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Teardown Finds iPhone 5 Costs Apple About the Same As Did 4S

bushing news flash: iSuppli's BOMs are deliberately low (143 comments)

iSuppli's business model revolves around finding you low prices for components (for a nice, hefty fee, of course) for your next big consumer electronics product; these teardowns are just advertising for that service. In order to pull customers in, they mark down the lowest plausible price for each component; it's unlikely that even Apple can get these low prices for each component.

Practially every teardown they show is low-balled, because there's no way to verify any of these numbers, and lower numbers gets them more contracting business.

about 2 years ago

Apple Releases IOS Security Guide

bushing Re:Comparisson to Android? (91 comments)

This is well-written, but mostly incorrect, based on some bad assumptions about sandboxing and encryption.

The main differences are as follows: the iOS sandbox is somewhat weaker than the Android sandbox. It restricts fewer things and in the past (not sure if it was fixed these days), key first-party apps such as the web browser were not sandboxed at all, which is how several generations of jailbreak worked.

No, the iOS sandbox is stronger, in that it supports more fine-grained control over access to individual syscalls (based on the BSD-heritage Mandatory Access Control framework), as well as the API-level and filesystem permission-level isolation that Android relies upon. Jailbreaks didn't rely on a lack of sandboxing, for the most part -- they exploited kernel bugs in e.g. the graphics driver. It took until 2011 that "rooting" on Android even approached the complexity of the 2008 iPhone exploits; the neccesary exploits on Android were generally much simpler.

Android was designed from the ground up with the mentality that there should ideally not be an "us vs them" divide - Android treats all apps more or less the same, security-wise, meaning that the browser is just a regular app that runs in a permission-controlled sandbox like any other. This open design is one reason why the permissions UI on Android is more complex than for iOS - apps can do more things and the OS has to communicate that to you.

This is only partially true. Android most certainly does distinguish between "system apps" and 3rd-party apps -- why do you think people have to root their phones to remove crapware?

The main reason that Android's permissions UI is more complex is ... a design issue. The Android team decided that it was better to make all users click through a screen showing a bunch of scary shit, so that they could later blame the user if the app does something strange. "Dialog fatigue" ensures that very few people actually read the whole UI, and the fact that you can't (on a stock system) individually deny any access (while still using the app) means that most people just suck it up and run the app and take their chances.

Most of the rest of what you wrote is wrong, because you base it on the statement that Android's sandbox is stronger.

With regards to other features, like drive encryption, as of the latest releases I believe both operating systems are largely comparable.

Okay, now go back and actually read the Apple paper, starting with page 8. iOS's encryption is fine-grained -- the whole partition is encrypted, and then individual files are further encrypted, depending on the application and use (e.g. you can receive new email and take new photos while the phone is locked; that stuff is then encrypted and written to flash, and cannot be accessed until you unlock the phone with a PIN. Older contents cannot be decrypted until you unlock the phone). Android only got encryption with 3.x and 4.x -- about 2 years after it appeared on iOS -- and it's a shitty implementation (requires a full battery, AC power, and > 1 hour to enable or disable; any interruption will cause data loss; must enter PIN code on boot, which then causes the whole flash to be decrypted in memory until you turn the phone off).

more than 2 years ago

Apple Negotiates For Unlimited iTunes Downloads

bushing Re:My experience with Apple... (133 comments)

I think that the issue here is that Apple is required to "only allow one download per purchase, under normal circumstances" (or something to that effect). Emailing them and asking for them to make an exception and let you redownload the music may be within the terms of their license, but "automatic" redownloading apparently isn't.

more than 3 years ago

Playstation 3 Code Signing Cracked For Good

bushing Re:Wow... (534 comments)

How did Sony fuck that one up? It was my(admittedly layman's) understanding that a public/private key crypto implementation, assuming it isn't deeply flawed, using key lengths suited to the computational capacities of PDP-8s, or otherwise totally fucked, was mathematically secure against anything other than a profound breakthrough in prime factorization algorithms, an unbelievable advance in computational power, or an insider leaking your private key.

Close. These algorithms only work correctly if implemented correctly. There are various known pitfalls with each of these algorithms; for example, the original iPhone was unlocked using an RSA implementation error (Bleichenbacher attack against an RSA implementation that does not correctly validate padding and uses exponent 3). ECDSA happens to have a "pitfall" that leaks information inside the signatures it makes.

