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Google says iPhones have a major security flaw

It went unnoticed for years

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Researchers at Google say they have discovered a number of malicious websites that can discreetly get into a user’s iPhone and gain access to files, messages, as well as location data. With more than a billion devices out there, many are considering this to be one of the largest attacks ever.

The cyber-experts also warn that the hacking campaign affected most iPhone models, and went on for two years. The exploit also gave access to the iPhone’s Keychain, directly exposing all other saved credentials.

“Simply visiting the hacked site was enough for the exploit server to attack your device, and if it was successful, install a monitoring implant,” said Ian Beer, a security researcher at Project Zero.

Five distinct exploit chains involving 12 separate security flaws have been found and these allowed an attacker to gain root access to the device. Hackers could also mine info from apps you were using, including Google apps, Instagram, WhatsApp and more.

The exploits currently affect iOS 10 to the current iOS 12 software. Google shared this discovery with Apple in February and it rolled out a fix in iOS 12.1.4 update.

While the malware is cleaned from an infected iPhone upon rebooting, experts note attackers might be able to “maintain persistent access to various accounts and services by using the stolen authentication tokens from the keychain, even after they lose access to the device.”

Google’s Project Zero is a team of security researchers tasked with finding zero-day vulnerabilities. The discovered exploits are directly communicated to the concerned company and a public announcement is made only after a fix is released.

Accessories

This case turns your AirPods into an iPod Classic

It screams retro

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The iPod was a revolutionary gadget when it was launched. Back then the market was filled with bulky music boomboxes ranging from a Walkman to a simple MP3 player. Apple changed the course of portable media forever thanks to close integration between the iPod and iTunes.

Today, the iPhone combines all legacy music requirements along with streaming via Apple Music. Further, AirPods have been a huge success due to the closed ecosystem and near-native support.

Case manufacturer Elago wants to take things further. Their AW6 case mimics the look of the iPod, complete with the iconic click wheel —  the circular touch-sensitive navigation ring.

The case is made entirely from high-grade silicone. It’s flexible and impact-resistant, and thick enough to ensure that all accidental drops have some level of protection. For AirPods 2 owners, there’s a special cut-out to show the charging indicator.

The case has been deemed an Amazon Choice product and have received some pretty high praise online. Not only does it look funky, but they also deliver a retro-feel to the now-defunct iPod Classic.

Last month, Elago also launched an ‌AirPods‌ case that was looks like the original Macintosh, followed by an Apple Watch inspired case.

Elago’s AW6 Case (iPod Classic) for ‌AirPods‌ is available on the company’s website and on Amazon for US$ 11.99. It also comes in black with a red click wheel.

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Apps

Airbnb partners with the Olympics in 9-year deal

Just in time for Tokyo 2020

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Airbnb and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has signed a new deal to support five Olympics and Paralympics for the next nine years, making the platform a Worldwide Olympic Partner. Apart from the 2020 Games in Tokyo, the partnership covers Beijing 2022, Paris 2024, Milan 2026, and Los Angeles 2028.

According to the IOC, the joint effort will be “in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals to provide travel options that are economically empowering, socially inclusive, and environmentally sustainable.”

The partnership hopes to minimize construction of new infrastructure for host cities to accommodate not just athletes, staff, and workers, but the surge of tourists as well. This also means generating extra income for new and existing hosts in the local communities during the Games.

IOC President Thomas Bach said that the partnership underpins their strategy to ensure that staging the Olympic Games leaves a legacy for the host community.

Airbnb is also launching a new category of Experiences to be hosted by Olympians themselves. These activities can help provide financial support for athletes while they train, as well as career opportunities even after competing.

Airbnb as a more sustainable option

Airbnb has previously supported Rio 2016 and PyeongChang 2018 as a domestic sponsor. A recent World Economic Forum study found that in Rio, the additional capacity provided through Airbnb was equivalent to 257 hotels. This saved the city unnecessary construction and carbon emissions, while also providing approximately US$ 30 million in direct revenue for hosts. It also generated an estimated total economic activity of US$ 100 million in three weeks.

Similarly, during the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang last year, Airbnb hosts earned approximately US$ 2.3 million collectively by providing accommodation to 15,000 visitors who would have required 46 hotels.

Most recently, Airbnb hosts across Japan welcomed more than 650,000 travellers during the Rugby World Cup, and earned more than US$ 70 million collectively.

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Vivo S1 Pro: Quad-camera midrange phone

Can it compete with other midrangers?

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The year is almost coming to a close but Vivo isn’t letting up on the new phone announcements as they unveil the Vivo S1 Pro.

First thing that you’ll notice is the S1 Pro’s camera module. The cameras are arranged in a diamond like position. Speaking of cameras, this phone has four: a 48MP (f/1.8) main camera, an 8MP (f/2.2) super wide angle camera, a 2MP (f/2.4) super macro camera, and another 2MP (f/2.4) lens for bokeh purposes. Up front, you still get Vivo’s usual 32MP selfie camera.

Powering the smartphone is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 SoC with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It has a 4500mAh battery which supports Dual-Engine Fast Charging which you can charge through its micro USB-C port. Yes, it took a while but a non-flagship Vivo phone is finally rocking Type-C.

It has a 6.38″ Super Amoled display and underneath it is Vivo’s fast in-display fingerprint scanning technology.

Pricing and availability

The Vivo S1 Pro will come in Knight Black and Fancy Sky colors and will be available in the Philippines starting November 30 for P15,999.

On paper, the Vivo S1 Pro seems like a worthy midrange challenger but it’s facing stiff competition with the likes of Xiaomi and Realme who have both released smartphones with 64mP main cameras in that price range.

SEE ALSO: Vivo S1 review: The Skyline’s the limit

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