YubiKey Gains iOS SDK to Enable Secure 2FA Logins in Select Apps Using NFC

Yubico is a company that sells the “YubiKey,” a small piece of hardware that protects access to computers and online accounts by providing strong two-factor authentication in lieu of receiving a text message code on a smartphone or other 2FA steps. With the NFC-equipped YubiKey NEO, Android users have been able to authenticate their log-ins with a tap, and this week Yubico announced that ability has launched for iPhone users as well (via The Next Web).



With the launch of the YubiKit 1.0.0 iOS SDK, the company is allowing developers to add support for the YubiKey NEO into their iOS apps, starting with sole support from LastPass. Once set up with a LastPass account, the YubiKey NEO generates a one-time password, and when the user gets to the 2FA log-in screen, they simply tap the NEO near the back of the iPhone to authenticate.

It has been possible for developers to integrate with YubiKey NEO since iOS 11 launched in September, but the debut of the SDK should lead to wider adoption since it will be far easier for developers to introduce support for the device’s NFC abilities.

The NEO does not require a battery to function, nor does it need network connectivity, and Yubico says that it is “four times faster” than typing a traditional one-time passcode. In addition to NFC, the device has a dongle for USB-A connectivity so it can double as an authenticator on laptop and desktop computers, and Yubico says that it’s crush resistant and waterproof.



The YubiKey NEO is supported on iPhone 7 devices and newer, and for LastPass the feature is supported under the Premium, Families, Teams, and Enterprise subscription tiers. Yubico hasn’t yet revealed which apps might next launch support for the YubiKey NEO on iOS devices. YubiKey can already securely log users in on macOS 10.12 or later, and the product integrates with hundreds of services and applications online.

Those interested can purchase the YubiKey NEO from the company’s website for $50.

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‘Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia’ Coming to Mac on Thursday, May 24

Feral has announced that Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia will be released this week for macOS. The epic historical strategy game made its way onto Windows last month to generally favorable reviews, and from Thursday, May 24, Mac owners too can test their strategic nous on the battlefield, provided they can match the system requirements.

Originally developed by Creative Assembly, Thrones of Britannia is the first in the new Total War Saga series of standalone titles inspired by great turning points in history.



The first game in the new series sets Anglo-Saxons, Gaelic clans and Viking settlers against each other as they vie for supremacy across the British Isles, circa 878 AD. Players can command one of ten factions, each with a unique branching narrative, and make decisions that reshape history in unexpected ways.

Combining huge real-time battles with engrossing turn-based strategy, THRONES OF BRITANNIA challenges players to build and defend a kingdom. Players will forge alliances, manage settlements, raise armies and embark on a campaign of conquest from the snowbound highlands of Gaelic Scotland to the green fields of Anglo-Saxon Kent.



Focusing on a specific historical flashpoint, Thrones diverges from typical Total War titles, with some changes to the series’ standard game mechanics, including variations in building construction and military training to better reflect geographical differences.

As for spec requirements, the game officially runs on the following:

  • All 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros released since 2016

  • All 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros released since Mid 2012

  • All 15-inch MacBook Pros released since Mid 2012 with a 1GB Graphics Card

  • All 21.5-inch iMacs released since Late 2013 with a 1.8GHz i3 processor or better

  • All 27-inch iMacs released since Late 2013 (late 2012 models with Nvidia 675MX or Nvidia 680MX graphics card are also supported)

  • All 27-inch iMac Pros

  • All Mac Pros released since Late 2013.

Visit the minisite for more information. Thrones of Britannia can be pre-ordered now for $35.99/£26.99 from the Feral Store and Steam.

Tag: Feral

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Google Photos Gains ‘Favorite’ Feature and Shared Album ‘Hearts’

Google Photos is set to plug a couple of holes in its basic feature set over the next few days, bringing it in line with similar functions available in Apple Photos.



Up until now, the cloud-based photo service has lacked the ability to favorite photos, but that’s about to change. Google says it’s rolling out an option for users to tap a star in the upper right of any photo in their library, and the photos will be automatically added to a new Favorites album.

Google Photos will also soon let users “heart” photos that have been shared with them, which essentially functions the same way the “Like” button does in Apple’s Shared Photo Albums, adding a touch of social interaction to the service.





Google has promised additional Photos features powered by some AI innovations the company showcased at its I/O event earlier this month. They include suggested quick edits to improve images, color pop, and the ability to colorize old photos.

Google Photos is a free download for iPhone and iPad available on the App Store. [Direct Link]

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Razer Launches New Core X External Graphics Enclosure, Adds Mac Support to Razer Core Lineup

Razer today announced the launch of its latest external graphics enclosure, the Core X, and alongside the debut of the new accessory, the company is also adding Mac support to its enclosure lineup.