This doesn't make it a bad algorithm -- it can achieve the same security of RSA using smaller keys and in less time -- but the "pitfall" here is particularly bad.

more than 3 years ago

Playstation 3 Code Signing Cracked For Good

bushing Re:How did they get the private key, if they did? (534 comments)

They don't have Sony's signing key, from what I've read. What they have is a flaw in the key generation process, which allows them to generate valid signed packages without the private key. In fact, here's the video from the conference itself:

No, GP was right. The exact signing key used by Sony may be derived from the public components of their ECDSA signatures. Not something close; not something equivalent.

more than 3 years ago

Stephen Fry and DVD Jon Back USB Sniffer Project

bushing Re:Amusing video but... (126 comments)

Having worked with several commercial USB protocol analyzers over the years I have yet to see one was anything more than an FPGA connected to an off the shelf USB PHY chip. As much as I like cute dog videos these guys need to post proper requirements and design specifications if they seriously want funding from me.

Click through the links to the actual Kickstarter project description. We did some handwaving to keep it accessible for J. Random (Software) Hacker, but I think we gave enough details to answer your questions.

(tl;dr: yes, you're right, and that's more or less what we're doing. Haven't decided on which PHY to use, looking at some SMSC and NXP parts.)

OpenVizsla will be a completely open design of a device that can capture USB 1.1/2.0 (high-speed, full-speed and low-speed) traffic passively between a target USB device and the connected host (usually a PC, but potentially anything that has a USB host port -- think Xbox 360 and PS3). It will be controlled by any computer using open-source client software or potentially in standalone mode (where captured traffic is stored onto an on-board SD card).

As is proper for any open and hackable design, unused I/Os on the FPGA will be exposed (via 0.1" header) for use as a primitive logic analyzer. We hope to eventually support additional sniffing interfaces (SPI, I2C RS232, SD card etc) that connect to a high-speed Mictor connector that can act as 'man-in-the-middle' and extend the device capability limitlessly.

The OpenVizsla device is built around a multi-layer PCB with around 180 surface-mount components that allow the target USB packets to be captured, buffered and delivered to the PC (or stored on SD card in standalone mode).

An XMOS event-driven processor will handle the huge amount of USB data (these little chips are fast!) and it will handle the overall communications with the host (which will be a fully published protocol!) and will provide on-board system programming, housekeeping and of course flash the status LEDs! In standalone mode, the XMOS chip will handle data acquisition and SD card storage; this processor is fully reconfigurable and can be modified and reprogrammed to improve the features or adapt to new requirements.

For the high-speed USB signals a Xilinx Spartan3E FPGA (with attached, expandable RAM) will capture, process and buffer the USB traffic from an attached USB transceiver that we use to deserialize the USB signals from the target link.

more than 3 years ago

Emulation Arrives On the PS3

bushing Re:Well, is this a good thing? (169 comments)

Yup, similarly to the DS homebrew scene. IIRC the libdns homebrew library had parts which were ripped of the original nintendo SDK... of course people just turned a blind eye on that

It's a subject of some debate. The Xbox homebrew scene, as I understand it, used files directly copied from a leaked Xbox SDK. libnds uses some code that is more or less directly translated from disassembled DS SDK code (though you can get most of the same code from dumped games anyway); some feel that this is morally / legally equivalent to just copying the files.

more than 3 years ago

Emulation Arrives On the PS3

bushing Re:Well, is this a good thing? (169 comments)

I fail to see your logic, there is no independent group in charge of banning people from the PSN. If Sony decides to ban you, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, regardless of the reason they ban you.

Sure -- if Sony decides to ban you, you've already messed up. Sony can't "decide to ban you" if they can't tell you've done anything naughty, so it's better to avoid permanent changes to the console that can be detected by their software.

more than 3 years ago

PS3 Hacked via USB Dongle

bushing Re:That is a debug unit (337 comments)

I think most of you are missing the fact that this is running on a debug unit

What makes you say that?

about 4 years ago

PS3 Hacked via USB Dongle

bushing Re:Tag parent fail (337 comments)

Care to explain what PCB traces are shared between D+/D- on the USB and the RAM? And what this has to do with your TomTom?

