All posts by Jatin Sapra

Jatin Sapra is a Facebook addict, tech-enthusiast, Apple fanboy, n00b photographer, sarcastic person, homosapien etc etc. You can follow him on Twitter @jatinsapra

New Fake Adobe Flash Malware Disables Apple’s Malware Updates

According to security researchers at F-Secure, a new variant of an existing Trojan Horse posing as a legitimate Flash Player installer (named Flashback.C by F-Secure) is designed to disable updates to the default Mac OS X anti- malware protection system, potentially leaving the system open to the manual installation of other malware without any system warnings.

A Trojan horse works by fooling you into running it; in this case, Flashback disguises itself as an installer package for Flash Player. This Trojan horse is potentially capable of disabling XProtectUpdater-auto-update component of Apple’s built-in XProtect anti-malware application by overwriting the system binary that checks for updates.

Screenshot of the Trojan-Downloader:OSX/Flashback.C installer

Once installed, Flashback.C first checks to see if the user is running “Little Snitch,” a firewall program that could alert the user of its actions. If it is found to be installed, the trojan deletes itself. If it doesn’t find Little Snitch, the malware then tries to connect to a remote host in order to obtain other installation files and configurations. F-Secure notes that “the remote host is up but it does not [yet] push anything.” If and when the site becomes active, it could deliver a payload that the trojan could use to disable the system’s auto-updater, using Safari or Firefox to deliver the malicious code via an LSEnvironment variable that loads when the browser restarts. The local system would be unable to obtain the latest anti-malware definitions and could subsequently be infected by other malicious programs the user installs without seeing the warnings that Mac OS X’s XProtect feature is designed to present.

If you fear that you might have been infected, you can see removal instructions given by F-Secure here. Also, always download software from original company websites to remain protected from Trojan horses like this. Read our tips to keep your computer Safe and Secure here.

Credits: Apple Insider

Apple Issues Mac OS X 10.6.8 Supplemental Update for Snow Leopard

Apple has issued a supplemental update for users running Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8 on their Macs.

This is the first update by Apple for Snow Leapord post Mac OS X Lion release. The last update was almost a month back with notable features like enhancements to the Mac App Store and built-in protection against known variants of Mac Defender malware, and had updates to make transition to Lion easier.

This Supplemental 10.19 MB update delivers a handful of final fixes for the previous-generation operating system.

The Mac OS X 10.6.8 Supplemental Update is recommended for all users running Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8 and resolves issues with:

– Transferring personal data, settings, and compatible applicationsfrom a Mac running Mac OS X Snow Leopard to a new Mac running Mac OS X Lion
Certain network printers that pause print jobs immediately and fail to complete
System audio that stops working when using HDMI or optical audio out

A similar 10.23MB update was released for Snow Leopard Server.

The supplemental and combo updates for Snow Leopard are all available on Apple’s website, or directly through Software Update. Direct links to update below :

Mac OS X 10.6.8 Supplemental Update (10.19 MB) – for users already on Mac OS X 10.6.8

Mac OS X 10.6.8 Update v.1.1 (453.55 MB) – delta release for users who have yet to update to Mac OS X 10.6.8

Mac OS X 10.6.8 Update Combo v1.1 (1.09 GB) – combo release for users who have yet to update to Mac OS X 10.6.8

 

Mac OS X 10.6.8 Server Supplemental Update (10.23 MB) – for users already on Mac OS X Server 10.6.8

Mac OS X Server v10.6.8 Update v1.1 (518.28 MB) – delta release for users who have yet to update to Mac OS X Server 10.6.8

Mac OS X Server v10.6.8 Update Combo v1.1 (1.18 GB) – combo release for users who have yet to update to Mac OS X Server 10.6.8

-links via MacRumours

Easily Convert Flash Content to HTML5 with Swiffy

The day Google unvieled Google+, TakeOut, and launched a  new design, they also released something called Swiffy with minimal fanfare.

Swiffy LogoSwiffy is a Google Labs product and allows developers to convert Flash SWF files to HTML5, allowing reuse of Flash content on devices without a Flash player.

You can easily convert simple animations and ad banners but since the tool is still in early stages, don’t expect it to convert all flash content. You can check out the power of the tool in these examples. To use the program, you simply upload a SWF file and Swiffy returns HTML5 output. Swiffy will be really helpful for devices such as iPhone and iPad which doesn’t support Flash content. Steve Jobs has famously resisted Flash on iOS products, saying it crashes and is a battery hog. With Swiffy, that problem can be solved, allowing users access to more compatiable content  on devices, which don’t support Flash.

