Wearable Technologies: Is it Safe to Use? Or Threat?

Wearable Technologies leading-edge technology companies are smart when it comes to deciding where to invest millions of research and development dollars. Apple Watch, Fitbit, or Google Glass, and the latest NeuroSky Mindware device. Technologies can provide us with a world of data, but also make us vulnerable to unseen security breaches. The global market for wearable technology devices is expected up to $51.6 billion by 2022, according to a study of markets and markets, meaning a lot of people are using wearable technologies on smart devices like the latest accessories in their internet wardrobes.

Wearable Technologies is the new security threats. Technologies have never been free of the dualistic nature of reality, good or bad, right or wrong. The wearable technologies market is divided on the basis of products and application, the segment is further categorized on the basis of smart clothing and smart glasses, sleep sensors, smartwatches, activity monitors, augmented reality headsets, continuous glucose monitor, heart rate monitors (HRMS), drug delivery devices, hand-worn terminals, wearable patches, jewelries. The application segments are further classified on the basis of infotainment, fitness and wellness, health care and medical, industrial, and military, safety and security, fashion and lifestyle.

Wearable comprises four main categories: smart glasses and headgear, smartwatches, wearable medical devices, and fitness trackers.

All of these have one or more features that:

  • Sense and translate data;
  • Collect and prepare data for transmission; and/or
  • Transmit data off-site storage for processing and reporting.
  • Cloud-computing and Artifical Intellegence.

But while we`re still adapting to the information made available through wearable technology, we have left ourselves wide open to security breaches. Businesses across the U.K are failing to protect their data from security. Companies looking at CRM systems and database upgrades should start planning for new data coming from there devices. If they plan to launch a new wearable technology device, they will need to prove that it helps you to do smart things you wouldn`t be able to achieve.

Biggest Thread of Wearable Technologies

The biggest threat with wearable devices comes when users work in a company that endorses bring your own device policies. These liberal policies did not anticipate the potential invasive features of wearable technology devices. Because they were designed for older technologies, they did not anticipate the potential of how wearable technology devices could pose a security threat in the workplace.

When a user`s login key personal health data about their lives on websites, they actually have no idea about the developers behind the apps or the companies selling them. The most problem was insufficient user authentication. Wearable technologies have come a long way since 2015, but we have might been concerned about our privacy and the security of the data these devices collect and store. Here are some of the example issues to consider.

Smart Watches Control Smart-Home Technologies

Smart Home
Smart Home / Shutterstock

Smartwatches sometimes can control smart-home technology. For example, you may able to use your smart-watch to unlock your front door. However, what happened if your device was stolen or lost?

Smartwatch manufacturers offer security settings that can help protect you in the case of theft. For instance, security settings may prevent your smartwatch from being paired with any other devices you haven`t approved. That`s smart to make sure you`ve enabled such protection in your security settings.

Wearable Technologies We Might Need To Know

  • Educate Users – It is important to educate users about the types of data wearable`s collect, where it goes, and how it might have been used.
  • Require multi-factor authentication – Should require employees to use multi-factor authentication on their smartphones.
  • Segregate wearable`s on a different network – It should threat wearable like any other computing device on their network.
  • Wearable security is a legitimate concern – This means that malware and other forms of attacks can use that path to compromise the phone and then other resources inside the network. The attackers would have access to legitimate enterprise credentials that would lead to loss of, or the ransom of, sensitive data.
  • Prepare for security and privacy risks, especially in the short term – Wearable`s use a variety of third party components, operating systems, and software, there are no standard dominant operating systems, such as Microsoft Word, to standardize or build upon.

As wearable technology becomes more popular, there is a clear warning that they`ve become a bigger target for abuse. Companies like Google, Samsung, and Apple should start with tight security, not add it on later. Smartwatches will be the most important new product categories in consumer electronics since the iPod defined the market for tablets. Smartwatches had not been deployed all that successfully, having limited functionality and aesthetics that have been less than appealing to wear on the wrist.

Of course, the Apple Watch may be changing that perception completely, as it is a promising wearable technology that will ensure and surely finds many, many more uses than though of upon its first release. There are many other devices already in use and even more both the near and far horizons for personal, professional, and patient use. The convenience of wearable technologies for companies and for you is likely to drive demand. Consumers are notoriously bad at managing their data securities. If they have unwittingly agreed for their data to be shared and sold, there`s no way to know where it will end up.

There are also concerns that developers are sacrificing security in the rush to get to market. But it`s a good idea to understand the risks and take steps to help protect your personal information. Whatever the application, a large number of wearable devices are still in their testing phase and performance, benefits of use and long term reliability need to confirm. The concept and new developments are what will continue in the future and with the variety of devices possible will come the vast array of requirements which will define the need for suitable protection.

Wearable Technologies are designed with the intention to make everyday tasks easier and more accessible.

