Silent Mac update nukes dangerous webserver installed by Zoom

Silent Mac update nukes dangerous webserver installed by Zoom

Enlarge (credit: Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

Apple said it has pushed a silent macOS update that removes the undocumented webserver that was installed by the Zoom conferencing app for Mac.

The webserver accepts connections from any device connected to the same local network, a security researcher disclosed on Monday. The server continues to run even when a Mac user uninstalls Zoom. The researcher showed how the webserver can be abused by people on the same network to force Macs to reinstall the conferencing app. Zoom issued an emergency patch on Tuesday in response to blistering criticism from security researchers and end users.

Apple on Wednesday issued an update of its own, a company representative speaking on background told Ars. The update ensures the webserver is removed—even if users have uninstalled Zoom or haven’t installed Tuesday’s update. Apple delivered the silent update automatically, meaning there was no notification or action

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Whitehats use DoS attack to score key victory against ransomware crooks

Whitehats use DoS attack to score key victory against ransomware crooks

Enlarge / A diagram showing how a DoS shut down an ongoing ransomware campaign. (credit: Intezer)

Whitehats used a novel denial-of-service hack to score a key victory against ransomware criminals. Unfortunately, the blackhats have struck back by updating their infrastructure, leaving the fight with no clear winner.

Researchers at security firm Intezer performed the DoS technique against ransomware dubbed QNAPCrypt, a largely undetected strain that, as its name suggests, infects network storage devices made by Taiwan-based QNAP Systems and possibly other manufacturers. The hack spread by exploiting secure shell, (or SSH) connections that used weak passwords. The researchers’ analysis found that each victim received a unique bitcoin wallet for sending ransoms, a measure that was most likely intended to prevent the attackers from being traced. The analysis also showed that QNAPCrypt only encrypted devices after they received the wallet address and a public RSA key from the command-and-control server.

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AT&T’s robocall-blocking expansion won’t block spam calls unless you pay extra

AT&T’s robocall-blocking expansion won’t block spam calls unless you pay extra

Enlarge / AT&T’s Call Protect and Mobile Security apps for Android. (credit: AT&T)

AT&T yesterday said it will add “automatic fraud blocking and suspected spam-call alerts” to mobile phone lines for no added cost, but the carrier still imposes limits on blocking of spam calls unless customers pay extra.

“New AT&T Mobility consumer lines will come with the anti-robocall service. Millions of existing AT&T customers also will have it automatically added to their accounts over the coming months,” AT&T’s announcement said.

Despite the change, customers will still have to manually add undesired phone numbers to block lists or pay $4 a month to send all suspected spam calls to voicemail. That’s because this is little more than an expansion of AT&T’s Call Protect service, which has a basic free tier and a paid tier with automatic blocking of spam calls.

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Mysterious illness that paralyzes healthy kids prompts plea from CDC

Mysterious illness that paralyzes healthy kids prompts plea from CDC

Enlarge / 13-year-old boy recovering in a Denver hospital from a suspected case of human enterovirus 68 during a 2014 outbreak. (credit: Getty | Cyrus McCrimmon)

After a record number of cases in 2018 of a rare, puzzling illness that causes paralysis in otherwise healthy kids, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are urging doctors to hasten reporting and boost data collection before the next big wave of illness hits—which is expected in 2020.

The illness is called acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, and is marked by the sudden onset of limb weakness (usually upper limb), paralysis, and spinal lesions seen on MRI scans. It most often occurs in children. It’s unclear what causes it and why instances are increasing—though officials suspect that a relative of poliovirus is involved. There is no specific treatment, and doctors can’t predict how affected patients will fare; some regain

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RIP Nest App for Wear OS

RIP Nest App for Wear OS


Wear OS users are being met with the following message when opening up the Nest app on their smartwatches — “Nest is no longer supported for Wear OS.”

Womp womp.

Reported by 9to5 Google, who received the following comment from Google, it just seems that no one was using the app in the first place.

We took a look at Nest app users on smart watches and found that only a small number of people were using it. Moving forward our team will spend more time focusing on delivering high quality experiences through mobile apps and voice interactions.

