Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Destructive April Fool's worm on its way?

From Yahoo! Tech Guide

By Chris Null

In an event that hits the computer world only once every few years, security experts are racing against time to mitigate the impact of a bit of malware which is set to wreak havoc on a hard-coded date. As is often the case, that date is April 1.

Malware creators love to target April Fool's Day with their wares, and the latest worm, called Conficker C, could be one of the most damaging attacks we've seen in years.

Conficker first bubbled up in late 2008 and began making headlines in January as known infections topped 9 million computers. Now in its third variant, Conficker C, the worm has grown incredibly complicated, powerful, and virulent... though no one is quite sure exactly what it will do when D-Day arrives.

Thanks in part to a quarter-million-dollar bounty on the head of the writer of the worm, offered by Microsoft, security researchers are aggressively digging into the worm's code as they attempt to engineer a cure or find the writer before the deadline. What's known so far is that on April 1, all infected computers will come under the control of a master machine located somewhere across the web, at which point anything's possible. Will the zombie machines become denial of service attack pawns, steal personal information, wipe hard drives, or simply manifest more traditional malware pop-ups and extortion-like come-ons designed to sell you phony security software? No one knows.

Conficker is clever in the way it hides its tracks because it uses an enormous number of URLs to communicate with HQ. The first version of Conficker used just 250 addresses each day -- which security researchers and ICANN simply bought and/or disabled -- but Conficker C will up the ante to 50,000 addresses a day when it goes active, a number which simply can't be tracked and disabled by hand.

At this point, you should be extra vigilant about protecting your PC: Patch Windows completely through Windows Update and update your anti-malware software as well. Make sure your antivirus software is actually running too, as Conficker may have disabled it.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

iPhone 3.0 Firmware Update Preview

Here are some YouTube video's showing the upcoming update due this summer

To follow and watch this Apple event click HERE

Stay iTuned!!!

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

iPhone Firmware 3.0 update to be released summer 2009

Here is an incomplete list of updates to be found within the upcoming 3.0 firmware update as previewed today for iPhones and iPod Touches. Please note that a few of the features will not work with the original iPhone such as MMS and that the update is due “Summer 2009″. Now a lot of people will perceive the update as "new" while others like myself see it as an "about time!" or a "catch up to other devices" that are already out there. A lot of the updates listed are already on other devices and have had them for a long time now.

Again, I cannot stress this enough, just like the last update, if you have unlocked your iPhone with yellowsn0w, DO NOT UPDATE or RESTORE to that official IPSW. You will lose yellowsn0w and find yourself unable to revert the baseband to get it back.

And for those wondering, yes, 3.0 will be jailbreakable on all devices. It’s just those using 3G yellowsn0w that have to show some restraint and wait for PwnageTool to create a custom IPSW that avoids the baseband update. This is straight from the Dev-Team so heed their warning.

Ok, here it is:

1. Push notifications for applications (have an instant message app running in the background giving you updates)

2. Turn by turn GPS for future developed Map applications

3. Peer to peer connections. You find another iPhone with Bluetooth and then start a sharing session via WiFi. Watch this video for an idea.

Bluetooth over Wi-Fi from Gizmodo on Vimeo

4. Copy, cut, and paste. Shake the iPhone to undo. Double tap to select text and bring up a cut/copy/paste menu and drag your finger along a word to copy

5. You can now send multiple photos using Mail (as opposed to only one before) using the copy/paste menu

6. Landscape keyboard now available in Mail, Note, and SMS

7. MMS support (pictures are sent in the text message bubble but just without the text) (You can now send photos, contacts, audio files, or your location via Maps)

8. You can forward or delete individual SMS messages now (like each individual bubble).

9. You can make Voice recordings and they can be trimmed within the iPhone and sent via MMS or email

10. Landscape view in Stocks with additional statistical information such as Highs or Lows so that now everyone can watch and understand what “Depression” means!

