Security expert teams are warning about a critical security breach in the current WPA2 WiFi encryption standard. Potential attackers are now able to break, monitor and manipulate WPA2 encryption with so-called “KRACK attacks”; caused by a weakness in negotiating security key management.
Be proactive – What you can do to mitigate security risks from KRACK-Attacks:
In order to keep your sensitive data safe from prying eyes, you should use a VPN. VPN Tracker World Connect will keep you safe while using WiFi on your Mac and iOS devices until security fixes start to roll out for clients and network hardware.
VPN Tracker World Connect instantly encrypts all your online activity with the highest encryption standards. Whether you are away on a trip, working at the office or simply at home, your data is protected on every WiFi connection.
The leading network device providers are currently working on security patches for this issue. Be sure to keep checking if a patch has appeared for your WiFi device. You can find more technical information about KRACK attacks here: https://www.krackattacks.com
The iPhone 8 has finally arrived in all of its high-tech glory. While Apple is touting the new processor and camera features, there’s one hidden gem they have kept on the down-low. The tizi equinux team investigates:
Older iPhones were equipped with “regular” charging. But in the iPhone 8, Apple has quietly added completely new charging circuits.
The iPhone 7, iPhone 6S, and iPhone 6 charge with 5V and slightly above 1A. The iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6S Plus, and iPhone 6 Plus can charge with 5V and just over 2A maximum. The charging circuit can supply about 6W for an iPhone and about 11W for an iPhone Plus.
The resulting charging times at maximum charging speed were just under two hours for a normal iPhone and just over 3 hours for an iPhone Plus.
What makes the iPhone 8 extra special?
As soon as we got our hands on the new iPhone 8, our equinux tizi hardware team took a closer look in our hardware lab.
We discovered that both the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus have a USB Power Delivery charging circuit. Simply put, it is now possible to charge the iPhones faster. Much faster.
The first high-speed charging iPhones
The new iPhone 8 can charge with up to 14.8V and 0.9A, for a total of 13.3W
The new iPhone 8 Plus can charge with up to 14.8V and 1.3A – a total 19.2W
This is more than twice the charging speed of the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, with the potential to cut your charging times in half.
We were surprised to find that Apple still only includes the same old Apple USB charger with 5V and 1A with both brand new iPhone 8 models. To take advantage of its full fast-charging potential, you will need to use another charger and the Apple USB-C to Lightning cable.
Fully charged in under an hour!
With the right USB-C PD charger, the iPhone 8 will charge in about 1 hour – roughly twice as fast as previous models. But: you need the right charger to double your charging speed.
Chargers that support USB-C PD include:
tizi Tankstelle 29W
Apple 29W MacBook charger
Apple 61W MacBook Pro charger
Apple 87W MacBook Pro charger
Beware of cheap third-party chargers. The market is crowded with products that do not work with the Apple USB-C to Lightning cables. In our tests, only Apple’s USB-C to Lightning cable was capable of fast-charging the latest iPhones and iPads.
Important to know: If you use a USB-C to USB-A adapter, it interrupts the USB PD power delivery profile, which means that your iPhone will not charge at its fast potential speed or it may not charge at all.
So why did Apple only include a 5W charger?
So why has Apple included their old 5W charger when the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus can charge at up to 18W? The included charger only offers 27% of the potential charging speed?
This could be a strategic move for Apple: Get Customers used to the slow 27% charging speed, then Apple can introduce the Apple AirPower charging pad – a fast wireless charger that everyone will want to get their hands on. Let’s face it – anyone who pays for a premium AirPower pad will want it to offer something special – faster speeds.
How to cut your iPhone 8 charging times in half
We recommend all iPhone 8 and 8 Plus customers get a USB-C Power Delivery charger like tizi Tankstelle 29W. Other tizi chargers with Power Delivery capabilities will follow shortly.
Apple is known for doing things with more attention to detail than most companies. So it should come as no surprise that even App Store gift cards with their promo codes have a few secret details that help make the experience more Apple-like.
So what powers the simple App Store promo codes? Secret fonts, special dimensions, and many more.
SHA1 is a cryptographic hash function that is used to verify signatures and other security-related files. Basically, it lets you quickly check that the file or digital signature you’re being shown is actually the real deal.
What’s all the fuss about?
In the last few years, researchers theorized that it might be able to create a fake file that matches a genuine file’s SHA1 signature. It was all just a matter of computing power and given the way technology works, that it would be possible in the next few years.
At that’s exactly what has happened: the Google team used a clever technique and Google’s vast server infrastructure to create a fake PDF file with the same SHA1 hash as their reference file.
What does SHA1 have to do with VPN?
When using a VPN, the server and VPN app go through several steps that let each side verify they’re talking to the right person. There’s Phase 1, during which both sides set up a secure channel to talk over. Then they use that during Phase 2 to establish the actual VPN tunnel used to transmit encrypted data.
SHA1 can be used in both of these setup phases to verify the authenticity of the data being exchanged and is configured by default for many VPN vendors.
