World
As FBI hacks into Apple iPhone, fears rise about users' security
Washington/New Delhi : As the news spread of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) hacking into the encrypted Apple iPhone of one of the terrorists involved in California shooting, a top US security firm has expressed fears of backdoor approach to put users' security at hackers' mercy.
 
In a statement shared with IANS on Tuesday, US software security firm Symantec Corporation said that while it understands the concerns expressed by some members of law enforcement, the firm does not support any initiative that would intentionally weaken security technologies. 
 
"Putting backdoors or introducing security vulnerabilities into encryption products introduces new avenues of attack, and reduces the security of the broader Internet. We are committed to supporting law enforcement efforts to protect citizens and organizations online, without compromising the integrity and security of encryption technology," the firm said.
 
According to media reports, a third party helped the FBI crack the security function without erasing contents of the iPhone used by Syed Farook. Farook, along with his wife Tashfeen Malik, planned and executed the December 2, 2015, shooting that left 14 people killed at San Bernardino, California.
 
"This case should never have been brought. We will continue to help law enforcement with their investigations, as we have done all along, and we will continue to increase the security of our products as the threats and attacks on our data become more frequent and more sophisticated," Apple said in a statement.
 
"This case raised issues which deserve a national conversation about our civil liberties, and our collective security and privacy," the statement said.
 
From the beginning, "we objected to the FBI's demand that Apple build a backdoor into the iPhone because we believed it was wrong and would set a dangerous precedent. As a result of the government's dismissal, neither of these occurred," it added.
 
Apple believes deeply that people in the US and around the world deserve data protection, security and privacy. Sacrificing one for the other only puts people and countries at greater risk.
 
In a earlier report released this year, Symantec’s security intelligence team had predicted that the opportunities for cybercriminals to compromise Apple devices will grow in 2016.
 
Apple devices have experienced a surge in popularity in recent years. “This increase in usage has not gone unnoticed by attackers. A rising number of threat actors have begun developing specific malware designed to infect devices running Mac OS X or iOS,” the report said.
 
Although the number of threats targeting Apple operating systems remains quite low when compared to the company’s main competitors (Windows in the desktop space and Android in mobile), the amount uncovered has grown steadily in recent years.
 
“In tandem with this, the level of Apple-related malware infections has spiked, particularly in the past 18 months,” the report predicted.
 
“Apple users should not be complacent about security and change their perception that Apple devices are free from malware -- this perception opens up opportunities for cybercriminals to take advantage of these users,” Symantec said.
 
Recently, Apple CEO Tim Cook, referring to the ongoing battle with the US government over encryption to unlock an iPhone, reiterated the company's commitment to protect its users' data and privacy.
 
Addressing a packed auditorium at its Cupertino, California-based headquarters, Cook said: "We have a responsibility to help you protect your data and your privacy. We will not shrink from this responsibility."
 
"We built the iPhone for you, our customers, and for many of us it is a deeply personal device," he told the gathering during a special launch event this month.
 
With the FBI hacking, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) scrapped its request for Apple Inc.'s assistance to hack into the phone of a terrorist killer.
 
On Monday, the federal government department, on behalf of the FBI, made the move at a US court in Central California, Xinhua news agency reported.
 
The two-page court filing said that the FBI had accessed data stored on the iPhone 5c.
 
It is now Apple's turn to figure out, and for iPhone users to wonder, how secure is the phone and data on the device.
 
In this scenario, top US companies Google, Facebook and Snapchat are also expanding encryption of user data in their services.
 
While Whatsapp is set to roll out encryption for its voice calls in addition to its existing privacy features, Google is investigating "extra uses" for encryption in secure email.
 
Social networking giant Facebook too is working on to better protect its Messenger service.
 
The popular messaging service Snapchat is also considering a more secure messaging system.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Reliance Jio 'soft launch' soon: Credit Suisse
Mumbai : Amid speculation over the actual launch date of Reliance Jio's 4G telecom services, Credit Suisse in a quick analysis has said the company is preparing to sell SIM cards, at Rs.200 a piece, with a soft unveiling soon.
 
"Our visits to Reliance Digital stores in Mumbai revealed the stores are preparing for a possible soft launch of Jio's 4G connections soon," the global financial services major said, adding that many of the store staff have undergone training sessions in various aspects of customer interface.
 
"The stores have been equipped with infrastructure that allows for quick enrolment: Basically the devices scan the presented ID documents unlike physical transportation of documents, as in other operators," it said.
 
The analysis also added that while the staff at the stores did mention that they've received the stocks of Jio SIM cards, they were yet to be informed when the sales is to start. It said the SIM cards should come with free data and voice, valid for three months.
 
In December, employees of Reliance Industries received 75GB data and 4,500 minutes of calls.
 
"The tariffs post the three-month period are unknown. It needs to be seen if a customer needs to buy a Lyf handset to get the SIM, or if the SIMs will be sold standalone -- the store attendants suggested standalone."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Ramesh Poapt

11 months ago

it will be as thrilling as T-20 matches India just played! ..Jio vs Jiyo?!!

Court gives Congress chance to prove Uttarakhand majority
Dehradun : The Uttarakhand High Court on Tuesday ordered a floor test in the assembly on Thursday and gave ousted chief minister Harish Rawat a chance to prove his legislative majority in the hill state that is under President's Rule.
 
Uttarakhand came under President's Rule on Sunday, a day before Rawat was to prove his majority in the house on Monday.
 
Hearing a petition by Rawat, the court also said that all nine Congress rebels who were disqualified by the speaker will be allowed to take part in the vote. It said the result of the voting should be presented to the court on Friday. The court has ordered a court registrar to oversee the vote in the assembly.
 
Congress spokesperson and advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the ruling followed two days of extensive arguments.
 
"The high court accepts the point that despite President's Rule there is enough scope for judicial review to allow a floor test to take place," he told the media, "This was asked by us." 
 
"Mere horse trading allegations will not justify President's Rule and stop floor test," he added. 
 
He said the court has implemented what the governor had said thrice and what the chief minister has said twice. 
 
Singhvi said the court has allowed the disqualified Congress legislators to take part in the voting but their vote would be taken into consideration separately.
 
A stunnned Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said it was no victory for the Congress but described as "unprecedented" the court verdict to allow floor test during President's Rule. 
 
"To order something like this during President's Rule is unprecedented," BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said. 
 
The Uttarakhan political crisis began when nine Congress legislators, including former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, whom Rawat replaced, revolted against the chief minister and turned to the BJP.
 
On March 18, crisis worsened when the assembly passed the budget Appropriation Bill by voice vote even as more than half the members in the house sought a division, which would have led to recorded voting. The rebel Congress lawmakers supported the BJP's demand for the division. Speaker Govind Kunjwal declined the request.
 
Amid BJP cries that Rawat did not enjoy majority in the house of 70 members, the speaker asked the government to prove its majority on Monday. 
 
The Congress rebel lawmakers were disqualified on Saturday and the BJP-led central government imposed President's Rule a day later. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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