References:

Android Released July 2019 Security Patch Update with 33 New Vulnerabilities

Google’s famous mobile operating system platform, Android, recently released this month’s security updates of a total of 33 new vulnerabilities that are affecting Android-related devices. Out of this 33 patch updates, 9 are reported to be critical in severity. This is quite an issue that Android developers need to worry about.

According to Statcounter.com, the Android mobile operating system comprises 76.03% of the total market share worldwide. Its rival, Apple’s iOS, is second in place garnering 22.04% only.

Why Vulnerabilities Affect a Mobile Operating System?

This question sounds a little bit complex but to make it simple a vulnerable security update, which is newly created or released, can be a door for malware attacks.

A weak security patch can result in issues to the Android system like lower processing speed, more storage space is consumed than normal or average.

Vulnerabilities also affect multiple Android components like the operating system itself, libraries, media frameworks, other frameworks, as well as Qualcomm components.

9 New Vulnerabilities Explained

The 3 of the critically severed vulnerabilities thrive inside Android’s media framework. Out of this, the most severe could give access for a potential remote attacker to send an arbitrary code on its target device. This method convinces users to open a malicious file.

The other remaining vulnerabilities:

  • Affecting the Android Library
  • Affecting the System
  • Two vulnerabilities are residing in Qualcomm components. One in DSP_Services, and the other in Kernel.
  • The last 3 is residing in Qualcomm closed-source components.

When an application creates an android media player object, it is actually holding up a proxy who can be used to manipulate the concrete player resides in the media server process. Apart from releasing patches for security vulnerabilities, Android Security Patch on July 2019 also included bug fixes for various issues in some of the supported version of Pixel devices.

Besides this, a high severity flaw in the Android framework that could allow an installed malicious application to bypass the user`s interaction requirements in an attempt to gain access to its additional permissions. Most basic security methods, which are very precise important that, every device supports a very strong, hard encryptions.

Many OEMs these days ship their devices with dedicated encryption hardware. While it is beneficial, it is also very expensive. Such as dedicated hardware, has typically been restricted for mid to high tier devices. This is not to say that low-end devices cannot support encryptions, but without hardware accelerated encryptions, the overall user experience is degraded because of slow read/write times.

Most of Qualcomm`s profits come from licensing smartphone radios and chips to the other companies, and one of the biggest costumers of it was Apple. However, the two companies have battled it out in court over royalty payments since 2017. Apple initially sued Qualcomm for allegedly overcharging to use LTE modems. Whereupon Qualcomm countersued saying that it is Apple actually gained and owned it more money in royalties and that it infringed on some of its patents and shared propriety information with its rival Intel. Apple`s relationship with Qualcomm is coming to a bitter end.

Why More Users Choose Android

There are many advantages of Android open-source operating systems to develop applications. Just recently, we posted on how Android phones innovate compared to its rival mobile brands. Oppo’s mesh talk is one of them. Never the less the security on developed apps is vulnerable due to an intruder can get root access by privileges escalation.

Despite most several organizations are working in data security, there is not a global security standard for mobile devices. However many companies, universities, and manufacturers have proposed some guidelines. The majority recommendation was created to avoid or detect a mobile device’s actual threats in different OSI (open systems interconnection).

Security Has Been Improved

It was impossible to detect safety flaws in the APK code, which can trigger threats over the user`s data and over the information recorded into the server. For future works, it is necessary to analyze vulnerabilities over the communication channels, between mobile applications and database servers, in order to establish threats even when it is with encrypted techniques.

Users are strongly recommended to download the most recent Android security updates as soon as they were available to the app in order to keep their Android devices protected against any potential threat attacks, given that users trust so much in so many sensitive transactions on their devices daily.

References:

NeuroSky Mindwave Mobile – The Future of Smart Phones

The NueroSky Mindwave Mobile is the future of smart phones. Using smart phones would be a lot faster with mind control; the technology would allow you to perform each and every task you can do via touch or voice with your mind.

  • Send text messages, can control your screen brightness, or create movie videos you`ve captured.
  • Play so many music videos on some futuristic versions on YouTube, and Netflix.
  • Edit images you have captured – you get the picture with your thoughts.

NeuroSky Mindwave Mobile you would not be longer have to search for an app to open it or stretch your finger all the way to the top of the screen to tap it. Technologies have come so long far away since today the smart phones sport large touchscreens displays. A few years ago, the main way of using a phone was most of them are physical keypads. This was replaced eventually by touch screens we used to this very day. NeuroSky Mindwave Mobile consists of a headset, an ear clip, and a sensor arm. The headset`s reference and ground electrodes are on the ear clip and the EGG (Electro Encephalo Graphy).

The technique`s works like this: Electrodes were placed on the surface of someone`s forehead; these electrodes can measure the electrical signals produced by the brain`s neurons through the scalp. EGG has been used as a diagnostics tools for more than a half of centuries.