Swiffy Converts SWF to HTML5

It’s interested to note that Adobe released a similar tool called Wallaby, earlier this year. Swiffy is different from Wallaby, as explained by Google.

Wallaby is an installable tool that converts .fla files, whereas Swiffy is a web-based tool that converts .swf files. Wallaby focuses on reusing parts of a Flash file in HTML, and thus produces code that can be edited by the developer, whereas Swiffy generates an efficient format that is not that easily editable.

What does Adobe thinks of Swiffy? Google has an answer for that as well.

Adobe is pleased to see the Flash platform extended to devices which don’t support the Flash player. The result is that anyone creating rich or interactive ads can continue to get all the authoring benefits of Flash Pro and have the flexibility to run the ad in the Flash Player or HTML depending on what’s available on the system. Google and Adobe look forward to close collaboration around efforts like these.

Swiffy still has a long way to go, it looks promising. You converted a Flash file using Swiffy? Don’t forget to share it with us.

Simon Pegg’s Twitter Account Hacked

Simon Pegg, described by Wikipedia as an English actor, comedian, writer, film producer and director, apparently got his Twitter account hacked earlier today. The hacker used his account to spread malware to his 1.2 million followers.

Simon Pegg Twitter Hacked

The tweet in question was sent via Twitter for Blackberry, and asked Pegg’s twitter followers to download a screensaver of his latest movie Paul. Thousands of his followers did and many even tweeted Thank youafter installing it. Those who had anti-virus protection installed however were informed of a Trojan horse being found in the ScreenSaver.exe file being linked to. Few hours later Simon posted few messages, indicating that his account was hacked and he did not post any message about a screensaver, and warning followers that they should not download the infectedscreensaver.

Simon Pegg Confirms Twitter Hack 1

Simon Pegg Confirms Twitter Hack 2

 

Being a Windows screensaver, the file is not believed to be malicious to anyone who is not using Microsoft’s Operating System. Jokingly however, Pegg did have this to say to Apple users:

Simon Pegg Jokes about Apple

He certainly is not the first celebrity to have his Twitter account hacked. Famous accounts like ih8sn0w and Bristol Palin accounts have been hacked in the past.

As always, we recommend you to be cautious while clicking on any suspicious link. WOT can be helpful in keeping you safe.

Apple MacBook Air Getting a Refresh Soon ?

According to a new  rumor  from DigiTimes, MacBook Air’s production will run in full gearbeginning in July. If true, this report suggests that new MacBook Air could be launched after the release, or more likely alongside with the release of Mac OS X Lion, which is scheduled to be released this July.

Apple MacBook Air

Digitime says, Apple is expected to take deliveries of over eight million MacBook Airs in the third quarter, nearly doubling from the previous quarter, the sources in the supply chain estimated. This is in line with a previous rumor from Taiwan’s Economic Daily newspaper that Apple will ship 380,000 new MacBook Air units within the next month.

Shipments of parts and components for MacBook lineups totaled an equivalent of 2.2-2.4 million MacBooks in June, and orders for July are likely to top 2.7-2.8 million units, said the sources, noting that the increase is in line with Apple’s previous strategy to ramp up deliveries prior to the launch of new products.

Last time Apple refreshed the MacBook Air range, they added a new size(11.6), upgraded processor to Core 2 Duo, and used SSD for storage. This time we are expecting Thunderbolt ports, either Core i5 or Core i7 chips, or maybe Intel’s new ULV processor. Few rumors suggesting option of a black color have also surfaced.

iOS 5 Beta 2 Now Available for Developers

On Friday, Apple released iOS 5 Beta 2, the next version of its mobile operating system for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches. You will need a paid ($99/year) developer account to download this beta, and you can sign in with your developer credentials to gain access. The latest beta release brings WiFi sync to the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

iOS 5 Beta 2 release screenshot

WiFi Sync was one of the features touted at Apple’s WWDC event, and allows iOS 5 users to sync their devices to their iTunes libraries without a computer. As of now, you can use WiFi Sync only with iTunes for Mac.

Other important updates, as reported by 9to5 and BGR are:

  • iCloud logo becomes silver in settings

iCloud Silver Logo

  • Lockscreen notifications got an update from the UI department

iOS 5 homescreen

  • Notifications on the lockscreen are redone — they’re much, much bigger for a single alert, then shows in list view for multiple alerts.
  • iMessage only works with iOS beta 2 both ways, but it’s super fast now. We’re guessing Apple changed the servers they used for this.
  • When creating an iCloud account you can use any Apple ID provided it is a full email address and not a MobileMe account. If you have a MobileMe account, you can copy data from that account to an iCloud account to use during testing. You can find more information on iCloud at: http://developer.apple.com/icloud
  • When signing in with a Classic MobileMe account via iOS 5.0 Setup Assistant, it offers iCloud Backup.

