Apple has released iOS 14.4 and said in its update pages for iOS and iPadOS 14.4 that the three bugs affecting iPhones and iPads “may have been actively exploited.” Details of the vulnerabilities are scarce, and Apple declined to give any information beyond advisory. Two of the bugs were found in WebKit, the engine that powers the Safari browser, and the Kernel, the core of the OS. It’s a rare admission by Apple which claim itself on its security image.
Journalists at Al-Jazeera have been targeted by advanced spyware in an attack likely linked to the govt of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, cybersecurity watchdog Citizen Lab said. The most alarming part is that iMessages were infecting mobiles without victims taking any action. Malware used push notifications to instruct phones to upload content to servers linked to the NSO Group turning iPhones into surveillance tools without luring users to click on suspicious links or texts.
Apple, as expected, introduced a MacBook Air notebook with its first central processor designed in-house called the M1. The move will help developers to create a family of apps that will work on both the type of devices, bringing the Apple iPhones and MacBook notebooks closer technologically. M1 marks a shift away from Intel that has driven the core of Mac devices for nearly 15 yrs. The new MacBook Air have up to twice the battery life of predecessor, Apple said.
Apple has become the first US company to hit a market cap of $2 trillion. The firm last hit a $1 trillion market cap two years ago. This means that in just 24 months the iPhone maker has doubled its value. It surpassed Saudi Aramco – the world’s first company to hit $2 trillion market value – on August 4, 2020. Shares in Apple have been on a tear for years but they’ve performed particularly well in 2020, gaining by more than 50%, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
US President Donald Trump has signed an order restricting US firms from making any transactions with ByteDance’s TikTok and Tencent’s WeChat. This could be a heavy blow for Apple, resulting in 30% worldwide decline in iPhone sales and a 25% decline in sales of other Apple products. WeChat is critical for users in China and if it will be removed from App Store, iPhone shipments in the Chinese market will seriously be affected, as predicted by the analysts.
Renowned iPhone hacking team – unc0ver has released a new “jailbreak” tool that can unlock all iPhones, including those running on the latest iOS 13.5. Hackers, however, didn’t reveal details of vulnerabilities, which may not last forever. Apple, for device security, keeps a “walled garden” approach by allowing only approved apps and customisations. The name “jailbreak” originated from hackers attempt to break free from what they call the “jail.”