Posts tagged Security
ProtectStar today released its new security app, TimeLock for iPhone and iPod touch. No one will have the idea that there is a highly secure and protected safe ingeniously hiding in an alarm clock. The TimeLock app allows iDevice owners to securely store photos and videos, inside a data vault, where all contents are encrypted using powerful 256-bit AES algorithms.
Constantly worrying about the security of photo and video files in an iOS device is enough to drive people crazy, after all it is impossible to keep a constant close eye on all mobile devices to make sure it is not going in to the wrong hands. It is fair to say that almost every person has something in their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch that they would like to keep private, secure from other people. There has long been a need for an app that is not as obvious and effectively able to hide all the information that needs to remain hidden to be really secure.
The new TimeLock app is the most effective and unique security app available right now. It is not only a timeless clock with an alarm function, but also a high security vault for your personal photos and videos. The vault itself is completely invisible, hidden in the design of the clock.
The Wall Street Journal has confirmed a long running rumour that the iPhone 5S, expected to be announced today by Apple, will indeed have a fingerprint scanner for added security. The article from Danny Yadron states,
People familiar with the matter said last week that Apple will include a fingerprint scanner on the more expensive of two iPhones it is expected to unveil Tuesday at an event at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters.
The article goes on to state that at least one Android powered phone is expected to have a fingerprint scanner this year but it was unclear where that device would be sold.
Fingerprint scanners are not new, even on mobile devices, but the technology is a quantum leap ahead of where it was just a few years ago. It is far more reliable and accurate and it provides a very high barrier for entry into a stolen device. Passwords, especially 4 digit PINs are not highly secure and can be cracked quite easily (see our How To on creating a more complex passcode on your iPhone). Having a fingerprint scanner as a security method should dramatically improve device security.
The once concern we at AlliOSNews have brought up with the idea of a fingerprint scanner in the iPhone 5S is the need for a PIN entry for those who are physically challenged. There are many iPhone users who have to use a stylus or cannot extend their fingers in order for a fingerprint scanner to work. Hopefully Apple will indeed have made the biometric security optional for those who need it.
Ilium Software has released a nice update to their eWallet for iOS app in the App Store today. The update, version 7.5 for those keeping score, brings a significant number of improvements that are aimed at making the user experience better on their iPhone or iPad.
If you aren’t familiar with eWallet for iOS, it is a password and other important information “wallet” but also has a built-in
password generator and leverages iCloud for syncing of your wallet across all your devices. It’s my personal favourite wallet application and I’ve been using eWallet since way, way, way back in my Windows Mobile days.
The biggest change in this update comes in the form of AutoPass. This feature will automatically insert user names and passwords on websites when they are launched from eWallet. It’s a great feature that Ilium has had as part of eWallet for Mac for some time now. Having on your iPhone or iPad – where the majority of do our web surfing anyway – just makes sense and it is a welcome addition. eWallet for iOS also has improved the card editing screens for faster and easier entry of data on new cards and a whole new screen for an easier adding of a card to your wallet.
Ilium spent a fair amount of time in this release to also educate new users. There is a while new introduction for new users to explain the app and its use as well as an improved sample wallet for users to understand how their eWallet is built and structured. Kudos to Ilium for giving new users some information to help them along. Too many developers simply assume that you know how their app works. That’s not always the case.
eWallet for iOS is a Universal app for iPhone & iPad and is $9.99 in the App Store. This update is free to existing eWallet users. Right now eWallet for Mac is on sale in the Mac App Store for $9.99 where it is normally $19.99. Having the app on your Mac allows you to synchronise your wallet file between your devices and Mac.
Marcus Roskosch, independent software developer and founder of Creating Your App, just released his new iOS app Network Toolbox for iPhone, iPod and iPad.
Despite of rumors about the NSA Prism scandal or Chinese Hackers attacking networks and servers around the world, there is something that each of us can do to increase cyber security.
Network Toolbox helps to identify security issues or wrong configurations of your local or public networks that often
makes it too easy for cyber attackers to break into your systems.
Even for an inexperienced user, it will now be easier than ever to check your home network for ports that are unintentionally left open to the web. By using this Network Toolbox app, such a security scan can be performed within seconds by following the included Guides and How-To’s. An included Glossary also explains terms from A like “Access control” to Z like “Zero day”.