11. You can now Search for content within the device. Search for Contacts, Music, Calendar events, Notes, or Mail. (Blackberry users will be familiar with this in their Music application)

12. Spotlight (a Mac program) is now installed on the iPhone. You can search for applications now instead of swiping your finger to get to additional home screens (the option is at the bottom of the home screen)

13. Notes Sync

14. Audio/video tags

15. Live streaming

16. Shake to shuffle (Shaking the iPhone while in iPod activates the shuffle mode.

17. Wi-Fi auto login (Next time you’re at Starbucks, your iPhone will automatically log you in)

18. Stereo Bluetooth (A2DP support)

19. Maps inside other applications. So now new applications will be able to use the Maps application that everyone knows and loves

20. iTunes account creation

21. YouTube ratings

22. Anti-Phishing (Great for security when browsing in Safari)

23. You can now use your iPhone to control accessories, for example, using your iPhone to equalize sound when connected to a loudspeaker or stereo dock.

24. VPN on demand

25. From apps downloaded from the AppStore, you can now use Micro-transactions to purchase content within downloaded apps (new clothing in Sims 3 for example or buy additional magazine subscriptions.)

26. YouTube subscriptions

27. YouTube accounts and Encrypted profiles.

28. Auto-fills

29. Rumble. Now apps that requires a rumble feature (mostly for video games) can rumble and improve the user experience!

30. Tethering support built-in

31. General performance upgrades to address laggyness and etc

As stated before, the update will be available in Summer 2009 and free for all iPhone users.

If you hear of any features or parts of the upcoming update that I may have missed please list them in the comments for all!

Thanks and stay iTuned for more!!!

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iPhone Firmware 3.0 is coming

iPhone Firmware 3.0 will be previewed by Apple today. One new feature in the update is rumored to be a copy and paste function. However, the big topic is "How will this update affect my Jailbroken and/or Unlocked iPhone?"

What you need to know right now:

If you want to KEEP your “jailbreak” and/or your iPhone 2G and 3G "unlocked", as always, do not update to 3.0 when it is released later this spring/summer. Wait for news to come from the iPhone Dev Team.

If your iPhone 2G is unlocked and iPhone 3G is unlocked (via yellowsn0w), your phone will most likely be “locked” if you update mistakenly to 3.0 firmware. Have you figured out the pattern yet? Don’t update anything if you absolutely NEED a jailbroken/unlocked iPhone!

The iPhone Firmware 3.0 preview is coming by end of the business day today. Expect more updated information to come your way!

Stay iTuned!!

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Cydia Store is alive! Alive!!

The CydiaStore is now open for business! There is currently only one package that you can purchase in it. The purchase process is outlined in detail below so you can all see how it works.

Cydia store packages are going to be in blue writing. when you click on one, your install button says “purchase” instead of “install”.

The Cydia store uses two layers of authentication: 1) Authentication 2) Payment. Currently, amazon is used for payments and you can use either facebook or google for authentication. If you have an existing amazon account, facebook account, or google account, this is easy.

You can choose to have this automatically remembered so you don’t have to go through these steps again if you want. Also you now need to link the device you’re using to your account:

After this is done, you now need to setup payment. There are steps to take on teh very first time, but if you allow it to be kept, it will be remembered for the second purchase. Note you can also set pay limit for one-click installs without having to reenter a password in the future:

After, sign in with your Amazon password and finish checkout:

After this, updates and such are treated normally. If you selected the correct options, it will be very easy to purchase the next item.

After this, you hit the “close” button and wait. It took about 20 seconds for me. Now the package shows that it’s purchased and ready for download:

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Friday, March 6, 2009

Breaking Apple's Grip on the iPhone

The following was taken from www.wsj.com

Very interesting as it mentions to opening of "The Cydia Store"

Woo hoo!!

Apple Inc. faces a growing threat to its iPhone business, as renegade stores spring up online to sell unauthorized software for the device.

The developer behind some popular iPhone software on Friday plans to open a service called Cydia Store that could potentially sell hundreds of iPhone applications that are not available through Apple's official store. Users must download special software that alters their iPhones before they can run these programs.

Another small company plans a store called Rock Your Phone for iPhone users who have not yet modified their devices to make it easier to download and buy unauthorized applications. A third start-up is building an online store that specializes in selling adult games for the iPhone.

