FBI tried and failed to unlock 7,000 encrypted devices

In an 11-month period, the FBI failed to gain access to around 7,000 encrypted mobile devices, BBC News reports, which is about half of those targeted by the agency according to FBI Director Christopher Wray. In a speech given at the Association of Chiefs of Police conference yesterday, he said that device encryption was “a huge, huge problem,” for the agency.

The FBI publicly went after Apple following the 2015 San Bernardino terror attack as it sought access to the shooter’s locked iPhone 5c — a request that Apple staunchly refused. It eventually got around the issue by paying an undisclosed vendor reportedly $ 900,000 for software that gave the agency access to the phone. While that incident garnered a lot of attention, it certainly wasn’t the first time the FBI made it clear that encrypted smartphones were a headache for the agency. In 2014, then Director James Comey said that secure communications could lead to “a very dark place” and called on Congress to change the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act accordingly. Further, while the FBI presented the San Bernardino attacker’s phone as a special case of national security, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Department of Justice was pursuing nine similar requests around the same time.

Wray said at the conference, “I get it, there’s a balance that needs to be struck between encryption and the importance of giving us the tools we need to keep the public safe.” But as cybersecurity expert Alan Woodward told BBC News, encryption is here to stay. “Encryption that frustrates forensic investigations will be a fact of life from now on for law enforcement agencies,” he said. “Even if the equipment manufacturers didn’t build in such encryption it would be possible to obtain software that encrypted data in the same way.”

Source: BBC News

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Sling TV extends cloud DVR to iOS devices

Sling TV’s cloud DVR service is now available for iPhone and iPad. The streaming service’s DVR “First Look” option costs an additional $ 5 per month and gives you 50 hours of DVR storage.

The iOS devices now join the growing list of DVR-supported systems, which includes AirTV players, Amazon Fire TVs and tablets, Android TVs and mobile devices, Apple TVs, Roku™ streaming players and TVs, Xbox consoles and Windows 10 devices.

Sling TV began beta testing its cloud DVR option last year and started rolling it out to users in April. This month, the feature got an upgrade with an added option to protect recorded shows from being deleted.

However, there are still a number of channels that don’t allow DVR recordings. Those channels are ABC, Freeform, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney JR, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN Bases Loaded and the SEC Network as well as any on-demand only channel.

An app update released today will enable the new service on iOS devices for those with the “First Look” subscription.

Source: Sling TV (iTunes)

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iTunes movie rentals finally work across multiple devices

Somehow, Apple went until 2017 before adding one of the most basic features to iTunes. You see, for the past nine years, when you’d rent a movie via the app, you’d have to watch it on the device the rental originated from. So, if you rented Manchester by the Sea on your commute, watched a few minutes and then wanted to finish bumming yourself out on your big screen at home, you were out of luck. With the latest version of iTunes (12.6) and “rent once, watch anywhere,” that’s changed.

Assuming you have iOS 10.3 installed on your iPhone or iPad, and tvOS 10.2 on your Apple TV, the feature should be ready to take for a spin. A caveat, though: As 9to5Mac notes, those OS updates are only available in public beta and developer beta channels, respectively. Once those go wide, though, the feature itself should follow suit. This isn’t a massive improvement, but hey, neither is a red iPhone 7.

Via: 9to5 Mac

Source: Apple

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Android malware from Chinese ad firm infects 10 million devices

The Android malware Hummingbad has infected 10 million devices so far, but what’s most interesting is where it comes from. First discovered by the security firm Check Point in February, the researchers have tied it to Yingmob, a highly organized Chinese advertising and analytics company that looks like your typical hum-drum ad firm. Once it successfully infects and sets up a rootkit on Android devices (giving it full administrative control), Hummingbad generates as much as $ 300,000 a month through fraudulent app installs and ad clicks. As Check Point describes it, Hummingbad is an example of how malware companies can support themselves independently.

“Emboldened by this independence, Yingmob and groups like it can focus on honing their skill sets to take malware campaigns in entirely new directions, a trend Check Point researchers believe will escalate,” the researchers say. “For example, groups can pool device resources to create powerful botnets, they can create databases of devices to conduct highly-targeted attacks, or they can build new streams of revenue by selling access to devices under their control to the highest bidder.”

On top of its Hummingbad victims, Yingmob controls around 85 million devices globally. Naturally, the company is also able to sell access to the infected devices, along with sensitive information. And while its attack is global, most victims are in China and India, with 1.6 million and 1.3 million infected users, respectively. iPhone users aren’t safe from Yingmob either — researchers have also found that the group is behind the Yispecter iOS malware.

Via: CNET

Source: Check Point (1), (2)

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