Eltima Software’s Elmedia Player and Folx Infected With Malware

Mac owners who have recently downloaded Elmedia Player or Folx from Eltima Software may have unwittingly installed malware on their machines, reports ZDNet.

Downloads of Folx and Elmedia player were infected with Proton, a Remote Access Trojan, after Eltima's servers were hacked. The Proton backdoor lets attackers access browser information, keylogs, usernames, passwords, macOS keychain data, and more.

In an email to ZDNet, an Eltima spokesperson said that the malware was distributed with downloads as a result of their servers being "hacked" after attackers "used a security breach in the tiny_mce JavaScript library on our server."
The compromised software was discovered on October 19, and customers who downloaded software from Eltima on that date before 3:15 p.m. Eastern Time may be affected by the malware. The following files will be found on an infected system:

- /tmp/Updater.app/
- /Library/LaunchAgents/com.Eltima.UpdaterAgent.plist
- /Library/.rand/
- /Library/.rand/updateragent.app/

Apple and Eltima have disabled the developer ID that was used to sign the Proton-infected software bundle, and Eltima is working with Apple to figure out what happened.

Anyone who was impacted by the malware will need to reinstall macOS to get rid of it. Eltima says it has taken action to prevent against further attacks and improve its server security. Clean versions of Elmedia Player and Folx are now available from the Eltima website.
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple’s Craig Federighi Confirms There’s No October Event in the Works

This shouldn't come as any surprise given that it's already the 20th of October, but Apple has no plans to hold an event to introduce new products this month. Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi confirmed there will be no October event in an email to MacRumors reader Luke.

"Will we see an October keynote event?" Luke asked. "I think we're all Keynoted out for the season! :-)" Federighi replied.

Some people were expecting an event to take place this October because there was a Mac-centric event in October of 2016 that saw Apple unveil the Macbook Pro with Touch Bar, but there have been no rumors of a second 2017 event, nor are there any new products on the immediate horizon.


iPads and Macs were both refreshed in June, and while Apple is still planning to introduce the HomePod and the iMac Pro this year, those products are set to debut in December.

Apple is not likely to hold an event for the release of the HomePod or the iMac Pro as the two devices were previously introduced in June at the Worldwide Developers Conference. Instead, Apple will probably launch both via a press release, with no additional events to take place in 2017.

Aside from a "December" debut date listed for both the HomePod and the iMac, there's no further word yet on when we might see them during the month.
Discuss this article in our forums

Facebook Won’t Add News Subscription Service to iOS App Due to Apple’s 30% Cut

Facebook is planning to introduce a feature that will let publishers sell subscriptions to their news sites directly on Facebook, but subscription purchases won't be available on iOS devices because Apple and Facebook are having trouble working out terms, reports Recode.

The feature will add paywalls to some articles in the Facebook news feed, directing users to the publisher's site to purchase a subscription. Apple wants to take a standard 30 percent cut of any subscription revenue brought in through the Facebook iOS app, while Facebook wants all of the money to go directly to publishers.


Facebook and Apple have reportedly been "discussing the impasse" for several months, and Facebook has decided to go ahead with a version of the feature that will only be available on Android phones. Facebook will be working with publishers like Bild, The Boston Globe, The Economist, Hearst (The Houston Chronicle and The San Francisco Chronicle), La Repubblica, Le Parisien, Spiegel, The Telegraph, tronc (The Baltimore Sun, The Los Angeles Times, and The San Diego Union-Tribune), and The Washington Post.

Through its subscription rules, Apple can take up to 30 percent of subscription revenue from in-app sales, though that number drops after a person has subscribed to a service on an iOS device for more than a year.

News subscription services won't be purchased directly on Facebook, but Apple still considers the feature to be an "in-app" purchase. Google does not plan to take a cut of revenue.

In a statement to Recode, Facebook said it is "committed to this effort" and "optimistic" that a test will expand to "all mobile platforms" in the near future.
Discuss this article in our forums

YouTube Singer Follows Up ‘iPhone Antenna Song’ With Sticky MacBook Keyboard Tune

Popular YouTube singer-songwriter Jonathan Mann has uploaded a humorous Apple-related tune that is currently doing the rounds on social media and tech blogs.

