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”]

Acer at IFA 2017: Laptops, Gaming PCs, 360-Degree Cameras, and More

Acer at IFA 2017: Laptops, Gaming PCs, 360-Degree Cameras, and More

Acer Chromebook 15

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Acer introduced its new gaming Predator series devices
  • It also announced new Chromebook 15
  • A new 23.8-inch Aspire S24 all-in-one desktop PC also announced

Taiwanese manufacturer Asus has kicked off its IFA 2017 campaign with bunch of announcements including gaming laptops, PCs, and more. The company showed off all-new Predator gaming line alongside the new 23.8-inch Aspire S24 all-in-one desktop PC. Acer also revealed two connected 360-degree cameras, new projectors, and new Pawbo products. The company announced Nitro 5 Spin convertible laptop and Switch 7 fanless 2-in-1 notebook at the same event.

Acer Chromebook 15
The all-new Chromebook 15 is being marketed as the “only Chromebook in the industry with a 15.6-inch display and aluminium design.” The Acer Chromebook 15 will be made available in either a touch screen or non-touch screen models.

It will be available in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) in October starting at EUR 499 (roughly Rs. 38,000). It will also be available in North America in October starting at $399 (roughly Rs. 25,500), including the United States, where it will be offered at Best Buy and the Acer Store. The company claims up to 12 hours of battery life and the new Chromebook will support Android apps via Google Play when it is launched. It will be available in configurations of dual-core Intel Celeron and quad-core Intel Pentium processors available with 32GB or 64GB of storage as well as 4GB or 8GB of RAM. It features a backlit keyboard and weighs 1.72kg while measures 378x256x18.9mm. Connectivity options include Intel Wireless-AC (802.11ac) wireless featuring 2×2 MIMO technology; two USB 3.1 Type-C ports; Bluetooth 4.2; two USB 3.0, and an HDMI port.

Acer Swift 5 and Spin 5
At its IFA event, Acer also launched the Swift 5 and Spin 5 laptops. The Swift 5 will be available in North America and EMEA in December starting at $999 (roughly Rs. 64,000) and EUR 1,099 (roughly Rs. 84,000) respectively. China will be the launch market in November starting at CNY 7,499 (roughly Rs. 73,000). The Acer Spin 5 on the other hand will be available in North America and EMEA in September with 13-inch model starting at $799 (roughly Rs. 51,150) and 13-inch model starting at EUR 899 (roughly Rs. 69,000).

The new Swift 5 is said to offer stylish portability alongside capable performance. It weighs less than 1kg, and is built with ultra-light magnesium-lithium and magnesium-aluminium alloys. The laptop is powered by eighth generation Intel Core processors, and is said to deliver up to 8 hours of battery life. It has a full-HD IPS touchscreen display, and a backlit keyboard.

acer spin 5 acer

Acer Spin 5

The Spin 5 convertible laptop on the other hand has a rotating display like others in its series, letting users switch between laptop, tablet, display and tent form factors. The 13-inch model weighs 1.5kg and is at 15.9mm thin, while the 15-inch model is is just over 2kg and 17.9mm thin. They both ship with eighth generation Intel Core processors, up to 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, and even a discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics.

Acer Switch 7 Black Edition and Nitro 5 Spin
Acer also introduced its fanless 2-in-1 notebook dubbed Switch 7 Black Edition. It features a 13.5-inch display with 2256×1504 pixels and is powered by Intel Core i7 processor. It comes with a kickstand and runs on Windows 10. Acer Switch 7 Black Edition will be going on sale in December starting at $1,699 (roughly Rs. 108,000).

Acer also revealed its new Nitro 5 Spin convertible laptop targeted at gaming enthusiasts. It starts at $799 and will be going on sale from September. It comes in two display sizes including 13-inch and 15-inch sizes. It is powered by Intel’s 8th generation processor offering up to 16GB of RAM.

