Earlier this week, a serious vulnerability was reported to Apple. The vulnerability was related to the Zoom video conferencing app for MacOs. The problem was that attackers could easily hijack user’s webcams.
The vulnerability was caused due to the fact that Zoom had installed a hidden web server on user’s computers so that the app can automatically answer incoming calls. This web server was the main weak point which could be exploited by the attackers. The problem was not fixed even the app was deleted from the device. As a result, users who have removed the app previously might not have realized that they were still vulnerable to this potential attack.
After defending the decision to install a web server on user’s devices to work around changes in Safari 12 that would have required users to click to accept incoming calls, Zoom later backtracked and launched a patch in order to remove the web server from the user’s devices.
However, Apple has finally taken things in its own hands and have taken a step further. The company silently pushed a MacOS update that is designed to remove the web server. The update was deployed in users’ devices automatically. Therefore, users didn’t have to do anything manually in order to install the update.
This Tuesday, Zoom released a fixed app version. But Apple has stated that its actions will protect users both in past and present from the web server vulnerability. This will not affect or cause any problem in the functionality of the Zoom app itself.
The update is known to prompt users if they want to open the app. before it would open on its own.
As stated by Zoom to TechCrunch:
“it was happy to have worked with Apple on testing this update”
and that it should solve all the problems with the web server.
Zoom also stated in a blog post that it will take action this coming weekend by automatically having first-time users who select “always turn off my video” default to having a video off for all future meetings.
Malware hidden in WhatsApp affects 25 million android phones
According to cyber securities, around 25 million Android phones have been affected by a serious malware hidden in WhatsApp. The malware can replace and install apps like WhatsApp with evil versions that serve up adverts.
Dubbed Agent Smith, the malware is known to abuse previously-know weaknesses in the Android operating system, making updating to the latest, patched version of Google’s operating system a priority, as reported by Israeli security company Check Point.
Most of the victims are based in India. Around 15 million users have been affected by malware in India. In the US, there are more than 300,000 users who faced the same problem. Around 137,000 in the UK were affected by the malware. This is perhaps the largest one of the more severe threats to have hit Google’s operating systems in recent times.
The malware is known to spread through a third-party app-store 9apps.com which is owned by China’s Alibaba. Typically, such non-Google Play attacks focus on developing countries, making the hacker’s success in the US and the UK more remarkable, as reported by Check Point.
Check Point warned in a blog that the replaced apps wills serve up malicious ads. However, the hacker can do worse things than this. The researchers wrote, “Due to its ability to hide its icon from the launcher and impersonates any popular existing apps on a device, there are endless possibilities for this sort of malware to harm a user’s device.”
They said that they have warned Google and the relevant law enforcement agencies. However, Google has not commented on the matter yet.
There are also indications that the attackers are moving towards Google Play. The Check Point researchers said that they have found around 11 apps on Google Store that contained a dormant piece of the hacker’s software. But Google has swiftly taken down those apps. This is actually turning out to be a matter of great concern. There are over a billion android users in the market. If hackers are able to attack all these phones, the situation could get worse.
Verizon Announces Nokia 2V Update, Brings Android 9 Pie
HMD Global partnered with Verizon to build the Nokia 2V for the US market in January this year. The latest version is not different from the Nokia 2.1 except it has Verizon branding. However, the carrier, which is also handling the update, is likely to explain why Android Pie for the version is five-month late compared to the Nokia 2.1.
The System Update 3, as Verizon refers to it, includes all possible elements of Android 9 Pie. Since Nokia 2V is not a part of AndroidOne club, the Android Build updates are delivered and named differently. You will see notification improvements, gesture navigation, quick settings, adaptive battery, and several other enhancements. The camera quality is better with the changes like the new 1:1 capture and time-lapse modes. Since the Nokia 2V only has 1GB of RAM, it’s running Android Go Edition.
Earlier in January, the US telecommunication major Verizon partnered with HMD Global to offer a custom version of the Nokia 2.1. The Nokia 2V, names so especially for Verizon, is one of the few Android Oreo Go phones available in the U.S. market.
The low-cost Nokia 2V, a 5.5-inch HD display, the smartphone has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor and 1GB of RAM. It has an 8MP rear camera and 5MP front camera. The phone has 4000 mAh battery and is available in blue and silver color. The $70 price tag makes it of the most affordable in the segment.
Meanwhile, Nokia announced the launch of another budget phone the Nokia 2.2 in the U.S. on July 17. The unlocked version is available at just $140. This phone will work on GSM carriers like T-Mobile, AT&T, MetroPCS, Mint, and Cricket.
This Android One phone will give you the freedom to update. The 5.7″ LCD display phone is with an HD resolution, 13 MP rear camera, and 5 MP front camera and dedicated Google Assistant button. Interestingly, it does not have a fingerprint scanner.
The Android 9.0 pie phone has 3GB RAM and 32 GB storage with an expandable memory of up to 400 GB microSD. It has Mediatek MT6761 Helio A22 processor.
Neuralink’s plans for brain-reading ‘threads’ with a robot to insert them is revealed by Elon Musk
Brain-machine interface technology sounds crazy, isn’t it? What else you can expect when the name of Elon Musk is there with the company ‘Neuralink’. For the first time, the mysterious company made some of the technology public with an idea to build implantable devices so that paralyzed humans could use computers or any other device linked with the computer.
The major advancement is the flexible “threads,” which are said to be less threatening to brain cells and transfer a higher volume of data, according to a white paper credited to “Elon Musk & Neuralink.”
As per the paper, the system could include “as many as 3,072 electrodes per array distributed across 96 threads.” Another big advancement is the machine that will automatically embed the 4-6 μm threads.
While presenting the research on July 16, Musk said it is not for hype but more focused on asking people to work in Neuralink. They shared some updates on the laser beam technology for the brain.
Musk in his own style, when asked about progress, said:
“A monkey has been able to control a computer with its brain.” Adding further he said that ultimately he wants “to achieve a symbiosis with artificial intelligence.”
Max Hodak, president of Neuralink, said that there is a long history of academic research. Adding further he said:
“Neuralink didn’t come out of nowhere.” In the presentation he said, “We’re, in the greatest sense, building on the shoulders of giants.”
Neuralink has developed a custom chip that is better able to read, clean up, and amplify signals from the brain, the white paper says. As of now, it can only transfer data using a wired connection, but the goal is to make it wireless. The Neuralink has named it “N1 sensor,” which will be implanted inside the brain.
The technology is promising and there is no doubt among scientist. The challenge is to start the human trial as contemporary laws prohibit any such practice. Hope, with the passage of time there will be enough data to prove the efficacy of the brain-machine interfaces.
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