Mann originally rose to prominence among Apple watchers for catching the eye of Steve Jobs, who opened his iPhone 4 press conference by playing to the audience Mann's 2010 "iPhone Antenna Song", which criticized parts of the media for its "Antennagate" fixation. But it's unlikely Mann's latest song will receive a similar reception in Cupertino.


Titled "I Am Pressing the Spacebar and Nothing is Happening", Mann's new song centers on the singer's hatred for the "butterfly" keyboard on his MacBook Pro.

Apple introduced a revamped butterfly-mechanism keyboard on its first-generation 12-inch MacBook, and later on the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro, which featured flatter keys built using a second-generation butterfly mechanism. However, a significant number of customers have run into issues with both versions, the most common being sticking keys – the theme of Mann's latest song.

In the music video, Mann's chorus sees him persistently pressing the space bar of his 2016 15-inch MacBook Pro, frustrated that it no longer works.

He refers to the MacRumors Buyer's Guide to express how long he waited to upgrade, and that his "very expensive" MacBook Pro is only about a year old, and yet here he is, victim to an unresponsive spacebar.


Mann laments that Apple has informed him that his machine will need "extensive surgery for a speck of dust lodged beneath the butterfly" mechanism – referencing Casey Johnston’s article in The Outline about a piece of dust breaking her MacBook Pro.

Mann's solo continues by explaining that Apple's arguably awkward-to-follow keyboard-cleaning instructions didn't work for him, leaving him feeling like an idiot.

If you don't fancy listening to this potential earworm, the full lyrics to the song can be found below.
I'm pressing the space bar / I'm pressing the space bar / I'm pressing the space bar / I'm pressing the space bar / And nothing is happening / This computer is about a year old / And it was very expensive / I had been waiting to upgrade / For a long time / And now you're telling me / It would need extensive / Surgery for a speck of dust / Lodged beneath the butterfly / I found your instructions / They were not helpful / I bought this can of air / I feel like an idiot

Discuss this article in our forums

National Association of Broadcasters Again Urges Apple to Add FM Radio to iPhones

Following Apple's clarification that iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models do not have FM radio chips or antennas designed to support FM signals, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has expressed some doubt about Apple's statement and has called on the company to add FM functionality to its future iPhones.

In a blog post, the NAB points to a series of iPhone 8 teardowns that indicate the iPhone 8 uses a Broadcom chip with an integrated FM radio core as evidence that Apple's devices already have some of the hardware required for FM radio support.


According to Apple, the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 8 do not currently have FM radio chips or antennas to support FM signals, and it is not clear how simple it would be for the company to add these features to future devices. From a statement made to MacRumors:
Apple cares deeply about the safety of our users, especially during times of crisis and that's why we have engineered modern safety solutions into our products. Users can dial emergency services and access Medical ID card information directly from the Lock Screen, and we enable government emergency notifications, ranging from Weather Advisories to AMBER alerts. iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models do not have FM radio chips in them nor do they have antennas designed to support FM signals, so it is not possible to enable FM reception in these products.
The disagreement between Apple, the NAB, and the FCC is related somewhat to their various points of view. Apple’s claim that recent iPhones do not have the necessary hardware to support FM radio is indeed true, which means Apple can’t simply flip a software switch to activate it.

The NAB seems to be making the case that it would be relatively trivial for Apple to make hardware revisions to enable it in future devices considering the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth chip in the iPhone can support it and Apple has proven it can incorporate FM antenna connections in the iPod nano.
Apple has built and offered a wonderful FM app in their iPod Nano for many years. They know how to make FM work, and work well, in their mobile devices. Apple even wrote its own Nano app that allows the user to pause live radio and buffer up to 15 minutes of content.

However, Apple has specifically chosen not to offer this functionality in their iPhone. Indeed, Apple has disabled FM chips despite the capability being available on the communications module within the iPhone. This means other app developers cannot offer FM apps either.
In its blog post, the NAB appeals to Apple CEO Tim Cook, highlighting the number of hurricanes experienced in Mobile, Alabama, Cook's hometown, since 1969, and calling on the company to introduce FM support as a way for customers to get news alerts during disasters.

FM radio functionality in the iPhone first started gaining media attention last month, following a series of powerful hurricanes that struck several states. At that time, FCC chairman Ajit Pai issued a statement urging Apple to activate FM radio capabilities in its iPhones, which Apple later said was not possible.