You will still get notifications on your watch with Nest app via your mobile device. Wear OS users can control their thermostat with the Google Assistant from any Wear OS device, check out more details here. If you’re using an Apple watch you’ll no longer be able to adjust your

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Tiny robot leaps around carrying its own battery, electronics

Tiny robot leaps around carrying its own battery, electronics

Enlarge / A Tribot leaps ahead of its peers. (credit: EPFL)

Robots have traditionally been roughly humanoid in form, which has some obvious advantages, in that the robots are better able to integrate into a human-designed environment. But there are lots of environments that aren’t human designed, and researchers have been experimenting with robotic forms that look more like insects or fish. Now, a team of Swiss researchers has produced a robot that looks like nothing more than a walking circuit board. Despite its small size, though, the robot is able to move by hopping, leaping, or walking, and it can even work in a group to coordinate activities.

Meet Tribot

The team calls its creation Tribot, for reasons that are obvious from its photo above. Tribot looks like a tiny circuit board because that’s what it largely is, but there are some significant additions to the circuitry.

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JBL Link Bar With Android TV Finally Released, Priced at $399

JBL Link Bar With Android TV Finally Released, Priced at $399


Right before Google I/O kicked off last year, JBL and Google announced the Link Bar, a soundbar powered by Android TV with Google Assistant capabilities.

The product was expected to launch in the fall, but that launch slipped to the holiday season. It was then delayed again until the spring of this year. It’s now been over a year since it was first announced, and finally, it has arrived and is up for sale on JBL’s website for $399.

As we’ve already known for some time, the soundbar features Android TV, meaning, you plug it directly into your TV and use it as the OS experience. It enables you to download apps, play games, and of course, have Google Assistant on the big screen in your living room.

If you’ve been waiting for Link Bar, have at it.

Buy: JBL | Harman | B&H

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“This is crazy”: FCC kills part of San Francisco’s broadband-competition law

“This is crazy”: FCC kills part of San Francisco’s broadband-competition law

Enlarge / Lombard Street in San Francisco. (credit: Getty Images | Michael Lee)

The Federal Communications Commission today voted to preempt part of a San Francisco ordinance that promotes broadband competition in apartment buildings and other multi-tenant structures. But it’s not clear exactly what effect the preemption will have, because San Francisco says the FCC’s Republican majority has misinterpreted what the law does.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan partially overturns San Francisco’s Article 52, which lets Internet service providers use the existing wiring inside multi-unit buildings even if another ISP already serves the building. The FCC said it’s preempting the law “to the extent it requires the sharing of in-use wiring.” But Pai’s proposal admits the FCC doesn’t know whether the San Francisco law actually requires sharing of in-use wiring, which makes it difficult to understand whether the FCC preemption will change anything in practice.

San Francisco itself

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What’s New in Android Q Beta 5?

What’s New in Android Q Beta 5?


Android Q Beta 5 brings us so close to a stable build of Android Q that we’re compiling yet another list of changes. You would think that Google wouldn’t be changing much at this point, but there are already a handful of changes worth noting.

We’ll keep updating this post, so check back! This is what’s new in Android Q Beta 5.

Gestures get corner swipes for Google Assistant

Android Q Beta 5 Gestures

With full gestures in full effect, Google had to get tricky with ways to activate Google Assistant, now that there isn’t a home button to long press on. To give users access in Android Q to Assistant at all times, Google put in place a corner swipe that fires it up. You can see the little handles in each corner in the image above that highlight the areas you need to swipe from.

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Pujie Black Available for Samsung Galaxy Wearables

Pujie Black Available for Samsung Galaxy Wearables


Pujie Black, one of the better watch face store options out there for Wear OS devices, is now available for the majority of Samsung’s wearable lineup. You can currently find it for the Galaxy Watch, Galaxy Watch Active, and Gear Sport, but Gear S3 support is marked as coming soon.

To be clear, Pujie Black is not a single watch face, but instead, lets you take existing templates and customize them, as well as design a lot of the individual aspects themselves. It’s a very sweet app we think all Wear OS and Tizen owners should use.

On top of Galaxy wearable availability, the developers have also introduced a new numbers and tickmarks section for further customization capabilities. You can now add multiple layers of custom tickmarks and place them on their required positions on a watch face.

To get it going on your Tizen device, you’ll need to … Read the rest

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