Both the new Core X and the existing Core V2 and Core V1 external graphics enclosures are now compatible with all Macs that offer support for Thunderbolt 3, including the MacBook Pro, iMac, and iMac Pro.



The Razer Core X, which also works with Windows machines, has been designed based on customer feedback Razer received after releasing the Core V2. Users wanted a wider external graphics enclosure able to fit larger 3 slot PCIe graphics cards, which the Core X delivers along with better cooling capabilities.



Razer designed the Core X to be future proof with the aforementioned larger enclosure and a 650W power supply that offers enough power to support all graphics cards on the market today and those coming in the future. While this is larger than the Core V2, Razer still designed it with desktop use in mind, so it’s relatively slim and compact.



For those unfamiliar with Razer’s Core series, the enclosures are designed to add additional graphics power to a Mac or a PC for tasks like gaming and system intensive workflows. With an external graphics enclosure, a machine not normally capable of handling GPU-intensive tasks can be hooked up to a powerful GPU. You will, of course, need to purchase a GPU alongside the Razer Core accessories – these are just enclosures.



To use the Razer Core X with a Mac, the machine must be running macOS 10.13.4 or later, and the Razer Core X needs to be equipped with an AMD Radeon card. It is not compatible with NVIDIA cards when used with a Mac at this time.

Pairing the Core X to a Mac is as simple as plugging the accessory into the Thunderbolt port on a compatible machine, with no restarting or fussing with settings needed. 100W passthrough charging is supported, so even the 15-inch MacBook Pro can charge when plugged into the Core X.

Razer designed the Core X to be more affordable than the slimmer V2 enclosure, and it is priced at $299. It can be purchased directly from the Razer Store starting today. Razer is also continuing to sell the Core V2 for $499.

Tag: Razer

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1Password 7 for Mac Launches Today With Redesigned Sidebar, Easier Access to Vaults, and Much More

Following two months of beta testing, AgileBits has announced that 1Password 7 for Mac is being released for all users today.



The latest version of the popular password manager is a major update with dozens of new features and improvements, including a new dark-themed, collapsible sidebar that makes it easier to use and manage password vaults.

Users can now access their vaults by clicking on “All Vaults” in the sidebar, with full drag-and-drop support to conveniently move or copy items from one vault to another, including between different accounts. Users can also drag items onto the “New Vault” menu item and one will be created automatically.



1Password 7 for Mac integrates with Have I Been Pwned? to securely check a user’s passwords against a database of passwords that have been compromised in known data breaches, such as when a popular service or website is hacked.

The app’s security-focused Watchtower feature can also identify any login items that support two-factor authentication and help users enable it on those websites. Watchtower can now also keep track of expiring items so users know in advance if they need to renew their credit cards, passports, licenses, and more.

1Password now helps users sign in to their favorite apps by showing them suggested logins for the app they are currently using. If a user is signing into the App Store, for example, they can click the 1Password icon in the menu bar to see their Apple ID and simply drag and drop their username and password to log in.



The app’s redesign extends to the lock screen, login icons, tags, pop-out windows for items, and more, while there is a new custom font Courier Prime Bits, by Alan Dague-Greene, that makes it easier to view passwords.

A quick list of other changes from AgileBits:

  • Every pixel has been put under the microscope and polished for maximum upgradedness.

  • The new “pop-out” feature allows you to view an item in a window of its own and keep it handy.

  • Secure notes are now rendered using Markdown.

  • Quick Open allows you to quickly jump to your items or vaults (find it under the File menu).

  • A custom password font, all our own, courtesy of Alan Dague-Greene.

  • A new password strength meter.

  • Touch ID now leverages your computer’s Secure Enclave, making it more secure than ever before.

  • Login items now have a gorgeous, custom rendered icon by default.

  • Remove duplicate items on a per-vault basis by clicking Help > Tools > Clean Up Duplicate Items.

  • Integration with Spotlight allows you to find your items using Apple’s built-in search engine.

  • Nested tags allow you to up your organization: add tags with / in them and 1Password will break

    them down into groups.

  • Opt in to automatic updates and never be left behind again.

1Password is a popular tool for storing usernames, passwords, credit cards, addresses, notes, bank accounts, driver’s licenses, passports, and more behind one master password, with end-to-end encryption. A built-in password generator lets users create strong, unique passwords and memorizable pass-phrases.

1Password 7 for Mac is the first paid upgrade to the desktop version of the app in five years, meaning that users of previous versions will need to purchase a new license or subscription to use the new version.

Users with an active 1Password subscription, which start at $2.99 per month for individuals, can simply install 1Password 7 from the Mac App Store or AgileBits website and be ready to go. Otherwise, after installing the latest version, there is a prompt to sign up for a 1Password membership.

