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alarms

Hammer thug told security guard

A man who threatened a worker with a hammer at his local supermarket said I m from Salford, you best let me go after being tackled to the ground by a security guard. Damien Yates, 49, then told the guard: I will be back for you.

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The attacker was a regular shopper at the store, in Longsight, and it was inevitable he would have been identified and caught, Manchester Crown Court heard. Yates was jailed for 32 months for attempted robbery on Friday, December 8.

The trouble began when Yates burst into the Farmfoods store in Stockport Road, Longsight, on October 27, brandishing a hammer and threatened a female worker who was cleaning the floor.

The court heard the raid took place at about 9pm and he warned the woman: You better open the till. Yates then raised the hammer above his head before the worker called for help, prosecutor Nicola Carroll said. The store s quick-thinking security guard was able to wrestle Yates to the ground and disarm him, before the police were called.

As the guard pinned Yates down, the defendant said: I m from Salford, you best let me go . I will be back for you.

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Defending, Jane Miller said Yates regularly uses the shop as a customer. She said: Staff knew who he was and he was easily identified . It was inevitable he was going to be caught. Yates, of Hamilton Road, Longsight, is originally from Salford but had moved to fashion a new life for himself, Ms Miller said.

He has a history of addiction to class A drugs and has suffered from mental health problems, the judge heard.

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The court was told that Yates is remorseful and has sent what the judge described as a heartfelt letter apologising to the shop worker. Ms Miller said a possible explanation for Yates offending was that he had a criminal debt of 600 to pay. Sentencing, Recorder Mark Ainsworth said: The incident was over in a matter of seconds .

Nevertheless it would have been a very distressing incident . It left her shaken up and not feeling safe in her place of work. The judge accepted that Yates, who has an appalling record of 53 previous convictions, recognised the consequences of his actions.

He previously pleaded guilty to one count of attempted robbery.

Apple iOS 11 security ‘downgrade’ decried as ‘horror show’

After rapidly patching a flaw1 that allowed anyone with access to a High Sierra Mac to obtain administrative control, Apple still has more work to do to make its software secure, namely iOS 11, it was claimed this week. Oleg Afonin, a security researcher for password-cracking forensic IT biz Elcomsoft, in a blog post2 on Wednesday called iOS 11 “a horror story” due to changes the fruit-themed firm made to its mobile operating system that stripped away a stack of layered defenses. What’s left, he argued, is a single point of failure: the iOS device passcode.

With an iOS device and its passcode a barrier but not a particularly strong one an attacker can gain access not only to the device, but to a variety of linked cloud services and any other hardware associated with the device owner’s Apple ID. Before the release of iOS 11, Alfonin explained in a phone interview with The Register, there were several layers of protection in iOS.

“I feel they were pretty adequate for what they were,” he said. “It seems like Apple abandoned all the layers except the passcode . Now the entire protection scheme depends on that one thing.”

What changed was the iOS device backup password in iTunes . In iOS 10 and earlier, users could set a unique password to secure an encrypted backup copy of the data on an iPhone . That password travelled with the hardware and if you attempted to connect the iPhone to a different computer in order to make another backup via iTunes, you’d have to supply the same backup password.

In iOS 11, everything changed . As Apple explains in its Knowledge Base3, “With iOS 11 or later, you can make a new encrypted backup of your device by resetting the password.”

That’s a security problem because device backups made through iTunes contain far more data than would be available just through an unlocked iPhone . And that data can be had through the sort of forensic tools Elcomsoft and other companies sell.

“Once an intruder gains access to the user s iPhone and knows (or recovers) the passcode, there is no single extra layer of protection left,” Alfonin explains in his post. “Everything (and I mean, everything) is now completely exposed . Local backups, the keychain, iCloud lock, Apple account password, cloud backups and photos, passwords from the iCloud Keychain, call logs, location data, browsing history, browser tabs and even the user s original Apple ID password are quickly exposed.”

So the risk goes beyond the compromised phone and any associated Apple devices: Apple’s iCloud Keychain could include, say, Google or Microsoft passwords. Alfonin in his post suggested “Apple gave up” in the wake of complaints from police, the FBI, and users . Asked whether he had any reason to believe the change was made to appease authorities, he said, “I don’t believe this was made for the police . I believe it was just user complaints.”

Nonetheless, the iOS change has significant implications for those who deal with authorities, at border crossings for example.

“If I cross the border, I may be forced to reveal my passcode,” he said, noting that many thousands of electronic device searches happen every year.

With that passcode, authorities could create their own device backup and store it, which would allow them to go back and extract passwords unrelated to the device itself later on. “If that happens they have access to everything, every password I have,” he said. Alfonin said with iOS 11, Apple’s entire protection scheme has fallen apart . He likened the situation to the 2014 iCloud hack known as Celebgate4.

“Those iCloud accounts were protected with just passwords,” said Alfonin. “We have a similar situation today . If it’s just one single thing, then it’s not adequate protection.”

