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Apple mistakenly approved malware masquerading as Adobe Flash

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Once the darling of the Internet, Adobe, formerly Macromedia, Flash has long fallen from grace and even banned in many corners of the Web for its security vulnerabilities. That, however, hasn’t really stopped some users from trying to install it, for one reason or another, nor does it stop malware writers from taking advantage of that. Unfortunately for Apple, the latter group was able to pull a fast one and it unknowingly notarized malware disguised as an Adobe Flash installer not once but twice.

Notarization is Apple’s relatively new system for macOS to ensure that even third-party apps downloaded outside of the Mac App Store are secure and safe to run. It practically requires developers to submit their apps for a less strict security review before the macOS Gatekeeper system can allow it to run. Unfortunately, given the less rigorous security check, it seems that it’s possible the get some malware-laden code approved right from under Apple’s nose.

That was the situation that security researchers Peter Dantini and Patrick Wardle brought to Apple’s and the public’s attention. An Adobe Flash installer carrying the popular Shlayer malware was apparently approved by Apple’s notarization process, potentially infecting unwitting Mac users since 2019. Apple did acknowledge the lapse and revoked the app’s certification but, unfortunately, that was not the end of it.

The authors of this malicious Flash installer was able to return to the App Store, again with a malware payload, and, again, notarized by Apple. The app has once again been removed but, considering how these apps are using popular malware strains, it’s surprising it got past Apple twice.

To its credit, Apple was quick to make fixes but only after the matter has been brought to its attention. Lapses like there aren’t exactly uncommon, especially if you look at the Google Play Store, but it does tarnish the reputation of Apple’s new notarization system. Then again, Apple could spin it as proof of why users and developers should only use the Mac App Store anyway.

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12 Best Uses For Old Laptops

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Have one (or several) old laptops lying around your home? What you actually have is a productivity master waiting to reach its full potential

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Realme’s Next Premium Tablet Looks To Have An Unusual Design

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Even though we still have six days before the Realme Pad X launches in China, some of the specs of the Realme Pad X have already been confirmed by Realme’s CMO Xu Qi Chase, GSMArena claims. We know that this mid-range tablet will get the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chipset. This also means that the Realme Pad X will become the first Realme tablet to feature 5G connectivity. While the CMO did not reveal the rest of the specs, there’s been rumors about the likelihood of the Realme Pad fetting a QHD+ display that could also support a 120 Hz refresh rate.

From the images, it is also evident that the Realme Pad X gets a single rear-facing camera that is situated on an unusually large camera bump. There is a smaller circle below the rear camera with a prominent “AI” logo. The tablet also skips an LED flash for low-light situations.

Designwise, the Realme Pad looks like a contemporary tablet with small bezels and flat sides. One of the invites also showcases the Realme Pad X being used with a stylus. It remains to be seen if this accessory will be part of the retail package or an optional extra. With the launch date for this product a week away, there is a good chance that we could have additional details about the Realme Pad X before the official launch.

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Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Revealed As The Heart Of Your Next Android Flagship Phone

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Qualcomm’s latest flagship processor continues to be based on a 4nm manufacturing process — albeit this time from TSMC. This change has allowed Qualcomm to increase the GPU and CPU clock speeds by up to 7%. The result is that the Prime Cortex X2 is now clocked at 3.2 GHz (as opposed to 3 GHz on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1). Similarly, the 3x Cortex A710 core now clocks at 2.8 GHz (compared to 2.5 GHz earlier).

Then we have the 4x Cortex A-510 efficiency cores that also see a jump from 1.8 GHz to 2 GHz. While Qualcomm is yet to reveal the clock speeds for the Adreno GPU on the Snapdragon 8+ Gen1, they already claim a 10% higher clock speed in the promotional materials.

The rest of the hardware on the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is similar to that of its predecessor — and this includes the X65 integrated modem as well. The new chip continues to support 3200 MHz LPDDR5 RAM, and the ISP used is the same, with support for 200 MP resolution, 8K video capture, and 64 MP burst capture. In terms of encoding, the chip retains support for Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, and HLG. A glaring omission, this time around too, is the lack of support for the AV1 codec.

In simpler terms, apart from the faster performance on account of the supposedly better manufacturing process, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 does not add anything over its predecessor in terms of additional features.

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