So is a VPN that uses SHA1 at risk?
For single files like their PDF example or website certificates, Google’s research definitely shows that switching to SHA-2 is an important and necessary step.
However for VPNs, the attack is not feasible due to the short key lifetimes used:
In Google’s research, they needed the equivalent of 6500 single CPU-years to create their fake file.
In your VPN tunnel, a SHA1 hash is only used for 1 hour on average, before it is swapped for a new key. And the hash algorithm is used to verify a packet that has already been encrypted. So an attacker could only use this attack to sneak a fake packet into your data – and they’d have to compute in within 1 hour. To actually read your data would still be impossible, as the encryption algorithm means there are effectively two layers of security an attacker would need to break.
Security setup within VPN Tracker 365
Extra protection: use SHA-2 with your VPN
The latest VPN gateways also support SHA-2 hashes (e.g. SHA-256, SHA-384 or SHA-512). These are more modern, highly secure SHA variants that can’t be broken. SHA-2 has been supported in VPN Tracker since 2015 and is in our default configuration for many popular VPN vendors, including SonicWALL.
Secure: SonicWall TZ600 Gateway (uses AES-128, AES-192 and AES-256 with SHA-256)
We always recommend using the strongest encryption available to you. So switching to SHA-2 algorithms if your VPN gateway supports it is a good idea. However SHA1 is still secure, provided you use a relatively short key lifetime and, more importantly, always pair it with a strong encryption algorithm (such as AES-128, AES-192 or AES-256).
Update 21. February: It looks like this experiment is over and the charts are back to the way they were. Was it a sneak preview of things to come? We’ll keep this post updated.
The App Store Top Charts are one of the most popular ways to find the latest trends on the store. In fact, Apple has received some criticism in the past for an over-reliance on Top Charts for new app discovery.
But with subscriptions becoming increasingly popular, the Top Grossing charts run the danger of becoming stagnant: monthly recurring subscriptions all but guarantee certain apps a spot in the Top Grossing charts, making it almost impossible for new apps to break into the Top Grossing charts.
Now it looks like Apple may be testing out a new algorithm to fix that.
I guess: „Top grossing“ no longer incl. renewals, only new/first paid/subscription sales. Charts shake up evrywhr #appstore#apple#itunes
As Till noticed, it looks like recurring revenue no longer counts towards your chart position.
We’re very familiar with the charts and where the top apps in that category usually rank. This past weekend, a lot of apps in the Entertainment category suddenly dropped way down in the charts. What the heck?
A quick investigation revealed all the biggest losers offer subscriptions. And left at the top of the charts are big-name brands (such as Netflix who probably have enough new users coming in to keep them in the top spots) and paid apps.
Recurring revenue no longer counts towards your position in the Top Grossing Charts.
So far we were able to confirm this the German iOS App Store, as well as on the Mac App Store.
A boost for paid apps
This change is great for paid apps: They can compete on equal terms with subscription-based apps, now that the subscription app ranks aren’t being inflated by their recurring revenue. A glance at the charts shows a lot more indie paid apps in the top 25 spots.
It’s good to see Apple trying new things out on the App Store and given the emphasis placed on recurring subscriptions last year, this change makes total sense. Lets see what it does to the charts over the next few weeks!
P.S. If you like this and you’re a developer, we’ve got two great tips for you:
It’s a big day: today we’re rolling out Mail Designer Pro 3.3 – a big update that includes something we’ve been working on for a while… all-new Outlook support.
Just saying the word “Outlook” to a newsletter designer will send shivers down their spine: it has notoriously poor support for HTML standards and a lot of quirks that make it extremely tricky to design for. If that wasn’t bad enough, all versions since Outlook 2007 use Word’s engine to render HTML, so things have actually gotten worse over the years.
In the past we addressed these issues by adding workarounds to our existing HTML code. Extra style commands and table wrappers were added to the code that we write for all other email clients. However, this could occasionally still cause layout issues (e.g. extra spaces, slight misalignments…) and we were never entirely satisfied with the final result.
A New Hope for Email HTML Last year we got together our email jedis and looked at different solutions. We decided to adopt an entirely new approach and make a bigger change. We decided to re-write our code to use dedicated code sections for Outlook.
How does it work?
Basically all existing code is hidden from Outlook entirely, so we can write nice clean code for all the other email clients, without extra Outlook hacks.
Then we take the content you’ve added and use it to write a second layout section, that is hidden from all email clients except Outlook. This section is tailored to all of Outlook’s quirks.
We do all of this automatically when you send or export your design – so all your content is included in both the Outlook and non-Outlook sections automatically.
With the earlier compatibility code, you’d see slight misalignments or extra padding. All of those issues can be avoided with the new code. This new technique also makes it easier for us to improve the code going forward, in case we run into any other compatibility issues.
Existing Designs are automatically improved
So what do you need to do? Nothing!
Whenever you open a newsletter design in Mail Designer Pro 3.3 or later, it’ll automatically be upgraded to use the new Outlook code with all compatibility improvements.
