Weekly Technology News: Apple Edition


Weekly Technology News

Welcome to this week’s edition of my Weekly Technology News!technology

Few Gleanings from my perusing the Internet.
Apple Pay Stung by Low-Tech Fraudsters – Apple’s new mobile-payment system has been hit by a wave of fraudulent transactions using credit-card data stolen in recent breaches of big retailers, including Home Depot and Target, people familiar with the matter said. The Apple Pay system itself hasn’t been penetrated by hackers. Rather, fraudsters are entering stolen card data into phones, which can then be used to make purchases without a physical card being present. An Apple spokesman said, “Apple Pay is designed to be extremely secure and protect a user’s personal information.” The reported fraud highlights how compromised card data can be valuable to cybercriminals long after merchants secure holes in their payment systems.

AppleApple Will Replace AT&T in the Dow Jones Industrial Average – Apple will replace AT&T in the Dow Jones industrial average, the managers of the index announced early Friday. S&P Dow Jones Indices said the switch will take place after the close of trading on Wednesday, March 18. Apple will start trading as part of the 30-stock Dow at the opening of trading the next day. S&P Dow Jones Indices said it’s making the move in response to a planned stock split for Visa. After its four-to-one stock split, Visa will wind up with a lower price. S&P said that would reduce the weight of the information technology sector in the Dow. Adding Apple will help balance out this reduction. Unlike other stock-market measures, the Dow weighs members by their prices, so a large change in the price of one stock can have a big effect on the overall index. Most companies removed from the Dow, however, have been doing very well since their exit, with few exceptions, CNBC noted: For example, Altria is up 142 percent since 2008 while Honeywell is up 82 percent since its removal the same day.

Apple Prices Apple Watch – Apple made a major play for the wearables market with the unveiling of its highly-anticipated new watch on Monday, the first new product line from the company since the introduction of the iPad and the death of Steve Jobs. The Apple Watch is a miniature computer with a touchscreen that is worn around the wrist which requires a connection to an iPhone to be fully operational. The starting price for the Apple Watch Sport model is $350, but an array of bands will add to the price tag for consumers. The starting price for the “Watch” model is $550. Higher-end models such as the Apple Watch Edition, which is made of 18-karat yellow or rose gold, will cost upwards of $10,000

ApplePayFraud Comes to Apple Pay – Some banks are seeing a growing incidence of fraud on Apple’s mobile-payment service as criminals exploit vulnerabilities in the verification process of adding a credit card, according to people familiar with the matter. The fraud issue was brought to light by Cherian Abraham, a payment expert who works with banks and retailers on mobile-payment strategies, in a blog post in late February. He said fraud “is growing like a weed, and the bank is unable to tell friend from foe.” Abraham said it’s not “an anomaly” to see fraud accounting for about 6 percent of Apple Pay transactions, compared to about 0.1 percent of transactions using a plastic card to swipe. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the fraud rates, but said Apple Pay is “designed to be extremely secure and protect a user’s personal information.” She added that “banks are always reviewing and improving their approval process, which varies by bank.”


Sources: The Wall Street Journal, online;The New York Times, online; Los Angeles Times, online; USA Today, online; Associated Press; Bloomberg; Reuters; Fortune, online; CNET; Barron’s, online; MarketWatch; Seeking Alpha; Ars Technica; Boy Genius Report; Gigaom; Quartz; Re/code; SlashGear; TechnoBuffalo; TechCrunch.Washington Post, online; Investor’s Business Daily, online; Engadget; The Verge.

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  1. David, are you saying there are two distinct vulnerabilities in the Apple Pay system? 1) It can be confused by fraudulent user identification (item 1 above) and 2) its hardware/software implementation can be directly abused by “evildoers” (item 4 above)?

    Do you think these vulnerabilities are primarily due to it being a (relatively) new product, or due to fundamental flaws in the design of the Apple Watch line, or even due to fundamental security problems in all products which communicate electronically?

  2. Both.

    Apple has been blessed by not getting all the malware that has plagued windows. But now that they have become more and more popular- their holes have becomes more and more exploited.

    Any new system is vulnerable, and considering how expensive Apple is, compared to its competitors- it makes them a HUGE target.

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