WWDC '24 Confirmed

it'll be “Absolutely Incredible!”

Welcome back! 🍎
Here’s what’s new with Apple.

  • WWDC ‘24 has been announced

  • Fresh new iOS 18 details

  • Two new security threats to be aware of

  • iPhone 16 leaks, iPads get delayed

  • & more!

📖 Read time: 4.1 minutes

📊 Poll

Last week, I asked: Do you agree with the DoJ Lawsuit?

Here are some of my favorite replies:

No - “There are a few small points in the lawsuit that may make sense, such as locking out XBox gaming or third party browser engines. That is a bit over the top I think. Overall, Apple maybe could open up somewhat, but Android is such a solid choice and even beats iPhones in some categories. The government seems to forget that this isn’t like the Microsoft or AT&T lawsuit of prior decades; they were the only choice for the platform they sold to. You do have a solid choice with Android and it has forced Apple to make the iPhone better because of it. Also the green vs blue message debate will be settled with RCS, especially when they can use encryption. Would it be nice to see some opening of things? Sure. My wife has a Samsung and interoperability isn’t as seamless as the native iOS apps, but it is doable. But it doesn’t seem to make sense to force it from the government. It sounds like EA and others lobbied hard and finally got the right DoJ folks to react.”

No - “I buy into Apple products BECAUSE of the high walls. I love the reliability and seamless movement between products within the ecosystem. Nobody is forcing anyone to buy an iPhone. There are very adequate alternatives and excellent competitors in the smartphone market. This DoJ lawsuit reeks of jealousy and controlling behavior.”

Yes - “While I generally feel this lawsuit might have not been so necessary, I think it's important that we all realize that Apple has been downplaying interoperability with the rest of the world for the sake of self development, and while that couldn't have been bad at the time Apple started returning to the spotlight, it is bad now. Not being able to effectively use other devices together with a device from Apple is actually not nice, and there's no reason why in 2024 this multi-million dollar company hasn't been able to resolve this age-old issue. Is it right suing Apple for doing what they do? Maybe not. But will it open their eyes and make them finally open up to the world? Hopefully.”

This week: What are you hoping to see with iOS 18, aside from AI features?

What do you want most from iOS 18?

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🗞️ The Latest

🎤 WWDC 2024 is Official

Apple has announced its annual WWDC conference. It will take place on June 10-14.

  • On June 10th, Apple will unveil its latest software for the iPhone, Mac, Watch, Vision Pro, and all of its other platforms.

  • AI is expected to be the big theme and Joz, Apple’s SVP of marketing, all but confirmed that with his easter egg posted on X - saying that the event will be “Absolutely Incredible!”

  • I break down everything to expect from WWDC24 in this video.

iOS 18 Rumors Heat Up

With iOS 18 Beta 1 now confirmed for June 10th, we have fresh new details on what to expect.

  • iOS 18 will not feature Apple's own ChatGPT-like chatbot.

  • Instead, their in-house LLM models will focus on behind-the-scenes tasks in first-party apps like Messages, Notes, etc.

  • Apple held discussions with Google, OpenAI, and Baidu about potential generative AI partnerships but no deal is set to be announced until after WWDC.

  • Apple Maps might gain custom routes & the iPhone could gain Topographic Maps support (currently an Apple Watch exclusive).

  • iOS 18 will allegedly have added Home Screen customization options, such as creating blank spaces, rows, and columns between app icons.

⚠️ Beware of These New Security Threats

Several Apple users have recently been targeted in attempted phishing attacks that involve a bug in Apple’s password reset feature. Here’s what happens:

  • A targeted user’s Apple devices will display dozens of system-level prompts that prevent the devices from being used until responding to the “Allow” or “Don’t Allow” notification prompt.

  • The scammers will then call the victim with a spoofed caller ID showing Apple Support (and using Apple’s real customer support number), saying that their account is under attack and that Apple Support needs to “verify” a one-time code to fix it.

  • If the user gives up that one-time code, the attackers can then reset the password on the account and lock the user out. They can also remotely wipe all of the user’s Apple devices.

  • A user on X recently shared his experience being targeted with this attack: “Because these are Apple system level alerts, they prevent me from using my phone, watch, or laptop until I clicked “Don’t Allow” to 100+ notifications.”

  • They even got his personal info correct: “I was obviously still on guard, so I asked them to validate a ton of information about me. They got a lot right, from DOB, to email, to phone number, to current address, historic addresses.”

  • In another instance, a user reported the push notifications as continuing even after he bought a new iPhone, changed his email address, and created a new iCloud account.

How Does This Happen?

  • According to KrebsOnSecurity, attackers appear to be using the “Forgot Apple ID‌ Password” page to trigger the notification attack.

  • The page requires a user's ‌Apple ID‌ email or phone number. When an email address is entered, the page shows the last 2 digits of the phone number associated with the Apple ID. When filling in the missing digits and hitting submit, the alerts get sent.

  • However, there’s a CAPTCHA there to prevent this function from being spammed and abused.

  • While Apple hasn’t confirmed or denied anything, security researchers believe this to be a rate limit bug on Apple’s end.

  • I explain the details in this video.

What Can You Do?

  • The attackers likely scrape ‘people search’ websites for information such as name, address, phone number, etc. The first step to protecting yourself is by removing your info from these sites. Here’s an easy way to do so (+ an alternative).

  • Apple’s password reset system will also accept email aliases. Adding a “+” character after the username portion of your email address lets you create an infinite number of unique email addresses tied to the same account.

  • And lastly, if hit with this attack, simply hang up and call Apple Support yourself. This way you don’t fall victim to a spoofed phone number/caller ID.

An important thing to note about this exploit is that 2FA or physical keys will not prevent an attack. A phone number is required for every Apple account, that is the data being manipulated.

Apple Silicon Vulnerability

The other vulnerability discovered this week is far less worrisome than the above. Here are the details:

  • GoFetch is a newly discovered unpatchable vulnerability that impacts Apple's M-series chips.

  • The flaw - a side-channel attack - lies within the chips’ data memory-dependent prefetcher (DMP), a hardware optimization that predicts the memory addresses of data that running code is likely to access in the near future.

  • Data can be leaked out of a core's cache when DMP is enabled.

  • The DMP on the M3 chip has a special bit that developers can invoke to disable the feature.

  • There are other workarounds to prevent this vulnerability from being exploited, as noted here.

This might sound like something to worry about but it’s not, according to an ex-Apple Security Engineer:

If you're panicking about GoFetch, you shouldn't. It does not apply to Apple SoC's hardware cryptography, which protects your data. The exploit uses cache timing to make constant time software crypto algos lose their constant time guarantees which can leak keys.

🧐 New iPhone 16 Updates

iPhone 16 dummy unit

We’re still 5 months away from seeing the iPhone 16 but the leaks & rumors have finally begun heating up. Here’s the latest from this week:

  • The A18 Pro chip coming to the iPhone 16 Pro models will feature a larger die size for increased AI performance, along with an upgraded Neural Engine with "significantly" more cores.

  • The iPhone 16 Pro will allegedly come in new "Space Black" and "Rose" titanium colors.

  • The iPhone 16’s new “capture button” has been shown in the form of a 3rd party case. This will apparently be placed below the power button on the right side.

  • iPhone 16 dummy units have been shared online. The 16 Pro & Pro Max are rumored to have 6.3” & 6.9” displays, respectively.

📰 Quick News Bites

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