Australian Hacker Escapes Jail After Posting Confidential Apple Employee Details on Twitter

An Australian man has been find AU$5,000 and given an 18-month "recognisance," after he was found guilty of extracting employee details from Apple and posting them on Twitter.


According to Bega District News, 24-year-old Abe Crannaford appeared in Eden Local Court on Wednesday for sentencing after pleading guilty in February to two counts of unauthorised access or modification of restricted data.
In mid-2017 and early 2018, Crannaford extracted restricted information meant for employees only from the large US-based corporation.

The hacking culminated in January 2018 when Crannaford published employee details on his Twitter account and allegedly provided links to the corporation's firmware on GitHub.

The potential maximum sentence for the offences committed is two years' imprisonment and fines of $10,000 or more for each matter.

Magistrate Doug Dick fined $5,000, however he did not impose a sentence on Crannaford, instead giving him an 18-month period of "recognisance," or good behavior, that if breached would result in an additional $5,000 penalty.
"It's pleasing to see you've made changes to you life and it's clear from the submissions that it has weighed heavily on your mind, which is punishment in itself.

"It may well be you're now subjected to online ridicule and contempt, but no-one in this court room escapes that - not even me," Magistrate Dick said.

"What you did strikes at the heart of modern society - people rightly worry about their privacy."
Ines Chiumento, Crannaford's defence solicitor, tried to argue that Apple "in some sense" promotes hacking, by awarding hackers who find exploits and bugs through its bounty program.

"With that ability being treasured and sought out, it's difficult to send a message to young people (about the illegality and punitive measures) if the companies don't send the same message," said Chiumento.

The prosecutor acknowledged the existence of Apple's bounty program, but saif Crannaford's "intrusions into websites and restricted data" occurred on multiple occasions and were shared with others, "so the concept of a bounty is contrary to his actions."
This article, "Australian Hacker Escapes Jail After Posting Confidential Apple Employee Details on Twitter" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Westpac Becomes Last of Australia’s Four Big Banks to Support Apple Pay

Westpac has become the last of Australia's big four banks to announce Apple Pay support for its customers. The country's oldest bank revealed on Tuesday that it had enabled the new service, following similar moves by ANZ, the Commonwealth Bank, and National Australia Bank.

"We are pleased to announce that Westpac customers can now use ‌Apple Pay‌ to make fast and secure payments. This comes at an important time for our customers, who are looking for an alternative to cash," Westpac Group chief executive of consumer David Lindberg said.

"We have seen a significant increase in customers using digital banking in recent weeks as more Australians stay at home. With the introduction of ‌Apple Pay‌, it will now be even easier for customers to pay for goods and services in stores, via apps or online without the need for a card or wallet."
As noted by ZDNet, Westpac actually announced the adoption of ‌Apple Pay‌ across several of its financial services providers back in December, but regular Westpac customers were told they had to wait until June 2020.

Westpac's ‌Apple Pay‌ support includes compatibility with eftpos (electronic funds transfer at point of sale), the local payments scheme and national debit card system accepted across the country. The technology makes it possible for retailers to directly receive funds from a customer’s bank account via their debit card through a secure Australian payment network.

Westpac was one of several banks that collectively tried to negotiate with Apple to gain access to the NFC chip within Apple's devices to allow their own payments services to work on iOS devices alongside ‌Apple Pay‌.

The banks argued that access to the NFC chip in the iPhone would allow them to offer competing wallets, which would lead to increased competition and consumer choice in digital wallets and increased innovation and investment in digital wallets.

However, Apple does not allow third-party access to the NFC chip because of security concerns, and the company put pressure on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to deny the banks the right to negotiate a deal, which was the eventual outcome.

The banks involved in the dispute resisted implementing ‌Apple Pay‌ throughout the attempts at collective bargaining, although ‌Apple Pay‌ has been available in Australia for quite some time through partnerships with American Express and ANZ.
Related Roundup: Apple Pay

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Melbourne Police Use Apple’s Find My App to Track Thieves During Fatal Car Chase

Apple's Find My app was used by police to track two wanted men during a car chase in Melbourne, Australia last month, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

According to the report, the two men were being tracked from the air by helicopter after an iPad was stolen in an earlier home invasion. Driver Vaatoa Chang, 29, and passenger Jonas Montealegre, 36, carried the ‌iPad‌ with them as they switched stolen cars in an attempt to evade capture.

In the initial phase of the chase, the two fugitives were being tracked by following a stolen car, but when the police helicopter was called in, the two men switched cars, and that's when officers resorted to tracking them via ‌iPad‌.

Initially, it was the victim of the theft that used the ‌Find My‌ app to ping his ‌iPad‌ and follow his stolen Mitsubishi Tritan, but police eventually called him off and continued tracking the ‌iPad‌ themselves using the same method.
Police tracked the fugitives for two hours across Melbournes's suburbs using the ‌Find My‌ app, before the two men were killed in a 100km/h collision with a freight truck after running a red light.