For deeper security analysis, Network toolbox offers various tools to connect and inspect your networks. Regular Network tools like Browsers, Mail or FTP clients usually hide information about the connected server from the user. Network toolbox on the other hand can visualize such information as this information is often the first starting point for a cyber-attack. Cyber criminals can use this information to learn about your network and to find vulnerable devices.
By using this app, you will be able to identify such issues and once they are identified, they can often easily be solved.
“Don’t trust the evil,” Marcus said on his website. Don’t trust what suppliers of NAS Servers, Web-Cameras, Backup devices or Network router tells you. Often those devices are shipped poorly pre-configured and just claim to be secure. Be your own Hacker and try to compromise your own network to locate those devices and protect your data.
Network Toolbox 2.01.01 is $5.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Productivity category.
You’re lucky this post exists. Because of what I’m reviewing, I was able to actually log into WordPress to post.
It was déjà vu all over again when the blinky red indicator lit up my email inbox declaring that my password was about to expire.
(They leave out the part about how no matter what you do, you’re going to manage to lock yourself out of the system anyway. Also, you can’t repeat passwords. And the system knows!)
We’ve all heard the stories. A giant database gets hacked so your account (and thereby your identity) is at risk.
We’ve all heard the warnings. Don’t use 12345 or Password. And even if you have a super stealth security code comprising letters, numbers, symbols, wizarding runes and a strand of your DNA, for all that is holy don’t use it for multiple sites.
I’ll be honest with you. My brain is now full. I no longer remember my own phone number, much less continuous strings of essentially random typos. What’s that? You also want me to remember what account all those nonsensical numeric are associated with?
Not happening. Alas, there’s only so many times you can click the “Forgot my password” link on a site before it completely shuts down on you.
And then I was introduced to mSecure Password Manager.
I was initially skeptical. Write down all my passwords in one place? DANGER WILL ROBINSON!
But then I realized that I have over 101 accounts and web logins that I use regularly enough to need to actually know how to decode the html cipher and retrieve my info. Let’s face it – it’s far easier for a hacker to access thousands of accounts than for me to remember if I’m TechMom, Tech Mom or techmummy with a password of 1f-U#ack_M3,Ple@$e.S#are!nfo
mSecure is available across all my Apple devices. But to calm the paranoid conspiracy theorist within, your account can only be synched across devices when you are simultaneously logged in on a single Wi-Fi network and, more importantly, only when you explicitly tell it to do so.
With a single master password, you can store a plethora of tricky data – I use it mostly to record Web login information. It is also a great digital wallet that allows categorization for grouping personal, work and family account information. For example when one of our four medical record login credentials is inevitably forgotten by a family member (namely, me).
The layout is simple and easy to read. It’s not meant to be fancy, it’s meant to restore sanity when you really need to reschedule a doctor follow up visit but cannot for the life of you remember what your toddler’s login information is for Kaiser.
For each entry, input a description, username, password, URL and applicable notes. You are in complete control of the data though, so if you’re uncomfortable having the actual password stored, simply enter a reminder in the Password field – it’s a lot easier than trusting a site’s ability to remember you’re the school your mother’s maiden name went to with their favorite pet in the first car owned.
However if you’re fresh out of ideas, mSecure also enables you to auto-generate a secure password.
It’s not free. You can download it for your iPhone, iPad in the App Store for $9.99. It is $19.99 for the Mac version, also in the Mac App store. But it’s totally paid for itself in time saved and meltdowns avoided. BTW, synchronization happens between the platforms when the devices are on the same WiFi network.
Corporate writer by day, mommy blogger by night, Tricia is raising twin toddlers – Search and Destroy. Instead of having one baby after 9 months, she had two after 6; she’s efficient like that. Tricia is a hybrid – running on coffee and chocolate. Tricia also rambles on her personal blog: Stream Of The Conscious.
ProtectStar today is pleased to announce ProtectStar iShredder 2 Standard Edition 2.0.7 for iOS, an update to its best-selling utility designed to permanently wipe all traces of files that the user has deleted or put in the trash. Because deleted files remain intact on the iDevice until written over by new files, it is relatively simple to completely recover sensitive, personal data, photos, and videos. The app irretrievably erases files using 11 different, user-selectable algorithms, which have been certified by military/intelligence security experts. Ensuring that deleted files can never be recovered, ProtectStar iShredder 2 Standard Edition is ideal for maintaining privacy on the user’s iDevice, and it is perfect for wiping clean an iDevice before changing its ownership.