To fix the issue, Alfonin suggests going back to the way things were. “It was a perfectly balanced system,” he said. “I don’t think anybody complained seriously . The ability to reset an iTunes Backup password is not necessary .

If they revert it back to the way it was in iOS 10, that would be perfect.”

Of course, this is just Alfonin and Elcomsoft’s opinion . Others in the world of infosec were not convinced by his arguments for example, Dino Dai Zovi, cofounder of cloud security biz Capsulate8, was having none of it:

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

PS: Apple’s iPhone X shares face scans with apps, which has some people worried5 . Also, if you have installed the password-less root security patch on macOS 10.13.0, and then upgraded to 10.13.1, make sure you reinstall the patch Apple’s Software Update mechanism should do this automatically and reboot .

The upgrade from .0 to .1 nukes6 the emergency fix.

Sponsored: Journey to a cloud phone system7

References

  1. ^ rapidly patching a flaw (www.theregister.co.uk)
  2. ^ blog post (blog.elcomsoft.com)
  3. ^ Knowledge Base (support.apple.com)
  4. ^ Celebgate (en.wikipedia.org)
  5. ^ has some people worried (www.washingtonpost.com)
  6. ^ nukes (www.wired.com)
  7. ^ Journey to a cloud phone system (go.theregister.com)

UK Flights To The US To Be Subject To Stricter Security Checks

A US government spokeswoman has said new security screening measures will apply to all flights to America from abroad from Thursday. Lisa Farbstein, a spokeswoman for the US Transportation Security Administration, told The Associated Press1 on Wednesday that affects the approximately 2,100 flights arriving daily to America. She said in a statement that the new security measures may include enhancing passenger screening, heightened screening of electronics and increasing security measures.

She says both US citizens and foreigners will face the same security. The agency s comments come as six global long-haul carriers said they will start asking passengers security questions before they board flights at the request of US officials. The stricter passenger screening is designed to avoid an in-cabin ban on laptops, airlines said.

Airlines contacted by Reuters said the new measures could include short security interviews with passengers at check-in or the boarding gate, sparking concerns over flight delays and extended processing time. They will affect 325,000 airline passengers on about 2,000 commercial flights arriving daily in the United States, on 180 airlines from 280 airports in 105 countries. The United States announced the new rules in June to end its restrictions on carry-on electronic devices on planes coming from 10 airports in eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa in response to unspecified security threats.

Those restrictions were lifted in July, but the Trump administration said it could reimpose measures on a case by case basis if airlines and airports did not boost security. European and US officials said at the time that airlines had 120 days to comply with the measures, including increased passenger screening . The 120-day deadline is Thursday . Airlines had until late July to expand explosive trace detection testing.

We see this as a big issue for China Airlines, Steve Chang, senior vice president of the Taiwanese firm told reporters on Wednesday, adding the airline was trying to consult with the American Institute in the country over the issue. Korean Airlines, South Korea s flagship carrier, also said it had a lot of concerns with the new measures.

We are asking customers to show up at the airport early .. .

It s just inconvenient for the passengers, President and Chief Operating Officer Walter Cho told Reuters in Taipei. Lufthansa Group said on Tuesday the measures would be in place by Thursday and travelers could face short interviews at check-in or at the gate. Economy passengers on Lufthansa s Swiss airline have been asked to check in at least 90 minutes before departure.

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd said it would suspend in-town check-in and self bag-drop services for passengers booked on direct flights to the United States . The airline said passengers would also have short security interviews and it has advised travelers to arrive three hours before departure. Singapore Airlines Ltd said the security checks could include inspections of personal electronic devices as well as security questioning during check-in and boarding. Airlines for America, a US trade group, said the changes are complex security measures but praised US officials for giving airlines flexibility in meeting the new rules.

Alexandre de Juniac, CEO of the International Air Transport Association, said the industry understoood security threats to aviation were made regularly but in this case the US government had not shared any specific dangers before changing the rules.

What we have seen is very strange, he told reporters in Taipei . Unilateral measures announced without any prior consultation.. . That is something that is very concerning and disturbing. At their annual meeting in Taipei, Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) members passed a resolution calling for security measures to be risk-based, outcome-focused and proportionate to the probable threat.

Unilateral actions taken by individual goverments reacting to emerging threats may result in unneccessary disruption or lead to unintended safety consequences, said the members.

AAPA includes most large Asian airlines but not mainland Chinese carriers.

The risk is other countries make similar demands, AAPA Director General Andrew Herdman said. US authorities in June also increased security around aircraft and in passenger areas, and other places where travellers can be cleared by US officials before they depart. A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spokeswoman declined to discuss the specific changes but said the United States continues to work with our partners to raise the baseline of global aviation security and keep the entire traveling public safe.

The TSA said in July it was imposing new security rules requiring US domestic airline travellers to remove all electronic items larger than mobile phones such as tablets, e-readers and video game consoles from carry-on baggage for screening.

References

  1. ^ told The Associated Press (apnews.com)