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Apple accuses Google's Project Zero of creating unfounded fears around recently disclosed...

By nanoguy · 27 replies
Sep 8, 2019
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  1. A week ago Google's Project Zero team disclosed it had discovered several websites that were serving malware to iPhone users through a serious security flaw that had fortunately been patched earlier this year. The malware would be downloaded by simply visiting an infected website and was capable of taking control of an iOS device and monitor its location in near real-time.

    While Apple acknowledged some of the details about the flaw, it doesn't like the way Google disclosed it to the public, so it went on to write a statement in which it accuses it of "stoking fear among all iPhone users that their devices had been compromised." The Cupertino giant says the tone of the disclosure created "the false impression of mass exploitation," even though there were just about a dozen websites that only targeted the Uighur community in China. Google chose not to name them, and experts believe it was the result of a state-sponsored effort to spy on a specific group of people who happen to be Muslims.

    Apple goes on to debunk Google's claim that the website attacks were operational for "two years." The company explains that all evidence points to a brief period of "roughly two months," and that it patched the issue just 10 days after it was notified by Google. "When Google approached us, we were already in the process of fixing the exploited bugs," Apple wrote.

    The problem with Apple's response is that it chose to defend its reputation by downplaying Google's findings and taking things out of context. It also chose to reiterate its overused marketing message that "iOS security is unmatched because we take end-to-end responsibility for the security of our hardware and software." That would be easy to forgive if this wasn't about a serious vulnerability that could have been used against any group of people, not just the Uighur community.

    On the other hand, Google declined to comment about whether Android devices, which are more popular in Asian markets, are just as vulnerable to the attack. There have been reports that Windows and Android devices can also be affected by the same websites, but Google only offered a generic response that it "stands by its research and that it will continue to work with Apple and other leading companies to help keep people safe online."

    In any case, this highlights a flaw in the current corporate culture at Apple that predates the Tim Cook era, where the focus is more on keeping the appearances of a company whose products are flawless and less on being transparent to its customers.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,710   +4,047

    So, exactly what's new about this whole mess? It's like a soap opera, the characters are the same and only the story line changes ... but only a little ....
     
  3. Hardware Geek

    Hardware Geek TS Booster Posts: 113   +91

    Apple just doesn't want the lie that their devices are safer to be exposed.
     
  4. David Belkin

    David Belkin TS Enthusiast Posts: 54   +47

    Apple products ARE more secure than both Android / Google and Windows.
     
    QuantumPhysics and psycros like this.
  5. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,635   +1,232

    I've been with Apple iPhone since the original iPhone and currently have a XS Max 512GB.

    I have NEVER feared for my privacy with Apple.

    These devices and Apple's way of doing things may be annoying, but the safety and security is unquestionable.

    #1 You can't simply drag and drop files on or off the phone without extensive background work.
    #2 You can't read the number off my Apple Card - like when my Capital One Venture Card got violated (TWICE).
    #3 You can't get in my phone because of the excessive passwords and Face ID.

    I trust Apple.

    I don't trust Android as much as I trust iOS.

    That's all.
     
    nanoguy likes this.
  6. Hardware Geek

    Hardware Geek TS Booster Posts: 113   +91

    No device is invulnerable and Apple does everything it can to continue promoting the idea that their devices are safe. They are not. The fallacy that they are invulnerable is what they want consumers to believe, which is why they are having a tantrum about Google outing them.
     
  7. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,635   +1,232


    My Google account, and Windows OS has been compromised more times than my Apple devices.

    Over 10 years of Personal Experience says Apple is more secure.
     
  8. Hardware Geek

    Hardware Geek TS Booster Posts: 113   +91

    Sorry, I didn't realize that your "personal experience" meant that was the same experience every user has.

    My mistake! Go buy apple products!
     
  9. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,635   +1,232

    OK - I absolutely will.

    And with this new Apple Card... That iPhone 11 and Watch 5 is coming home!
     
