Your face, your “future” access method, you should consider to be more careful

Your face, your “future” access method, you should consider to be more careful

Authentication is more important than ever in our modern society. It makes it possible for one to pay the bill, taking out money from your bank account by using ATM, start your computer and access to your data, Etc. In decades eyes and iris where the key access as “more secure” authorization while fingerprint has been around since 1870 both as proof of ID (authentication) and in some cases providing proof against criminal acts. Fingerprint as authorization method for access to personal computer have been used during the past 8-10 years and since 2013 in “every man’s hand” when Apple introduced it’s TouchID in it’s new iPhone 5S.

Apple TouchID
Apple TouchID

Figure 1, Apple Touch ID how it works, http://www.imore.com/how-touch-id-works

Your fingerprint, Iris, face is your key access to computer, Credit card systems, clouds,….

Microsoft using facial recognition as one of the authentication method in coming Windows 10. Google started discussion about “blink to pay” in 2013. Now it seems that many companies working together with MasterCard to use the facial recognition as a more “secure method” for authentication.

Some reflection about the facial recognition method

What happens to the authorization when

  1. Unshaved
  2. Change color of hair
  3. Hang over (day after wild party)
  4. Using phone when it is hot or cold
  5. Becoming fat or smaller
  6. Tanned
  7. Nose surgery
  8. Longer eyelashes
  9. Allergic reaction to some strong medicine, bee, dust, Etc.

And the most important question is the possibility to change your face, compare to change of password/PIN code.

Advertisements

Microsoft + Nokia Mobile= true, what next?

 

Year 2001 I was still working for the giant Telecom company Ericsson. During the fall that year Ericsson and Sony announced creation a joint company for manufacturing and distribution of the cellular phones. By late 90 Ericsson had huge difficulties in manufacturing and distribution of the Ericsson cellular phones. Technical and mechanical problems among other problems caused huge loss for Ericsson cellular business and for the Ericsson company as such. Magazine and technical press talked about 450 SEK ( $70.00) loss for each Ericsson cellular phone made and sold by Ericsson during 2000. I was among those colleagues who found it as an excellent TEMPORARY strategy before the complete exit from the cellular phone business. As one may recall Sony-Ericsson after some years of result with red figures was able to turn the result to none red figures and since last year completely owns by Sony.

Why complete exit from the manufacturing/distribution of the cellular phone business?

Ericsson by that time was mostly focusing on technical matters and telecom operators and had not much of understanding /knowledge about the customers (end-users) electronics neither any good distribution channel towards the consumer of the electronics. Companies which had a better understanding of the end users needs made a fortune by selling millions of more attractive cellular phones. Nokia was of the most successful cellular manufacturer which had a better understanding of the needs for end-users. At least TEMPORARILY. As you may heard today Microsoft acquires Nokia Mobile for almost $7.1 Billion and this is another exit from the mobile phone business.

What happened to the Cellular phone business?

Telecom giants involved in the business of cellular devices unfortunately did not have a deep understanding about the market, the needs, trends, new functions, … by that time and Apple successfully grabbed the opportunity and made lots of great effort to deliver cellular phones with the new and easier user interface. Apple also used the new and innovative ways of communications in cellular phone for communications, delivery of the data, music, video, graphics and tones of mobile applications. Apple users who adopted “the apple way” were among the new buyers of the new cellular phone and the iPhone developers which made the marketing extremely easier for Apple. Consuming base were already in place, waiting and in some cases queuing hours in night in front of the stores to be among the first “lucky ones who owns the new phone”. Currently it seems that the end-users found Samsung much more attractive so Apple may not continue to “surf on the waves” for ever and Apple possibly in few years could be replaced by other manufacturer.

The future of cellular phone industry

Google acquired Motorola Mobile business last year and Microsoft will own the current Nokia mobile business shortly. Earlier this year Nokia announced to deliver “entry level smart phone” based on Microsoft Windows phone 7 for price of $100 for the Asian/African market. A good strategic decision to deliver the “entry level of smart phones” to the market with a huge future selling potential of “smart phones”. May be a great opportunity to grab the bigger market for Microsoft.

Ubuntu and Firefox announcing their version of cellular phones and the cellular phone fight is not over yet when it comes to the cellular phone devices. Computing device like iPad, Surface or other “future devices” could be a natural replacement for the current cellular phone/smart phone. May be in near future the “cellular phone” will become smaller, simpler devices which would only be used no access to any computing devices with connection to the Internet is available. The necessary functionalities may reside in the cellular phone while other functionalities and services could be provided by using the cloud services.

Today some manufacturer have already put the “phone functionalities” in cameras since the camera has the wireless LAN, voice and video capabilities are already in place so why not using the camera as VoIP.

Smaller cellular phone?
Smaller cellular phone?

 

 

Are browsers getting safer?

On the other day when starting my PC, a small window popped up.

