Category: Telephony

Apple Security Hole Uncovered

Can you believe it? Just as I was about to head out to buy a brand spanking new iPhone4, the news breaks that a significant security hole has been discovered on iPhone, iPad and iPod device software. Apple is aware of it, and is working on a fix. Do I look deterred?

I’m not a happy camper, certainly. But any time you put your life’s security on a computer chip, there are risks involved. Nothing eliminates all risk. That doesn’t mean you don’t place as many guards at the gate to keep the Huns out as possible — no sense taking needless chances — but you have to accept that it’s a dangerous world for our personal selves, as well as our data. You can’t just hide behind the gate forever.

Occasionally I do meet someone who has chosen to remain behind the gate. I know a few attorneys who refuse to have an internet connection or email. But that’s rare. Nowadays that would be categorized as a phobia.

Truth is, the risk associated with theft of confidential information is still far greater on a computer or laptop than a Smartphone. Tantamount to the difference in risk between flying and driving or riding in a car.

Sadly, that will change some day. We’re already seeing the shifting winds of opportunity blowing for the bad guys. But meanwhile, it’s off to the store I go!

Apple iPhone 5 – New or REALLY New?

Sure it’s new, but is there really anything new about it?  A recent article in C-Net News reported that Apple placed an order with Taiwan-based notebook maker Pegatron Technology for 15 million iPhone5 units, slated to start shipping in September.  The real question is what, if any, upgrades will this new unit provide? 

Analysts are divided as to whether this will be a relatively minor upgrade, or include major innovations.   You’d think, if there were any major innovations in the works, that the advertising hype would be flying fast and furious at this point. 

The original orders from Verizon for the iPhone4 called for 10 million CDMA  units, but ultimately less than 4 million were shipped.  It’s possible that Apple is holding back the hype purposely in order to get as much continued mileage out of the iPhone4 as possible before introducing the next model.  That’s the only logical explanation for holding back announcing any major innovations arriving shortly.

It’s more likely, however, that there are some improvements, but no major innovations.

From my perspective, it will not matter.  At the end of the week my current Smartphone contract will expire.  On the exact day, I will be replacing my Blackberry with an iPhone4, and switching from AT&T to Verizon.  I’ve had three generations of Blackberry in a row, with both Sprint and AT&T as carriers.  In retrospect, Sprint turned out to be the better carrier from my perspective.  Fewer dropped calls.  Better reception in little towns in PA.  The Blackberry was always both a joy and a pain.   It was a solid business tool.  But I can truly say it was never fun.

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Trojan Infects 260,00 Android Devices

The more I see of the Android operating system, the more impressed I become.  Despite the headline of this blog post.

I was going to switch to the iPhone, despite the lack of acceptable business-grade security.  As a touch typist with long manicured nails, I couldn’t wait to start pecking my messages at record speeds.  But the reality of the new screen touch about broke my heart.  Seems that actual finger heat is required to make the keystroke, not just a tap.  Easy with no fingernails.  Impossible with long fingernails.

Someone suggested that I use the side of my pinkie finger on the screen.  Hey, people look dorky enough just using the thumbs.  I’m not about to raise the bar in the dorkiness department.

The good news is that it will not be long before my Crackberry addiction will be a thing of the past.  At least that’s the plan.  But the switch won’t allow me to let my guard down when it comes to scumware.  That’s for sure.

Today’s headline from CNet News entitled “‘Trojanized’ version of Google Android security tool found in China caught my eye immediately.  You can read the original article, but the bottom line is that last weekend Google released a tool to remotely clean malicious apps off Android phones.  In retaliation, the bad guys cracked the code, infected the tool with malicous code, and put it on the market.

Ironically, the tool created to help resolve an already-existing problem, ultimately was hacked to create an imitation that made the problem worse.  The tool is now pulled from the market.

The moral is nothing more than a simple reminder to keep your antennae up for anything that doesn’t come off a registered web site.  The fake, infected tool was not on a regulated site.  If your computer or device starts to slow down, check what processes are running, and for goodness sakes, be sure to check for scumware.  Better to spend the time and find no problem, then to have all your keystrokes and valuable stored information on your smartphone or computer become accessible by unknown persons.

The most meaningful economic motive is to have your device become one more “bot” in a large network, designed to surreptitiously send out millions of emails, SMS texts, images etc on your dime.

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From 1G to 4G, and In Between: Confused by the Hype?

My colleague, Reid Trautz, shares my curiosity about these new advertisements touting 4G connectivity.  So what?  What does that mean?  It sounds like the best invention since the wheel.  Is it?  Reid gets to the answer more quickly in his blog post entitled, “Is 4G Really 4G? Just the Facts, Ma’am!