  10. Hardware Geek

    Hardware Geek TS Booster Posts: 113   +91

    No Mac Pro, MacBook, and an iPad to go with it? Might as well max that sucker out and keep up with the Joneses.
     
  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,119   +1,594

    There are fanatics on BOTH sides of this issue and lack of objectivity discredits such proponents and obfuscates the ability to respond and find responsible comments and actions to be taken.

    AKA: increasing the noise level
     
  12. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,635   +1,232

    I don’t use my iPad much.
     
  13. Hardware Geek

    Hardware Geek TS Booster Posts: 113   +91

    The funny thing is that I actually like the iPad and tablets in general. I think it's a good form factor for introducing kids to computing. Give me one that has a great interface like the iPad, but also the ability to run alternate operation systems and lots of ports.
     
  14. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,635   +1,232


    iPad is used by negligent parents as a babysitter for their kids who are developing digital autism.

    Or, by schools who want to save money on books so it can be stolen from the school budget elsewhere.
     
  15. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,119   +1,594

    wild assertion without evidence :sigh:
     
    Hardware Geek likes this.
  16. havok585

    havok585 TS Addict Posts: 209   +65

    Nothing is safe, PERIOD
     
  17. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,635   +1,232

    O NO...I have evidence.

    In fact, Perfect story:

    A teacher at IS 59 was just arrested for stealing $8000 of school supplies and the only reason she wasn't fired was because she's a UFT member.

    Don't doubt me. Ever.

    I don't say anything I can't back up.

    "Digital Autism" has scientific peer reviewed articles behind it.

    Cross-over, slam dunk...Game Over.
     
  18. lexster

    lexster TS Guru Posts: 624   +304

    Apple's just whining. Maybe they should focus on how compete again..
     
    Hardware Geek likes this.
  19. David Belkin

    David Belkin TS Enthusiast Posts: 54   +47

    You're now changing your argument from "safer" to "invulnerable".
    I am sure no device, no product, nor company would claim their products to be invulnerable.
    Apple products are simply more secure than the products of other companies.
     
  20. Skjorn

    Skjorn TS Maniac Posts: 405   +226

    Hm weird. I've used nothing but Android/ Windows for the last 12 years and have had good experiences. I don't get told I need iTunes to drag the music files I already own to my phone. In got you beat by 2 years. So Android wins.

    Don't. EVER. Doubt. ME.

    jfc man fanboy hard enough? How many apple watches you wear at once?
     
  21. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,635   +1,232


    Just one. And the strap says Bad MF#er
     
  22. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,635   +1,232


    The entire world is holding it's breath for Apple's 2019 iPhone keynote.

    Compete?

    That's hilarious.

    Apple redefines competition.

    And they don't really compete with Android makers. iOS stands alone while Samsung, Hua Wei, Oppo, Cherry, LG, and all those other Android makers battle each other for profit scraps. Apple corned the market on profit.

    As an investor in the company, they make me happy and they are moving in the right direction.

    I just wish they could sue the natural life out of every copycatter on the market who tries to make their devices look like Apple's.
     
  23. Skjorn

    Skjorn TS Maniac Posts: 405   +226

    Everyone? No..just the iSheep... and redefining competition? Seriously? Is that why they are 2nd to Alphabet?
     
    lexster likes this.
  24. lexster

    lexster TS Guru Posts: 624   +304

    That's not a bad idea. They'll pass out or die and we'll be rid of the people funding a company that insists on taking the world in directions that make no sense.

    Rubbish, just like their latest twaddle of devices..

    Do you really believe that nonsense? Wake up mate!

    There it is, the motivation of your bias. Can't take anything you say seriously after that.

    They have to sue themselves several times over.
     
  25. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,635   +1,232

    The day that someone else's opinion becomes relevant to me, I'll buy a Toyota, a Galaxy Note 10 and computer components from AMD.

    But since that will probably never happen, let me just put it nicely and stay within Techspot's TOS by telling you to have a Good Night Sleep :)
     
    lexster likes this.

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