An update of Google Chrome is available

Install the update

or

Remove Google Chrome

Due to the new Google Privacy conditions and personal integrity I become reluctant to use Google products so I decided to “Remove the Google Chrome”. But, the question is why Google propose to remove or update?

At HP founded  live hack last year Google Chrome could stand against the  hacks. But this year on March 7-9 it showed that Google Chrome was the first browser which failed during the first 5 minutes of the live attacks. Google founded $1.000.000 for people who can demonstrate the vulnerabilities in Chrome and as it shows the following screenshot $60.000 will go to Sergey Gazunov for his two critical submissions against the most recent version of Google Chrome (i.e. zero day).

VUPEN another team of hackers from France who obviously sells vulnerabilities and exploits to the “government customers”, used two zero days and could take down Google Chrome in 64-bits Windows 7 with the latest patches. They were able to completely taking over the system without any user interaction!!! I am sure they could able to cash some of the reward money from Google

But don’t panic according to Google the Chrome update 17.0.963.78 has already the necessary patches.

What about other browsers?

Well, according to VUPEN co-founder and head of research Chaouki Bekrar his team

equipped for zero-day flaws for all four major browsers — Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox. “….but he said the decision to go after Chrome first was a deliberate tactic.” “We wanted to show that Chrome was not unbreakable. Last year, we saw a lot of headlines that no one could hack Chrome. We wanted to make sure it was the first to fall this year…”

Later on VUPEN demonstrated a Zero-Day for Internet Explorer including a Protected Mode bypass. IE9 on W7 completely owned.

Video at YouTube shows how Chorme is hacked

What about Adobe?

Adobe has fixes to handle Flash Player. Flash Player 11.1.102.63 contains priority 2 updates that address critical vulnerabilities on Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Android 4.x, and Android 3.x and 2.x. These vulnerabilities could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.

Specifically the update fixes memory corruption vulnerability in Matrix3D that could lead to code execution (CVE-2012-0768) and a resolves integer errors that could lead to information disclosure (CVE-2012-0769). Adobe are recommending that users should install the update within 30 days. This is because there are currently no known exploits and based on previous experience, Adobe do not anticipate exploits are imminent

AFFECTED SOFTWARE VERSIONS

  • Adobe Flash Player 11.1.102.62 and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Solaris operating systems
  • Adobe Flash Player 11.1.115.6 and earlier versions for Android 4.x
  • Adobe Flash Player 11.1.111.6 and earlier versions for Android 3.x and 2.x

The new version is available from Flash Player Download Center.

What about Mac?

Apple has released iOS 5.1 for the iPhone 3GS, 4 and 4S, the 3rd and 4th generation iPod touch, and all of its iPad models. About 90 fixes for security especially for browsing functions, some may relates to the Chrome security issues were identified and fixed in iOS5.1.

It is your system, your data, your browser

In my understanding you may have favourite browser and would not change it for any reason. Well, it sounds ok but don’t forget to continuously update your OS, browser, … and may need to listen to rumours about security. Then you have enough information to take the necessary actions.

iPhone,iPad, iPod, … and Apple iPhone OS 4

 


Did you watch the presentation of Apple OS 4 news on April 8?

I have never owned any apple product in my entire life so I am not one of the apple fans but I did watch the presentation and would like to share some of my observations

Relaxed but very well performed presentation
Extremely well planned and well performed presentation, easy messages, good examples, lots of statistics which shows how great iPad, iPhone, the “iApps” (I call it iApps) have been received by the users. A photo showing a small girl who got an iPad, you can see how happy she is and seeing her  kissing her new iPad. Wow, what an advertisement. Regardless of how good the product is, and how much really this small girl likes iPad, this is still a good old advertisement “trick”.

Apple added 1500 new API to the iPhone OS 4, partners at presentation demonstrated their use of some of the new API:s and told how easy it was to adopt their existing  “apps” to the new OS.  According to the apple, 64% of US mobile browser usage was based on iPhone. The question is whether the netbook, laptop with mobile broadband is counted in this statistic or only cellular phones are included in this statistic.

Multitasking

The multitasking with preserving the battery usage and performance seems to be the biggest news in OS4. Good to see that you can change from one application to another one without losing the information about its state and you get back to the application and continue the execution from where you left earlier. The battery usage and performance seems to be one of the important criteria at the design phase.

7 New services based on Multitasking

  • Background audio
    You would be able to listen to web based Radio or music while using other apps.
  • VoIP (SKYPE)
    Skype as VoIP application would be extremely good if Apple decides to replace the current circuit switched telephony service. This also means that the iPad could also provide VoIP services. I am not very sure about the WiMax support for iPhone and iPad, what I understand is that there is no USB connection to the iPad so there is still some challenge for Apple to solve the LTE/4G support for iPad and iPhone.
  • Background location
    OS 4 will use either GPS information like Tomtom and the cell measurements to find the user location. If any application asks for your location information, user chooses to allow OS 4 to deliver location information to the apps.. User is also able to allow which applications should use the location information. A list of applications which during the past 24 hours asked for the user location information will be available for the user.
  • Push notifications
    seems to be a popular service, 10 billion push notifications were send during the last 9 month. This service is handled by Apple
  • Local notification
    Same as the push notification but everything is handled locally in the iPhone/iPad, ..
  • Task completion
    if the user leaves any ongoing application, the application continues until it finishes the task even though the user starts other apps.
  • Fast apps switching
    allows the application to “sleep” , everything is preserved and you can go back to the state you were at before you swapped to another apps.