"It's time for Apple to step up to the plate and put the safety of the American people first," Pai wrote. "Do the right thing, Mr. Cook. Flip the switch. Lives depend on it."
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Responds to Senator’s Request for Info on Face ID Privacy and Security

Shortly after the iPhone X was unveiled, United States Senator Al Franken, who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook to ask several questions about the security and the privacy of Face ID.

Franken asked Apple to address his questions by October 13, 2017, which Apple did through a letter sent by Cynthia Hogan, the company's Vice President for Public Policy in the Americas.


In the letter, Hogan highlights its recent Face ID security paper and Face ID support document, which outline how Apple protects customer privacy and keeps customer data secure.

She also addresses several of Franken's questions, reiterating much of the information that's in the two documents and that's been previously published about Face ID. One of Franken's questions, for example, concerned how Face ID was trained, with Apple's response below:
The accessibility of the product to people of diverse races and ethnicities was very important to us. Face ID uses facial matching neural networks that we developed using over a billion images, including IR and depth images collected in studies conducted with the participants' informed consent.

We worked with participants from around the world to include a representative group of people accounting for gender, age, ethnicity, and other factors. We augmented studies as needed to provide a high degree of accuracy for a diverse range of users. In addition, a neural network that is trained to spot and resist spoofing defends against attempts to unlock your phone with photos or masks.
Hogan ends the letter with an offer to provide Senator Franken with briefings on Apple products should additional information be required.

Following his receipt of the letter, Franken today issued a statement where he said he appreciates Apple's willingness to provide information on Face ID.
All the time, we learn about and actually experience new technologies and innovations that just a few years back were difficult to even imagine. While these developments are often great for families, businesses, and our economy, they also raise important questions about how we protect what I believe are among the most pressing issues facing consumers: privacy and security.

I appreciate Apple's willingness to engage with my office on these issues, and I'm glad to see the steps that the company has taken to address consumer privacy and security concerns.

I plan to follow up with Apple to find out more about how it plans to protect the data of customers who decide to use the latest generation of iPhone's facial recognition technology.
In addition to offering up a Face ID white paper and detailed support document, Apple has also provided information on Face ID through a series of interviews software engineering chief Craig Federighi did with various media sites.

Face ID will be available to consumers starting on November 3, the official launch date for the iPhone X. Apple plans to begin accepting pre-orders for the iPhone X on October 27.
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Donating $1 Million to Fire Relief Efforts in Northern California

Apple has pledged to donate $1 million to fire relief efforts in Northern California, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

In addition to donating $1 million, Apple will also match employee donations two-for-one.

Image via the SF Chronicle

Tim Cook on Tuesday said Apple would donate to relief efforts, but at the time, he did not specify a dollar amount.


There are several fires raging in Napa, Sonoma, and Santa Rosa, California, a popular area known as "wine country." Fires in Southern and Northern California are common in October, a dry month often impacted by dry, high-speed Santa Ana winds, which makes for deadly fire conditions.

The fires in Northern California are the worst that have been seen in recent years, and the deadliest in terms of structures destroyed and people killed. 23 people have died and hundreds are marked as missing.

Fires first started on late Sunday night and have raged on since then. Even today, Thursday, the fires remain almost entirely uncontained and thousands of people are still evacuating from their homes.

Other tech companies have also pledged donations. Facebook will also donate $1 million, while Google will donate $500,000.
Discuss this article in our forums

Here’s How Much the Inside of an iPhone Has Changed in Ten Years

Bloomberg has partnered with iFixit to provide a high-resolution look at how the inside of the iPhone has changed since first launching a decade ago.

The original iPhone on left vs. brand new iPhone 8 via Bloomberg

The original iPhone, above left, is equipped with a bulky, yellow lithium-ion battery rated for 1,400 mAh. Apple said that was good enough for up to eight hours of talk time, six hours of web browsing, seven hours of video playback, or 24 hours of audio playback, but real-world results certainly varied.

In the top-left corner sits a 2-megapixel rear camera that lacks an LED flash and shoots photos that are unequivocally blurry by today's standards.