NeuroSky Mindwave Mobile Development

NeuroSky Mindwave Mobile

Scientists were developing more technologies to allow people to type with their minds that it would give them more satisfaction. MIT also working on something so-called device AlterEgo, which lets you converse the users with the machines with only by thoughts. These features of the future technologies don`t require you to wear weird contraption things on your head to use it. We`ll have to face it and accept that the battery life of the average smart phones really sucks.

Even how much expensive you`re smart phone was and even if you have a high-end smart phone like the Mate 20 Pro with this massive 4,200mAh battery, you are still only looking at round two days of average uses. Once the devices run out of juice, you either have to plug it in for a couple of hours or place it on a wireless charging pad, if your smart phones support it.

Things could be quite different in the future. It`s only recently that people have started harnessing EEG as a way of many tools to control technologies and devices. Patients with spinal cord injuries or ALS could potentially use the technology to mobilize these wheelchairs or much better communicate, EGG headsets claimed to give wearers something to akin to superpowers.

As more wearable technologies emerge that claims to quantify our biology. It is important to remember that EGG can read our minds and thoughts. The features of this technology “NeuroSky Mindwave Mobile”, has an automatic wireless pairing, uses TGAM1 Bluetooth v2.1 class 2 module up to 10 meters range, single AAA battery powered and it can run up to 8-hours, static headset, IOS, and Android supported, and a starter kit edition.

NeuroSky Mindwave Mobile Products

NeuroSky Mindwave Mobile product families consist of hardware and software component simples’ integration of this bio-sensor technology into the consumer and industrial end-applications. Usage of the neurosky products is subject to an end-user license agreement.

“Made for iPad,” “Made for iPod,” and “Made for iPhone,” means that electronic accessories have been designed to connect especially to iPad, iPod, and iPhone respectively. It is been certified by the developer to meet Apple performance standards. No warranties that the NEUROSKY product families and related documentation are provided “as is” without any express or implied warranty of any kind including warranties of merchantability, non-infringement of intellectual property, including patents, copyrights or otherwise, or fitness for any particular purposes.

Educational Focused

What`s really good about this mind wave is more than 100 brain training games, educational apps, and development tools were available through NeuroSky, iOS, and Android stores. You can also write your own programs to interact with Mind wave Mobile by using the free developer tools. But even with those sharpened algorithms, portable EGG systems still won`t be able to do all of the things that wired EGG systems can do all in the laboratory. Therefore, companies have to be very careful not to over-promise or make claims that are ahead of these technologies. InteraXon is now working with the app developers to help them better and understand more about the data collected from EGG systems and limits of this technology.

The Companies want to encourage, not just their own developers, but the community as well, in thinking about what the headset can do and can`t do, so the experience isn’t too disappointing for all users. With this technology finally, we can do now measurements with our minds. We can measure the speed and sound with only our mind. One day and if that day would come we will face ourselves and find out that we are living in the world of full of lies. And the scientists start already to feel that the big clash is coming.

All you Need to Know about Facebook and Libra

Facebook Cryptocurrency Libra
Facebook Cryptocurrency Libra – Shutterstock

It was last December when Facebook’s plans for a digital currency network surfaced. The social media giant said it plans to help launch a digital currency in 2020 that caters about a dozen countries which publicly announced lately the Cryptocurrency in said was the Libra coin, making it as one of their most aggressive moves yet to push beyond digital advertising. Founder of Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is assumed to present details of an ambitious project for his company to make a new global cryptocurrency Libra. The company is expected to outline plans in more detail this summer and has already spoken to Bank of England governor Mark Carney. They want to start testing its cryptocurrency Libra, which has been referred to internally as GlobalCoin, probably by the end of this year.

Cryptocurrency – Libra

The crypto-currency is called Libra. It is from a new nonprofit group based in Geneva; the Libra Association will oversee the currency. Libra’s vision is to be a global, digitally native, reserve-backed cryptocurrency built on the foundation of blockchain technology. Thus, people will be able to send, receive, spend, and secure their money, enabling a more comprehensive global financial system.

Their mission is to make Libra famous and effortless to use as possible to create money that people can use with assertiveness and convenience in their everyday lives. A reserve of real assets fully supports it.

One of the most significant advantages of this is that Facebook focuses on the millions of people in the world who cannot get a bank account. Libra, on the other hand, will allow people to send and receive payments anywhere in the world with the smallest amount of fees. The funding will be done online via the heap of Facebook-owned apps.

Libra Uses Blockchain Technology

A network of validator nodes runs the Libra Blockchain. The evolution of the blockchain is supervised by the Founding Members of the Libra Association, and each member will be accountable for running a validator node. As the network grows and becomes more self-sustaining, the Libra Association will work to transition a permissionless mode of operation gradually.