Folders

Easy to make a folder, automatically name it based on information from the ID from the Apps Store, you can rename it, remove It and put it where ever you want.

Enhanced mail

  • Unified inbox, multiple accounts from different email providers
  • More than one exchange server is supported
  • Fast inbox switching , move fast to the favorite  inbox
  • Organized by thread, able to see all the email within the same email thread
    Open attachments with apps from App Store

iBooks

  • same as for the iPad
  • Buy once and use it on any i-devices
  • wireless  synchronize your iBooks

Enterprise support

  • great data protection
    email encryption with the pin code, API is available for the developer
  • Mobile Device management,
    Sybase, MobileIron.. are supported in the new OS
  • Wireless app distribution, from enterprise servers
  • Exchange 2010
  • VPN for CISCO and Juniper

Game center,

  • social gaming network, automatic matchmaking

iAd

  • Mobile Advertising.
  • Interaction + motion the ads keep you in your ad
  • Apple sells and hosts the apps, 60% of the revenue would go to the developers

HW compatibility

The bad news is that multitasking will not work on the old platform and it is supported by 3GS and 3rd generation iPod with 32 Mbytes of memory. Detailed information about the OS 4, HW compatibility will be found at the apple home page

All of the news about iPhone OS 4 shows the excellent ability to provide solutions based on the user’s needs, good technical innovation and very good marketing. Apple also shows extremely good understanding about the user interface and design. But it seems that the entire solution is more or less based on much more closed environment. The locked push services and  iAd services could cause some difficulties for the product in future. In my opinion the open solutions with easy, fast, good development environment and distribution channel will have a good chance to survive in the long-term. But you never know may be Apple would also join some other vendors and start thinking  open source soon. Let me know your opinion!

MeeGo, would you choose it?

 

At the Mobile World Congress on February 2010, Nokia and Intel announced their cooperation on the MeeGo. Some developer immediately started to look into the the MeeGo, the business opportunity based on Open Source. Some of the different MeeGo platforms were demonstrated at the recent IDF (Intel Developer Forum) in China during this month. Is MeeGo a hybrid of Cellular phone and Netbook? Or may be it will even be the new platform for the TV and car entertainment system? It is too early to make any comment but it seems a good idea. The OS is based on Moblin which is an Linux open source project mainly contributed by Intel among others. The Nokia Maemo providing the application platform for the cellular phone not only for the Moblin-based OS cellular phone but even for the Nokia Symbian cellular phones.

The current release of MeeGo (1.0) will be updated in October 2010 and the MeeGo 1.2 will be available during Q1-2011

 Could this open source cooperation be a good challenge for the Apple iPhone and even iPad or the Google Android mobile platform? What will happen to the Microsoft Phone? My guess is that the systems based on the Open Source platform and good set of API and development tools and environment would have a better chance to survive, do you agree?

Check the following video if you wanna know more:

Apple, Google and Adobe, the fight starting?

It have been lots of new announcements, product news during January.   

  • January 5:
    Google releases NexusOne the brand new Google cellular phone based on Android.
  • January 27:
    iPad announcement
  • January27:
    It is known that iPhone does not support Adobe Flash and even iPad will not support the Adobe Flash
    Apple CEO, Steve Jobs:  “…Apple does not support Flash because it is so buggy….”January:
    Google Voice is on Apples blockade.
    Google releases a new version of Google Voice based on HTML5 which takes advantage of Mobile Safari on iPhone      

  • January 29: 
    A reporter asked Google CEO, Eric Schmidt what he thinks of Apple’s new product iPad.

His answer is : “…You might want to tell me the difference between a large phone and a tablet….”   

  •  January 30:
    Apple CEO,
    Steve Jobs:
  • about Google:

“….We did not enter the search business. They entered the phone business. Make no mistake they want to kill the iPhone. We won’t let them.
“.. I want to go back to that other question first and say one more thing,  This don’t be evil mantra: “It’s bullshit….”
   

  •  About Adobe Flash: 

“……They are lazy. They have all this potential to do interesting things but they just refuse to do it. They don’t do anything with the approaches that Apple is taking, like Carbon. Apple does not support Flash because it is so buggy. Whenever a Mac crashes more often than not it’s because of Flash. No one will be using Flash, he says. The world is moving to  

And now it seems that some fights started between these companies and I would like to ask you to comment on what they think this “fight” would lead to?  is it beneficial for Apple? Google? Adobe?  or the customer/user. Well, the only thing I know for sure is power of the consumer (user), please feel free to comment!