ApplePay is here: An easy guide to setting up your first credit card

 With today’s arrival of iOS 8.1 also comes the arrival of ApplePay. I searched everywhere on the net and found that none of the major sites had any instructions to show you how to add a credit card to your ApplePay account on your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. Fortunately its easy and rather trivial once you know where to look. Here is how I did it in three simple steps. Continue reading ApplePay is here: An easy guide to setting up your first credit card

Poodle can’t bite OS X, Apple already patched current systems

OS X YosemiteUnlike what has been reported in he media, Poodle has already been patched sufficiently well by Apple to protect against attack. The media has been relying on a flawed test on one website (called PoodleTest) that has an erroneously simple test to check for the vulnerability. Apple had actually patched against Poodle before everyone else even announced their patch dates. The PoodleTest site relied on seeing if SSL3 was enabled to claim vulnerability. This test fails on Macs, returning a false positive, Continue reading Poodle can’t bite OS X, Apple already patched current systems

Yosemite OS X 10.10 Installer on a flash drive, the easy way

OS X Yosemite

OS X Yosemite

Apple’s Yosemite, OS X 10.10 has been released today and everyone is rushing to install it. Naturally the servers are heavily loaded and along with all the other apps that Apple has updated and released today, the download servers seem to be heavily loaded. This is an ideal time to create a Yosemite bootable flash drive for two good reasons, one is that if you have more than one Mac then you only have to download Yosemite once (its over 5 GB so it really does take a while to download) then using the flash drive you can quickly install it on your other Macs. If everyone does this then it makes the system run faster for all of us. The second reason Continue reading Yosemite OS X 10.10 Installer on a flash drive, the easy way

Murus Firewall offers easy access to OS X 10.10 built in pf firewall

Murus logo

Murus logo

Most people don’t know that OS X has a built-in industry standard, UNIX based firewall. Even fewer know that in addition, OS X also has Gatekeeper, an application firewall of sorts (if you ever tried to install an app from a small, unregistered developer and got a warning message that it could not be installed because the app was Unsigned, then you’ve been Gatekeeper in action). For a while OS X actually had two firewalls installed, the classic IPFW which was upgraded to IPFW2 plus PF (a stageful packet filter). PF is now the UNIX BSD standard and although IPFW worked perfectly fine, PF offered a few improvements, making it a next generation product. The only real issue with it is that if you want to customize your PF firewall, you had to be a UNIX geek and use the command line. Here is a super quick and easy way to configure PF without becoming a geek. Continue reading Murus Firewall offers easy access to OS X 10.10 built in pf firewall

Google’s new Nexus 6 and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 smoked badly by iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Android Malware

Android Malware

Google and Samsung have followed in the steps of WinTel monopolists and pushed specifications far ahead of actual consumer usability. Not only did they push paper specs above reality, they also managed to get the media to tow the company line and focus on part numbers rather than anything that actually helps the consumer. This time we have clear proof that Engadget has been kowtowing to Google and Samsung in its most recent review where they very conveniently reported performance figures that were purely internal to the device and not reflect real world user performance in any way. Continue reading Google’s new Nexus 6 and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 smoked badly by iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Apple TV’s other shoe drops: HBO to offer subscription without Cable or Satellite

Apple TV 2nd Generation

Apple TV 2nd Generation

The very day that Apple TV was originally released, I said that in the future Apple would try and get stand alone, a la carte, subscriptions for premium entertainment networks (such as HBO and Showtime) and that a new generation of consumers would arise that would not have any Cable or Satellite subscriptions whatsoever. HBO’s announcement that they will be offering exactly that, in 2015, is exactly the news that I’ve waited for, for years. Continue reading Apple TV’s other shoe drops: HBO to offer subscription without Cable or Satellite

OnStar fails crash victim! Apple’s Find My iPhone saves the day

OnStar logo

OnStar logo

Melissa Vasquez, A 28-year-old woman from Campbell California, tumbled down the side of Mt. Hamilton (San Jose California) in her Chevrolet Cruze. The General Motors OnStar equipped vehicle did alert the local police department to the accident but the police department was unable to find or locate Ms Vazquez are several hours of search. Officer Dave Cameron, Campbell Police Department, thought to try to use Apple’s Find My iPhone feature in an attempt to locate her current location. Continue reading OnStar fails crash victim! Apple’s Find My iPhone saves the day

Windows looks responsible for another credit card POS hack

Microsoft

Microsoft

Windows RT has such terrible security that once again a major US Retailer, Kmart, has been hacked and had their credit card systems compromised. The company is not saying how many credit cards were compromised nor what personal information from their customer’s accounts was taken, because they just don’t know or are unwilling to be completely forthcoming. This looks to be the latest in a massive number of US Retailers that have been hacked this year alone due to Microsoft’s inadequate, decades old Windows operating system. The media once again has remained quiet on the issue and has not yet mentioned Microsoft in any announcement of these breaches. Continue reading Windows looks responsible for another credit card POS hack

ApplePay’s Japanese grandma, FeliCa, for smartphone payments is vulnerable and outdated

ApplePay

ApplePay

In 2003 a new standard in Japan was approved for contactless (no touch, no credit card) payments using first generation smartphones. In 2004 the very first smartphones with FeliCa chips arrived in the country and early adopters were able to buy soda from Coca-Cola vending machines by just waving their smartphone in from of the FeliCa chip readers embedded into the vending machines. Over time, more vending machines joined in, as well as various ticket based services (train travel, etc.). Its been an interesting concept but one that never took off anywhere else but Japan, a nation of exuberant early adopters the first to try anything and everything tech. The rest of the world didn’t even tae notice and ignored this as a fad. Yes, contactless credit cards have been around the world and you can see the reader (with the clear blue window that says Tap Here (what an oxymoron) on just about every POS terminal in the US, Europe and much of the rest of the world, but its usage is near zero and consumer interest in it is nil. It seems that only Japan has a high enough dependence on vending machines (that will dispense everything from hot lunch to underwear fro them) to allow this technology following. The other problem, and its a major one Continue reading ApplePay’s Japanese grandma, FeliCa, for smartphone payments is vulnerable and outdated

Linux not secure: Shellshock vulnerability now enabling Mayhem botnets

Linux Logo

Linux Logo

Unlike UNIX, Linux has never been secure, yes I’ve heard the urban legends about Linux being unhackable but as a thirty year security professional I can tell you that many large scale enterprise Linux servers, managed by competent professional IR departments have been hacked over the decades. UNIX has an advantage that there has always been a focus on functionality and security (OpenBSD or AIX anyone?) to ensure that bank and other critical applications are as reliable as they are safe. There no banks that run the critical back end on Linux (the tellers or other front end terminals can be from any OS manufacturer and do not reveal what is actually protecting tat bank’s crown jewels in their digital vault), whereas every bank I know of runs IBM‘s AIXHewlett-Packard‘s HP-UX,  Oracle Solaris plus the OpenBSD/FreeBSD shops. Billions of dollars is just too much to trust to Linux. Continue reading Linux not secure: Shellshock vulnerability now enabling Mayhem botnets

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