A lot of people says that Libra is very similar to Bitcoin crypto-currency. Although both have significant difference like; Libra will be a more substantial currency and will circumvent the constant fluctuations in value the way Bitcoin has encountered. Libra will be supported by numerous currencies, like the dollar, euro, and yen. A list of more currency on the box below.

Currency Code Currency Name Support for Cents
SGD Singapore dollar Yes
RON Romanian new leu Yes
EUR Euro Yes
TRY Turkish lira Yes
SEK Swedish krona Yes
ZAR South African rand Yes
HKD Hong Kong dollar Yes
CHF Swiss franc Yes
NIO Nicaraguan córdoba Yes
JPY Japanese yen No
ISK Icelandic króna No
TWD New Taiwan dollar No
NZD New Zealand dollar Yes
CZK Czech koruna Yes
AUD Australian dollar Yes
THB Thai baht Yes
BOB Boliviano Yes
BRL Brazilian real Yes
MXN Mexican peso Yes
USD United States dollar Yes
ILS Israeli new shekel Yes
HNL Honduran lempira Yes
MOP Macanese pataca Yes
COP Colombian peso No
UYU Uruguayan peso Yes
CRC Costa Rican colon No
DKK Danish krone Yes
QAR Qatari riyal Yes
PYG Paraguayan guaraní No
CAD Canadian dollar Yes
INR Indian rupee Yes
KRW South Korean won No
GTQ Guatemalan quetzal Yes
AED United Arab Emirates dirham Yes
VEF Venezuelan bolívar fuerte Yes
SAR Saudi riyal Yes
NOK Norwegian krone Yes
CNY Chinese yuan Yes
ARS Argentine peso Yes
PLN Polish złoty Yes
GBP Pound sterling Yes
PEN Peruvian nuevo sol Yes
PHP Philippine peso Yes
VND Vietnamese dong No
RUB Russian rouble Yes
HUF Hungarian forint No
MYR Malaysian ringgit Yes
CLP Chilean peso No
IDR Indonesian rupiah No

The Challenge

It is an excellent platform again by Mark Zuckerberg, but may we never forget that until now that many big Facebook announcements never really take off. For example, two years ago, Facebook promised us that they would focus on delivering to us about the “augmented reality” idea in which phones and other devices project digital images into real-world surroundings. Such an AR application is still invisible today.  How about the online shopping chatbots that Zuckerberg announced a year earlier, saying they would transform e-commerce in its Messenger app.

Many believed that Zuckerberg wants to create a US version WeChat that originated in China. It combines social networking, messaging, and payments in a single app. Hopefully, this will be realized to avoid more broken promises.

SUPRA Smart TV brand Vulnerability: Prone to Attackers

Television has evolved so much this past few years, becoming a more like a personal computer. Thanks to the ever advancing technologies. Now we have SMART TV! And a lot of tech companies around the world manufacture Smart TVs because of course people want innovation and new experience on television.
But be careful, because these smart TVs are very phone to attackers.

Recently, Dhiraj Mishra shared his discovery on one smart TV brand’s vulnerability.  The brand is SUPRA Smart TV, this is a lesser-known Russian electronics brand, which distributes their products to Russia, China and UAE based ecommerce. They have variety of devices, from several audio and video equipment, to household appliances (such as Refrigerator, Laundry machines, kitchen appliances, etc.), to car electronics.

SUPRA Smart TV brand was discovered to be vulnerable to an unpatched remote file, which could allow WiFi attackers to broadcast fake videos to the TV screens without any series of authentication. The vulnerability was found in “openLiveURL” function of the SUPRA Smart TV. This vulnerability could allow a local attacker to inject a remote file in the broadcast and play fake videos.

According to Mishra: “We are abusing `openLiveURL()` which allows a local attacker to broadcast video on supra smart cloud TV. I found this vulnerability initially by source code review and then by crawling the application and reading every request helped me to trigger this vulnerability.

Vulnerable code:

 function openLiveTV(url)
   {
   $.get("/remote/media_control", {m_action:'setUri',m_uri:url,m_type:'video/*'},
    function (data, textStatus){
    if("success"==textStatus){
     alert(textStatus);
    }else
    {
     alert(textStatus);
    }
   });
   }

Vulnerable request:

GET
/remote/media_control?action=setUri&uri=http://attacker.com/fake_broadcast_message.m3u8
HTTP/1.1

Host: 192.168.1.155

User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.14; rv:66.0)
Gecko/20100101 Firefox/66.0

Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8

Accept-Language: en-US,en;q=0.5

Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate

Connection: close

Upgrade-Insecure-Requests: 1

Source: https://www.inputzero.io/2019/06/hacking-smart-tv.html

Significant requirement for the attacker to remotely control the SUPRA smart TV is having access to the victim’s WiFi Network by default, so it is important to not share your WiFi password to anyone you do not know or trust, or change your password regularly or set up a very strong password.

