Apple to fix FaceTime security flaw

Apple has had to temporarily disable the Group FaceTime feature on iOS and macOS to fix a security flaw that allows anyone to call a phone or Mac and listen to the built-in input before the person picks up the call. As a result of the flaw Apple disabled the Group FaceTime option which should fix the problem, but people are still reporting being able to reproduce the flaw. Reports say that the issue could have been circulating for up to three months. It is understood a software update that is set to release before the end of the month will address the issue. In the meantime, New York governor Andrew Cuomo has issued a warning to residents advising them to delete the FaceTime app until a fix is released.

Facebook plans merge of messaging services

Facebook’s reported plan to merge its Messenger, Instagram Messaging, and WhatsApp messaging platforms has thrown up concerns of a monopolized market. According to the New York Times, the company is planning on letting users use a single app to send messages across all platforms. Whilst the standalone apps would still be available to users, the development would allow users to streamline their messaging apps. A company spokesperson said to CNBC “We [Facebook] are working on making more of our messaging products end-to-end encrypted.” Antitrust experts have voiced concerns that the merger could make it harder to make Facebook separate the entities they own in the future if a demerger was forced through as an anti-monopoly measure.

Huawei at the center of US criminal charges

Tech giant Huawei’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada last month. Since then, the US has filed charges against the company including bank fraud, obstruction of justice and technology theft. The case has put further tensions on the already strained US-Chinese relationship. In a statement released today, the company has said it is “disappointed to learn of the charges brought against the company” and that it did not commit “any of the asserted violations.” One of the indictments alleges that Huawei stole tech from T-Mobile, as well as obstructing and committing wire fraud. Huawei have said they settled the T-Mobile case in a 2014 civil case. The indictment focuses on alleged theft of US technology, which also happens to be a major sticking point in wider trade negotiations that are being undertaken between the Chinese government and the Trump administration.

Sources:

https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/29/18201667/apple-group-facetime-disabled-server-side-major-security-flaw-fix
https://www.scoopwhoop.com/merging-fb-whatsapp-insta/#.u7osdchnd
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jan/25/facebook-integrate-instagram-messenger-whatsapp-messaging-platforms
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-47038322