It isn't often that a company has an entire week they would like to Ctrl-Z. This week has been exactly that for Apple, or however you might accomplish an Undo on a Mac. It seemed that every time we turned around, Apple was making negative headlines again for a new reason. Between shoddy products, security disasters and knowledge thereof, plus an update that could brick phones, this is a week Apple would like to strike from the record. I don't think that's going to happen.
If you are a woman, you know the burdens of pants pockets - they almost do not exist in the front. This is why most women, especially younger women, carry their phones in the back pockets - there's actually room. Men, on the other hand, tend to carry theirs in the front pocket, halfway down their leg. Either way, the phone lives in a part of the body that receives pressure against a curved surface when sitting. While Samsung and LG are releasing curved screen phones, Apple's iPhone 6 is not even designed to be close to curved surfaces.
Because of the pressure placed on the phone when sitting, users on social media have reported that their phones has physically curved or bent. Apple has claimed that only 9 customers have complained of phones bending or curving, but the results on Twitter seem to suggest a higher rate of failure. Even if we are to assume Apple's number, how in the world could 9 phones have bent, other than cheap aluminum in the manufacturing?
Nearly every publication has tested the issue, with most coming up with the conclusion that the phone is far easier to bend than most other phones on the market, but still higher than what would be normal pressure. The iPhone 6 comes in around 55 pounds of pressure, whereas the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 comes in around 150 pounds of pressure. That is a pretty huge swing, but for anyone who has worn skinny jeans and sat on their phone, you know that more than 55 pounds of pressure is placed on your phone. Maybe Apple will blame Gap for this one the way they blamed BlackBerry for Antennagate.
Many customers discovered that their cellular reception was less than optimal. In fact, it appeared to be iPhone 4 quality, which is not something of which to boast. Apple discovered an issue in iOS 8.0.1 that was iPhone 6 specific, for which they released a patch, iOS 8.0.2, which was capable of downloading, installing and fixing the reception issue! No need for Nokia to get offended this time.
In fact, Apple received reports 6 months ago from a security firm in London informing them of the iCloud API issue. Ibrahim Balic sent in reports to the company through various means, including email and the company's own bug reporting platform. In a March 26, 2014 email he said,
Unfortunately, this problem was left unattended. In fact, it was entirely discounted by Apple.
Time to hack is not an issue when there are Russian hack shops with hundreds of people, paid a dollar an hour, to exploit exactly these types of vulnerabilities. Coincidentally, celebrity photos were leaked to the public. Shocking, isn't it? A known vulnerability, reported and discounted, was eventually exploited by hackers on the Internet? That has never happened before. No, I'm sorry, ask Target and Home Depot about how well it works out after the class action lawsuits.
Now, Apple will tell you that since it uses two-factor authentication on every transaction (iPhone and fingerprint), simply making this data available from the phone is not unsecure. The issue is that the iPhone fingerprint scanner is remarkably easy to fool. While it may not be "an easy attack" it is something to be concerned about. A simple lifting of your phone, and a hacking of the fingerprint scanner, and the ability to lift all of your personal credit information is EASY. In fact, this token has enough information to generate a whole new physical card. At least Apple is really good at protecting its data (see above).
This week, a new bug was discovered, called Bash Bug. This simple command-line bug can cripple a computer with ease. Luckily, it only runs on UNIX-based machines. This means that UNIX, Linux (including Android, webOS and Tizen) and MacOS X are all susceptible. Because of the ease of use and nature of this bug, it is considered to be considerably bigger than Heartbleed, which nearly shut the Internet down for a few weeks; at least that part running on UNIX, Linux and MacOS X servers.
Apple claims that Bash Bug is not a real threat to MacOS X users, as the command line itself is not exactly a known feature to most, and the permissions required to execute it are, by default, not granted to any user of the computer. Oh, for that pesky root access I might believe this one, but Apple has already not been forthcoming about its security issues this week, so maybe don't believe this one as gospel, either.
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