So imagine watching your favourite TV show with your kids and then all of a sudden your smart TV screen goes into adult-rated shows, so disgusting right? Or watching your favourite news and then a fake video of an emergency message came up, it would could cause so much panic. It is always important to select the trusted brands to somehow avoid having these vulnerabilities and compromising your information.

AVENGERS: End Game Coming in Blu-Ray

The most anticipated movie of the year, AVENGERS: End Game was released last April 24, 2019. It was a blockbuster of the first week. As early as two weeks before the release date of the movie, almost all cinemas and theatres were already fully booked.

Avengers: Endgame is a 2019 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team the Avengers, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sequel to 2012’s The Avengers, 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, and 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War and the twenty-second film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It was directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and features an ensemble cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Josh Brolin. In the film, the surviving members of the Avengers and their allies attempt to reverse the damage caused by Thanos in Infinity War.

RECORD BREAKER

In France, “Endgame” scored the biggest opening day for a Marvel film. It set an overall opening day record in the Netherlands, Greece, and Egypt.

The movie raked in $169 million on Wednesday, its first day of release in 25 markets including China, Australia, and several countries in Europe.

It set single-day box office records in China, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries, said Disney, which bought Marvel Studios in 2009.

In just  five days, an astonishing $331 million for “Avengers: Endgame” in China has set a record for the country’s highest-grossing opening weekend of any film, Western or local, and puts the Marvel finale on track to eclipse in about one week what its predecessor, “Infinity War,” made during its entire month-long run in the Middle Kingdom. The country has also set the highest pre-sales gross with $110 million.

In France, “Endgame” scored the biggest opening day for a Marvel film. It set an overall opening day record in the Netherlands, Greece, and Egypt.

Other Countries that End Game Won.

Elsewhere, it became the highest-grossing film of all time in several markets, including Chile and Thailand, set the record for highest opening weekend gross in more than 40 markets including, Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, Mexico, and the United Kingdom, and set various IMAX records in 50 different markets across all six inhabited continents.

  • In the USA, it grossed $60 million in less than 12 hours breaking the record of Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • It became the highest grossing film in countries like: Bolivia with $3.5 million, Brazil with $84.6 million, and Singapore with $14.2 million, and Thailand with $26.8 million, and etc., beating the record of AVENGERS: Infinity War.
  • It also has the highest opening weekend gross in European countries like the United Kingdom with £43.4 million, The Netherlands with $5.9 million, Ireland with €4.4 million, Norway with $2.5 million Iceland with $210 thousand, Slovenia with $237 thousand, and Slovakia with $847 thousand.
  • It has the highest IMAX Gross in countries like Argentina, Belgium, and China with $81.2 million, India, Italy, and Mexico.

Avengers: Endgame Now Digitally Available

The impressive movie of all time has always been worth watching again, that is why, Avengers: Endgame will be available on digital on July 30 and Blu-ray on August 13. The home release will feature a ton of bonus material. If you purchase the film on digital, you’ll get a featurette about Steve and Peggy (Captain America and the love of his life).

A lot of fans are waiting for the movie to be available via NETFLIX, where in previous AVENGERS movies can be watched like the Infinity War. It is said, the movie will be available along with Captain Marvel — on Disney+ when the service becomes available this fall.

Here’s what to expect for together with the movie:

Digital Exclusive:

  • Steve and Peggy: One Last Dance – Explore Captain America and Peggy Carter’s bond, forged in moments from previous films that lead to a momentous choice in “Avengers: Endgame.”

Blu-ray & Digital:

  • Remembering Stan Lee – Filmmakers and cast honor the great Stan Lee in a fond look back at his MCU movie cameos.
  • Setting the Tone: Casting Robert Downey Jr. – Hear the tale of how Robert Downey Jr. was cast as Tony Stark in the original “Iron Man” — and launched the MCU.
  • A Man Out of Time: Creating Captain America – Trace the evolution of Captain America with those who helped shape the look, feel and character of this compelling hero.
  • Black Widow: Whatever It Takes – Follow Black Widow’s journey both within and outside the Avengers, including the challenges she faced and overcame along the way.
  • The Russo Brothers: Journey to Endgame – See how Anthony and Joe Russo met the challenge of helping two of the biggest films in cinematic history … back-to-back!
  • The Women of the MCU – MCU women share what it was like to join forces for the first time in an epic battle scene — and be part of such a historic ensemble.
  • Bro Thor – His appearance has changed but his heroism remains! Go behind the scenes to see how Bro Thor was created.
  • Six Deleted Scenes – “Goji Berries,” “Bombs on Board,” “Suckiest Army in the Galaxy,” “You Used to Frickin’ Live Here,” “Tony and Howard” and “Avengers Take a Knee.”
  • Gag Reel – Laugh along with the cast in this epic collection of flubs, goofs, and gaffes from set.
  • Visionary Intro – Intro by directors Joe and Anthony Russo.
  • Audio Commentary – Audio commentary by directors Anthony and Joe Russo, and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

References:

APPLE (WWDC) Worldwide Developer Conference 2019: Here are our take away!

