Juha Saarinen is a tech blogger for nzherald.co.nz.

Juha Saarinen: The real iPhone 6 deal?

The iPhone 5C is displayed during an product announcement. Apple is rumoured to be unveiling a new bigger iPhone 6 next month. Photo / Getty
The iPhone 5C is displayed during an product announcement. Apple is rumoured to be unveiling a new bigger iPhone 6 next month. Photo / Getty

Gadget fiends take note: Aussie blogger Sonny Dickson believes he has come across some pictures of Apple's upcoming iPhone 6.

Looks a bit bashed up, but Sonny is sure it's the real thing.

We'll see next month, but already, details are emerging about new features in iOS8 and the iPhone 6 like the HealthKit service.

Apple has teamed up with Nike and the Mayo Clinic to test HealthKit and presumably to build the first few apps.

Samsung and Google which already have dipped their toes into the mobile health metering waters are no doubt watching this space carefully.

Telemarketer vs Geek

This was only ever going to go one way...

Via Chris Blasko/Google+

Network security starts at home

The Internet adds value with more users and devices connecting to it every day, which is totally true.

However, a vast amount of devices connecting to the Internet are totally insecure and can be prised open easily by attackers - and abused.

We're used to securing our computers with anti-viruses, regular updates and firewalls, because that's necessary on the hostile Internet. Even then, computers pick up malware, and are hacked regularly.

Our broadband router, security cameras, networked lights, smart TVs, fridges, thermostats, and other consumer electronics on the other hand are by and large left unprotected. Few if any are updated to fix security holes, they can be misconfigured and or often basically wide open.

The problem is astoundingly large. Last year, an anonymous researcher built a botnet with up to 420,000 routers in it, by simply putting a small piece of code on them automatically. He used it to map the IPv4 Internet, but could also have abused the botnet easily.

HP's security people went through some popular "Internet of Things" consumer devices, and found that most were easily hackable.

If that wasn't enough, researchers at Eurecom, a French grad school, downloaded over 30,000 firmware images - the code that runs devices like routers - from vendors like Siemens, Xerox, Bosch, Philips, D-Link, Samsung, LG and Belkin and discovered a catalogue of security problems like built-in backdoors in CCTV cameras.

This neglect by vendors has been going on for years now, and it's not getting better. Many devices do not receive updates after a year or two, and even if they do, many users either don't apply them or aren't aware of them.

Now, larger businesses that are security aware usually set up perimeter defences with intrusion detection systems (and in-depth ones too, if they have any sense). They are expensive and complex to configure and manage.

There isn't anything similar for residential and small business users however, and this is something Itus Networks, set up by two ex-Dell SonicWALL employees Daniel Ayoub and Jock Breitwieser are hoping to capitalise on.

Ayoub and Breitwieser have put together a small device called iGuardian which is basically a corporate intrusion protection system scaled down to a consumer device.

The iGuardian; source: Itus Networks

The pair told me that currently, there's nothing similar on the market - they're aiming to sell it at US$149 each, no configuration needed and with life-time support with intrusion detection signatures to catch threats before they enter your home network.

Although the project's at an early stage - Ayoub and Breitwieser have only just launched a Kickstarter funding campaign that seems to be going well, but there's no actual product yet to sell.

The iGuardian needs a bit more thinking in my view to make it work better with ISP supplied DSL/Wi-Fi routers and I'd want more than 50Mbps throughput for UFB and similar connections, but it's amazing that nobody's actually made one of these devices already.

Overall though, I think the iGuardian is a great idea that'll go at least some way to fix security problems that vendors ignore.

- NZ Herald

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Juha Saarinen is a tech blogger for nzherald.co.nz.

Juha Saarinen is a technology journalist and writer living in Auckland. Apart from contributing to the New Zealand Herald over the years, he has written for the Guardian, Wired, PC World, Computerworld and ITnews Australia, covering networking, hardware, software, enterprise IT as well as the business and social aspects of computing. A firm believer in the principle that trying stuff out makes you understand things better, he spends way too much time wondering why things just don’t work.

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