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Battery for Apple PowerBook G4 12inch

Blackhat Europe Synopsys security boffin Ian Haken says un-patched PCs in enterprises are at risk of having user accounts popped and Bitlocker bypassed, in an attack he describes as trivial to perform.The attack vector, sealed off in the latest round of Redmond patches (MS15-122), affect those Windows machines that are part of network domains, notably those in enterprise fleets.Only sadistic sysadmins whose users suffer having to enter pre-boot passwords are immune, Haken says.Haken says attackers with access to a lost or stolen laptop can spoofing the relevant network domain, to set up a fake user account which matches the username for the victim’s computer.The fake account needs to be set with a creation date in the past. The password set does not matter.Once the victim machine connects to the spoofed domain, Windows will throw a password reset prompt that will change the credentials in the computer’s local cache.The laptop could then be disconnected from the spoofed domain and accessed using the changed credentials.Haken says in the paper Bypassing Local Windows Authentication to Defeat Full Disk [pdf] presented at BlackHat Europe the attack is not foiled by Redmond’s Trusted Platform Module. Here’s a sample of his thinking:

… the domain controller is remote, and since the attacker has physical control of the machine, the attacker also has control of network communication and can direct communication to an attacker-controlled mock domain controller.
Since a machine with passwordless BitLocker will transparently retrieve the decryption key and boot to the Windows login screen, Windows authentication becomes the attack surface for defeating BitLocker.There is no easy fix without Microsoft’s patch. Those admins who do not or cannot apply the patches can disable local credential caching, but that means users cannot login offline. Apple CEO Tim Cook is telling customers not to expect a Mac answer to the Microsoft Surface Pro any time soon.The Apple boss said in an interview with Ireland’s Independent that the Cupertino giant has no desire to merge its iOS mobile operating system and its Macintosh desktop and notebook lines with a hybrid tablet that would run OS X.

We feel strongly that customers are not really looking for a converged Mac and iPad. Because what that would wind up doing, or what we’re worried would happen, is that neither experience would be as good as the customer wants, Cook was quoted as saying.So we want to make the best tablet in the world and the best Mac in the world. And putting those two together would not achieve either.Instead, Apple would much rather you buy both a tablet and laptop. And an iPhone and Apple Watch, while you’re at it.The approach from Cook is a stark contrast to rival Microsoft, who has been making every effort possible to merge desktops, tablets, and mobile devices under the banner of Windows 10 and the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book models.Apple, meanwhile, has tossed its own entry into the enterprise tablet market with its iPad Pro. The 12.9-inch iOS slab went on sale last week and online orders are currently listing anywhere from one day to 5-7 days shipping wait.The iPad line, in general, hasn’t seen the success that other Apple products have enjoyed in recent quarters. In Apple’s most recent quarter, both shipments and revenues for the iPad line were down 20 per cent from the previous year.

Cook, meanwhile, has been over to Europe speaking at Trinity College Dublin and sitting down with the press to preach the virtues of various Apple devices.Teacher laptop purchase schemes in several states are under question, after a Federal Court ruling that a Victorian programme is illegal.Victorian teachers were expected to provide their own laptops, and were required to lease the machines from the Department of Education, at rates between AU$4 and $17 per fortnight, paid by automatic salary deduction.Two years after launching action in 2013, the Australian Education Union had its win in the Federal Court on Friday, reports the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.As we reported in 2011, the state’s standard four-year lease also meant teachers were paying to lug around obsolete hardware, and the state also seemed to impose an “Apple tax” of its very own. At that time, a $799 Lenovo (presumably complete with vendor spyware) was leased at $4 a fortnight, but if a teacher wanted an $899 MacBook they’d pay nearly triple the lease ($11.50).The scam scheme was protected by a Department of Education policy that forbade teachers from bringing their own machines.

Federal Court Justice Mordecai Bromberg found that practically everything about the scheme was illegal under the Fair Work Act 2009: teachers had no choice whether or not to take part in the programme, costs were excessive, and teachers didn’t get fair value for their money.The decision also found that use of the equipment was for the benefit not of teachers, but of the department.If the decision stands, the Victorian Department of Education will have to repay as much as $20 million to its teachers, but the decision reaches beyond that state, since New South Wales and Western Australia operate similar programmes. A Google engineer says some discount USB Type-C converter cables are substandard and could cause damage by drawing too much juice.One of the big advantages of the USB Type-C design is never again having to guess which way up the plug has to be to fit in its hole; the other advantage is power transmission.A Type-C 1.1 laptop, phone or other device can draw up to 3A, although it should lower this to between 0.5A and 1.5A when connected to an older power source, such as a USB 2.0 Type-A charger.Googler Benson Leung has been doing some testing and the results are alarming: some cheaper converter cables and adapters are allowing too much current to flow through them.

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