* Best-selling, security utility app
* Exceeds international security standards
* Modern and secure erasing methods for flash memory (SSD)
* Standard and advanced deletion algorithms pre-installed
* Advanced secure erasing methods, such as: DoD 5220.22-M E; US Army AR380-19 and HMG InfoSec Enhanced No.5
* Shredded files are completely beyond recovery, even for experts and government agencies
* Friendly technical support by email
Unknown to most iPhone & iPod touch users is the surprising fact that files deleted or trashed are not really deleted. Emails, photos, notes, documents, videos, browser histories, music, messaging logs and reminders all disappear after they are deleted. But they remain intact until new files overwrite them (if ever). Files disappear because the Hierarchical File System in iOS crosses off the file’s name in the Directory that lists every file. According to the HFS, the photo entitled “Me & Jen at the Beach” no longer exists. If necessary, the HFS can use the storage space occupied by the picture to hold some other file. However, until it is actually replaced in memory by new data, the photo can be easily recovered.
File recovery apps can help restore files accidentally deleted. File recovery apps and algorithms can also reinstate thousands of files, large and small, deleted over years of typical iPhone usage. Users expect deleted files to be deleted; ProtectStar iShredder 2 makes good on that expectation. The app offers 5 different, user-selectable choices for securely and permanently erasing deleted files. These algorithms work by repeatedly writing over the remains of deleted files with random characters. Commonly employed by such organizations as DoD 5220.22-M E from the Department of Defence and the U.S. Army AR-380-19, iShredder’s algorithms provide the user with absolute assurance that their deleted data can never be recovered by anyone, even government computer experts.
It takes just three simple steps to overwrite the necessary flash memory using patented security standards, making it impossible to rescue any deleted files:
* 1st, open ProtectStar 2 iShredder
* 2nd, select a secure deletion algorithm
* 3rd, start the deletion process
“An independent IT security provider, ProtectStar, Inc. supplies SMEs, government agencies, and large corporations with comprehensive consulting and individualized solutions in domains such as process management and process optimization,” stated company founder Christopher Bohn. “The ProtectStar Testing Center continuously carries out extensive testing of IT security products from prominent vendors. You can be certain that the ProtectStar app you purchase is backed by our years of experience in data security.”
iShredder 2 Standard is $2.99 in the App Store and available for iPhone. In-App Purchases to the Pro version are available which brings support to your iPad.
Apple has joined the long list of sites and services that are offering two-factor authentication after recent security challenges for the Cupertino company. Now you have the option to enable this added level of security to your Apple ID, making it more difficult for hackers to access your account and potentially run up a big bill of in-app purchases on iTunes.
The new authentication is available on all Apple ID holders and is outlined in this How To on the Apple support site. Essentially all you have to do is go to your Apple ID while you have your iPhone or iPad with you as will need a trusted device to send a verification code to in the process. Once the process in complete you will be given a recovery code which you will need should you lose or change your trusted devices (i.e. get a new iPhone). This prevents someone from gaining access to your Apple ID if they get their hands on your device.
The two-factor authentication is a good thing although it takes some time to set up. It gives you piece of mind, especially if you are out-and-about with your devices (which is really all of us). Apple joins companies such as Dropbox who have enabled this added level of security.
As a reminder, if you have multiple Apple ID you should set up this authentication on all of them to prevent any security holes to your personal data. As I posted a couple of weeks ago, you should also follow some best practices around passwords by making them complex.
To get started, go to http://appleid.apple.com to enable the two-factor authentication.
If you missed all the fun yesterday, Apple had several employees hacked yesterday. The exploit made its way into the Cupertino Macs via, wait for it, Java. Yes that programming language applet that we all hate but seemingly cannot divorce (as a colleague of mine said, “a bugger you can’t flick”) has become THE gateway for malware into Macs. It would seem that Apple themselves are not immune.
Not sitting back on this one, Apple has release a Java update today to fix this and other improvements. Here is the summary from the Apple Support Page
This release updates the Apple-provided system Java SE 6 to version 1.6.0_41 and is for OS X versions 10.7 or later.
This update uninstalls the Apple-provided Java applet plug-in from all web browsers. To use applets on a webpage, click on the region labeled “Missing plug-in” to go download the latest version of the Java applet plug-in from Oracle.