Apple will be releasing iOS 5 this fall, and we are expecting more beta releases before final release is ready.

You can checkout full change log here.

More Than One Million Unlocked iPhones Running on T-Mobile USA


iPhone running T-MobileT-Mobile USA has claimed that more than one million iPhones run on its network. Apple’s smartphone does not officially support T-Mobile, the #4 carrier in the U.S.A. T-Mobile offers non-compatible AWS bands for iPhones, which means that iPhones need to be unlocked. Customers who want to run iPhone on T-Mobile network had to lose the Apple contract, modify their SIM to support micro-SIM format of iPhone 4 and lose 3G speeds as T-Mobile runs only 2G EDGE on iPhone. More than 1 million customers have chosen  to do that to stay with T-Mobile.

Talking to Seth Weintraub of 9 to 5 Mac, a T-Mobile spokesperson offered a tidbid of information which suggests that T-Mobile is home to more than one million iPhones.

In a meeting with T-Mobile spokespeople today ahead of the NYC Pepcom event, I  received  word that there are actively over a million Apple iPhones currently on T-Mobile’s network.  When asked for a breakdown, the spokesman said the majority were pre-iPhone 4 but that a significant amount of people had taken the scissorsto their T-Mobile SIM cards.  T-Mobile doesn’t currently offer a Micro-SIM solution for Apple’s iPhone 4 so people who want to use the iPhone 4 must modify their SIMs into MicroSIMs.  Those using iPhone 4s also won’t receive T-Mobile’s 3G or 4G data speeds because of the radio differences between the networks.

When asked about micro-SIMs, the spokesman told Seth Weintraub that they are in the works, but there was no time frame for release.

AT&T is trying to buy T-Mobile, and there have been rumours that iPhone 5 will support T-Mobile’s AWS HSPA and HSPA+ bands. If true, this news will bring smiles to the faces of iPhone owners who run it on T-Mobile network

Image Credit: Geeky Gadgets

WWDC 2011 Session Videos Released to Developers

Apple on thursday updated the developer portal, uploading about 110 session videos, which were taken during its annual developer conference, WWDC 2011. Apple unveiled Mac OS X Lion and iOS 5 during the event which are set to be released in this July and Fall respectively. Apple also introduced iCloud, its cloud based online data synchronization service along with other stuff during the event.

WWDC 2011 Videos

Apple has broken down sessions into these six categories:

  • Apple Platforms Kickoff
  • App Frameworks
  • Core OS
  • Developer Tools
  • Graphics, Media, and Games
  • Internet and Web

The videos are available in both HD and SD formats for the Mac, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone or Apple TV. They can be downloaded from here. You will need a registered developer account and you will be able to download it(for free) in iTunes after logging in with your developer account. These videos would be really helpful to those developers who were not able to make it to the conference or those who missed some important sessions due to scheduling conflicts. Given the conference was sold out in 10 hours, there would be many developers who were waiting for this.

Apple reminds developers that all the material in the sessions remains under Apple’s confidential information NDA.

Reminder: The content presented within the session videos and slides is Apple Confidential Information and is subject to the Registered Apple Developer Agreement.

Apple WWDC 2011 Session Videos

 

 

Court Order Denies Samsung Preview of iPad 3 and iPhone 5

The lawsuits war between Apple and Samsung has been going on for a long time. Apple first filed suit against Samsung in April, claiming that the Samsung Galaxy line too closely imitated the look and feel of its iOS devices. Samsung then fired back at Apple, filing 10 different patent infringement claims against Apple over the iPhone and the iPad.

Samsung Apple LawsuitIn May, Samsung’s lawyers demanded that they wanted to see Apple’s future products because devices like the Droid Charge and Galaxy Tab 10.1  will presumably be in the market at the same time as the iPhone 5 and iPad 3, and they want to evaluate any possible similarities so they can prepare for further potential legal action from Apple. The request came after the court ordered Samsung to show prototypes of its new, already-announced devices to Apple.

As expected, the U.S. Circuit judge yesterday denied Samsung’s request to preview iPad 3 and iPhone 5. In her 11 page order, Judge Lucy Koh tried to explain in detail the reasons for which Samsung’s request was rejected.

