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Former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith is asking the British government to rethink its decision to allow Huawei to play a role in the UK’s 5G network

There appear to be legitimate national security concerns about allowing Chinese firm Huawei to bid on and install 5G mobile networking equipment. Boris Johnson’s government announced they will allow the firm to install it’s equipment, however, they have not addressed those concerns or stated why they will allow this added risk, when there are other highly reputable alternatives.

The decision appears to be a political one, and not one based on facts. To be clear, Huawei should not be banned based on what is being asked for by the Trump Administration. National security should be top priority.

BBC »

In a letter, the group – which includes four ex-cabinet ministers – said there were alternatives to the Chinese firm.

They want “high-risk” vendors to be ruled out now, or phased out over time.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the decision followed a “rigorous” review by security experts and that Huawei’s involvement would be restricted.

More » The Independent

[Updated] US Attorney General Bill Barr encourages Americans to invest in Finland’s Nokia and Sweden’s Ericcson to counter China’s Huawei

Nokia and Ericsson shares got a boost. So someone made a profit on that stock tip.

Bill Barr was previously a lawyer for US phone carrier Verizon.

Meanwhile, much of Ericsson and Nokia hardware is built in China.

Reuters »

“Putting our large market and financial muscle behind one or both of these firms would make it a far more formidable competitor and eliminate concerns over its staying power, or their staying power,” Barr said in a speech to a Washington think tank conference on China.

“We and our closest allies certainly need to be actively considering this approach,” Barr said.

The United States alleges that the Chinese government could use Huawei’s equipment for espionage, which Huawei denies.

More » Financial Times

Updated Feb 7, 2020 » Reuters » ‘No concrete proposition’ from U.S. to back Huawei rival Ericsson: Swedish minister

Hackers are exploiting an unpatched Android flaw to drain users’ bank accounts

All versions of Android are at risk and all of the top 500 most popular Android apps are vulnerable.

Zeljka Zorz, writing in HelpNetSecurity »

Hackers are actively exploiting StrandHogg, a newly revealed Android vulnerability, to steal users’ mobile banking credentials and empty their accounts, a Norwegian app security company has warned.

[…]

“StrandHogg is unique because it enables sophisticated attacks without the need for the device to be rooted. To carry out attacks, the attacker doesn’t need any special permissions on the device. The vulnerability also allows an attacker to masquerade as nearly any app in a highly believable manner,” they noted.

StrandHogg allows attackers to show to users fake login screens and ask for all types of permissions that may ultimately allow them to:

  • Read and send SMS messages (including those delivering second authentication factors)
  • Phish login credentials
  • Make and record phone conversations
  • Listen to the user through the microphone
  • Take photos through the device’s camera
  • Get access to photos, files on the device, location and GPS information,the contacts list, phone logs, etc.

Read the whole article on HelpNetSecurity »

More » The Hacker News, Security Affairs, Security Week, ZDNet

Chinese regulations now require buyers of SIM cards have their faces scanned, in addition to providing an official ID

Constant surveillance in an effort to control the population.

Lily Kuo, writing for The Guardian »

All mobile phone users in China registering new SIM cards must submit to facial recognition scans, according to a new rule that went into effect across the country on Sunday.

[…]

The measure, described by the ministry of industry and information as a way to “protect the legitimate rights and interest of citizens in cyberspace”, makes Chinese mobile phone and internet users easier to track.

Already, mobile phone users are required to register SIM cards with their identity cards or passports and many telecoms had begun scanning customers’ faces since last year. Many social media platforms also require users to sign up with their “real-name identities” via their phone numbers.

Read the whole article in The Guardian »

More » Reuters, BBC, Engadget, Bloomberg, The Next Web, SlashGear, Taiwan News, Android Authority

RCS ‘exposes literally hundreds of millions of people, without asking them, without telling them’

Security researchers at SRLabs are sounding the alarm that telecos are implementing the Rich Communication Services (RCS) standard in ways which allow phone networks to be attacked.

Joseph Cox, writing for Vice’s Motherboard »

SRLabs estimated RCS is already implemented by at least 100 mobile operators, with many of the deployments being in Europe. SRLabs said that all the major U.S. carriers—AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon—were using RCS.