Apple's ‌Find My‌ app is great for locating your Apple devices when you've misplaced them around the home or office, but the Sydney Morning Herald report is a striking example of how the app can be put to use by police in real time to trace suspects in cases of theft. The full story can be read here.


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Apple’s Black Friday Event Begins in Australia: Up to $320 Apple Store Gift Card With Select Products

Apple's four-day Black Friday shopping event is now live in Australia and New Zealand, offering customers free Apple Store gift cards worth up to A$320 or NZ$320 with the purchase of select new Apple products.


The gift card amounts are as follows in Australia and New Zealand:
  • $320 for 13-inch MacBook Pro, iMac, or iMac Pro

  • $160 for MacBook Air

  • $160 for iPad Pro

  • $160 for Beats Studio3 Wireless

  • $80 for SIM-free iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, or iPhone XR

  • $80 for 10.5-inch iPad Air or iPad mini 5

  • $80 for HomePod

  • $80 for Beats Solo3 Wireless, Powerbeats3 Wireless, or Powerbeats Pro

  • $40 for Apple Watch Series 3, regular AirPods, Apple TV 4K, or Apple TV HD
Based on that, gift card amounts in the U.S. should be around the following:
  • $200 for 13-inch MacBook Pro, iMac, or iMac Pro

  • $100 for MacBook Air

  • $100 for iPad Pro

  • $100 for Beats Studio3 Wireless

  • $50 for SIM-free iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, or iPhone XR

  • $50 for 10.5-inch iPad Air or iPad mini 5

  • $50 for HomePod

  • $50 for Beats Solo3 Wireless, Powerbeats3 Wireless, or Powerbeats Pro

  • $25 for Apple Watch Series 3, regular AirPods, Apple TV 4K, or Apple TV HD
Apple is not offering gift cards for its latest products, including the 16-inch MacBook Pro, AirPods Pro, iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models, or Apple Watch Series 5 models, while the Mac mini, iPod touch, old Mac Pro, refurbished products, education-discounted products, and carrier-locked iPhones are also ineligible.

The offer is available via Apple.com in each country and at Apple Stores in Australia through December 2, which is Cyber Monday, an increasingly popular online-focused shopping holiday that follows Black Friday.

Apple will extend its Black Friday shopping event to the United States, Canada, and many European countries as the clock turns to Friday around the world. Last year, Apple offered gift cards worth up to $200 in the United States.

Black Friday marks one of the few times in a year that Apple offers deals on its products, but as usual, better deals can be found elsewhere. Be sure to read our Black Friday roundup for the latest offers from third-party resellers on the latest iPhones and iPads, the 16-inch MacBook Pro, AirPods Pro, and more.

Apple has shared full terms and conditions on its website.

Related Roundups: Apple Black Friday, Apple Deals

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Samsung Sued by Australian Consumer Watchdog for ‘Misleading’ Galaxy Phone Water Resistance Ads

Samsung is in hot water with Australia's consumer watchdog for allegedly misleading consumers about the level of water resistance its Galaxy smartphones offer.

Samsung Galaxy advertisement

Reuters reports that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is suing the South Korean firm for falsely representing its Galaxy phones as suitable for use underwater, following ads that show the devices being submerged in swimming pools and used in ocean water.

Samsung did not know or sufficiently test the effects of pool or saltwater exposure on its phones when ads showed them fully submerged, claims the ACCC lawsuit.
"The ACCC alleges Samsung's advertisements falsely and misleadingly represented Galaxy phones would be suitable for use in, or for exposure to, all types of water, including in ocean water and swimming pools, and would not be affected by such exposure to water for the life of the phone, when this was not the case," ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said in a statement.
Samsung Galaxy phones are marketed as having IP68 water resistance, defined as resistant to water 1.5 meters deep for 30 minutes. The ACCC's point is the IP68 rating doesn't cover all types of water. However, Samsung told Reuters it stood by its advertising, complied with Australian law, and would defend the case.

The smartphone maker has invested heavily in advertising to rebuild its reputation in the public eye, following its 2016 global recall of fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 devices.


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Apple News+ Expanding to United Kingdom and Australia in iOS 13

Apple today at WWDC 2019 announced that Apple News+ will be expanding to the United Kingdom and Australia in iOS 13.


Apple News+ is currently available in the United States for $9.99 per month and in Canada for $12.99 per month. The service, based on Apple's acquisition of Texture, provides unlimited access to hundreds of digital magazines and newspapers.

Apple's WWDC 2019 keynote is underway. Stay tuned for updates…

Related Roundup: WWDC 2019

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Australia’s National Australia Bank Now Accepts Apple Pay

National Australia Bank (NAB) today announced support for Apple Pay, allowing NAB customers with a Visa Card to make purchases using the Apple Pay payments service.

NAB, a former notable Apple Pay holdout, is the third of Australia's "Big Four" banks to begin accepting Apple Pay.



Apple Pay support was announced on NAB's Twitter account earlier today, and MacRumors readers have confirmed that the service is now working. NAB is not yet listed as a partner on Apple's Apple Pay site in the country, but should be added soon.