You're also confusing the service mode jig used in Sony repair centers on retail consoles with debug consoles used for development. The two are unrelated.

about 4 years ago

Oscilloscopes For Modern Engineers?

bushing Re:Tek 1012B (337 comments)

It's also worth pointing out that Rigol apparently makes some of Agilent's low-end scopes for them, so the fact that they aren't a household name doesn't mean all that much.

The Rigol scope has a lot of nice features that you wouldn't expect to find on a cheap scope -- it can take screenshots and store them to a USB thumb drive or print them to a USB printer, you can connect it to your computer to control it or acquire data via USB or RS-232, etc. It actually oversamples at 1 Gigasample/second -- there have been a number of EEVblog shows about it, talking about its performance, the parts that go into it (and the corners they did cut to get the price down!), etc. Google "eevblog rigol" to find the rest of them.

more than 4 years ago

New Wii Menu Update Targets Homebrew Again

bushing Re:easy solution (258 comments)

As for adding new functionality, Nintendo has been adding new functionality to the Wii from time to time as well (dare I say more than Sony has done with PS3). This update is the first anti-piracy-only Wii update that doesn't add new functionality (or fix other problems).

They really haven't. Let's consider the timeline of updates to the Wii software since the first exploit was demonstrated. Note that there's no technical need to update the System Menu, any version of IOS (the invisible "firmware" that implements all of the interesting security features of the system), or any channel at the same time. IOS fixes can never add functionality by themselves, they can only work around some bugs in disc-based games. Any update that claims "behind the scenes updates" or "system improvements" refers to IOS updates, most of which are to patch exploits and very few of which actually impact performance, despite their claims.

  • v3.3 June 17, 2008 -- No features, added code to the System Menu to block the Twilight Hack.
  • v3.4 November 17, 2008 -- Fixed anti-Twilight Hack code. Updated Parental Controls, and added USB keyboard to the Mii Channel (?). Strange attempt to block the default slot number used by a code example I released.
  • v4.0 March 25, 2009 -- Considerable update to the System Menu to add support for running channels that are stored on SD card.
  • v4.1 July 2009 -- Fixes an obscure System Menu bug. Added code to better block copy-protected saves.
  • v4.2 September 28, 2009 -- First attempt at blocking Bannerbomb.Also added code to delete the Homebrew Channel and DVDX. Added code to check to see if a console had its region altered, in some cases forcing a brick (!). Improved region-checking code for games. Forced a bootloader update (boot2v4) that didn't actually fix any bugs or exploits -- it just overwrote your bootloader "just in case" you had modified it, and caused a fair bit of collateral damage which Nintendo tried to blame on "hacking", even on virgin consoles. (There's a reason they tell you not to reflash your BIOS if you don't really need to...)
  • v4.2 June 21, 2010 -- Second attempt at blocking Bannerbomb. Deletes (again!) the Homebrew Channel and BootMii(/IOS), and patches IOS exploits used to install them.

The only update Nintendo has done in the past 2 and a half years that has actually benefitted users was v4.0, which added the SD support (as crude as it was). All the others have just been ways to fix various exploits. They fail at using the carrot; their stick is the fact that the Shopping channel will break unless you update, and many games will force you to update before you can play them.

more than 4 years ago

Sleeping iPhones Send Phantom Data

bushing Re:Who cares about 3G usage? (248 comments)

There is carrier-specific baseband that runs on each device, so it could have something to do with that.

Untrue. Each firmware for each iPhone comes with a version of the baseband firmware that will work anywhere in the world; the only carrier-specific settings are SIM locking info (ugh), voicemail/MMS servers, etc.

more than 4 years ago

Skype App Updated, Allows 3G Calling On the iPhone

bushing Re:That's nice (109 comments)

Gee, thanks for "allowing" this, you're all too kind. [...] But I'm sure it will be a great innovation and a lot of fuss about it when the iPhone 4G or whatever invents video calls later on.

You do realize that the company that is "allowing this" is Skype, not Apple, right? There was an Apple-imposed restriction on apps using VOIP over 3G, but that was lifted back in January -- hell, that's even in the summary of this article! Other apps that were released or updated since then have supported it.

The news here is that Skype finally updated their own app, and Skype may start charging for their service when used over 3G -- money that would go to them, not to Apple, AT&T or anyone else. That's the only "innovation" we're talking about here.

more than 4 years ago

iPhone SDK Agreement Shuts Out HyperCard Clone

bushing Re:No MacBook mini (610 comments)

You can develop however you like on OS X, which would be the analogous case to developing on Windows.