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More on the Apple iPhone 4

Boy I’m sure glad I bought Apple stock before release of the iPad and iPhone 4!  The stainless-steel-and-glass body in the iPhone 4 is just the start . . . there’s the super-high-resolution screen, a 5-megapixel camera, HD video capture, and much more.

For those of you who have interest in the iPhone 4 and haven’t made a move, PCMag.com has provided some additional resources for your researching pleasure.  First is Apple’s iPhone 4: What Buyers Need to KnowIt covers pricing and upgrade options.  Next is a well-produced Video: Hands On with Apple iPhone 4.  It takes just a few minutes to get the feeling of what it would be like to hold the slick product in your own hand.  Next, technical writer / reviewer Lance Ulanoff provides a more balanced viewpoint at Ulanoff: Apple iPhone 4 Razzles and Dazzles.   Finally, we have the article Apple’s iPhone 4 Attracting Big-Name Apps which was somewhat disappointing.  If you’re a gamer you’ll feel differently.  I was hoping by big-name apps they’d be talking about things useful from a business perspective.  Somehow, Guitar Hero doesn’t meet that standard from my perspective . . . oh well!

What holds most people back from thinking about switching to the iPhone is the switch from (for most of you) Verizon to AT&T.  I have to say that I switched from Sprint after many reliable years of service, to AT&T because they had the Blackberry smartphone I wanted.  (The Bold 9000)  AT&T isn’t horrible.  It’s not going to win any awards from my perspective, but it’s not horrible.  Reception has been reliable, although the portable WiFi card doesn’t work as reliably as my old Sprint one did.  but aside from that, no better or worse.  My husband is on Verizon, and there have been a few occasions when his phone found a connection, and mine did not.  He will be gratified to hear me admit it publicly.  Still, the less-than-a-handful of times when he had a connection and I didn’t is just not enough of a difference to keep me from getting the model smartphone I want.

What one still needs to consider seriously are the security issues.  The iPhone still  doesn’t have all the security most IT managers want for devices which link up to networks housing confidential client and firm information.  However, as the customer base continues to include greater number of business users, I have no doubt that software applications will follow.  The question is how long that will take.

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Ready to Buy the iPhone 4?

Here’s a great article from CNet News providing all the FAQ about your upgrade options and pricing.  The new iPhone goes on sale June 24th.

I don’t know about you, but the offer of a bigger battery that offers up to seven hours of talk time, six hours of 3G browsing, and 300 hours of standby time is pretty darn compelling. It also comes with a new 5 megapixel camera that can record video in high definition.

Hey, stop jostling and get in line! 🙂

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Trojan Infection Found in Cell Phones

The more I see of the Android operating system, the more impressed I become.  Despite the headline of this blog post.

I was going to switch to the iPhone, despite the lack of acceptable business-grade security.  As a touch typist with long manicured nails, I couldn’t wait to start pecking my messages at record speeds.  But the reality of the new screen touch about broke my heart.  Seems that actual finger heat is required to make the keystroke, not just a tap.  Easy with no fingernails.  Impossible with long fingernails.

Someone suggested that I use the side of my pinkie finger on the screen.  Hey, people look dorky enough just using the thumbs.  I’m not about to raise the bar in the dorkiness department.

The good news is that it will not be long before my Crackberry addiction will be a thing of the past.  At least that’s the plan.  But the switch won’t allow me to let my guard down when it comes to scumware.  That’s for sure.

Today’s headline from CNet News entitled “‘Trojanized’ version of Google Android security tool found in China caught my eye immediately.  You can read the original article, but the bottom line is that last weekend Google released a tool to remotely clean malicious apps off Android phones.  In retaliation, the bad guys cracked the code, infected the tool with malicous code, and put it on the market.

Ironically, the tool created to help resolve an already-existing problem, ultimately was hacked to create an imitation that made the problem worse.  The tool is now pulled from the market.

The moral is nothing more than a simple reminder to keep your antennae up for anything that doesn’t come off a registered web site.  The fake, infected tool was not on a regulated site.  If your computer or device starts to slow down, check what processes are running, and for goodness sakes, be sure to check for scumware.  Better to spend the time and find no problem, then to have all your keystrokes and valuable stored information on your smartphone or computer become accessible by unknown persons.

The most meaningful economic motive is to have your device become one more “bot” in a large network, designed to surreptitiously send out millions of emails, SMS texts, images etc on your dime.

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To return to the main page of the blog, click here.  To return to the blog  Index, click here.

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