Currently it works with Apple’s apps including Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Safari, Reminders, Messages, Maps, Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Developers can also add Handoff to their apps as Things and other apps have already done. In this how-to article, I will discuss how to set up Handoff and how to use it.

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Early Yosemite adoption 67% faster than Mavericks, according to analytics

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The numbers are small as yet, but early indications are that Mac users are keen to get their hands on the new Yosemite features. Social sharing tool AddThis, which collects analytics data from 13 million websites, is reporting that Yosemite adoption is already running at 2%, versus 1.2% for Mavericks in the same timeframe …  Read more

iCloud.com Photos app said to be coming next week alongside iOS 8.1

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Earlier this month Apple published some support documents that referred to an iCloud.com-based Photos web app for managing a photo library. It was discovered that when the URL for the app was entered into the beta version of the iCloud site, it produced an error message rather than simply redirecting to the home page like any other invalid link.

Today a 9to5Mac reader attempted to load the app and was presented with the page pictured above indicating that users running iOS 8.1 (which includes the beta version of the iCloud Photo Library feature) will be able to use the web app to view their photos. With iOS 8.1 scheduled for release on Monday, it’s not a stretch to think the online version of the app will be launching then as well.

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Apple now allows users to see whether a device has Activation Lock enabled from the web

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Apple has unveiled a new tool for users to help determine whether an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is configured to use Activation Lock. The page works much like the tools used by carriers such as AT&T to determine whether a potential trade-in device was protected with the feature. You enter the IMEI or serial number of the device, fill in a CAPTCHA, and press “Continue” to get your results (via iDownloadblog).

If the device is protected, you’ll find instructions for disabling the security measure before selling it. You’ll also find help for removing a used device from another user’s account, in the event that you were sold a phone and the original owner had not disabled it (of course, all of those options involve contacting the previous owner and having them do it, for security purposes).

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Apple woes continue: Some reporting iCloud down across iOS, Mac, and web

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Update: Apple says all is good.

It was less than an hour ago that we told you about a newly-discovered bug within iOS that could potentially delete your iWork files. But now, according to a variety of internet reports, Apple’s month of misadventure continues as iCloud is currently experiencing an outage of some kind. Most notably, it seems as if many are being prompted over and over to enter their iCloud credentials within iOS. Apple has acknowledged the outage on its system status page:

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Apple aware of iCloud brute-force vulnerability six months before ‘Celebgate’

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The software developer credited by Apple for discovering last year’s developer center flaw says that he informed Apple of an iCloud weakness that may have been used to obtain celebrity nudes more than six months before the photos were accessed.

The Daily Dot reports that Ibrahim Balic advised Apple in March of a Find My Phone weakness that would allow brute-force attacks on iCloud accounts. It has been suggested that this may have been one of the methods used to access the accounts – or even complete iPhone backups – of celebrities …  Read more

Can’t wait for Photos for OS X? Photos app likely coming to iCloud.com for desktop viewing

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With Photos for OS X not being released until early next year, it seemed like there would be no way to view your photos backed up in iCloud Photo Library away from an iOS device for Mac customers. However, screenshots and error messages from iCloud.com show that a Photos app is in development for the website, so that users could access their pictures in some fashion on a computer. This will likely act as a stopgap before the official native client is ready.

The above screenshot is captured from an Apple help page, clearly showing a Photos app in the menu, which is currently absent from the public site. The app features the same icon as the Photos app, but its unclear what exact functionality it will bring. Poking around a bit, we discovered something that means it is unlikely the screenshot is simply a Photoshop mistake.

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