Find me a 10" MacBook on Apple's web site. The closest thing is iPad.

Why do you need a "MacBook mini"?

For the same reason that anyone else needs a 10" laptop: limited physical space. I seem to remember that either AT&T or a netbook maker ran a TV ad about a netbook (in flight mode) fitting into a coach airplane seat, while the seat in front got in the way of a larger laptop's screen.

And consider the "Homepage" at the top of your post. I use my Dell Mini 10 to develop homebrew games for at least one game console.

Sure; I wasn't disagreeing with you, I just didn't understand what you were saying and was asking for clarification.

When the parent poster said "You can develop however you like on OS X", I think they meant "You can write whatever programs you want on OS X" or perhaps "You can use whatever software tools you want to write programs that run on OS X". I don't think anyone ever said "Everyone who wants to develop for OS X will find hardware that fits their needs".

That being said ... coming back around (tangentially) to the world of gaming, I believe the Mac builds of ScummVM are actually built on Linux boxes using a cross-compiling toolchain (based on odcctools). That's more effort than I'd care to go to, but if you were dead-set on developing apps for the Mac using your Dell Mini 10, you could go that route.

more than 4 years ago

iPhone SDK Agreement Shuts Out HyperCard Clone

bushing Re:No MacBook mini (610 comments)

You can develop however you like on OS X, which would be the analogous case to developing on Windows.

Find me a 10" MacBook on Apple's web site. The closest thing is iPad.

Why do you need a "MacBook mini"?

more than 3 years ago

Sony Update Bricks Playstations

bushing Re:Par for the course? (510 comments)

No, there are two words to explain that: Other OS. Check out this table (slightly outdated, it's a year old or so) by console hacker Michael Steil (or watch him talk about it on any of his talks). Every console post-PS2 was hacked for homebrew, and then those hacks were abused for piracy. The PS3 comes with homebrew, therefore there is little motivation to crack the native system. Pro-piracy people are rarely good hackers, and need homebrew to piggyback on.

This is just plain BS. Piracy on modern consoles (at least in the case of the Xbox 360 and Wii) involve bypassing the DVD drive's built in security check. This really has nothing to do with homebrew and you can, in fact, run homebrew on either system without modifying the DVD drive to accept pirated discs. So your statement that pro-piracy people are a) rarely good hackers and b) are piggybacking on homebrew is complete crap.

Get your facts straight before commenting on something you obviously know nothing about.

You might want to weigh your own confidence against the authority of the person making claims you disagree with before launching into an attack.

I don't really understand your objection to a), and I think Marcan's claims about b) are justified but deserve a bit of clarification. It's not so simple; as Michael Steil discusses, the efforts (piracy vs homebrew) often leverage each others' work. The only reason you can "run homebrew [on the Wii] without modifying the DVD drive to accept pirated discs" is that ... we were able to bootstrap our efforts by using modified disc images, which requires modifying the DVD drive to accept burned discs. The first unsigned code execution we demonstrated used a patched Lego Star Wars disc with code injected into it. Later, we used the same technique to inject debugging code into a copy of Zelda, and then used that to facilitate making a save-game exploit that ultimately did not require hardware modification.

It might have been possible to reach that end goal in some different way, but it would have been much more difficult.

more than 4 years ago

Game Devs Migrating Toward iPhone, Away From Wii

bushing Re:False assumption? (143 comments)

Just watch out if your computer dies and you have no way to start iTunes and click "Deactivate". 5 dead computers later and all your purchases are history.

... except for the part where you can fire up iTunes on your new computer, sign into your account without activating, and click "Deauthorize All Computers" and then activate your new computer(s).

more than 4 years ago



Nintendo charges extra fee to repair "hacked&#

bushing bushing writes  |  more than 5 years ago

bushing writes "Not only is Nintendo of Europe voiding the warranties of Wiis that are sent in for repair if they are found to have homebrew software installed, but they're doubling the price of the repair as a penalty. The sad part is that they can only detect the "Softwarehacks" if the device powers on — so I expect people will start trying to figure out clever ways of really breaking them before sending them in for repair."
Link to Original Source

XFree86 project releases 4.7.0

bushing bushing writes  |  about 7 years ago

bushing (20804) writes "To quote the official site: 'Rumour is true and 4.7.0 has been released. Get yours now and be ahead of the curve.' Go on!"


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