SRLabs didn’t find an issue in the RCS standard itself, but rather how it is being implemented by different telecos. Because some of the standard is undefined, there’s a good chance companies may deploy it in their own way and make mistakes.

“Everybody seems to get it wrong right now, but in different ways,” Nohl said. SRLabs took a sample of SIM cards from a variety of carriers and checked for RCS-related domains, and then looked into particular security issues with each. SRLabs didn’t say which issues impacted which particular telecos.

Read the whole article at Motherboard »

More » SRLabs, The Verge

Ryan Reynolds just bought Mint Mobile

Ryan Reynolds likes Mint Mobile so much that he bought it.

“While every other tech titan is off chasing rockets, I’ll corner the budget-friendly wireless sector. Like most people, I only use rockets 10-12 times a year but I use my mobile service every day.”

— Ryan Reynolds

November 25, 2019 Press Release

Mint Mobile, the wireless company offering carrier-grade service for a fraction of the cost, today announced actor, writer, producer and mobile phone enthusiast Ryan Reynolds has purchased an ownership stake in the company.

“It’s a bit unconventional which is why I like it,” said Reynolds. “Celebrities generally invest in high-end products like skincare brands or delicious gin companies. Yet Mint is making wireless way more affordable at a time when the average American is paying 65 dollars a month. I’m excited to champion a more practical approach to the most essential technology.”

“Mint Mobile’s consumer-centric approach and maniacal focus on generating consumer value has kicked Mint into hyper-growth mode,” explained Mint’s CEO David Glickman. “It’s fitting that the most disruptive wireless company is now owned by the most innovative marketer on the planet.”

Mint is able to offer premium wireless for as little as $15 a month by having no retail overhead costs and an innovative consumption model.

In connection with the investment, Reynolds will help with Mint’s communications and marketing efforts as well as strategic decision-making.

About Mint Mobile
Mint Mobile is a mobile wireless provider that offers the absolute best prices for talk, text and data plans in the USA, on one of the nation’s most advanced 4G LTE high-speed network with no contracts and no overages. The service was developed in 2016 for the savvy internet shopper who is looking for wireless service at incredible value. With Mint Mobile’s Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) program, customers can get Mint Mobile service instantly on their unlocked phone or they can buy the latest iPhone or Android with Mint Mobile Service, directly from www.MintMobile.com.

Indian-made iPhones will be exported

Apple is diversifying it’s manufacturing base.

India’s IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today that Apple will expand operations in the country and confirmed previous reports that phones made in the region will be exported.

Ben Lovejoy »

Some Indian-made iPhones will be exported for sale in other countries, the government said today.

An unconfirmed report had previously suggested that a small number of iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 models were being exported from India to Europe, but the statement is the first official confirmation that this is part of Apple’s plans for the country…

Apple initially started with iPhone SE production in India for local sale, but it has been gradually expanding its assembly capabilities in the country. Reports indicate that at least five different models are being made in India:

iPhone SE
iPhone 6s
iPhone 7
iPhone X
iPhone XR

Read the whole article at 9to5Mac »

More » Reuters, AppleInsider, Times of India

Related

Reuters » Apple supplier Salcomp to invest $279 million in new Indian plant

Finland’s Salcomp, a supplier to U.S. tech group Apple, is to invest 20 billion rupees ($278.67 million) in India to make mobile chargers and other smartphone components from March 2020, the country’s technology minister said on Monday.

Out of the box, a large number of preinstalled Android apps contain security holes

Researchers with Kryptowire found 146 vulnerabilities in various versions of Android smartphone firmware. The bugs and security holes were found by scanning the smartphones of 29 different hardware manufacturers.

Phillip Prado »

In a new detailed report, security firm Kryptowire revealed 146 different Android vulnerabilities across 29 various OEMs, including Samsung, Asus, Xiaomi, and Sony. Kryptowire discovered these with its in-house automated firmware scanning tools, and most of the affected manufacturers hail from Asia.

The worst part about these vulnerabilities is that every one of them comes on affected devices out of the box. This means users can do nothing in the way of mitigating these issues when they purchase one of these handsets.

Read the whole article at Android Authority »

Source » Kryptowire

More » The Inquirer, Engadget, TechCrunch, CNET, Wired

Google Pixel 4 smartphone available for pre-order » delivery starts October 24th (Updated)

The prices are the same as last year’s Pixel 3 and 3 XL at launch.