APPLE (WWDC) Worldwide Developer Conference 2019
Image courtesy: https://www.apple.com/apple-events/june-2019/

It is again the time of the year, that tech giant and the world’s first trillion dollar company Apple- to announce new features on their products, that is through their annual Worldwide Developer Conference. This year’s Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) is being held at San Jose, California, USA. The event will run from June 03, 2019 to June 07, 2019. It is expected that through the course of the conference, Apple will give us a glimpse for their most anticipated smartphone flagship- the iPhone XI.

For the first day of the conference, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook leads the WWDC 2019 keynote, which lasted for two hours and ten minutes. Here, Apple have announced some great advancement on their products and devices, from the operating systems, to the new apps, new features and many more.

Now, let’s breakdown some important take away that we’ve heard from WWDC 2019 keynote.

Apple TV – tvOS

Apple TV – tvOS
Image courtesy: https://www.apple.com/apple-events/june-2019/

Apple has given a completely awesome make over for their Apple TV, the operating system tvOS has been upgraded to cater great user experience. First, the home screen display has been redesigned to be more entertaining, they have added a preview of movies or TV shows the moment you open your Apple TV. Not only that, they make the experience more personal by having multi-user support. Yes, they have mirrored Netflix’s several user feature. Though it was not specified on how many users and devices we can add, still it is a great feature since Apple also personalize the recommendations depending on the specific user. Another amazing new feature on the Apple TV, is the Apple Music, yes you can play your favourite music on the Apple TV but this time with lyrics on it. Now, you will have no excuse not to know the lyrics of your favourite song! Lastly, the gaming experience using the Apple TV, now Apple TV will be compatible with XBOX and PS4 console controllers.

Apple Watch- watchOS

Apple Watch- watchOS
Image courtesy: https://www.apple.com/apple-events/june-2019/

This will be your smartest watch ever, the Apple Watch! Apple have added a lot of features to their Apple Watches. The most notable of it all is Apple Watch is now more independent, you don’t need your iPhones to download apps on your Apple Watch, Yes! You can download it directly on the Apple Watch, through App Store. Apple also added more faces on their Apple Watch, you will have a variety of design you can select. The new Apple Watch will work closely with you in maintaining a healthy life, it has activity trends that measures your activeness for a period of time, Cycle Tracking for women menstrual cycle, Dose Tracking to help you remember your pills and Noise Level monitoring to help you protect your hearing. New apps includes voice memos, audiobooks and calculator.

iOS13: DARK MODE ON!

iOS13: DARK MODE ON!
Image courtesy: https://www.apple.com/apple-events/june-2019/

iOS13 promises a lot of improvement from its predecessor iOS12. Faster and quicker app launch and FACE ID unlock. You can now have smaller data size for downloads and updates on your apps. And of course, the feature that fans are clamouring for, the DARK MODE. You can set your iPhone to dark mode on the settings and it looks amazing! New feature on iMessage lets you swipe your keyboard for typing your message. New and improved feature on your Mail App, mute conversation and better folder management, etc. Apps like Reminders, Apple Maps, Notes App and Health Applications have received fairly awesome new features as well. Really something to look forward to. Same with Apple TV, the Music App also displays the lyrics on the screen. They have updated the security features on iOS13, for instance in the Location App, now you can allow to share your location once, and would asked again if you wanted to share it, also blocks background location tracking. Also included in the new security feature, the “Sign in with Apple” feature, the new feature allows to sign in into your favourite apps without exposing your personal information, another thing about it is you can choose to hide your email for app’s notification and Apple will create a random email associated in your true email, that is to avoid exposing your email too much.

iPadOS: Surprise Announcement!

iPadOS: Surprise Announcement!
Image courtesy: https://www.apple.com/apple-events/june-2019/

Apple just had a new operating system for its new iPad series, they call it iPadOS. A lot of interesting features on this new operating system, which includes the Slide Over feature that makes multi-tasking much easier. And speaking of multi-tasking, iPadOS allows you to open two the same apps on your screen, so the next time you have to work on two excel files in one time it would not be a problem. In line with that, your new iPadOS will allow you to connect a USB stick for read and write content.

The New Mac Pro

The New Mac Pro
Image courtesy: https://www.apple.com/apple-events/june-2019/

This is most powerful Mac PC Apple has created. It has elegant and unique design and a powerful internal features. This new Mac Pro has the world’s most powerful graphic card which makes the Mac Pro standout from the rest. The processor is Intel Xeon that displays 28 cores. All components are accessible and have been optimized for performance. The new Mac Pro is scheduled to be released this fall.

