BitTorrent Client Transmission Again Victimized by OS X Malware

TransmissionJust five months after Transmission was infected with the first "ransomware" ever found on the Mac, the popular BitTorrent client is again at the center of newly uncovered OS X malware.

Researchers at security website We Live Security have discovered the malware, called OSX/Keydnap, was spread through a recompiled version of Transmission temporarily distributed through the client's official website.

OSX/Keydnap executes itself in a similar manner as the previous Transmission ransomware KeRanger, by adding a malicious block of code to the main function of the app, according to the researchers. Likewise, they said a legitimate code signing key was used to sign the malicious Transmission app, different from the legitimate Transmission certificate, but still signed by Apple and thereby able to bypass Gatekeeper on OS X.

The researchers said they notified the Transmission team about the malware, and within minutes they removed the malicious file from their web server and launched an investigation. The researchers believe the infected Transmission app was signed on August 28 and distributed only on August 29, and thus recommend anyone who downloaded version 2.92 of the app between those dates to verify if their system is compromised by checking for the presence of any of the following files or directories:
  • /Applications/Transmission.app/Contents/Resources/License.rtf
  • /Volumes/Transmission/Transmission.app/Contents/Resources/License.rtf
  • $HOME/Library/Application Support/com.apple.iCloud.sync.daemon/icloudsyncd
  • $HOME/Library/Application Support/com.apple.iCloud.sync.daemon/process.id
  • $HOME/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.iCloud.sync.daemon.plist
  • /Library/Application Support/com.apple.iCloud.sync.daemon/
  • $HOME/Library/LaunchAgents/com.geticloud.icloud.photo.plist
Transmission version 2.92 remains available through the software's update mechanism.

Opera Browser Users Urged to Reset Passwords After Sync Server is Hacked

Opera has warned users of the browser that an unknown hacker has managed to gain access to its sync system, potentially compromising the data of around 1.7 million users.

The Norwegian company said in a blog post that "some of our sync users' passwords and account information, such as login names, may have been compromised" following the hack, and encouraged users to reset passwords for third-party sites.

Opera VPN
Although we only store encrypted (for synchronized passwords) or hashed and salted (for authentication) passwords in this system, we have reset all the Opera sync account passwords as a precaution.

We have also sent emails to all Opera sync users to inform them about the incident and ask them to change the password for their Opera sync accounts. In an abundance of caution, we have encouraged users to also reset any passwords to third party sites they may have synchronized with the service.
Opera's web sync feature lets uses synchronize their browser data and settings across multiple devices. Opera notes that the total active number of users of the feature in the last month is less than 0.5 percent of the web browser's user base of 350 million people, and that the password reset is a precaution.

Security scares have been a recurring theme for online services recently. Last week, Dropbox told its users that the firm was resetting passwords for anyone who had not changed theirs since mid-2012. The preventative measure was enacted after the company learned about an old set of user credentials that was stolen in a hacking incident nearly four years ago.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Sells More Than $35M in Stock

cook_heroApple CEO Tim Cook recently sold more than $35 million worth of Apple stock, according documents filed with the SEC this week.

Cook sold 334,000 shares at prices ranging from $107.21 to $107.69, netting himself almost $36 million dollars.

Apple also sold more than 656,000 shares on Tim Cook’s behalf, an amount over $70 million, to settle the tax liability for the RSUs that vested earlier this week as he reached his five-year anniversary as CEO of Apple.

Cook on Wednesday unlocked awarded stock bonuses worth more than $100 million for both his time spent at Apple and the company’s performance under his leadership, earning 1,260,000 total shares.

That number consists of 980,000 tenure-based RSUs and an allotment of 280,000 shares awarded because Apple’s shareholder return reached 61%, putting it in the top-performing third of the S&P 500 index.

Tim Cook continues to hold more than 1.3 million shares of Apple stock following the sale, which is worth more than $140 million.

Tag: Tim Cook

Adverse Ruling Against Apple Expected in European Tax Probe

Apple-BondsThe European Commission is poised to hand down an adverse ruling against Apple next week following a three-year inquiry into the company's tax arrangements in Ireland, according to Financial Times.
Expectation of an adverse ruling gathered pace this week after the US Treasury issued a stinging attack on the commission’s investigation, saying the EU executive was becoming a “supranational tax authority” that threatened international agreements on tax reform.
The Brussels-based body, led by competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager, has been investigating whether Apple's alleged "sweetheart deal" with Ireland constitutes illegal state aid, which it determined based on its preliminary findings in 2014.

The commission has accused Apple of sheltering tens of billions of dollars by transferring revenue to multiple subsidiaries in Ireland, where it pays a significantly lower tax rate of around 2%, compared to the country's headline corporate tax rate of 12.5%.