The Keyword »

Beginning today, you can pre-order a Pixel 4 for $799 and Pixel 4 XL for $899, and phones will ship on October 24, globally. Pixel 4 comes in three colors, including Clearly White, Just Black, and a limited edition, Oh So Orange.

The Pixel 4 features are listed here.

In Canada, the Pixel 4 costs CDN$999 with 64GB, and $1,129 for the 128GB model. The Pixel 4 XL costs CDN$1,129 for the 64GB model and $1,259 with 128GB.

In Canada, if you order the Pixel 4 by the end of the day October 26, you are eligible for $150 to spend at the Google Store.

Google Canada Blog » Everything Announced at Made By Google Event

In Canada, beginning today, you can pre-order a Pixel 4 for $999 and Pixel 4 XL for $1129 on the Google Store, and at all major Canadian carriers and select retailers. Phones will ship by October 24, globally. Pixel 4 comes in three colours, including Clearly White, Just Black, and a limited edition, Oh So Orange.

and

In Canada, Pixelbook Go is available for preorder today and will be on sale later this month at the Google Store, Best Buy Canada and select retailers. Pixelbook Go will be available starting at $879 in Just Black, with Not Pink coming to Canada soon.

  • The Google Pixel 4 flagships come in two sizes »
    • 5.7-inch for the Pixel 4 and 6.3-inch for the Pixel 4 XL
  • The screen has a 90Hz display. This makes it look a lot smoother, but uses more battery.
    • New AMOLED display
  • New Google Assistant features (US only – why restrict it to the US?)
  • Real-time voice transcription (link)
  • There are two lenses on the back, within a square housing » a wide-angle and a telephoto.
  • Software improvements  for the camera’s Night Sight, Portrait mode, Super Res Zoom, and new Astrophotography mode, plus dual exposure controls. Unfortunately, there is still no smartphone camera with full manual mode.
  • Face unlock, and no fingerprint sensor, with gesture support which adds understanding of hand waves and actions.
  • Only 64GB of storage in base models. +US$100 for additional 64GB, which is more than even Apple charges for the upgrade
  • Pixel 4 has one of the smallest batteries on any current flagship at 2,800mAh.
    • That’s less than the Pixel 3 which has a 2,900mAh battery.
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack
  • No full-resolution photo storage in Google Photos for Pixel 4 – Now compressed photo storage
  • Pricing starts at CDN$999/US$799/£669/€749 for the 64GB Pixel 4, while the 64GB Pixel 4 XL starts at CDN$1,129/US$899/£829/ €899, on sale now and shipping around October 24.
    • In the US, the Pixel 4 is US$100 more expensive than the iPhone 11 (US$699) « That’s going to hurt US sales
    • In Canada, the Pixel 4 is only CDN$20 more expensive than the iPhone 11 (CDN$979). « That makes me love Apple even less. A Canadian could purchase an iPhone 11 in the US for CDN$930 (at current exchange rates).

If you must have a Pixel 4, my recommendation would be for a 128GB Pixel 4 XL, which will be at a steep CDN$1,259/US$999. And at that price, The Pixel 4 will have competition with the iPhones and Samsung Galaxies that dominate the US. In other parts of the world, similar spec phones are half the price.

» Android Authority

If you can wait till the spring of 2020, there will probably be a Pixel 4a that will not have the expensive radar chip. The Pixel 4 cannot be sold in India because of this chip, which makes a strong case for a lower spec phone for this large market.

Learn more about the Pixelbook Go on The Keyword.

You can also check out The Keyword to learn more about the Nest Mini, Nest Wifi, Nest Hub Max, Stadia, Pixel Buds, and Pixel 4 accessories.

Live Caption » TechCrunch, Thurrott,

Wired » Here’s Everything Google Announced Today (paywall)

More » ReutersAndroid Authority

Apple releases iOS 13.1.2 and iPadOS 13.1.2 with fixes for several bugs

Apple has released a second update to iOS 13 or iPadOS 13 that was released last week, all in the space of a few days.

You might want to download the latest release, even if it still hasn’t fixed all the bugs. I’m guessing a third release will be coming as several developers are openly complaining.

My iPhone seized and I had to dump a high quality security app before I could get it to work properly again.

More » TidBITS, MacRumors, The Verge, Ars Technica

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