Apple Blocks Momo’s Ban Amidst Security Flaws

Though Motorola Mobility moved to enforce the Mannheim Regional Court’s ruling to ban some Apple products from being sold in Germany due to patent infringement, Apple was able to temporarily block Motorola’s efforts.

“All iPad and iPhone models will be back on sale through Apple’s online store in Germany shortly,” Apple said in a statement. “Apple appealed this ruling because Motorola repeatedly refuses to license this patent to Apple on reasonable terms, despite having declared it an industry standard patent seven years ago.”

Motorola argued that Apple refused to negotiate in good faith and will continue to pursue claims against Apple.

Motorola Mobility won a second German patent ruling against Apple over their iCloud service last week.  The infringing devices are iPhone 3G, the iPhone 3Gs and the iPhone4 and UMTS-capable iPads but not the iPhone 4S.

Apple Addressed Security Flaws

Aside from addressing legal issues, Apple also addressed the security issues regarding their OS X.  Apple announced the fix for Address Book, Apache, ATS, CFNetwork, ColorSync, CoreAudio, CoreMedia, CoreText, CoreUI, curl, Data Security, dovecot, filecmds, ImageIO, Internet Sharing, libinfo, libresolv, libsecurity, OpenGL,PHP, QuickTime, SquirrelMail, Subversion,TimeMachine, Tomcat, WebDAV Sharing, Webmail and X11.

Probably the most important fix Apple addressed is the unpatched version of Apache.  The flaw enables hackers to decrypt Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encrypted Web sessions. These SSL certificates are used by  Google, Amazon, eBay and Bank of America to verify their identities to Web browsers.  If compromised, hackers could effectively “spoof” legitimate companies’ websites and harvest hoards of personal information from customers who believed they were on a legitimate site.

Some reported that this security update adversely affects the performance of older PowerPC-based applications in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard but Apple already addressed the compatibility issues.

Google’s Bouncer Kicks Malware in the Gonads

Though Google vehemently denies that they are plagued by malware, though never dismissing the fact that there are malware present in the Android Market, they have been using Bouncer, a service that monitors malware in the Android Market.

According to a blog post from Google, Bouncer works like this: “once an application is uploaded, the service immediately starts analyzing it for known malware, spyware and trojans. It also looks for behaviors that indicate an application might be misbehaving, and compares it against previously analyzed apps to detect possible red flags. We actually run every application on Google’s cloud infrastructure and simulate how it will run on an Android device to look for hidden, malicious behavior. We also analyze new developer accounts to help prevent malicious and repeat-offending developers from coming back.”

But aside from using Bouncer, Google armed itself with an artillery of malware-fighting techniques such as Sandboxing, which puts virtual walls between applications and other software on the device so if you accidentally or intentionally downloaded a malicious app, it can’t access data on other parts of your phone and its potential harm is drastically limited; Permission system, which helps you understand the capabilities of the apps you install, and manage your own preferences; and Malware removal, as Android is designed to prevent malware from modifying the platform or hiding from you, so it can be easily removed if your device is affected.   The Android Market also has the capability of remotely removing malware from your phone or tablet, if required.

Other Mobile News

The Nokia Lumia 800 went on sale in Ireland last week, exclusively available at Vodafone Ireland.  According to reports, it now is officially unavailable for purchase. Though this does not necessarily mean that there is a high demand for the device, it does look good for Nokia’s 2012 Q1.

HTC is set to unveil four new devies at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 26th with the HTC Ville leading the pack.  The HTC Ville features a 4.3-inch AMOLED display and an 8-megapixel camera and run on the latest version of Android, the Ice Cream Sandwich.

HTC was a big hit in 2010, but a lot has changed, as they dropped to the fifth spot in the smartphone market by shipments.  The company has been competing with the Apple iPhone as well as other Android devices, such those from Samsung.  HTC is expected to turn things around, but the company is struggling with the fact that their main problem is differentiation from the hoard of Android phones available in the market.