NAB, along with Commonwealth Bank and Westpac, attempted to collectively bargain with Apple in an attempt to force Apple to open up the iPhone's NFC capabilities to support other digital wallets, like those offered by the banks themselves.

Apple claimed this would be harmful to customers and would stifle innovation, which Australian regulators agreed with. The banks were not provided with authorization to collectively bargain with Apple.

Commonwealth Bank, the largest bank in Australia and another former Apple Pay holdout, began accepting Apple Pay in January, and ANZ, another of the four big banks in the country, has accepted Apple Pay since it launched in Australia, as have other smaller banks.

With CBA, ANZ, and NAB all accepting Apple Pay, Westpac is the sole major holdout in Australia. It's not clear if and when Westpac will begin supporting Apple Pay, but with all other major banks making the feature available, Westpac may give in.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

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Apple’s Limited Time iPhone XS and iPhone XR Trade-Up Promotion Ends March 4 in Australia

Australians looking to take advantage of Apple's limited time iPhone XS and iPhone XR trade-up promotion should act fast, as the offer ends Monday, March 4 in Australia, according to an update to Apple's website.


As in the United States, Apple is offering higher trade-in values for select older iPhone models towards the purchase of a new iPhone XR or iPhone XS. The iPhone XR starts at $1,229 in Australia, for example, but customers can purchase the device for as low as $849 when trading in an iPhone 7 Plus until next week.


The promotion began in the United States in late November and expanded to Apple Stores internationally in late December.

Apple has been heavily promoting iPhone XR and iPhone XS trade-ins with a prominent banner on the homepage of its website, store signage, App Store editorials, emails to older iPhone users, and more since the smartphones launched last year.

In a letter to shareholders last month, Apple said it saw fewer iPhone upgrades than it anticipated last quarter, primarily due to greater-than-expected economic weakness in the Greater China region. Apple said making smartphone trade-ins at its stores easier is one step it would take to improve results.

No end date has been specified for the U.S. promotion as of yet.

Related Roundups: iPhone XS, iPhone XR

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Australia’s Commonwealth Bank Now Supports Apple Pay

Commonwealth Bank (CBA) today implemented support for Apple Pay, making it the second of Australia's "Big Four" banks to offer the payments service. CBA is the biggest retail bank in Australia and was a notable Apple Pay holdout.

Multiple MacRumors readers in Australia have reported being able to add their Commonwealth Bank cards to Apple Pay, and Commonwealth Bank is listed as a partner on Apple's Apple Pay site in Australia.


Commonwealth Bank first announced plans to support Apple Pay last month, giving in to consumer demand after a years-long dispute with Apple over fees and access to the NFC chips in iPhones.

When announcing Apple Pay support, Commonwealth Bank Group Executive of Retail Banking services Angus Sullivan said that the bank had heard many requests from customers asking for Apple Pay, leading to its implementation.
"We are committed to making changes that benefit our customers and simplify our business. We will continue to look for more opportunities to innovate and listen, to ensure our customers get the best experience when they bank with us. Responding to customer demand for Apple Pay underscores our commitment to becoming a better, simpler bank.
Commonwealth Bank, along with NAB and Westpac, tried to collectively bargain with Apple to attempt to force Apple to open up the iPhone's NFC capabilities to support other digital wallets, like those offered by the banks themselves.

Apple said that this would be harmful to consumers and would stifle innovation, a position that Australian regulators agreed with when denying the banks authorization for collective bargaining.


ANZ was the only one of the four major banks in Australia to support Apple Pay when it launched in the country in April 2016. Other smaller banks later implemented support, but Commonwealth, NAB, and Westpac continued to hold out amid negotiations.

It's not clear if NAB and Westpac will implement support now that Commonwealth Bank has done so.

Bankwest in Australia is also now supporting Apple Pay, along with ASB Bank Limited in New Zealand and Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Canada. Multiple smaller banks in the U.S. have implemented Apple Pay support as well, with a full list available on Apple's website.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

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Apple Extends iPhone XR and iPhone XS Trade-In Promotion to UK, Canada, Australia, China, Japan, and Elsewhere

Apple today extended its limited-time promotion offering extra trade-in credit towards an iPhone XR or iPhone XS to additional countries, including Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates. The promotion first launched in the United States in late November.


The promotion has also gone live in the China region, as spotted by 9to5Mac, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macao.

As in the United States, Apple is offering higher trade-in values for select older iPhone models towards the purchase of a new iPhone XR or iPhone XS. In Australia, for example, the iPhone XR starts at $1,229, but customers can purchase the device for as low as $849 when trading in an iPhone 7 Plus for a limited time.

In certain countries, the promotion is only available at Apple Stores, but it is also available on Apple.com in some regions. Apple says the offer ends January 31, 2019 in China and Japan, but it has yet to specify a deadline in other countries.

Many analysts have expressed concerns about weakening iPhone sales, and Apple's aggressive marketing of the iPhone XR in particular and its decision to stop disclosing iPhone unit sales starting next quarter fit that narrative. Apple's stock price is down nearly 30 percent since the day of its last earnings report.

Related Roundups: iPhone XS, iPhone XR

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