For those who wish to purchase a standalone license for 1Password 7 for Mac, licenses are available when 1Password is downloaded from the AgileBits website. Licenses are $49.99 for a limited time, and $64.99 after that. Licenses are per-person, per-platform, with macOS Sierra or later required.

The Mac App Store version of 1Password 7, rolling out today, is a new, separate app from the existing 1Password 6 listing, which has been removed, and is only available for users with 1Password subscriptions.

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Instagram Working on ‘You’re All Caught Up’ Feature to Let You Know When All New Posts Have Been Viewed

Instagram has not used a chronological feed for years now, making it difficult to determine when you’ve seen all of the new content on the social network.

Instagram may be planning to fix this issue with a new “You’re All Caught Up” feature that’s designed to notify users when all unseen posts from the last 48 hours have been viewed.



The feature was first noticed by TechCrunch, and an Instagram spokesperson confirmed that it is being tested and will show up for a limited number of users.

Instagram did not, however, share details on how it works and whether it includes every single post from the people you follow or just the best ones that its algorithm has decided to display.

The new “You’re All Caught Up” text is part of Instagram’s pledge to offer a Usage Insights feature that will let users know just how much time they’re spending in the Instagram app.

“We’re building tools that will help the IG community know more about the time they spend on Instagram – any time should be positive and intentional. Understanding how time online impacts people is important, and it’s the responsibility of all companies to be honest about this. We want to be part of the solution. I take that responsibility seriously,” Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom wrote on Twitter last week.

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Intel Discloses New ‘Variant 4’ Spectre-Like Vulnerability

Intel, Google, and Microsoft today disclosed a new variant of the Spectre design flaw and security vulnerability that impacts millions of computers and mobile devices from a range of manufacturers.

Called Variant 4, or the Speculative Store Bypass, the vulnerability is similar to Spectre, taking advantage of the speculative execution mechanism of a CPU to allow hackers to gain access to sensitive information. Variant 4 was demonstrated by researchers in a language-based runtime environment.

CVE-2018-3639 – Speculative Store Bypass (SSB) – also known as Variant 4

Systems with microprocessors utilizing speculative execution and speculative execution of memory reads before the addresses of all prior memory writes are known may allow unauthorized disclosure of information to an attacker with local user access via a side-channel analysis.

According to Intel, the new vulnerability has a “moderate” severity rating because many of the exploits that it uses have already been addressed through mitigations that were first introduced by software makers and OEMs in January for Meltdown and Spectre. Intel is, however, releasing a full mitigation option that will “prevent this method from being used in other ways.”

This additional mitigation for Variant 4 has been delivered in beta form to OEM system manufacturers and system software vendors, and Intel is leaving it up to its partners to decide whether or not to implement the extra measures. Intel plans to leave the mitigation set to off by default because of the potential for performance issues.

This mitigation will be set to off-by-default, providing customers the choice of whether to enable it. We expect most industry software partners will likewise use the default-off option. In this configuration, we have observed no performance impact. If enabled, we’ve observed a performance impact of approximately 2 to 8 percent based on overall scores for benchmarks like SYSmark(R) 2014 SE and SPEC integer rate on client1 and server2 test systems.

The Spectre and Meltdown family of vulnerabilities affect all modern processors from Intel, ARM, and AMD, but Intel has faced more scrutiny over the design flaw due to its high-profile position in the processor market. Apple’s iOS and Mac devices are affected by these vulnerabilities, but Apple has historically been quick to patch them.

Prior to when Spectre and Meltdown were initially discovered, for example, Apple had already implemented some patches and has since addressed known Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities with little impact to performance on Macs or iOS devices. As mentioned above, many of the exploits in Variant 4 have been previously addressed by Apple and other manufacturers in already-existing software patches.

Spectre and Meltdown-related vulnerabilities are hardware-based and therefore must be mitigated rather than outright fixed, but future Intel chips will not be as vulnerable. Intel has said that its next-generation Xeon Scalable processors (Cascade Lake) and its 8th-generation Intel Core processors will feature redesigned components to protect against some Spectre and Meltdown flaws.

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Apple’s Clips App for iOS Gains New Soccer Graphics, Poster and Label

Apple today updated its Clips video app for iOS devices to introduce new soccer assets ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, set to kick off in Russia on June 14.

Apple has added new soccer graphics that can be added to video clips, and there’s a new soccer label and a soccer-related background poster that includes customizable text elements.



Today’s Clips update comes several months after the launch of Clips 2.0, a new version of the app that introduced 360-degree selfie scenes, a feature limited to the iPhone X and its TrueDepth camera.

Clips, for those unfamiliar with the app, is a video editing app designed to allow users to combine several video clips, images, and photos with voice-based titles, music, filters, and graphics to create enhanced videos that can be shared on social media sites.

Clips can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tag: Clips

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