Apple releases security updates for iPhone and Mac. Update now and be safe online.

On Monday Apple released security updates iOS 10.3.2 (for iPhone and iPad users), MacOS, and OS X. They also released updates for watchOS 3.2.2, iTunes, Safari, tvOS and iCloud for Windows 6.2.1.

Looking at the list of fixes it is clear that scores of security vulnerabilities have been addressed for iPhones, iPads and Macs.

US-CERT encourages users and administrators to apply the necessary updates.

Apple Says It Has Patched The Vulnerabilities Mentioned In The Wikileaks Dump Of CIA Cyber Tools

Yesterday Wikileaks leaked documents named Vault 7. Vault 7 details the government’s efforts to hack popular devices like iPhones, Android phones, and Samsung smart TVs. According to a Wikileaks Vault 7 press release the CIA has a special branch dedicated to attacks against the iPhone.

Despite iPhone’s minority share (14.5%) of the global smart phone market in 2016, a specialized unit in the CIA’s Mobile Development Branch produces malware to infest, control and exfiltrate data from iPhones and other Apple products running iOS, such as iPads. CIA’s arsenal includes numerous local and remote “zero days” developed by CIA or obtained from GCHQ, NSA, FBI or purchased from cyber arms contractors such as Baitshop. The disproportionate focus on iOS may be explained by the popularity of the iPhone among social, political, diplomatic and business elites.

Yesterday, Apple said in a statement provided to TechCrunch that most of the vulnerabilities detailed in the leaks have been patched.

“Apple is deeply committed to safeguarding our customers’ privacy and security. The technology built into today’s iPhone represents the best data security available to consumers, and we’re constantly working to keep it that way. Our products and software are designed to quickly get security updates into the hands of our customers, with nearly 80 percent of users running the latest version of our operating system. While our initial analysis indicates that many of the issues leaked today were already patched in the latest iOS, we will continue work to rapidly address any identified vulnerabilities. We always urge customers to download the latest iOS to make sure they have the most recent security updates.”

I think this tweet puts the whole thing in perspective.

WhatsApp is rolling out Two-Step Verification security feature to all users

WhatsApp has rolled out two-step verification to all of its users this week. They announced it through an updated FAQ on their website.

Two-step verification is an optional feature that adds more security to your account. When you have two-step verification enabled, any attempt to verify your phone number on WhatsApp must be accompanied by the six-digit passcode that you created using this feature.

To enable two-step verification, open WhatsApp > Settings > Account > Two-step verification > Enable.

Upon enabling this feature, you can also optionally enter your email address. This email address will allow WhatsApp to send you a link via email to disable two-step verification in case you ever forget your six-digit passcode, and also to help safeguard your account. We do not verify this email address to confirm its accuracy. We highly recommend you provide an accurate email address so that you’re not locked out of your account if you forget your passcode.

WhatsApp is available as a free download on the App Store for iPhone.

The “Family Tree Now” Website Knows A Lot About You And It’s Creepy As Hell

A couple of weeks ago I saw a segment on the NBC Today Show about a website called Family Tree Now. I’d never heard of it. But it knew a lot about me.

Family Tree Now is a genealogy website that can be used to lookup almost anyone’s personal information. Addresses, family members, and known associates are free for anyone to find.

Check it out for yourself here. If you’re surprised at what you see you’ll most likely want to opt-out like I did.

Here’s how. Patrick Allen, writing for Lifehacker, offered up information on how to opt-out from Family Tree Now, Whitepages, Spokeo, and other popular free people search engines just like it. You’ll find his article here.

Apple releases security updates for iOS, macOS, and Safari

On Monday Apple issued security updates fixing security vulnerabilities in iOS, macOS, and Safari.

iOS 10.2.1 is an extremely important update with over a dozen vulnerabilities being fixed with varying degrees of severity. Some being serious. You’ll want to run this update at your earliest convenience. This is a free update and can be downloaded over-the-air from your device.

macOS Sierra 10.12.3 fixes a variety of vulnerabilities as well as an update to Safari. This is a free update and can be downloaded from the App Store.

If you have an Apple watch or tv there are also security updates for those devices.

New Study Suggest: ‘Security Fatigue’ Can Cause Computer Users to Feel Hopeless and Act Recklessly,

Security fatigue is real, and it’s making many people less secure. We’re always getting notifications about new threats to worry about, updates to install, and breaches to be aware of. This can all become very confusing for the average computer user. In fact, it can become so confusing that you may begin to just start ignoring the notifications. Continue reading “New Study Suggest: ‘Security Fatigue’ Can Cause Computer Users to Feel Hopeless and Act Recklessly,”