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Apple Accused of Fraud for Hiding Dop in iPhone Sales: Report

Apple’s disclosures in January caused its stock price to fall by more than $15 per share, or more than 9 percent

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The Apple logo is shown outside the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, California. VOA

A lawsuit filed in the US has alleged that Apple violated the country’s Securities Exchange Act by hiding a slowdown in the demand for iPhones, especially in China, the media reported.

The City of Roseville employees’ retirement fund filed the suit on Tuesday in Northern California US District Court, The Mercury News published from San Jose reported.

The lawsuit claimed that Apple knew in November its iPhone sales were hit, but refrained from revealing it to investors then, leading to economic loss for investors.

The lawsuit seeks class-action status, to bring in everyone who bought Apple common stock between November 2, 2018 and January 2, 2019, the report said, adding that the plaintiff is seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages.

Apple in November said it had gone into the holiday season with its “strongest lineup of products and services ever,” according to the suit.

But in reality, the US trade war with China was hurting the iPhone sales and Apple and its CEO Tim Cook were aware of it in November, claimed the lawsuit which said that Apple disclosed the “true state” of its first quarter iPhone sales only in January.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during a data privacy conference at the European Parliament in Brussels. VOA

The suit alleged that Apple and Cook’s “materially false and misleading statements” in November propped up the company’s stock, “which continued to trade at artificially inflated prices”.

But in January, Apple lowered its revenue guidance for fiscal 2019 first quarter, which ended on December 29.

In a letter to investors, Cook said that the company now expects a revenue of approximately $84 billion, down from the $89 to $93 billion it had previously projected.

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Cook acknowledged that the revenue shortfall in its guidance was partly due to China’s trade tensions with the US. The slowdown in the Chinese economy also impacted its revenue, he said.

Apple’s disclosures in January caused its stock price to fall by more than $15 per share, or more than 9 percent, the suit claimed. (IANS)

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Social Networking Giant Facebook Blames Apple iOS for Bezos’ Phone Hacking

WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption by default, which means only the sender and recipient can view the messages

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Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

Facebook has blamed Apple’s operating system for the hacking of Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’ phone, saying WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption is unhackable.

Investigators believe that Bezos’s iPhone was compromised after he received a 4.4MB video file containing malware via WhatsApp – in the same way when phones of 1,400 select journalists and human rights activists were broken into by Pegasus software from Israel-based NSO Group last year.

In an interview to the BBC last week, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications, Nick Clegg, said it wasn’t WhatsApp’s fault because end-to-end encryption is unhackable and blamed Apple’s operating system for Bezos’ episode.

“It sounds like something on the, you know, what they call the operate, operated on the phone itself. It can’t have been anything on the, when the message was sent, in transit, because that’s end-to-end encrypted on WhatsApp,” Clegg told the show host.

Clegg compared the hack to opening a malicious email, saying that “it only comes to life when you open it”.

According to a report from FTI Consulting, a firm that has investigated Bezos’ phone, after that the video file was received, Bezos’ phone started sending unusually large amounts of outbound data, including his intimate messages with his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez.

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and owner of Blue Origin. (Wikimedia commons)

According to Clegg, “something” must have affected the phone’s operating system.

“As sure as you can be that the technology of end-to-end encryption cannot, other than unless you have handset, or you have the message at either end, cannot be hacked into,” he was quoted as saying.

Apple was yet to comment on Facebook’s statement.

The NSO Group has denied it was part of Bezos’ hacking.

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WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption by default, which means only the sender and recipient can view the messages. But the piece of NSO Group software exploited WhatsApp’s video calling system by installing the spyware via missed calls to snoop on the selected users.

According to leading tech policy and media consultant Prasanto K. Roy, end-to-end encrypted apps (E2EE) do provide security, and messages or calls cannot be intercepted and decrypted en route without enormous computing resources.

“But once anyone can get to your handset, whether a human or a piece of software, the encryption doesn’t matter anymore. Because on your handset, it’s all decrypted,” Roy told IANS recently. (IANS)