Getty Images
Unauthorized iPhone software includes PdaNet, below, which makes the device into a laptop modem.
The new stores take aim at one of the underpinnings of the iPhone's success: Apple's App Store. Launched last July, Apple's online store sells thousands of applications developed by independent developers -- from games to news and entertainment features -- that customers can easily download to their iPhones, often for free or as little as 99 cents.

When Apple opened the App Store, it provided the building blocks so independent programmers could create software that worked on its phone. But the company said it would vet submissions to maintain quality control and to protect the user experience.

Apple, which collects a 30% commission from sellers on its store, doesn't break out the site's revenue. Brokerage firm Piper Jaffray estimates the site generated about $150 million in sales last year and projects total sales will grow to $800 million this year.

Apple did not respond to requests for comment. But it has said in the past that with the iPhone it was trying to strike a balance between a closed device like the iPod and an open device like the PC.

The upstart sites can carry software programs that Apple's official store won't, since the company tightly controls the kinds of applications it allows. Among the programs that Apple doesn't allow is a free one called Cycorder, which turns the iPhone into a camcorder. Another program, which costs $29, dubbed PdaNET lets people use their iPhones as laptop modems to connect to the Internet.

Jay Freeman, who created Cycorder and is behind the Cydia Store, says he decided to open the store so developers like himself have a way to make money from their efforts. Mr. Freeman, a 27-year-old computer science doctoral student in Santa Barbara, Calif., says he intends to charge developers no more than the commission Apple does for his site's billing services.

A big hurdle the Cydia Store and others face is that the applications they offer typically only work on iPhones that have been modified, or "jailbroken," to allow users to download unauthorized programs.

Apple maintains that jailbreaking an iPhone violates copyright laws. Mr. Freeman says software he created to modify the iPhone has been installed on about 1.7 million iPhones.

The alternative stores could cut into Apple's revenue at a time when software has become an important way for the Cupertino, Calif., company to continue profiting from iPhones, even after consumers have shelled out $199 to buy them.

The App Store is also strategically significant, since it keeps consumers tied to using their iPhones. Already, customers have downloaded more than 500 million applications from the App Store.

But the App Store rejects some submissions, for technical and content reasons. It is also so sprawling that it can be difficult for a new developer to get programs noticed, says Adam Engst, publisher of TidBITS, a site specializing in news about Apple. "It leaves open the possibility that independent stores could do a better job."

Samir Shah is one developer who supports the Cydia Store. The 25 year old, who founded Snapture Labs LLC with two college friends a year ago, created a $7.99 camera application that lets users zoom, change photo sizes and instantly preview photos.

Snapture is a $7.99 camera application that lets users zoom, change photo sizes and instantly preview photos.
"Competition is always good," says Mr. Shah. "Competition breeds innovation."

Apple appears to be gearing up for a fight. While the company hasn't taken legal action against any group or individuals for modifying iPhones or building applications on top of them, it last month filed a 27-page statement with the U.S. Copyright Office, which oversees patents. In its statement, Apple made a case that the use of software to modify iPhones is illegal, according to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Aaron Perzanowski, a professor specializing in digital copyright law at the University of California Berkeley School of Law, believes developers have "a pretty good" defense under the DMCA if Apple claims what they're doing is illegal, though it's largely uncharted legal territory.

Cydia Store's Mr. Freeman, who has been on the lookout daily for email from Apple, isn't taking any chances. He says he has lined up a lawyer in case Apple takes legal action. "The overworking goal is to provide choice," he says. "It's understandable that [Apple] wants to control things, but it has been very limiting for developers and users."

Write to Yukari Iwatani Kane at yukari.iwatani@wsj.com


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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Saurik’s Letter to the US Copyright Office

As many of you already know, Apple is trying to making jailbreaking your iPhone and/or iPod Touch illegal. Well, we ran across this letter that saurik (the developer of Cydia) wrote and submitted to the copyright office. Below is letter in it’s entirety.