An adverse ruling could result in Apple owing up to $21.2 billion in back taxes, although a previous study placed the figure around $8 billion, and some analysts believe the amount could be as low as $1 billion.

Apple is one of several large corporations accused of tax avoidance in Europe over the past three years, joining the likes of Starbucks, Fiat Chrysler, Amazon, Google, IKEA, and McDonald's. Starbucks in particular is currently appealing its case in Netherlands, where it was ordered to pay as much as 30 million euros in back taxes.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, who has insisted that his company fully complies with international tax law, said last month that it would appeal any unfavorable ruling in European courts. Apple has also said it is the largest taxpayer in the world.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Treasury department warned that an adverse ruling against Apple could "set an undesirable precedent." It also said the European Commission is becoming a "supranational tax authority," going beyond acceptable enforcement of competition and state aid law.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Luxury Leather Briefcase From Pad & Quill

For the next four weeks, MacRumors is running a special giveaway event, which will see us highlighting and giving away high-quality luxury bags from manufacturers like Pad & Quill, Intrepid Bag Co, Whipping Post, and Saddleback Leather Company. We've got all of these bags on hand so we can give clear details on construction, quality, utility, and more.

For today's giveaway, we've partnered with Pad & Quill, a company that makes a whole line of luxury Apple accessories from cases to Apple Watch bands to leather bags. We'll be giving away the Luxury Briefcase in Galloper Black with Chestnut accents.

luxurybriefcase1
Pad & Quill's Luxury Briefcase, priced at $495, is a large bag (15 inches by 11 inches by 4.2 inches) with enough pockets to hold whatever you might need to carry on a day to day basis.

There are two outer pockets for holding papers or other small, flat accessories, along with a main interior pocket that can hold up to a 15-inch MacBook. The main pocket has several smaller pockets inside (two dividers with five pockets total), perfect for holding all kinds of accessories.

I was able to fit my MacBook Pro, Retina MacBook, iPad Pro, iPad mini, iPhone in the bag along with various sundries like a hairbrush, a water bottle, a battery pack, pencils, two notebooks, and more. It holds a lot. There's a full nickel zipper at the top and a flap that folds over and snaps, so the contents within the bag stay safe and protected while you're hauling it around. When full, this is not a light bag - it weighs in at three pounds by itself.


Made of a thick, durable full-grain American cowhide leather, the Luxury Briefcase is immaculately constructed with features like careful hand stitching, rigid but comfortable leather handles and a removable shoulder strap with a leather pad. Out of the box, the Luxury Briefcase is stiff and pristine, but with use, it'll loosen up and develop a unique, worn in look. The leather has been tanned so it's resistant to stains and water, and the interior is made from a durable pigskin that looks like it's going to hold up well to daily abuse.

Pad & Quill's bags are all handmade and it shows in their construction. This looks like a $500 bag, and it's nice enough to take to the office, but casual enough that it doesn't look out of place in a less formal setting.

luxurybriefcase2

One MacRumors reader will be able to win a Luxury Briefcase from Pad & Quill. To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winner and send the prize.

You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page.

Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the giveaway restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The contest will run from today (August 26) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on September 2. The winner will be chosen randomly on September 2 and will be contacted by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before a new winner is chosen.

Dropbox Requiring Users to Change Old Passwords Dating Back to Mid-2012

dropbox logo 3Dropbox yesterday emailed users who have not changed their passwords since mid-2012 to inform them they will be prompted to do so the next time they log in.

The cloud storage firm called the action a "preventative measure" and said that there was no indication user accounts had been improperly accessed. Users who held passwords created after mid-2012 were not affected, said the company.

In a blog post explaining what prompted the step, Dropbox said it had learned about an old set of user credentials (email addresses plus hashed and salted passwords) that were stolen in an incident the company reported in 2012.
Based on our threat monitoring and the way we secure passwords, we don't believe that any accounts have been improperly accessed. Still, as one of many precautions, we're requiring anyone who hasn't changed their password since mid-2012 to update it the next time they sign in.
The incident is likely related to the huge LinkedIn hack which saw 117 million account credentials posted online. It's thought that hackers tried the login details on other websites under the assumption that some people use the same passwords across different online services.

Dropbox has taken the opportunity to urge its users to consider enabling two-factor authentication when signing in, and has warned about the risk of re-using the same password across multiple sites.

Tag: Dropbox

Homebrew Enthusiasts Emulate Macintosh Plus on Nintendo 3DS

While the Macintosh Plus was discontinued over 25 years ago, two developers have brought the old school machine back to life in the form of a Nintendo 2DS and 3DS.

The first developer, who uses the pseudonym TarableCode, managed to port the Mini vMac emulator to Nintendo 2DS and has since shared pictures and technical details of her homebrew accomplishment on video game community GBAtemp. The code for Mini vMac for Nintendo 2DS/3DS is available on GitHub.

