News

Apple releases update to fix major Group FaceTime security flaw

No more eavesdropping

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Heads up, iPhone and Mac users. Apple is releasing iOS 12.1.4 and macOS 10.14.3 today which contain the anticipated patch to fix the major security flaw that was haunting FaceTime. If you value privacy and would love to enjoy group video calls again, you should install as soon as possible.

For starters, there was a bug discovered in Group FaceTime last week wherein it allowed anyone to call and eavesdrop before the other person picks up. Adding yourself to a Group FaceTime call will trick the app into thinking it was an active call, giving access to both the microphone and front camera.


When the media and users discovered the flaw, Apple immediately disabled the new Group FaceTime feature on the server side to prevent exploitation. Apple was already warned before about the bug, but they were slow to respond through their official channels.

Anyhow, the update doesn’t only address the Group FaceTime; it also includes a fix for the security vulnerability involving Live Photos in the same FaceTime app. Additional Foundation and IOKit bugs are fixed in the update, as well.

Live Photos in FaceTime and Group FaceTime will only be available for those running the latest iOS and macOS versions. Devices running earlier versions will be restricted to avoid further exploitation.

More technical details about the updates are available here (iOS) and here (macOS).

SEE ALSO: Apple sued for allegedly shipping broken chargers with iPhone 7

Enterprise

Report: Huawei to lose support from ARM, hampering its own chipsets

Things are getting even worse

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Despite Huawei’s gradual loss of support from US-based companies such as Google, Intel, and Broadcom, the Chinese manufacturer has faith in its ability to produce its own replacements. However, with the latest development, even that strategy may be facing a potentially catastrophic obstacle.

BBC has reported that chipset designer ARM informed employees to halt all business with Huawei. ARM is a vital resource for most mobile devices, because even though some brands like Samsung and Huawei can produce their own system-on-chip (SoC), the technologies need to be licensed from ARM before production.


Since ARM is based in the UK, this added blacklisting wasn’t seen as a possibility at first. Unfortunately, the company appears to be complying with the US’ trade ban, the reason being that its designs hold “US origin technology.”

Huawei’s semiconductor firm HiSilicon creates the Kirin processors found in the majority of the company’s smartphones and tablets. Most, if not all, require the ARM license. According to the same report, the upcoming Kirin 985 is clear of the ban, but anything after that will most likely have its production halted.

While Google and Huawei were given an additional 90 days to sort these issues out, no such order was given to ARM just yet, saying that the closed communication takes effect immediately. Huawei hasn’t given a statement about this as of writing.

Huawei is said to have enough components and licensing to last several months to a year of production, but that would only be a short-term solution. What lies ahead for Huawei may only get worse as more bad news rolls in.

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Enterprise

Singaporean, Philippine stores stop trading for Huawei phones

Consumers are going to online marketplaces instead

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A few days ago, the American government unleashed the most influential decision in recent smartphone history. Effective 90 days after the announcement, Huawei has been banned from conducting business with American companies. As a result, Google — and other relevant companiesblacklisted Huawei from its services.

Naturally, Huawei-induced paranoia is in full swing. Consumers have begun worrying over their favored handsets. Likewise, involved companies have begun assuaging everyone’s fears. Even then, fear is a difficult enemy to eradicate.


Case in point, Asian stores have started dropping Huawei devices from their business models. Particularly, smartphone retailers have ceased their trade-in programs for Huawei products. As reported by Reuters, Singaporean and Philippine markets are steering clear of the brand. Some stores have stopped selling Huawei products altogether.

According to the report, customers are rushing to sell their handsets as soon as possible. They have since flocked to trade-in programs and online marketplaces. For example, Huawei sales have doubled on Carousell, the popular online marketplace.

Unfortunately, brick-and-mortar retailers are not falling for the trend. “If we buy something that is useless, how are we going to sell it,” a Singaporean retailer said.

In the Philippines, smartphone stalls are expressing the same fear. Greenhills, a favored destination for smartphone reselling, has turned down Huawei phones. “We are no longer accepting Huawei phones. It will not be bought by our clients anymore,” a Greenhills saleswoman said. Meanwhile, some stalls are purchasing Huawei products only at 50 percent off.

At this rate, the Huawei ecosystem is slowly deteriorating. Consumers are dumping their handsets, regardless if old or new. Retailers are rushing to empty out their stocks. Owning a Huawei product is a risky gamble right now. However, if anything, no one knows how the situation will resolve itself as of yet.

SEE ALSO: Huawei and Google release official statements regarding trade blacklist

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Computers

Microsoft’s new Windows 10 May 2019 Update is now available for download

Windows 10’s biggest update this year

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Image by GadgetMatch

Unsuspecting Windows 10 users might have been surprised about a new update available for download starting today. Microsoft has started the rollout of the Windows 10 May 2019 Update which includes a number of new features that consumers and developers will enjoy. The update, which was first released to testers last month, is assured to be free of major issues unlike the previous one.

In the update, Microsoft brings a new light theme for its desktop operating system along with Kaomoji support, a sandbox feature, and the separation of Cortana and Windows search. Officially, the May 2019 Update is known as the version 1903 of Windows 10.


The update is pretty major, so it’ll take some time to download and install. That’s why Microsoft wants users to manually opt to download the update in the Windows Update section of the Settings menu. Simply select the “Check for updates” button and choose to download and install whenever you wish.

Another notification will pop-up once the download has finished and is ready. It’ll ask for the right time (when you’re not actively using the PC) to finish the update since the Windows needs to reboot to complete the installation.

For more information about the update, head over to the Windows Blog on Microsoft’s website.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft is ditching Edge for new Chromium-based browser for Windows

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