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Apple Hardware iOS iPad iPhone

Apple releases iOS 14 and new Apple Watches

Apple announced the release of iOS 14, new Apple Watches, and other products and services at its September 2020 event.

iOS 14 has several new features, including a new Translate app with 11 languages, digital versions of car keys, and  Home app for smart home management.

New watches include the Apple Watch 6 Series and Apple Watch SEWatch OS 7 also includes sleep tracking and other health related features.

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Google Hardware Operating Systems

Chrome OS automatic updates may not be available for older devices

Google’s Chrome OS is a secure choice for an operating system, but older devices may no longer be supported.  When a Chrome device reaches its Auto Update Expiration (AUE) date, automatic updates from Google will no longer be provided.

IFixit has instructions on how to convert a working Chromebook past its expiration date to use CloudReady.

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Hardware Security

Ring now requires two-factor authentication

Ring now requires that customers use two-factor authentication when when they log into their accounts.  Instructions on how to set up Ring two-factor authentication may be found here.

The Ring app also has a new Control Center for customers to manage their privacy and security settings.

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Apple Google Hardware

Major tech companies working on new smart home device standards

Apple, Google, and other tech companies have announced the formation of a new project to set up new common communication standards for smart home devices.   Project Connected Home over IP will allow smart home devices from different manufacturers to communicate with one another using an open standard with built-in security.

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Apple Hardware

Apple battery recall of older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro models

Apple has a voluntary recall and free battery replacement program for certain 15-inch MacBook Pro models sold between 2015 and 2017.  These units can be identified by serial number at support.apple.com/15-inch-macbook-pro-battery-recall.

This recall is currently one of the programs available at Apple’s Exchange and Repair Extension Program page.

Apple also announced a partnership with Best Buy which designates their stores as Apple authorized repair locations.

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Hardware Security

Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS) security vulnerability in CPUs

Intel released information regarding a new set of CPU vulnerabilities called Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS).  A list of affected Intel products may be found here.

Updates are available from major technology companies for this issue, including:

AMD states that their CPUS are not affected by this vulnerability.

Categories
Google Hardware Security

Google offers free replacement BLE Titan Security Keys for security issue

Google issued a security notice on its Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Titan Security Keys and is offering a free replacement for affected keys.  A new key may be requested at google.com/replacemykey.

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Hardware

USB4 specification will be released in 2019

The USB Implementers Forum announced that the specifications for USB4 will be released at some time in 2019.   This new USB port will be based on the existing Thunderbolt 3 port.