This update also removes the Java Preferences application, which is no longer required to configure applet settings.
Mac users are recommended to install this update immediately as it is available now in the Mac App Store under Updates. Even if you do not normally use Java you should install this update. This release supersedes any previous updates.
To get the update, open up the App Store on your Mac and go to the Updates tab.
If you have Java running on your Mac, you need to stop reading this post and immediately go disable it. I’ll wait. The latest update for Java 7 has a serious security flaw in it. In fact it is so serious, the US Department of Homeland Security has issued a bulletin recommending that it be completely disabled for Macs and PCs.
ZDNet posted a quote from CERT (Computer Emergency Readiness Team), which is part of the DHS, where they stated
“We are currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem,” said the DHS’ Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) in a post on its Web site on Thursday evening. “This vulnerability is being attacked in the wild, and is reported to be incorporated into exploit kits. Exploit code for this vulnerability is also publicly available.”
The exploit is significant: It could potentially turn your Mac into a bot or could expose personal information to thieves for Identity Theft. At the very least users should disable the Java plug-in in Safari or, do what I’ve done, which is uninstall Java completely from your Mac.
To disable Java in Safari, open Safari then go to Preferences and tap the Security Tab. Remove the checkboxes in the Java
related items This will disable Java in Safari but will keep Java on your Mac should you need it for some other reason. Note that some sites are highly dependent on Java and they may not render correctly or at all.
If you want to uninstall Java completely from your Mac, open up Finder then search for JavaAppletPlugin.plugin. Once you find it, move it to
the Trash and that will uninstall it from your Mac.
To this point there is no known fix for this issue and literally hundreds of millions of Windows PCs, Macs and other devices are at risk.
It is not uncommon for a government agency to issue warnings about security issues with software but it is rare they recommend disabling software. Clearly the DHS feels this one is worthy of people paying attention to and eliminating from their computers.
There has been no word from Oracle, the makers of Java, on when a fix for this latest security issue will be issued. With as high profile as this particular flaw is in Java, hopefully they will make it sooner rather than later.
Time for another AlliOSNews How To! With many young people receiving iPhones and iPads this Christmas, the question of being able to protect your kids from not-so-great things comes into play. While we all want our children to use and enjoy technology, we also need to protect them from particular types of media content as well as help guide them on responsibilities with their new iPhone or iPad.
Apple has made this easy for parents with the Restrictions settings in iOS. With restrictions, parents can restrict the type of content their children can access or use as well as restrict their ability to purchase or delete apps, access to apps like Facebook or FaceTime and even restrict if changes can be made to Contacts. This How To is not to tell you how to parent: Rather it is designed to give you information so you can make the right decision for your family.
To start, go to Settings on your iPhone or iPad and then scroll down to find Restrictions settings. By default these are
disabled. Tap on the Enable Restrictions button and you are prompted to enter a 4-digit PIN. Think of this as the “Administrator PIN”. It is for you as a parent to know but not your children. By having the PIN, it prevents unwanted changes from happening on the iPhone but it also allows you to log in and tweak to make the content levels you want for your children grow with them. Once you have entered a PIN, all of the various restrictions you can put into effect are enabled.
Remember, this How To is to show you how, not tell you which restrictions to set into place. To disable the ability for your youngster to say delete an app, scroll down to the Deleting App and turn it off. Now when they tap-and-hold on an app to delete it, the iPhone will go into “wiggle” mode but the small X to delete an app will not appear.
There is also the ability to restrict the content that they can view for films, TV programmes, music and apps and these are based on your country’s ratings system. So for example you can restrict much that has been tagged as Explicit from being available to play or you can prevent any films for a rating of 18 from being played for your 12 year old.
You can also restrict what apps have access to what content on the iPhone or iPad. For example, if you have given the permission to install an app and that app wants access to your child’s Facebook account, you can restrict the iPhone to allow the app to install but not allow it to access their Facebook account. This could prevent them from installing a rogue app that they don’t know is going to search through their Facebook profile and potentially expose them to unwanted materials.
Finally, like enabling the Restrictions settings, to disable them you must have the PIN. This will assure that your teen doesn’t “accidentally” turn them off.
While every parent has to make the right decision for their child on what is appropriate for them. This How To is designed to help you make that right decision without having to dive into the guts of iOS to figure it out. Apple has made it easy.