New Predator line
Acer showed off its new Predator line up comprising the Predator Orion 9000 series gaming desktops with Windows 10 and the Predator X35 monitor with Nvidia G-sync. Additionally, Acer is also offering a new Predator headset and mouse to enhance control and gaming experience.

acer predator monitor ifa2017 acer

Predator Orion 9000

Acer Predator Orion 9000 series features a black-and-silver spacecraft-like exterior with customisable RGB lighting along the sides of the front bezel. The device comes with two handles and wheels covered with a carbon fiber pattern. Acer says that “the new rigs can be easily moved from one location to another.” It also features liquid cooling and Acer’s IceTunnel 2.0 to keep the temperature down. The series come with support of up to 4 Radeon RX Vega cards for high resolution in stereo and refresh rates. Gamers will also get option of two Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080Ti cards in SLI, which support virtual reality with ease. The Predator Orion 9000 will come with Intel Core i9 Extreme Edition 18-core processor and up to 128GB quad-channel DDR4 memory.

The Predator X35 monitor, on the other hand, offers a colour gamut covering 90 percent of the DCI-P3 colour standard and supports 4ms response time, and high 200Hz refresh rate combined with Nvidia G-Sync for smooth gameplay.  It sports a large 35-inch display with 21:9 aspect ratio with a WQHD (3440×1440) pixels  resolution. It comes with Acer HDR Ultra and Quantum Dot technology.

The Predator Orion 9000 Series gaming desktops will be available in North America in December with starting prices at $1,999 (roughly Rs. 128,000) and in EMEA in November starting at EUR 1,999. The Predator X35 display will be available in Q1 2018. The company has also introduced new Predator Galea 500 gaming headset and Predator Cestus 500 gaming mouse which has been priced at $299.99 (roughly Rs. 19,200) and $79.99 (roughly Rs. 5,200) respectively.

Acer Aspire S24
Apart from launching the new Predator series and Chromebook 15, the company also revealed its all-new 23.8-inch Aspire S24 all-in-one desktop PC. Powered by Windows 10, Acer Aspire 24 is being marketed as the company’s “slimmest ever” featuring a display with a side profile of only 5.97mm. Under the hood, the all-in-one packs Intel’s 8th Generation Core processors with optional Intel Optane memory with Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC (802.11ac 2×2 MIMO) technology.

acer aspire 24 ifa2017 acer

Running Windows 10, Aspire 24 offers Cortana and Microsoft Edge features. It comes with up to 256GB SSD and 2TB HDD of storage space. The Acer Aspire S24 will be available in North America starting January starting at $999 and in EMEA from November this year at EUR 999.

Acer’s new 360-degree cameras
Acer on Wednesday also announced two LTE-connected 360-degree cameras including the Holo360 all-in-one camera that allows users to capture, view, edit and share with just one device, and the Vision360 cloud-connected in-car camera. The Acer Holo360 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 mobile processor with Qualcomm’s Connected Camera platform. It supports capabilities such as stitching videos in real-time, comes with integrated LTE connectivity, and a 3-inch touchscreen for operation. The Acer Holo360 offers an all-in-one solution to livestream 360-degree videos. The Holo360 runs on Android 7.1 Nougat which allows users to share 360-degree photos and videos directly to social networks.

Acer Vision360, on the other hand, is a cloud-connected 360-degree camera with use of two “ultra-high quality cameras.” The Acer Vision360 can be used in cars for recording all angles around the car in 4K quality video.

Additionally, when an object collides with the car when it is in motion; the device triggers a recording that includes GPS coordinates of where the incident occurred, which is not only saved in a secure area on the device’s internal storage, but also uploaded to the cloud for evidence preservation. Apart from the camera, the Vision360 is mounted on the windshield, aligned with the driver’s eyes and also displays the vehicle’s current speed. The Acer Holo360 connected camera will be available in North America from November at $429 (roughly Rs. 27,500) bundled with a water-resistant case.

Projectors
Acer also unveiled two new projectors including the Acer VL7860 catering to the home cinema enthusiast, and the Acer P8800, for top-notch image quality for public venues or larger rooms. Pricing and availability details of the new projectors were not shared by Acer at the event.