Commenter: Jay Freeman (saurik)
Title: Member
Organization: SaurikIT, LLC

Proposed Classes: 5A
Class Disposition: Supporting

Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute lawfully obtained software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications with computer programs on the telephone handset.

Hello. I am the developer of Cydia, the first application installed onto Apple’s devices after they have been jailbroken. Cydia acts as an open competitor to the Apple App Store: anyone can put applications up. These applications are distributed from any number of “repositories”: anyone can run one, and end users can add them to their copy of Cydia. In this manner, Cydia acts as a web browser: no one has centralized control over what can and cannot be distributed.

All of this is, itself, based on an existing “industry standard” known as APT: an “open source” mechanism for distributing applications that has been in use by computer operating systems such as Linux for well over a decade. Even Cydia is open source: anyone can get access to its source code in order to either understand or modify it.

Cydia is now installed on 1.6 million devices worldwide, at least a quarter of which are within the United States. Please note that this number is not based on download counts or “unique IP addresses”, both of which drastically overestimate the number of users an application has. This number is based on a survey of unique device identifiers (a mechanism that Apple encourages developers to use to track devices) over the last month.

These users are also quite active: 300,000 unique devices check in to Cydia each day, over 650,000 each week. This takes the form of people looking for new packages, new repositories, and getting upgrades. What these users are coming back for are the hundreds of applications that are in Cydia, each one of which being of the type Apple denies from their store.

Unfortunately, there is now concern that applications that jailbreak phones, the tools that people use to install Cydia, may come under attack from Apple under the DMCA. This is /terribly/ unfortunate as there is a thriving market of applications for these “jailbroken” devices.

Apple isn’t even the only problem. An entire new class of devices is coming onto the market, a class of devices that I do not feel currently has a good name, but for which I will temporarily call “integrated computers”. These devices really are computers: they are running the same operating systems that we find on everything from laptops through desktop computers up to massive computation clusters.

In Apple’s case, this operating system is Darwin, the base of their Mac OS X desktop operating system. In the case of the new Android phones, this is Linux, an increasingly popular “free software” kernel.

There is nothing intrinsically restricted about these devices, and nothing that requires them to have restrictions: nothing except the controlling attitudes of the people who are releasing them. The T-Mobile G1 from HTC, running the touted “open source” Android, is not able to be changed by end users using the code that Google is trying to give us.

Back to Apple’s devices, they maintain tight encryption-backed control over what applications users can install onto their devices. Apple uses this control in order to explicitly act in an anticompetive manner: denying applications that provide similar functionality to those applications that Apple distributes with their device as “it may cause user confusion”. With this, they have managed to keep Opera (the most popular mobile web browser provider) from even bothering to attempt to target their system. They have publicly shut down Sun from bringing in Java (which would itself compete with their App Store due to their J2ME technology), and only after a couple years been willing to sit down and work with Macromedia to bring Flash to their platform.

They have denied competing mail applications, competing camera applications, and competing mapping systems. They also have exerted control over what they feel to be acceptable content, sometimes vacillating (first denying any application using the word “fart”, and then allowing one in which rapidly becomes the #1 most popular application in the store).

This has led many developers to “go underground”, distributing their products using Cydia, and selling it from their own websites. As an example of some of these applications, I will describe a few of the programs I have written, and why users want them:

Cycorder - This application allows users to record videos with their iPhone’s camera and transfer them to a computer. Cycorder is one of the “killer applications” of jailbroken iPhones, and is used by a very large percentage of its users. I do not know how many, but even four months ago I estimated hundreds of thousands.

These videos themselves have become quite widespread, and have even been aired on CNN’s iReport (where users can contribute videos to get aired on the network) [1]. One user even shot a music video using it [2].

1: http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-103642
2: http://www.goshone.com/?p=74

Unfortunately, Cycorder (and a few applications like them, such as Qik and Video Recorder 3G) have been submitted to Apple and then ignored for months. These applications require access to the camera, which Apple does not allow as part of their official SDK: while applications can let the user take a picture, it is tightly managed by an interface that Apple has provided.

