Stories by Marco Tabini

Security flaw allows unwanted code execution in Mailbox app

An Italian computer engineer has reportedly discovered that the popular Mailbox iOS app, which was acquired by Dropbox earlier this year, suffers from a potentially serious vulnerability that may allow malicious e-mails to wreak all sorts of havoc on your device. Macworld has confirmed that the flaw occurs in the latest version of Mailbox (1.6.2) currently available from the App Store.

Marco Tabini | 25 Sep | Read more

Apple's Touch ID may not be bulletproof, but it's still useful

As you've probably heard by now, Apple's Touch ID--the technology behind the iPhone 5s's new fingerprint scanner--was circumvented over the weekend by a group of German security researchers. With little more than the kind of supplies you'd find in the home of your average computer enthusiast, the hackers claim to have fooled the sensor on their brand-new handsets into accepting a fake fingerprint that had been photographed at high resolution, printed out, and transferred to a piece of latex.

Marco Tabini | 24 Sep | Read more

How Apple is improving mobile app security

In a much-publicized recent case, scientists at Georgia Tech managed to get a specially crafted app that could perform all sorts of malicious activities app--aptly named Jekyll--onto the App Store, bypassing every single security measure put in place by Apple to protect its users.

Marco Tabini | 02 Sep | Read more

Once more into the breach: How hackers compromise websites like Apple's

Unless you happen to call the proverbial rock home, you've probably heard that Apple's developer websites were recently hit by a hacking attack. Though the developer site has been inaccessible since last week, the company didn't announce the intrusion until Sunday; as of this writing, the site remains down. That outage has resulted in considerable inconvenience for app developers, not to mention the poor IT people in Cupertino who have been working around the clock to deal with the breach.

Marco Tabini | 24 Jul | Read more

Imagining a Passbook-powered digital wallet

Despite the somewhat mixed reception it got from users, I like iOS 6's Passbook feature. When it works, it's a great alternative to more-traditional counterparts: no more paper to carry around; no more rummaging through your inbox at the last minute, looking for an elusive boarding pass.

Marco Tabini | 03 May | Read more

LastPass takes your passwords to the cloud

These days, it's hard for me to imagine life without password-management software. Good "password hygiene" is essential to protect my online data from prying eyes, and it would simply be impossible to handle the dozens of passwords I use every day in a safe way if all I relied on was my poor, overtaxed brain.

Marco Tabini | 09 Apr | Read more

Understanding iOS passcode security

Ah, the eternal question: Should you protect your iOS device with a passcode? On one hand, the knowledge that your data is presumably safe from prying eyes makes carrying around your phone and tablet less worrying; on the other, having to tap in a code every time you want to check your email or make a phone call can quickly become annoying.

Marco Tabini | 07 Mar | Read more

PassLocker helps iOS remember your passwords

Like its desktop cousin, Innovationbox's PassLocker for iOS offers a simple and streamlined interface for managing your logins and passwords. Instead of going for lots of features like its many competitors, the app focuses solely on storing your credentials and helping you retrieve them quickly.

Marco Tabini | 08 Feb | Read more

PassLocker is a simple but flawed password manager for OS X

These days, it seems that every single website I visit wants me to log in, no matter how trivial the service it offers. Of course, the most basic of cautions dictates that a different set of credentials are created for each site, least I wake up one morning to find out that my bank account was wiped clean because my favorite social network inadvertently leaked my password.

Marco Tabini | 08 Feb | Read more

URL detection flaw causes OS X apps to crash

Over the weekend, reports of a rather curious OS X bug were reported with a mixture of amusement and surprise. Affecting only recent versions of Mountain Lion--including, according to some reports, as-yet unreleased betas of the operating system--the bug manifests itself in the form of a crash every time you type File:/// (with an uppercase F) inside most standard text input controls like those you can find in a Web form or in text editors like TextEdit.

Marco Tabini | 04 Feb | Read more

Why I avoid iOS piracy

As an app developer, saying "I am not a huge fan of piracy" is an understatement. Apple has created a platform on which the cost of software has dropped dramatically, to the point where you can buy the entire top-fifty App Store list for little more than it would cost you to buy a single console game. Thus, when people spend hundreds of dollars on a device (and, often, hundreds more on accessories) and then feel compelled to pirate 99-cent apps, I must admit that I'm more befuddled than angry.

Marco Tabini | 08 Jan | Read more

1Password for iOS keeps your digital life safe

For a security mechanism that has existed since mankind traded places with apes to raise to the top of the food chain, passwords have shown a surprising longevity. Passwords act as gatekeepers to our email, banking, social media accounts, and just about anything else that we do, regardless of whether we are online or not.

Marco Tabini | 21 Dec | Read more