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Apple says hackers attacked and infected ‘small number’ of Macs

EXCLUSIVE: Apple said it was attacked by hackers who infected "small number" of its Mac computers. #BREAKING
Reuters Top News (@Reuters) February 19, 2013

Apple has confirmed that hackers attacked and infected a "small numbers" of Mac users, according to reports from Reuters. The company told the publication that the same unidentified group thought to be behind an attack on Facebook targeted it and breached and a small number of employees' Macs. Apple said it is working with authorities to investigate the attacks but "there was no evidence that any data left Apple."

Apple Inc computers were attacked by the same hackers who targeted Facebook Inc, but no data appeared to have been stolen, the company said on Tuesday in an unprecedented admission of a widespread cyber-security breach.

According to the report, the attack exploited a flaw in the Java browser plug-in on Macs and also hit Facebook in addition to "hundreds of companies, including defense contractors, had been infected with the same malicious software, or malware." Apple told Reuters it plans to release a tool later today that would protect Mac users against the software used in the attacks on its employees' computers.

Apple also provided a statement on the matter to AllThingsD:

"Apple has identified malware which infected a limited number of Mac systems through a vulnerability in the Java plug-in for browsers," the company said in a statement to AllThingsD. "The malware was employed in an attack against Apple and other companies, and was spread through a website for software developers. We identified a small number of systems within Apple that were infected and isolated them from our network. There is no evidence that any data left Apple. We are working closely with law enforcement to find the source of the malware."

Apple provided more color on the involvement with Java to The Loop:

"Since OS X Lion, Macs have shipped without Java installed, and as an added security measure OS X automatically disables Java if it has been unused for 35 days. To protect Mac users that have installed Java, today we are releasing an updated Java malware removal tool that will check Mac systems and remove this malware if found," the company said.

We'll keep you posted when we learn more about the software tool Apple plans to release today for users.

Apple to Target Emerging Markets with Low-Cost Phone to Launch in September at $199? [iOS Blog]

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster late yesterday issued a new research note using average low-end smartphone pricing in emerging markets to argue that Apple's rumored lower-cost iPhone will launch in September with a price tag of around $199 unlocked.

Munster examined smartphone pricing on 15 different models across six international markets (Germany, UK, France, China, Brazil and India) to find that lower-end smartphones average slightly over $200 unsubsidized. In China and India, the average prices are $138 and $140 respectively, while Apple's cheapest existing phone, the iPhone 4, averages over $500.
We believe the last finding demonstrates that the biggest pricing gap for iPhone exists between the cheapest iPhone and the average low-end smartphone. This low- end segment is important given we estimate it is a $135B market in 2013 that Apple is currently not participating in (60% of smartphones, or 540m units at a $250 ASP).
Munster predicts Apple will announce its low-cost handset in September, and estimates that a $199 price tag would generate sales of 37 million phones in the rest of 2013, 96 million in 2014 and 170 million in 2015. While an iPhone at that price would carry much lower profit margins for Apple, Munster believes that the opportunity is so significant given the size of the potential market that Apple will be willing to focus on gross profit through volume rather than margins.

While rumors of a lower-cost iPhone have been picking up steam in recent months, a price point as low as $199 would seem to be overly aggressive for the company given its refusal to sacrifice quality to achieve a low price. Tim Cook noted at last week's Goldman Sachs conference that "the only thing [Apple] will never do is make a crappy product", and it remains difficult to see how Apple could provide the iPhone experience at such pricing.

Sony Announces PlayStation 4, Second-Screen Experience PlayStation App for iOS

ps4logoTonight, Sony announced PlayStation 4, their next generation video game console, at an event in New York City, which was also live streamed on their website. The company announced that the new console would allow gamers to try out new games before purchasing them, share gameplay videos with friends and watch friends play their games in a spectator mode.

Sony also revealed a redesigned Dual Shock controller with a touch pad on the front and showed off tech demos of the console's capabilities and new games like "Killzone: Shadow Fall." While Sony announced some of the hardware specs for the new PS4, they didn't show the device and provided no details about pricing.

Just after announcement, Sony sent out a press release (via Engadget) announcing a PlayStation App for iOS, which will serve as a second-screen experience app, much like Microsoft's Xbox SmartGlass.


Image via Engadget

A new application from SCE called "PlayStation®App" will enable iPhone, iPad, and Android based smartphones and tablets to become second screens. Once installed on these devices, users can, for example, see maps on their second screens when playing an adventure game, purchase PS4 games while away from home and download it directly to the console at home, or remotely watch other gamers playing on their devices.
Previously, Sony had released an iOS app called PlayStation Official App that was only available in Europe and Australia and it allowed users to check on their gaming achievements, in the form of "trophies," and check their friends' online statuses.

It's not known when this new app will be available, whether it will cost anything or whether it will have any additional features, but more information is certain to be released as the PlayStation 4's release date gets closer. Sony announced that the PlayStation 4 would be released in the Holiday 2013 timeframe, but did not reveal pricing for the console.