Warning over iPhone apps that can silently turn on cameras at any time

The new iPhone X will feature an advanced front camera that can build up 3D pictures of faces CREDIT:GETTY IMAGES

Apple has been urged to change the way in which iPhone apps are granted access to the phone’s camera after a security researcher demonstrated how apps can secretly record photos and videos without the user knowing.

Felix Krause, an Austrian developer who works for Google, built an app that was able to take pictures of its user every second and upload them, without notifying the user. He called it a “privacy loophole that can be abused by iOS apps”.

When an app wants to access the camera, for example to scan a credit card or take a profile picture during the set-up process, the iPhone user must give the app permission, in the same way that apps must ask to access the camera roll, location and contacts and to send notifications. Once allowed, it has to be turned off via the settings menu.

The system is similar to the permissions required by apps on Android. Google has recently deleted several apps that surreptitiously recorded users and masqueraded as legitimate apps.

But Krause said that once an app has been granted initial access, it can take photos and videos whenever it is opened up. Unlike on Mac computers, which have a small green light next to the camera when it is being used, there is no indication that an app is recording videos or taking photos, or when it sends them elsewhere.

Facebook app permissions
App permissions are indefinite, apply to both the front and back camera, and can be used for photo and video

The iPhone’s camera app permissions do not differentiate between the phone’s front and back camera. Allowing camera permissions can grant extra access in the latest version of iOS, which has a facial recognition engine that could allow apps to detect emotions.

The permissions system is not a bug or a flaw – it works in exactly the way Apple has designed it – but Krause said malicious apps could take advantage of it to surreptitiously record users.

He demonstrated this by building an app that took a photo of the person using it every second, and which also ran a facial recognition program to detect the person using it.

He warned that other apps could monitor users’ emotions as they scroll through a social network news feed, record what they are saying, or live stream video of them in the bathroom as they tap away at a smartphone game.

Krause said Apple should introduce a system of temporary permissions – one that allows apps to take a picture during the set-up process, but revokes it after a period of time – or to introduce a warning light or notification to the iPhone that tells people when they are being recorded.

There are few examples of apps being found to secretly record users – apart from those specifically designed for this such as Stealth Cam. The practice is banned by Apple’s App Store guidelines, which state that a “reasonably conspicuous audio, visual or other indicator must be displayed to the user as part of the Application to indicate that a Recording is taking place”.

Krause claimed it would be easy to hide the behaviour, allowing it to make it through Apple’s approval process.

Facebook users have often claimed that the social network is secretly listening to their conversations in an attempt to better target adverts, something that Facebook itself has denied.

Some privacy conscious users have taken to covering up the cameras on their computers in an attempt to prevent being spied on, including Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Krause recently demonstrated how malicious apps could steal a user’s iCloud password by appearing to be an official command. The developer works at Google but says his work on security is a hobby, in no way affiliated with his employer.

Apple did not comment.

[“Source-telegraph”]

Education is a must for any sportsperson, says Bedi

Emphasises need for planning a career after sport

Former India left-arm spinner Bishan Singh Bedi was at his best during a talk ‘The Spirit of the Game — Life Lessons From Sports’ as part of Educational Outreach Program by Ratnasagar Pvt Ltd, being bang on the target on the need for the educationists to make the youth think and act properly.

“Education is a must for any athlete even though there are some exceptions like the great Sachin Tendulkar who is blessed in many ways,” Bedi said.

“I was the least educated compared to my great fellow players Prasanna, Chandra, Venkatraghavan. But, was fortunate to play along with them and learn so many things especially from Pras,” he recalled.

Exceptional cases

“It is important for any budding sportsperson to think of life after a career in sports. If you look at most of the success stories in cricket say with the exception of someone like ‘Tiger’ Pataudi, Sourav Ganguly and M. L. Jaisimha who were born with a silver spoon, the others have all come from middle-class families,” he said.

“Cricket is one game which teaches you many lessons in life. And, that is why there is a famous saying — this is not Cricket — when something goes wrong not just on the cricket field but in many aspects of life too. It is a sport which is associated with integrity and honesty,” Bedi said.

High commitment

“I have seen young talent who train at my small academy in Delhi and who score high percentage of marks struggle to express their thoughts in writing,” he said. “Marks marks for sports is good and not harmful but the youngsters can’t take it for granted.”

“For any student or any budding talent in any field, focus and concentration are essential ingredients to succeed. Look at the great example of Gopi (chief national badminton coach) and his wards Sindhu and Srikanth. Their commitment levels and obsession with what they love (the sport) is something totally different and a role model for all youngsters in the country,” Bedi said.

“Let children get involved in sports and enjoy, but ensure there is the desired detachment from it too to spare equal time for studies too. You put in your efforts, results are not in our hands,” he felt.