WinterBoard - An “extension” for the system that allows users to customize the graphics and sounds on their device. One feature that almost every cell phone on the market has is the ability to change the wallpaper, much as one would on a desktop computer. However, this is not functionality available on the iPhone: “any background you want, as long as it’s black” (as Henry Ford may have said).

There are now thousands of “themes” available: sets of graphics. These themes don’t just change the wallpaper: they use WinterBoard’s full features in order to theme the entire system, changing all of the icons, the buttons, and the entire feel. Users install these themes using Cydia and then activate them using WinterBoard.

Unfortunately, WinterBoard requires access to system files that Apple has protected. For the full amount of control it provides to the user, it needs to “inject” or “hook” into every running application, in order to change the loaded graphics. This level of functionality is definitely verboten.

Veency - Another extension that allows users to remote control their iPhone using a computer monitor and keyboard. Veency is very popular among developers giving presentations of their work, but also has been used by people to make writing text messages easier (using their computer keyboards). This is of incredible value to the users who use it, although it is not as popular as other applications in Cydia. It is open source.

Currently, Apple provides no mechanism for recording the screen of the device, which means that users who want to show off their applications either have to use a simulator (which does not let them interact with the screen in intuitive manners with multiple fingers), or setup a physical camera to record their screen and project it onto a wall. Neither of these are usable solutions for many presenters.

Unfortunately, getting direct access to the display buffer requires access to APIs that Apple does not allow usage of in the App Store. Also, this requires a “daemon”: a program running in the background, to accept the incoming screensharing requests. Apple also does not allow background programs on their devices.

Obviously, though, I am not the only developer who has been working on this device. There are numerous companies that have managed to make a market selling products for jailbroken iPhones. Some examples:

SpoofApp - voice changing, call recording
MCleaner - block incoming calls and sms
iBlackList - another call blocking application
Cylay - track iPhone, theft protection
MiVTones - video ringtones for incoming calls
iPhone Modem - laptop/iPhone data tethering
PDANet - another tethering application

To bring a specific example to the forefront, I will focus on Snapture, distributed by Snapture Labs, LLC. Snapture is an improved Camera application for the iPhone. Snapture is denied from the App Store for similar reasons to Cycorder. Snapture, however, does not concentrate on videos: it is about better still photos.

Unlike most point-and-click cameras, the iPhone does not support numerous “standard” features, such as timed pictures, color tinting, image rotating and zooming, and photo bracketing. Snapture provides all of these features, and is sold for $7.99 from their website [1].

What makes Snapture even more interesting is that they are also providing a hardware component to go with their product: the SnaptureFlash [2]. This is an attachment for the iPhone that provides a strong Xenon LED Flash/Light in order to make taking pictures in the dark even easier. Unfortunately, Apple does not provide access to the hardware connector to App Store developers: this is a hardware component that could only ever work with jailbroken phones.

1: http://www.snapturelabs.com/
2: http://www.snapturelabs.com/snaptureflash.html

I therefore am going to close this (partly because I am running out of time), with a plea to the copyright office to not ignore the many hundreds of thousands of earnest users: users who are legally purchasing alternative applications and wishing to use them on their iPhones and iPod Touches, users who want functionality from their mobile devices that often no one is able to provide, but which is now possible on these new classes of devices. If only the people who were distributing these devices were fully open.

Jay Freeman (Saurik)

For more information on and about Jay Freeman AKA Saurik go to http://www.saurik.com/

Thank you Saurik for all your efforts. All of this would be impossible without your knowledge, dedication, persistence and sense of freedom.

At this time I would like to sincerely acknowledge Jay Freeman. From "The Great iPhone Jailbreak"

Thank you

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

TapSB **Coming Soon**

TapSB is a new mod soon to be released in Cydia. It will feature a quick way to switch your springboard pages. According to the screenshot released it will work quite the same way as Safari and the image app. How does it work?

When you double-tap on a empty place of the springboard a new window will pop open with 6 miniature versions of your springboard, this will be shown with a zoom function like we already know by Mobile Safari, then tap on one of the 6 miniature versions to go to the full page with a zoom effect.

Once there’s more information available off TapSB we will update you asap.

Stay iTuned!!!!!

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