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Kassel, Germany

News Article | February 25, 2013
Site: venturebeat.com

The iOS 6.1 lockscreen hack from earlier this month isn’t the only security vulnerability in Apple’s latest mobile OS. Benjamin Kunz Mejri, the chief executive of the security firm Vulnerability Lab, detailed yet another iOS 6.1 hack last week in the Full Disclosure mailing list. The hack enables attackers bypass your iPhone’s lockscreen password, giving them access to your phone’s contacts, photos, voicemails, and more. Judging from Mejri’s description, the new hack seems related to the earlier iOS 6.1 lockscreen exploit. Both involve using the iPhone’s emergency call function, cancelling it immediately, and then trying to make a screenshot. But the newer attack takes advantage of a slightly different method to make the iPhone vulnerable (basically, pressing the power, home, and emergency call buttons all at once). Apple acknowledged the previous iOS 6.1 security flaw and quickly issued a fix to developers with the second iOS 6.1.3 beta. That update hasn’t yet trickled down to iPhone owners, and it’s unclear if it also fixes Mejri’s exploit. Here’s how Mejri describes the exploit in his e-mail to Full Disclosure: The vulnerability is located in the main login module of the mobile iOS device (iphone or ipad) when processing to use the screenshot function in combination with the emegerncy call and power (standby) button. The vulnerability allows the local attacker to bypass the code lock in iTunes and via USB when a black screen bug occurs. The vulnerability can be exploited by local attackers with physical device access without privileged iOS account or required user interaction. Successful exploitation of the vulnerability results in unauthorized device access and information disclosure. Check out a video of the exploit below:

Mechri A.,Vulnerability Lab | Mechri A.,University of Monastir | Kerkeni N.,Vulnerability Lab | Touati I.,Vulnerability Lab | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Affective Disorders | Year: 2011

Background: Recent studies have suggested that clinicians may under diagnose bipolarity in a substantial proportion of depressive patients, and proposed that affective temperaments particularly cyclothymic temperament (CT), may predict bipolarity in these patients. The objectives of this study were to assess CT in patients with recurrent depressive disorder (RDD) and to explore its associations with clinical predictors of bipolarity. Methods: 98 patients (43 men and 55 women, mean age = 46.8 ± 9.9 years), followed for RDD according to DSM-IV-TR criteria, were recruited. CT was assessed using the Tunisian version of the TEMPS cyclothymic subscale with the threshold score of 10/21. Results: The mean score of CT was 6.5 ± 5.2. One-third of patients (33.7%) had a CT score ≥ 10. These patients with high CT scores had significantly early age at onset of first depressive episode and high number of previous depressive episodes, and had more psychotic and melancholic features and suicidal ideations and attempts during the last depressive episode compared to patients with low CT scores. The multiple regression analysis showed an association between CT scores and psychotic, melancholic and atypical features and suicide attempts during the last depressive episode. Limitations: This is a cross-sectional study with a relatively small number of patients. The Tunisian version of the CT subscale was not yet validated. Conclusions: CT was associated with some clinical predictive factors of bipolarity. These results suggest the relevance of the CT screening in RDD, considering the change of polarity risk and misdiagnosis of unipolar depression. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

Ezzaher A.,University of Monastir | Ezzaher A.,Vulnerability Lab | Haj Mouhamed D.,University of Monastir | Mechri A.,Vulnerability Lab | And 4 more authors.
African Health Sciences | Year: 2011