[“Source-thehindu”]

Logitech’s ZeroTouch Brings Amazon Alexa to Any Car

Logitech's ZeroTouch Brings Amazon Alexa to Any Car

Logitech’s ZeroTouch Brings Amazon Alexa to Any Car
HIGHLIGHTS
ZeroTouch available for Android only
It is priced at a starting price of $60
Logitech also unveiled Brio 4K Pro Webcam
Amazon’s virtual digital assistant Alexa is no longer limited to living rooms as the company integrated the assistant in LG’s smart appliances showcased at the CES 2017. The company also expanded Alexa into automobiles with a partnership with Ford, Hyundai, and Volkswagen, and other automakers that allowed it to be integrated into cars. Now, Logitech’s new ZeroTouch is bringing a cheaper solution for Android users to use Amazon’s Alexa without upgrading to a new car. Additionally, Logitech has also launched its new Brio 4K Pro Webcam which it claims to be the top-of-the-line webcam targeted for business and home-office users.

The device is a smartphone mount for your car, and also comes with a companion app that enables you to use Alexa via smartphone. Potential uses include switching the lights on before you get home or listening to a book on Kindle via Alexa on the smartphone mounted in the car. It’s automatically activated on your phone when it’s placed on the magnetic mount. The new Logitech ZeroTouch can enable you to make calls on smartphones without touching the phone, and also reply to incoming messages on WhatsApp, and other apps via voice commands while you are on road.

Logitech’s ZeroTouch is a car mount with voice control currently for Android only. It is available for a starting price of $60 (roughly Rs. 4,000) for basic version while $80 (roughly Rs. 5,500) model offers windshield or dash mount option. Users will have to download a companion app from Google Play.
Separately, Logitech’s new Brio 4K Pro Webcam will be going on sale in Europe priced at EUR 239 (roughly Rs. 17,000) and in the US priced at $199 (roughly Rs. 13,500). Users can grab the new webcam from Amazon and Logitech’s online store.

logitech brio webcam logitech

Logitech’s Brio 4K Pro Webcam works with all popular business apps like Skype for Business, and others. The company is targeting YouTubers and vloggers with its latest webcam. The Brio packs RightLight 3 with support for HDR, 4K ultra HD video quality, and 5X zoom. It also supports apps like Windows Hello and other secure infrared-based facial recognition applications.

Tags: Logitech, Logitech ZeroTouch, Amazon, Logitech Brio 4K Pro Webcam Price, Logitech ZeroTouch Price, Alexa, Amazon Alexa

[“Source-Gadgets”]

iPhone: How to Block SMS From Any Sender Including Bulk Messages

iPhone: How to Block SMS From Any Sender Including Bulk Messages

Spam is something most people have accepted as a part of their lives. While there are various easy ways to block email spam, most people don’t bother blocking SMS or text messages spam. On Android, various awesome SMS apps let you fully block spam texts or send them to a separate folder to check later. But if you have an iPhone, there’s a chance that you get a lot of spam texts every day and haven’t yet figured out how to block them.

Whether the spam text is from a mobile number promoting flats you don’t want to buy, or from bulk sender IDs such as DM-DUNKND or VK-UBERIN – whose service you might have used once, long ago, but whose messages arrive daily like clockwork – here’s how to block them once and for all.

On iOS 10, the steps to block spam SMS are slightly different from iOS 9. These instructions will help you block spam messages.

  1. Open the spam text in the Messages app.
  2. Tap the i icon on the top-right.
  3. Tap the name of the sender at the top, located just below Details.
  4. Tap Block this Caller.
  5. Tap Block Contact.
  6. This will block spam SMS from that sender.
  7. To unblock, head to Settings > Call Blocking & Identification. Tap edit and then the red button to the left of each number.

For iOS 9, follow these steps.

  1. Open the spam text message via the Messages app.
  2. Tap Details on the top-right.
  3. If you just want to stop getting notifications from this sender, and you don’t want to block them entirely, then tap the button next to Do Not Disturb. This will mute notifications but you will continue receiving text messages.
  4. If you want to block this sender entirely, tap the i button.
  5. Scroll down and select Block this Caller.

You will no longer receive spam messages from that bulk sender. Some spammers might text you from multiple IDs such as DM-SPAM, LM-MORESPAM, BZ-SPAM, etc. Each of these bulk sender IDs has a number that you can see after following step 4. You’ll have to block each of these numbers one by one, to stop receiving spam completely. Once you’ve done that, these IDs won’t be able to message you.

In case you want to unblock any of these spammers, then follow these steps.

  1. Open Settings > Phone > Blocked.
  2. Find the number linked to the bulk sender ID. In India, this usually is +91 followed by an eight-digit number, for example: +91 36386563 (one of the numbers Dunkin Donuts India uses to send promotional text messages).
  3. Slide the number towards the left to reveal the red Unblock button.
  4. Tap Unblock.

Did you succeed in blocking spam text message senders on your iPhone? Let us know via the comments. For more tutorials, visit our How To section.

Tags: Apple, Block Spam, Messages, Mobiles, Spam, Text Messages, iOS, iOS 9, iPhone
[“Source-Gadgets”]