While shielding covers many of the other components, the original iPhone is equipped with 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB of storage, a single-core ARM11 processor downclocked to 412 MHz, just 128MB of RAM, and a PowerVR MBX Lite graphics processor. It also has Bluetooth 2.0 and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi chips.

The original iPhone supports EDGE cellular networks, often referred to as 2G. The technology is so outdated that AT&T, which was the exclusive carrier of the device in the United States, doesn't even operate a compatible network anymore.

Other hardware in the original iPhone includes a 3.5-inch display with a resolution of 320×480 pixels, a mechanical Home button, and a deeply recessed 3.5mm headphone jack that was hard to use. The device's iPod-like 30-pin dock connector was succeeded by the Lightning connector in 2012.

By comparison, the iPhone 8 has a tall, slim battery rated for 1,812 mAh, a 12-megapixel rear camera, up to 256GB of storage, 2GB of RAM, a six-core A11 Fusion chip, Bluetooth 5.0, 802.11a/c Wi-Fi, and LTE Advanced. It has a Lightning connector, a capacitive Home button, and no headphone jack.

The inside of an iPhone has looked similar since the iPhone 4, while the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS below look noticeably different.

iPhone 3G on left vs. iPhone 3GS on right via Bloomberg

While we've already seen the inside of every iPhone model thanks to iFixit's teardowns over the years, Bloomberg's full feature article provides high-resolution photos and is worth a look for iPhone aficionados.
Discuss this article in our forums

Bear Notes 1.3 for iOS Adds Multitasking ‘Drop Bar’ and Apple Watch Support

Bear Notes for iOS got a 1.3 update on Wednesday, bringing new note multitasking feature for iPad and iPhone as well as adding Apple Watch support to the popular writing app for the first time.

Using the new multi-touch gestures in iOS 11, the new "Drop Bar" enables users to manipulate multiple notes as once, including the ability to merge, share, pin, trash, duplicate, and copy or export them in a variety of formats.


For example, when a user selects two or more notes (by tapping and holding on one and then selecting others in the same way), dragging the notes triggers the Drop Bar, which appears at the bottom of the Notes List. Dragging said notes into the Drop Bar presents the user with a new sheet listing the above options, allowing them to select the desired one.

As a result, users are now able to copy multiple notes to the clipboard as one big note, or export them all as one complete JPEG to share over Twitter, for example. Other possibilities include creating template notes for work or journaling and duplicating them all at once, or copying links to multiple notes at once to paste in other apps for quick access. (Some export options require Bear Pro.)

Bear's new Drop Bar in action

In addition, Bear's new Apple Watch support means users can create new text notes simply by speaking to their Apple Watch, and they will be transcribed into text and saved to Bear for iPhone. With the new smartwatch feature, users can also view their 10 most recent notes on their wrist and annotate said notes, while a new Bear complication adds the ability to record a new note straight from the watch face.


Bear is available to download on the App Store for iPad and iPhone [Direct Link], as well as on the Mac App Store [Direct Link].
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Trails Google, Amazon, and Microsoft Among Ideal Employers in Recent Survey

Apple has ranked fourth, behind Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, in a recent survey of the most ideal employers for tech professionals in the United States. Apple ranked ahead of Facebook, IBM, The Walt Disney Company, and Tesla.


The online survey was conducted by tech careers site Dice between June 2017 and August 2017. There were a total of 5,477 respondents, who were asked to name their top three choices for the most desirable company for which to work.

When asked what matters most to them in an employer, tech professionals mentioned competitive salaries, challenging work, benefits, positive organizational culture, and transparent communication as the most important factors.

While the survey results are subjective, having a career at Apple undoubtedly has some benefits, including generous compensation and the chance to work on some of the world's most iconic products like the Mac and iPhone.

Dice also highlighted the equity that Apple awards its employees, in the form of restricted stock units, in addition to its progressive stance on diversity and social issues and innovation within the tech industry.

The survey results likely refer to Apple's corporate positions, but there are also opportunities at the retail level. Apple recently shared a video in which several employees say their jobs help them connect with and inspire customers.


Apple was ranked the 36th best place to work this year in the United States on Glassdoor. The company has an average rating of four out of five stars on the website. Apple CEO Tim Cook has a 93 percent approval rating.
Discuss this article in our forums