Goodbye iTunes

Goodbye iTunes
Image courtesy: https://www.apple.com/apple-events/june-2019/

Apple has now officially announced the end of iTunes. These past few weeks this has been a widespread speculations, started when Apple took down all posts, including videos and photos, on their iTunes official Facebook and Instagram pages. The WWDC 2019 keynote speech has features makeover that iTunes will be replaced with three separate apps, Apple Music, Podcasts and Apple TV. By doing this, Apple have made so much improvements on each apps and promises the best user experience.

The Worldwide Developer Conference 2019 is still on going and will end on June 07, 2019. With this starting salvo on the keynotes speech, fans has never been excited to line up again to the Apple Stores as soon as these new devices and features will be out this fall.

Stack Overflow Q&A Platform breach- Users’ Data has been compromised

Bob Diachenko, a Cyber Threat Intelligence Director and a journalist at SecurityDiscovery.com has uncovered a massive SMS Bombing Operation that exposes millions of users’ information.

You might be wondering why is the uncovering of SMS bombing so relevant. Well, let us start first to elaborate what is SMS Bombing, it is basically sending duplicated text messages that can be sent to several cellular phone users at a time. It uses a software program called “SMS Bomber”, this software program is mostly used for SMS marketing products and services by legitimate companies. However, these companies have their customers consent to receive such text messages. In the case of this passwordless database which was uncovered by Bob Diachenko on April 11th, the users’ information might be used by hackers or fraudster for illegal acts such as phishing techniques.

According to Bob Diachenko on the article he published for SecurityDiscovery.com, he discovered an unprotected MongoDB instance named ApexSMS, this database has millions of data relevant to SMS operations, in fact, according to Diachenko, one prominent folder contained an astounding 80, 055, 125 records.

Breached data contained in the database were as follows:

  • Hashed email
  • First and Last Name
  • City, State, Country and Zip Codes
  • IP Address
  • Phone Number
  • Carrier Network for Mobile
  • Line Type (Mobile or Landline)

Allegedly the owners of this database may have an official cover as MobileDrip.com, however it is not yet confirmed since they have not receive yet any response from Mobiledrip.com, which according to its website:

Mobile Drip is a cloud based SMS platform that’s optimized for high volume messaging with all the tracking, automation, segmentation, and data management features you need to maximize the profitability of your campaigns.”

The also indicated on their website that they will not knowingly engage in spam.

Legitimate companies mostly use SMS Marketing, thus Mobiledrip.com clearly describe how automated SMS Marketing works:

  • Attach drip campaigns to your lists and list segments to completely automate your sending.
  • Drip campaigns include the same features as broadcasting
  • Rotating Providers, Rotating Messages
  • Auto-replacing Domains
  • Segmenting data by carrier, gender, ethnicity, and location so you can optimize the messages you’re sending based on the leads
  • View stats for each message inside the drip campaigns
  • View drip message queue and history with stats on all messages.

On the other hand, Diachenko said that these information might be used to trick people to click on untrusted links or any phishing techniques which mostly victimized older people. Thus, this issue really raises concern about security and protection of the users’ information, it also affects the legitimate companies who does SMS Marketing to send information to their customers.

With this, let us all be careful to believe in text messages that we received, especially those which came from an unknown number or source. Always make sure to validate first, it is ok to be doubtful sometimes especially when you know that your information security is at stake.

Huawei Unveiled Super Bluetooth Called X-BT in Honor 20 and 20 Pro and Honor 20 Lite Launch in China

x-bt powerful bluetooth by huawei

Shenzhen-based Chinese tech giant, Huawei Technologies Inc., seemed to be unfazed with all the controversies the company had for the past weeks. The company goes business as usual and even unveiled the newest smartphone feature, the Super Bluetooth or as Huawei call it “X-BT”.

It is so known, that these past few weeks HUAWEI made news headlines around the world about their products being blacklisted in the United Stated, this happened when Donal Trump signed an executive order banning all Huawei products in the United States. The United States that Huawei and the Chinese government are somehow connected and Huawei devices can be used by the Chines State as an espionage.

This has been long denied by Huawei, stating that they are not beholden to Beijing. Following this ban, Google, an American company, has announced about banning future Huawei devices from using the Android Operating System on its smartphones. Alongside with Google are another American chip manufacturing companies like, Qualcomm and Intel, announced also about breaking ties with Huawei, these companies are considered essential to Huawei.

But despite all that, Huawei still continue the global launch of its newest line of smartphone, its sub-brand smartphones, the Honor 20 and 20 Pro. The launch was successfully realized in London on May 21, 2019. And days after its global launch, the Honor 20 series was launch in China on May 31, 2019.

