Jul 11, 2019

Apple pushes update to remove Zoom's Web server

Photo: Nicolò Campo/LightRocket/Getty Images

In a rare move, Apple silently updated the Mac operating system Wednesday to remove a controversial hidden Web server installed by the Zoom Web conferencing app.

The bottom line: The moves undo the damage, but as we reported yesterday, the bigger question is: when will tech companies stop prioritizing features over privacy in the first place?

  • Apple confirmed to TechCrunch that the update was performed automatically and required no action on the user's part.

What they're saying: Zoom, which said it worked with Apple on the move, also issued its own app update Tuesday removing the Web server and giving users the ability to uninstall Zoom if they wish.

  • The company also apologized for its earlier handling of the issue and the way it communicated with the researcher who alerted the company to the vulnerability.
  • "In engaging this researcher over the past 90 days, we misjudged the situation and did not respond quickly enough — and that’s on us," the company said in a blog post. "We take full ownership and we’ve learned a great deal."

Meanwhile, Apple has temporarily disabled the "walkie-talkie" feature on Apple Watch due to a vulnerability that could allow eavesdropping of a nearby iPhone.

Go deeper: Why privacy still comes second for tech firms

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 5,383,582 — Total deaths: 344,077 — Total recoveries — 2,158,031Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 1,640,972 — Total deaths: 97,679 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,195Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 26 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Federal judge strikes down Florida law requiring felons to pay fines before voting

Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: oe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Sunday ruled that a Florida law requiring convicted felons to pay all court fines and fees before registering to vote is unconstitutional.

Why it matters: The ruling, which will likely be appealed by state Republicans, would clear the way for hundreds of thousands of ex-felons in Florida to register to vote ahead of November's election.

White House announces new coronavirus travel restrictions on Brazil

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro with Trump, March 19, 2019. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool via Getty Images

The White House announced that beginning at 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, President Trump would suspend entry of non-U.S. citizens who have been in Brazil in the past 14 days in an effort to stop the imported spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Brazil has reported nearly 350,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus — the second-most in the world behind the U.S. — and has emerged as a Southern Hemisphere hotspot as other heavily affected countries in Asia and Europe have managed to get their outbreaks under control.