The Court concludes that Samsung has not shown good cause to justify expedited discovery of Apple’s future products, packaging, and packaging inserts. Samsung’s motion to compel is therefore DENIED. As noted above, the Court nonetheless believes that Samsung should be entitled to parity in discovery directed at Apple’s potential  preliminary injunction motion. If Samsung had requested reasonable discovery along the lines discussed at the hearing on Apple’s motion for expedited discovery, the Court would have granted the request. However, as Samsung has not requested such discovery in this motion, the Court  cannot order it. In any case, it appears that Apple may be willing to provide such discovery without the need for Court intervention

Judge also noted that, Samsung’s claim of prejudice was undermined to some extent by evidence that Samsung has already released images and samples of its forthcoming products to the media and members of the public.” iPad 3 and iPhone 5 on the other hand are only rumours based on media reports and given iPad 2 was launched earlier this year, there is very little chance of Apple releasing iPad 3 anytime soon.

Everything was not good for Apple though. A part of judge’s order hinted that Apple may not get an injunction against Samsung unless it provides the iPhone 5 or the iPad 3 to the court for evaluation. It means, Samsung can continue to sell its mobile devices in the U.S. and is not under any pressure to reach a settlement in this case.

You can read the full order here:

Court Order Denying Motion Re iPhone 5 iPad 3

Top 5 Favorite RSS Readers for Mac

RSS (most commonly expanded as Really Simple Syndication) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works. It allows you to easily stay informed by retrieving the latest content from the sites you are interested in. You save time by not needing to visit each site individually.

Where there is RSS feed, there are RSS readers. While the way in which RSS feeds work as a medium remains the same, RSS readers differ a lot in working and features. There are many RSS readers which are available for Mac. I must admit that I haven’t tried all available RSS readers. There might be equally good or better ones available.

Below are my top 5 RSS readers available for Mac, in no particular order.

1. NetNewsWire

NetNewsWire is one of the oldest RSS reader available for any platform. Its three-paned interface is familier and simple-similar to Apple Mail. The normal version requires a Google Reader account and it can easily fetch thousands of feeds in few moments. NetNewsWire features a variety of views, easy to use keyboard shortcuts, detects microformats allowing you to quickly add data to iCal or Address Book, and has a built in tabbed browser. It sync with Newsgator service, which means that all your Macs and iPhone will have same unread count.

> NetNewsWire (Free)

NetNewsWire-RSS Reader for Mac

2. Reeder for Mac

Reeder is another good RSS reader. It was initially created for iPad/iPhone and made its leap to Mac. It uses Google Reader and can therefore keep articles in sync whether you use it on desktop or iOS, Google Reader’s web interface, or other feed readers like NetNewsWire. It supports a variety of swipe gestures and keyboard shortcuts. Whereas NetNewsWire lets you open different articles in tabs, Reeder instead focuses on a one-at-a-time approach. One click configurable sharing support is available for various services like Twitter, Instapaper, Delicious, Pinboard. All this add to Reeder’s usefulness.

> Reeder for Mac (9.99$)

Reeder for Mac

3. Pulp

Pulp is different from other RSS readers mentioned here in the sense that it offers a tradition newspaper format. Pulp takes your feeds and turns them into a digital newspaper, providing you with text previews and images instead of just headlines. Pretty much everything is customizable, from the newspaper categories to what’s inside of them. There is a feature called the Shelf which allows you to easily Drag-n-Drop articles to it in order to read them later. It supports various swipe gestures and social sharing option. Another great feature of Pulp is the Magic reader which can grab full article, when only excerpt is available and provides full article in easily digestable format.

> Pulp (9.99$)

Pulp-Rss News Aggregator

4. NewsFire

NewsFire is an RSS reader designed with beauty and simplicity in mind. This makes NewsFire attractive, easy to use and highly functional. I should mention that NewsFire does not support an easy import or syncing from Google Reader. If you are a Google Reader fan then you may want to look elsewhere. Official site  describes  it as iChat-like RSS aggregator and we agree with the description. NewsFire keeps feeds simple and clean.

> NewsFire (4.99$)

NewsFire-RSS reader for Mac

5. Vienna

Vienna is a freeware, open source RSS/Atom newsreader for the Mac. It provides features comparable to commercial newsreaders. Its main feature includes simple and intuitive user interface, smart folders, difference reading layout, blogging integration, fell AppleScript support. It offers pretty much all standard features with few advance ones. For a free app it works great.

> Vienna (Free)

Vienna-Rss reader for mac

Final thoughts:

There’s a whole variety of RSS readers to choose from. RSS readers offer many features and makes reading simpler. If you’re still using Mail or Safari RSS, it’s time to try something more robust.

Be sure to comment below and tell us about your favorite RSS readers :)

Side Tip: Some websites offer only partial content in RSS feed and you need to visit the site to get full content. Use tip mentioned  here to get full RSS feed.