It has been reported that Bluetooth SIG reinstated Huawei’s member’s list, but the launching in China unveiled a new super Bluetooth system developed by Huawei called X-BT on Honor 20 series smartphones. With this, it seems like Huawei will gear away from Bluetooth SIG and will be using more of the X-BT on its future smartphones.

What X-BT Can Do?

  • Powered by Hi1103 Super Chip
  • Up to 200 meters transfer range
  • Boosts your Mobile Signal
  • Powerful data transmission

X-BT is a super Bluetooth system that is powered by Hi1103 chip and it is reported to cover a wide range of Bluetooth signal strength. This is because the chip powers an artificial intelligence algorithms that detects devices’ Bluetooth signal. This chip also intelligently boosts your device’s signal if it is weak, thus resulting to increase your phone’s power to transmit data. The technology is expected to connect and reach a distance limit of 200 meters in an open space.

The most notable thing though is that this new technology was introduced through Huawei’s sub-brand Honor 20 series, and yet this feature was not included in the devices launched in London few days ago. But one thing is for sure that the company will be having this technology on their future devices. Not to mention that Huawei also announce that for the past few months, they are developing their own operating system for their devices, following the ban from using the Android- this new operating system by Huawei will be called HongMeng.

Though, there is no date announce yet for it to be released, speculations say that it will be soon enough. Huawei is now the second largest selling smartphones in the world following Samsung, no doubt that we will be expecting them to roll out the new operating soon.

End of iTunes – Apple Announced

End of iTunes
iTunes Logo

After 2 decades – Apple is terminating iTunes. Its the End of iTunes a historic announcement made by Apple.

These past few weeks, rumours circulating around the online streaming world about Apple ending iTunes App. This started when people on social media started to notice that Apple iTunes have taken out all their posts on their official Facebook page, which was reportedly happened in less than 24 hours, since some followers were able to check some posts on May 31, 2019 on their page and eventually all posts have been removed later that day.

Posts, photos and videos were also taken out on their official Instagram account on the same timeline. Now, that fed up the speculations about Apple is terminating the iTunes app. With this, it has been reported that posts, photos and videos of the iTunes official Facebook page were transferred to its Apple TV official Facebook page. In fact, according to iconfactory.com, some of itunes.apple.com links for songs and artists are now being redirected to music.apple.com, enough proof to safely say that Apple is gearing away from its two decade app.

A little bit of History until the End of iTunes

Apple iTunes has been around for 18 long years, it was introduced last January of 2001. This media management software is design to play, download and organize digital multimedia files, like music and videos. Since its announcement, iTunes had become one of the largest online music streaming app.

According to Steve Job on Apple iTunes Press Release on 2001:

Apple has done what Apple does best — make complex applications easy, and make them even more powerful in the process. iTunes is miles ahead of every other jukebox application, and we hope its dramatically simpler user interface will bring even more people into the digital music revolution.”

But on October of 2008, one of today’s biggest online music store launches, the Spotify. Spotify has established its way to become iTunes greatest competitor in terms of online music sales. Though iTunes do offer more than music, still it acts to counter Spotify, thus the birth of Apple Music. Apple Music was launched on June of 2015 to counter Spotify in terms of online music sales, it copies Spotify’s monthly subscription plan prices, now it Apple Music dominates the online music sales. Other online music streaming apps like Youtube Red, Google Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, SoundCloud, TIDAL and Deezer all have a fair share of users. Through time, Apple received a lot of criticism on its iTunes app saying that the media management software is bloated because of the variety of the digital multimedia files that can be stored in it.

Alongside with the Apple Music, Apple also have apps like Apple TV and Podcasts, thus, giving the company enough reason to really let go of the 2 decade run of iTunes. On its annual WWDC 2019 or Worldwide Developer Conference 2019 currently being held at San Jose, California from June 3 to June 7 2019, the announcement was made by its CEO himself Tim Cook that iTunes is coming to an end, this is part of the company’s app strategy, instead of having iTunes where you can listen to music, watch movies and TV shows, hear podcasts, and organize it on the iTunes app, Apple will have separate apps for music and videos streaming and podcasts. The Apple Music, Apple TV and Podcasts.

iTunes has been the way Apple users listen to music, watch movies and TV shows, hear podcasts, and manage their devices for almost two decades. This year, Apple is finally ready to move into a new era. The company is launching a trio of new apps for the Mac – Music, TV, and Podcasts – to replace iTunes. That matches Apple’s media app strategy on iPhones and iPads. Without iTunes, customers can manage their Apple gadgets through the Music app.”

According to Mark Gurman of Bloomberg:

This gives a standalone app for each category which will give user a more convenient experience. This strategy is bringing Mac in line with iPhones and iPad. Aside from this announcement from the Worldwide Developer Conference 2019, Apple has featured a lot of software updates on its devices, for example, it is enhancing it Apple Watch devices, making it a more independent device from iPhones and iPads. Apple is also expected to announce the new OS on its devices.