Pawbo products
Pawbo, Acer’s wholly owned subsidiary, introduced two new products including Pawbo iPuppyGo, a lightweight tracker that keeps tabs on pets’ activity and wellness, and Pawbo WagTag, a cloud-connected collar for dogs to keep track of the location.

pawbo munch acer ifa2017 acer

Pawbo Munch

 

The company also showcased Pawbo Munch, which is a smart treat-dispenser that works with the Pawbo+ allowing pet owners to interact with their pets, whether at home or from afar. No pricing was announced for the products at the event.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

iPhone 8 May Sport LG-Made Dual Cameras for 3D Photography

iPhone 8 May Sport LG-Made Dual Cameras for 3D Photography

iPhone 8 May Sport LG-Made Dual Cameras for 3D Photography
HIGHLIGHTS
Apple working with LG Innotek to include 3D-enabled dual cameras
Apple utilising Israeli camera technology start-up company LinX for 3D
In 2017, only the iPhone 8 Plus expected to sport 3D cameras
Apple is rumoured to be working with an LG subsidiary to bring 3D photography to iPhone 8. The Korean Economic Daily, citing people familiar with matter, reports that the Cupertino-based giant is working with LG Innotek to add a dual-camera setup to the next iPhone to capture 3D imagery.

The sources claim that Apple is now “studying how to apply its 3D camera technology” into LG Innotek’s smartphone camera. “Since LG Innotek also has its own 3D camera and related technologies, such joint efforts will likely to bear fruit sometime within [the] next year,” the report cites a source close to the situation.

In its attempt to add 3D technology, the company is utilising the Israeli camera technology startup company LinX, which was acquired by Apple in April 2015. To recall, LinX expertise in allowing apps to freely use the 3D information captured by camera on the device to achieve new features such as the ability to refocus an image after it has been captured, measurement of the true dimensions of objects, 3D object modelling and real time background replacement for video calls.
The report adds that LG Innotek is already “exclusively supplying” its dual cameras for iPhone 7 Plus. The report adds that LG Innotek also has experience dealing with 3D cameras as LG launched its first 3D-enabled smartphone, LG Optimus 3D in 2011.
Considering that the all-new dual camera was seen only on the large iPhone 7 Plus, we can expect the 3D tech feature on the iPhone 8 Plus model likely to launch next year. Based on preliminary leaks, Apple is said to ditch the ‘iPhone 7s’ name for next year’s iPhone based on its naming convention and directly name it iPhone 8 considering 2017 will be its tenth anniversary of launch of the original iPhone. An earlier report suggested that Apple is also making efforts to include AR features in an upcoming iPhone camera app.

Tags: Apple, 3D Camera, Cameras, iPhone 8, LinX

 

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Sony’s A6300 is a breakthrough for mid-tier mirrorless cameras

Sony had the proper idea with its A6000: It made a effective mirrorless digital camera and sold it at aparticularly lower priced beginning charge. and those loved it, with Sony claiming it is been the arena‘sexceptionalpromoting mirrorless digicam since it got here out years ago. Now the agency is following up with the A6300, a $1,000 (bodyhandiest) shooter with 92902aa20c12d87b40dfdf6f0aff9775 specificationsdesigned for photographers and videographers alike. we’ve visible this method play out well for Sony withsome of its other latest models, but now it’s hoping for similar results on a digital camera that does notprice north among the finest three grand.