Detailed Outlook improvements:
3-column layout blocks are always displayed with correct alignment
Line-height is correctly adjusted in all Outlook versions
A problem that could cause layouts to become misaligned has been fixed
An issue that could cause extra padding to surround an element has been fixed
New Plain text export: When you export as a HTML file, the plain text version is now also included as a separate file
New If you’re sharing documents with colleagues, Mail Designer Pro now lets you know if a font was used that you don’t have on your Mac
When copy & pasting from Microsoft Office documents, we now prevent HTML elements being added inadvertently
We’ve fixed an iPad preview issue under macOS Sierra
You can now use multiple mailto links with advanced options in your newsletter
An issue that could very large newsletters to not upload to MailChimp correctly has been fixed
An issue with image quality has been fixed
A few minor issues with mobile background editing have been fixed
Want to experience hassle-free email design? Try Mail Designer Pro 3 free today. Mail Designer Pro is available for just $49,99. Owners of previous versions can take advantage of our discounted upgrade offer.
Cisco Meraki network solutions are becoming increasingly popular and we’ve heard from a lot of macOS Sierra users about adding support for it in our Mac VPN client, VPN Tracker 365. Meraki devices are sleek, offer great performance and have great cloud management capabilities. On the VPN side of things, their Auto VPN technology makes them a breeze to set up securely, provided both sides support it.
We’ve updated VPN Tracker 365 with comprehensive Cisco Meraki support. We’ve updated the Auto-Config VPN technology in VPN Tracker to work with Cisco Meraki, so it’ll only take you a few minutes to get set up. The new Cisco Meraki Connection Profile supports the popularMeraki MX series.
Connected in minutes: Connect your Mac running macOS Sierra to a Cisco Meraki VPN Gateway
Open VPN Tracker 365
Create a new connection and choose our Cisco Meraki profile
Enter your Cisco Meraki gateway address
Then just follow the steps in our detailed Configuration Guide to configure VPN on your Meraki. VPN Tracker 365 automatically figures out the right configuration settings for your Meraki setup and connects you using the best settings.
Tip: We’ve added a quick link to the Meraki configuration website, so you can instantly access your config and change settings, if necessary.
We were really impressed how easy it is to set up a VPN on the Meraki MX-Series and with Auto-Config VPN, you’ll have VPN Tracker connected in minutes.
As the leading VPN client for Mac, we’re always improving VPN Tracker 365 and adding new protocols, device profiles and configuration options, so customers always have the choice of leading VPN products and vendors. Today VPN Tracker 365 includes support for over 300 VPN gateways: from enterprise-level VPN solutions from SonicWALL and Cisco, to cost-effective VPN products for small-businesses, start-ups and home-offices (see all compatible VPN devices).
Simple, secure and high-performance
Getting your TP-Link VPN router configured with VPN Tracker is a piece of cake: The step-by-step VPN Tracker Configuration Guide walks you through all the settings you need to make in the TP-Link web interface and in VPN Tracker, you just pick TP-Link and enter your gateway address – secure remote access to your office will be up and running in minutes.
TP-LINK VPN devices support a variety of VPN protocols and encryption algorithms, including very strong AES-256 encryption. Our connection profile is designed to be extremely secure while also offering fast VPN performance.
Other improvements in the latest VPN Tracker 365 update:
• We’ve redesigned the new Connection window, so it’s easier to find your device manufacturer
• Improved import of system L2TP and PPTP connections
• An issue with accessing login credentials stored in your Keychain has been fixed
• SecureDrop downloads now work more reliably
Pricing and availability: VPN Tracker 365 with TP-Link support is now available for VPN Tracker 365 customers, a free update included as part of your VPN Tracker 365 plan.
So whether you’re planning a big event, a conference, or just want to make sure everyone sees that important all-hands meeting, make sure people don’t forget the date!
You’ll find our attractive calendar images in the Contents panel in the sidebar under Graphics. You can even ungroup the elements to adjust font sizes and colors, e.g. to highlight your event date.
Tip: We also include additional highlight graphics that you can use to draw attention to a specific date.
Poster layout blocks – stylish header images for magazine-like layouts
We’ve added new layout blocks for one large poster image plus two or four smaller detail images. These are great for magazine-style layouts, or when you want to split a larger image up into multiple areas. Super flexible and looks stunning.
Faster footer layouts with social media links
We’ve also added layout blocks that combine a text area with four image areas. These are designed to make it easy to build a footer with contact details alongside your social media links.
Advanced email links for instant feedback
You can now build advanced email links that will pre-fill the subject line and message text when they’re clicked. Add a “RSVP now” link for example and pre-fill a message with fields for the information you’d like people to reply with. Super handy if you’re planning an event, or asking readers for feedback.
We’ve improved handling of transparent images under macOS Sierra 10.12.2
Image optimization is smarter about images with transparency and using JPGs
When you use the “Replace Image” feature, you can now dive into sub-folders as well
We’ve improved compatibility with email providers that use MD 5 Challenge / Response security