Background: The metabolic syndrome is a growing global public health problem which is frequently associated with psychiatric illness. Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and to study its profile in Tunisian bipolar I patients. Methods: Our study included 130 patients with bipolar I disorder diagnosed according to the DSM-IV and assessed for metabolic syndrome according to the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Adult Treatment Panel (ATP) III modified criteria. The mean age was 37.9 ±12.1 years, 45 were women (mean age 37.5±13.4 years) and 85 were men (mean age 38.1 ± 11.4 years). Results: The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 26.1%.The highest prevalence of this syndrome was obtained by association between obesity, low c-HDL and hypertriglyceridemia (44.1%). In the total sample, 59.2% met the criteria for low c-HDL, 53.1% for hypertriglyceridemia, 33.8% for obesity, 16.1% for high fasting glucose and 5.4% for hypertension. Gender, age, illness episode and treatment were not significantly associated with metabolic syndrome, while patients under lithium had higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome than those under valproic acid, carbamazepine or antipsychotics. Patients with metabolic syndrome had significant higher levels of HOMA-IR and uric acid than metabolic syndrome free patients (p< 0.001). Conclusions: Bipolar patients have high prevalence of metabolic syndrome which is associated with insulin resistance and an increase of uric acid values that raise the risk of cardiovascular disease. Source

Raffa M.,University of Monastir | Atig F.,University of Monastir | Mhalla A.,Vulnerability Lab | Mhalla A.,University of Monastir | And 3 more authors.
BMC Psychiatry | Year: 2011

Background: The aim of this study was to determine glutathione levels and antioxidant enzyme activities in the drug-naive first-episode patients with schizophrenia in comparison with healthy control subjects.Methods: It was a case-controlled study carried on twenty-three patients (20 men and 3 women, mean age = 29.3 ± 7.5 years) recruited in their first-episode of schizophrenia and 40 healthy control subjects (36 men and 9 women, mean age = 29.6 ± 6.2 years). In patients, the blood samples were obtained prior to the initiation of neuroleptic treatments. Glutathione levels: total glutathione (GSHt), reduced glutathione (GSHr) and oxidized glutathione (GSSG) and antioxidant enzyme activities: superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), catalase (CAT) were determined by spectrophotometry.Results: GSHt and reduced GSHr were significantly lower in patients than in controls, whereas GSSG was significantly higher in patients. GPx activity was significantly higher in patients compared to control subjects. CAT activity was significantly lower in patients, whereas the SOD activity was comparable to that of controls.Conclusion: This is a report of decreased plasma levels of GSHt and GSHr, and impaired antioxidant enzyme activities in drug-naive first-episode patients with schizophrenia. The GSH deficit seems to be implicated in psychosis, and may be an important indirect biomarker of oxidative stress in schizophrenia early in the course of illness. Finally, our results provide support for further studies of the possible role of antioxidants as neuroprotective therapeutic strategies for schizophrenia from early stages. © 2011 Raffa et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Ezzaher A.,University of Monastir | Haj Mouhamed D.,University of Monastir | Mechri A.,Vulnerability Lab | Neffati F.,University of Monastir | And 3 more authors.
Asian Journal of Psychiatry | Year: 2011

Objective: This study aims to evaluate the prevalence of thyroid dysfunctions and to explore their association with perturbations in lipid profile in bipolar I patients. Patients and methods: Our study included 130 bipolar I patients diagnosed according to the DSM IV, and 124 control subjects aged respectively 37.9 ± 12.1 and 37.6 ± 13.2 years. TSH and FT4 were determined using electrochemiluminescence. Total cholesterol, triglycerides, c-LDL and c-HDL were determined by enzymatic colorimetric methods and ApoA1, ApoB and Lp(a) by immunoturbidimetric techniques on Konélab 30™. Results: Patients had significantly higher TSH values than controls and had perturbations in lipid profile. 0.7% and 28.5% of patients had respectively hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism was associated with obesity and perturbations in lipid profile particularly increase in total cholesterol, c-LDL, ApoB, ApoB/ApoA1 and Lp(a) and decrease in ApoA1 and c-HDL. Moreover, it was associated with lithium and valproic acid treatment. Conclusions: Hypothyroidism was frequent in bipolar patients. It was significantly associated with obesity and perturbations in lipid profile. Therefore, bipolar patients require specific care, particularly for thyroid, lipid profile and weight; the effectiveness of this care will be evaluated during follow-up period. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

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