Macintosh-Plus-3DS
The photo shows the Nintendo 2DS is running Macintosh System 7.5.3, retroactively called Mac OS 7, released in 1996. The 2DS's directional pad functions as arrow keys, while the L and R shoulder buttons are the mouse buttons, the Y button toggles the on-screen keyboard, and both the circle pad and touchscreen move the mouse.

A fellow homebrew enthusiast who uses the pseudonym LarBob Doomer has since uploaded a YouTube video that shows the emulated Macintosh Plus experience in action on Nintendo 3DS. In the video, he scrolls through a functional version of System 6, and opens apps, inputs text from the keyboard, and eventually powers off the device.


The practical applications of 20-year-old Mac software running on Nintendo 3DS are obviously limited, but the homebrew emulator is a unique proof of concept. In the past, developer Nick Lee similarly managed to get both Macintosh System 7.5.5 and Windows 95 to run on an Apple Watch.

(Thanks, Mitch!)

Tag: Nintendo

Apple Adds to Vintage Software Collection With eBay Purchase

An Apple collector who was selling his vintage Apple software collection on eBay received a surprise earlier this month when Apple itself bought out much of his software inventory for its software archives (via MacGeneration).

According to seller "Marcoguy," he made several listings of various Apple CDs and received a message from someone asking to buy a dozen discs. When he went to ship the package, he noticed it was going to 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California, Apple's corporate address. Upon asking the buyer about the purchase, he was told that Apple maintains a lab at its headquarters containing archived materials. "We were missing some of the disks that you placed on eBay," wrote the buyer.

appleebaysoftware
So yeah, Apple bought some of their own software back from me. :) Feel free to post if you've had a similar experience, as I would love to hear about it. I knew Microsoft has a pretty robust archive of their history, but I wasn't aware Apple does too until this happened.

Just goes to show how necessary this community is. If is wasn't for collectors like us, so much software would just be lost, out of the grasp of even the companies that produced it.
It's not clear how much Apple paid to fill out its archives, but the seller lists his software at prices ranging from $9.95 to $19.95. It's also not known exactly what Apple purchased, but the seller is offering many rare CDs from the early 90s, including a beta version of Apple's System 7 operating system and a disc from WWDC in 1994.

Apple Dragged Into Lawsuit Involving Singer Ariana Grande

Canadian songwriter and producer Alex Greggs, who has worked with several renowned artists such as Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, and the late Michael Jackson, is suing Apple in a larger lawsuit filed against singer Ariana Grande, electronic artist David Guetta, publisher Universal Music Group, and others, according to court documents filed electronically this week.

ariana_grande_itunes
Greggs claims that Grande's single "One Last Time" from 2014 infringes upon the 2011 single "Takes All Night" by Skye Stevens, said to be the subject of a valid pending U.S. copyright registration in Gregg's name. He added that the defendants had access to "Takes All Night" before composing "One Last Time," and that it's "highly likely" the songs were not created independently of one another.
Skye Stephens performed the song on tour and in live performances at festivals and in clubs throughout the United States and Canada in particular, and also appeared on numerous radio shows, in addition to promoting the song through social media. Moreover, the similarity between Takes All Night and One Last Time is so striking that it is highly likely the works were not created independently of one another.
Greggs accuses Apple, as the operator of iTunes, of failing to verify that Grande and the other defendants had reached copyright and synchronization license agreements, and other contractual agreements, with him prior to releasing "One Last Time" as a digital download on iTunes and for streaming on Apple Music. He filed a similar claim against Universal Music Group as distributor of the single.

alex_greggs_ariana_grande
Songwriter and producer Alex Greggs, left, and singer Ariana Grande

Greggs has demanded a jury trial with the U.S. District Court for Central California, and is seeking adequate monetary damages and a permanent injunction that would see "One Last Time" removed from iTunes, Apple Music, and other music distribution and streaming services. The complaint was filed in Santa Monica on Tuesday, and it will have to be accepted by a judge before proceeding.

Tags: lawsuit, iTunes

U.S. Warns Apple Tax Probe in Europe Could Set 'Undesirable Precedent'

Just weeks before the European Commission is expected to make a decision in its landmark Apple tax probe, the U.S. Treasury department has criticized the Brussels-based body for "threatening international agreements on tax reform," and warned that a decision against the iPhone maker could "set an undesirable precedent."

Apple Ireland
Apple's offices in Cork, Ireland

According to Financial Times, the U.S. Treasury said the European Commission is becoming a "supranational tax authority," going beyond acceptable enforcement of competition and state aid law. The U.S. has previously called out Brussels for setting unfair and "disturbing" precedents and singling out U.S. companies.

