Weigh an Orange with Huawei Force Touch Tech

WAIT! I genuinely have not lost the plot with this article, but Chinese multinational and telecommunications company Huawei might just be walking that tightrope after using its new Mate S Smartphone to see how heavy an orange is at the IFA in Berlin.

The company used its Force Touch Tech within the new phone model to convey the fruits weight on stage at the event. The phone judged the Orange to weigh 280 grams with observers feeling this might not be pinpoint accurate considering an average orange would weigh around 200 grams. What is clearer is that Huawei might have stolen a march on Apple who have introduced Force Touch on the new Apple iWatch and are rumoured to be considering developing the tech for the iPhone.

There are still a few questions to be answered, namely, what would be the heaviest object you would be able to rest on your phone? Imagine the lawsuits if consumers decide to weigh a big bag of sugar and end up splitting their new phone in two. Other new features for the Mate S include the second generation “Knuckle Sense Feature” It reads like Sideshow Bob has designed this, but stick with me; apparently this uses the input from the user’s knuckles for different functions. So how does that work? Glad you asked, no idea, apparently as a quick launch feature the user can assign a letter to an app and then launch said app by drawing the letter with a knuckle at any point.

Pressure sensitive screens are a compelling evolution for mobile devices, Huawei’s features might seem gimmicky, but at least it’s open to debate with the aim of seeing where this tech will lead to. Perhaps Huawei would have made a bigger statement by weighing an Apple instead of an Orange, or a marshmallow, or Lollipop or an Edge of something, or an actual Fox.

Thank you theverge for providing us with this information.

Credentials May Become Compromised via Old Windows Vulnerability from the ’90s

Nobody wants their private information shared on the internet, but we live in an era where everything that’s connected to the internet may eventually become public. This is the case of an old Windows vulnerability from the ’90s, which still poses a security threat according to security specialists.

Brian Wallace, a security researcher from Cylance, has been reported to have found a new way to exploit a vulnerability that was previously found in 1997. He stated that the flaw can be used on any Windows OS-powered device, may it be a tablet, PC, server or laptop, and can be used to potentially exploit and compromise around 31 programs.

The vulnerability that goes by the name of Redirect to SMB is said to be exploited by intercepting communication with a Web server using the man-in-the-middle approach. This in turn redirects all traffic to the malicious SMB server, which supposedly collects sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card information or other things users type in.

There are some limitations to the technique though, as Wallace pointed out. The attacker needs to be on the same network as his victims and the attack can easily be prevented by blocking outbound traffic to the 139 and 445 TCP ports. But let’s be honest, who is going to do that? I mean most people don’t even change their default router credentials, let alone go into its settings and block traffic to specific ports.

Microsoft is said to have not made an official statement regarding the matter, but Wallace’s findings have been revealed at the Computer Emergency Readiness Team at Carnegie Melon University. With all this snooping around that’s been going on lately, how secure do you feel? Or is that even a matter of concern at this point?

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of High Performance Laptops

Experts Find ‘Backdoor’ in iOS Functions that Allows Personal Data Monitoring

A forensic scientists warned people about the fact that Apple has undocumented functions in its iOS operating system which allows people to wirelessly connect and extract pictures, text messages and other sensitive data, without the need of either a password or PIN.

iOS jailbreaker and forensic expert, Jonathan Zdziarski, has apparently revealed the functions at the Hope X conference, where he stated that any device that has ever been paired with the target handset can be used to access the functions. Zdziarski has also stated that he is unsure of Apple engineers enabled the mechanism intentionally in order to make room for easier surveillance by the NSA or law enforcement groups.

The most concerning service of all is the com.apple.mobile.file_relay. It is said to generate a huge amount of data, including account data for email services, Twitter, iClound, a full copy of the address book including deleted entries, the user cache folder, geographic position logs, a complete dump of the user photo album, and many more. All the data is available and accessible without requiring any additional security protocols, such as passwords or PINs.

Zdziarski has also added two other services, the com.apple.pcapd and com.apple.mobile.house_arrest, stating that the latter may have legitimate uses for app developers or support engineers. However, the data generated can be used to spy on users by government agencies or anyone who knows how to access the logs. For example, the pcapd allows people to wirelessly monitor all network traffic traveling into and out of the device, even when the handset is not running in a special developer or support mode. In addition, the house_arrest allows the copying of sensitive files and documents from Twitter, Facebook, and many other applications.

While the services are available and can be read by all, Zdziarski tells that not every hacker out there is out to get your data. He said that only “technically knowledgeable people who have access to a computer, electric charger, or other device that has ever been modified to digitally pair with a targeted iPhone or iPad” can access the data.

Thank you Arstechnica for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Arstechnica

Angry Birds On NSA’s ‘Most Wanted’, Privacy Snoops Revealed

Latest news puts NSA and British counterpart GCHQ in the spotlight for spying on people using mobile games, such as the popular Angry Birds mobile game. It is reported that the agencies have used this tactic since 2007, as recent information from NSA’s former contractor Edward Snowden reveals. The scope of the ‘snooping’ is to determine key factors about a person, such as age, sex, location, and other sensitive information. The documents were published by three news organisations, namely New York Times, The Guardian and ProPublica.

“The data pouring onto communication networks from the new generation of iPhone and Android apps ranges from phone model and screen size to personal details such as age, gender and location. Some apps, the documents state, can share users’ most sensitive information such as sexual orientation – and one app recorded in the material even sends specific sexual preferences such as whether or not the user may be a swinger.” as The Guardian reports on the story at hand.

However, the reports don’t disclose the exact numbers and type of data collected and stored, though it was stated that the ‘perfect scenario’ for the agencies is when a user uploads a photo from a mobile device to a social media site. The documents point out that they can cross-reference information gathered from apps with another project called XKeyscore, which basically ‘knows’ everything you do online. Afterwards, with the help of the two sets of information gathered, NSA agents without prior authorization can search a huge database of information spanning from browser history, to e-mails and online chats.

When president Obama gave his speech about the reforms looking to be done inside NSA, he failed to address other ‘bulk data collection’ projects. Are we to expect more to surface? Only time will tell.

Thank you Mashable for providing us with this information