For starters, it functions a newly evolved 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor, a Bionz X processor, eleven-fpscontinuous taking pictures, ISO range among the best as much as fifty two,000 and 4K video in first rate 35mm layout. to give you an idea of the way confident Sony is about the A6300’s ultra HD (three,840 x 2,one hundred sixty) talents, the organization says this is the first-class 4K video nice it isever put in any client camera. the ones are sturdy phrases, thinking about Sony already has a few high-quality mirrorless models, such as the A7R II and A7S II. To be honest, although, the ones are completebody, not APS-C.

among the best what makes the A6300 awesome for each stills and movies is Sony’s delicate 4Drecognition, which locks in on subjects in a trifling 5-hundredths top-of-the-line a 2nd, in step with thecorporation. The camera‘s autamong the finestocus device is so rapid that, at instances, I clearly had a touch trouble maintaining up with it. This changed into particularly major when i used to be in non-stoptaking pictures mode, for the reason that digicam might strive too hard to attention ontransferring subjects. The cause for this is that there’s a excessive-sensitivity AF option enabled by way of default, however you could restoration that by way of switching to either medium or gradual (I favoredmedium).

although, the prowess top-of-the-line the A6300 is helped by way of its 425 phasedetect points, as compared to the 179 found at the A6000. That, combined with the 4D consciousness, makes the A6300’s AF twice as rapid as the A6000, according to Sony. And it indicates. As a person who is tested a handfulprobably the greatest cameras over the last numerous months, Sony’s ultra-modern mirrorless shooter isabsolutely the fastest one i have attempted. Canon’s EOS M3 and Olympus’ E-M5 Mark II are stableoptions to the A6300 (and value about the same too), however don’t anticipate either among the finestthem to be quite as speedy as Sony’s digicam.

Altogether, the A6300 handed my expectations. As I stated in a previous article about the digital camera, I didn’t think it became capable of making me overlook bettergive up models just like the A7R II or A7S II, each one of the best which i have used before on a regular foundation. however it did. Taking pictureswith it’s miles a breeze, and if you‘ve used a Sony camera before, you will feel right at home. You might not have problem locating menu settings you are cozy with, and the dials are similar to the ones locatedon other Alpha cameras.

some thing to word, according to Sony, is that despite the fact that the A6300 seems to be the apparentsubstitute for the A6000, it is not. The producer would not have any plans to stop that famous older mirrorless camera, which is ideal information for folks that don’t need to spend extra than $1,000 in thismore moderen version. For the relaxation among the best you — folks that are seeking to get seriousapproximately images — the A6300 might be a higher preference.

i’m able to say, but, that the A6300 performs higher while paired with Sony’s new E-Mount lenses, called Gmaster. during the time I shot with the A6300, I leaned heavily on G master glass — specifically the FE f/1.four 85mm GM and FE f/2.8 24-70mm GM, plus present Sony lenses inclusive of the Vario-Tessarsixteen-70mm and FE 70-200mm. not surprisingly, the first-rate photographs I took have been with Gmaster lenses, as you’ll be capable to tell with the aid of sorting out EXIF statistics from my samples.

The 85mm G master lens specifically makes it possible to seize beautiful, bokeh-filled images andmovies. It was certainly my favourite top-of-the-line the 2. at the same time as there is no denying that Sony’s new lenses make a distinction in image quality, the A6300 has no problem appearing properlywith non-G master glass, like that sixteen-70mm I stated earlier.

whilst Sony announced the G grasp series closing month, it said the aim was to provide lenses that wereoptimized for stills and films in place of simplest that specialize in the previous. fortuitously for the onesinvested in the Sony-digital camera atmosphere, those do now not disappoint. you would hope so too,thinking about the cheapest G master glass (f/1.four 85mm GM) prices $1,800, whilst the f/2.eight 24-70mm is $2,200. There could be an f/2.8 70-200mm as well, scheduled to release in may additionally,even though Sony hasn’t stated how lots it’s going to price. The G grasp release might not absolutelyalleviate Sony’s vulnerable lens lineup, then, however it’s a step within the proper route.

Sony has finished a superb activity with the A6300. it’s small, smooth and rapid, and, most significantly, it captures marvelous pics and video. Paired with the right lenses, the A6300 has no problem matching up with its extra expensive Alpha household or maybe a few mid-tier DSLRs. If you can have the funds forthem, i might advise spending the extra cash on G master lenses: The picture fine you get makes themworth it. simply do not feel like that is a need, because the camera remains excellent sufficient withmuch less steeply-priced E-Mount optics.