Brussels has accused Apple of sheltering tens of billions of dollars in Ireland, partly in exchange for creating jobs in the country, a deal that could be considered illegal state aid. Apple operates multiple subsidiaries in Ireland to pay significantly less tax outside of the U.S., where it earns up to two-thirds of its revenue.

Apple's $64.1 billion in profits generated from 2004 to 2012 could be subject to a higher 12.5% tax rate, compared to the sub-2% it has paid in Ireland, in which case it could owe more than $8 billion in back taxes. Apple insists that it is the largest taxpayer in the world and pays every cent of tax it owes under current laws.

A decision in the tax probe is expected in September or October, according to Ireland's finance minister Michael Noonan. Apple CEO Tim Cook said last month that the company would appeal any unfavorable ruling against the company.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Thunderbolt Device Promises Desktop-Class GPU Performance For MacBooks

A Kickstarter project for a high-performance desktop GPU that can plug into a MacBook via Thunderbolt and is compatible with the Oculus Rift VR headset has raised its backing target of $50,000 in less than 24 hours.

The Wolfe is a portable box that contains an Nvidia desktop-class graphics card and connects to a MacBook or other laptop via Thunderbolt 2 (or potentially Thunderbolt 3), and promises vastly improved performance for gaming, virtual reality, graphic design, and video editing.

Wolfe GPU box
The team behind the Wolfe claims owners of newer laptops can expect performance increases up to 500 percent when using a Wolfe box, or up to 1000 percent with the Wolfe Pro, while older computers are said to see even more dramatic performance gains.
  • The Wolfe contains an NVIDIA GTX 950 GPU - 768 cores operating at 1024MHz, for a peak compute power of 1.57 TeraFLOPS.

  • The Wolfe Pro runs on an NVIDIA GTX 970 GPU - 1664 cores operating at 1050MHz, for a peak compute power of 3.49 TeraFLOPS.
What about NVIDIA's 10-series GPUs? As of right now, The Wolfe Pro includes an NVIDIA GTX 970. However, it's more than likely that Wolfe Pro level backers will be able to opt for the new GTX 1060 in our post-campaign survey for even better performance.
The box runs off a 220W PSU and has three DisplayPort 1.2 connections, one HDMI 2.0 and one DVI-I port. The Thunderbolt connection also offers the potential for more than one Wolfe box to be used with one laptop, for building a render farm or for a multi-monitor setup, say the makers.

Kickstarter early-bird pledges of $399 or more get backers a Wolfe box powered by a GTX 950 with the option of Thunderbolt 2 or 3 connectivity, while a standard pledge costs $449. An early-bird pledge for the Wolfe Pro is $549 ($599 for a standard pledge). A Wolfe DIY pack for modders who want to use their own GPU costs $269.

The makers note that while the Wolfe will increase laptop display performance, the best results are expected to come with using an external monitor or VR headset, due to the inherent bandwidth restrictions in Thunderbolt 2.

The project was conceived by a group of Harvard computer science graduates and Mac-owning gaming enthusiasts, after they hacked together a prototype GPU box in a DeWolfe dorm room at Harvard.

The team has continued to improve the hardware and software at the Harvard Innovation Lab, with the aim of making Macs "performance powerhouses" and "to stop big companies from charging outrageous prices for minuscule upgrades" by letting users take control of their computer's performance. The Kickstarter project page quotes a shipping aim of February 2017.

The project comes five months after Oculus Rift founder Palmer Luckey suggested VR headset support for the Mac was "up to Apple," and that the company needed to "prioritize higher-end GPUs." If Apple builds a machine that can handle the hardware, Oculus VR would "love to support Mac," said Luckey.

Sony Brings Full DualShock 4 Controller Support to Mac With New Adapter

Sony today announced the upcoming launch of a new DualShock 4 USB Wireless Adapter, which will allow Mac and PC users to wirelessly connect a DualShock 4 controller to their machines.

The adapter will enable all DualShock 4 features, including buttons, analog sticks, touch pad, light bar, motion sensors, vibration, and stereo headset jack so long as games support the feature.

dualshockadapter
Currently, the DualShock 4 controller can connect to Macs via Bluetooth or a USB cable, but the adapter will allow for access to all controller functions. The adapter can also be used for PS4 Remote Play, which allows games to be streamed from the PS4 to a Mac or PC.

Sony has also announced imminent PlayStation Now availability for Windows PCs, which will allow PCs to play PS3 exclusive titles. PlayStation Now will be launching soon in Europe and a wider release in the United States will follow. Sony says it is "evaluating" Mac support for PS Now, but has nothing to announce at this time.

Sony will begin selling the DualShock 4 USB Wireless Adapter in early September for $24.99.