Apple slaps hard against ‘mercenary’ surveillance-as-a-service industry

Credit to Author: Jonny Evans| Date: Thu, 07 Jul 2022 06:17:00 -0700

Apple has struck a big blow against the mercenary “surveillance-as-a-service” industry, introducing a new, highly secure Lockdown Mode to protect individuals at the greatest risk of targeted attacks. The company is also offering millions of dollars to support research to expose such threats.

Starting in iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura, and available now in the latest developer-only betas, Lockdown Mode hardens security defenses and limits the functionalities sometimes abused by state-sponsored surveillance hackers. Apple describes this protection as “sharply reducing the attack surface that potentially could be exploited by highly targeted mercenary spyware.”

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Hermit spyware is deployed with the help of a victim’s ISP

Credit to Author: Jovi Umawing| Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2022 10:03:54 +0000

A new commercial spyware for governments, called Hermit, has spotted in the wild. It affects iOS and all Android versions.

The post Hermit spyware is deployed with the help of a victim’s ISP appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

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How Apple is improving single sign-on

Credit to Author: Jonny Evans| Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2022 07:59:00 -0700

Among a slew of announcements at WWDC this year were some important changes to Apple’s support for single sign-on (SSO). Here’s what’s coming when new updates ship this fall.

SSO + BYOD = iOS 16, iPadOS 16

Apple first introduced SSO support at WWDC 2019 with Sign in with Apple, which also saw the introduction of extensions to enable this kind of authentication. It allowed a user to access a service or website using their Apple ID, and meant support for identity providers, the use of highly secure token-based signatures and the tools service providers required to implement these systems.

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The surveillance-as-a-service industry needs to be brought to heel

Credit to Author: Jonny Evans| Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2022 09:40:00 -0700

Here we go again: another example of government surveillance involving smartphones from Apple and Google has emerged, and it shows how sophisticated government-backed attacks can become and why there’s justification for keeping mobile platforms utterly locked down.

What has happened?

I don’t intend to focus too much on the news, but in brief it is as follows:

  • Google’s Threat Analysis Group has published information revealing the hack.
  • Italian surveillance firm RCS Labs created the attack.
  • The attack has been used in Italy and Kazakhstan, and possibly elsewhere.
  • Some generations of the attack are wielded with help from ISPs.
  • On iOS, attackers abused Apple’s enterprise certification tools that enable in-house app deployment.
  • Around nine different attacks were used.

The attack works like this: The target is sent a unique link that aims to trick them into downloading and installing a malicious app. In some cases, the spooks worked with an ISP to disable data connectivity to trick targets into downloading the app to recover that connection.

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Apple says it’s time your business ran BIMI

Credit to Author: Jonny Evans| Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2022 06:41:00 -0700

Apple will add another obstacle against successful phishing attacks in iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura, which will show a company’s official logo to help recipients recognize genuine from fake emails.

Brand Indicators for Message Identification

Apple’s forthcoming operating systems will support Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI). This is a specification to enable the use of brand-controlled logos within emails and will be a way to tell recipients that an email genuinely comes from the company concerned. Google has supported BIMI since 2021.

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Apple offers devs two useful enterprise security tools

Credit to Author: Ryan Faas| Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2022 03:00:00 -0700

Two sessions I attended at last week’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) — the Managed Device Attestation and Secure Endpoint sessions — highlight the company’s commitment to delivering increased capabilities for security tools. While both were naturally oriented more to developers of device management and security solutions than to end users or IT admins, some of the additional capabilities developers will be able to build into enterprise tools are noteworthy.

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