Category: Security

Survey: People in their 20s are more likely to sell their data

For all the flack the elder generation’s taken as of late, it turns out that millennials and Gen Z-ers are more likely to sell their data for a few bucks than boomers are. This is according to research published by TheBestVPN, a virtual private network service provider. In a recent study titled “Putting a Price on Privacy” researchers surveyed 1,002 people to determine their views on personal data and privacy. Respondents were asked if they’d ever considered selling their data, how much they thought certain types of data were worth, and whether they took any steps to protect their privacy…

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Don’t trust Google Chrome’s incognito mode

Privacy is fast becoming a hard-to-earn luxury. As you browse through websites, it’s hard to shake off the creepy feeling that wherever you go, unseen eyes are watching you: Google, Facebook, your internet service provider, the government, the person sitting next to you, etc. Among the many privacy-enhancing tools, one of the best known is the Chrome Incognito window, Google’s version of private browsing. Incognito window provides a measure of privacy if you’re browsing on a shared computer. But it’s far from being a perfect solution. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand the privacy implications of Google’s Incognito window and end up trusting…

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Pardon the Intrusion #5: In AI we trust

Subscribe to this bi-weekly newsletter here! Welcome to the latest edition of Pardon The Intrusion, TNW’s bi-weekly newsletter in which we explore the wild world of security. In the last newsletter, we talked about using AI to tackle the problem of malware. That got me thinking about how we can come up with efficient machine learning (ML) models to detect malicious content, especially as they’re constantly evolving. You know how it goes: cyber baddies find one way to sneak malware onto computers, and security folks build defenses to stop them. The villains then find another way to creep in, a…

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Russia to pre-install its own apps on all phones, PCs, and TVs sold in the country

Russia has officially passed a law banning the sale of electronic equipment that doesn’t have Russian software pre-installed on it. The law — which is set to go into effect starting July 1, 2020 — will force electronic equipment sold in Russia — such as smartphones, computers, and smart TVs — to ship pre-installed with apps from Russian tech firms. The bill was tabled in the parliament earlier this month. The government is expected to publish for each device type a list of Russian software that manufacturers will need to include on devices sold in the country. “The bill provides Russian…

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PSA: Twitter finally ditches SMS for two-factor authentication

Twitter has finally done the impossible: it’s allowing users to enroll for its two-factor authentication (2FA) program without requiring a phone number. What’s more, it’s also providing an option to disable SMS-based 2FA, which is known to be flawed and insecure. The decoupling comes in the wake of revelations that the social blogging platform “accidentally” targeted ads at some users by way of their email addresses and phone numbers, which they provided only for account security purposes. Twitter admitted it didn’t know exactly how many were impacted by the inadvertent error, but said the issue was fixed as of September. To setup…

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Popular Android apps are shipping with outdated bug-ridden software

Researchers have found that several popular Android apps, including Facebook, AliExpress, and WeChat, come with outdated software components that contain unpatched security flaws. Native vulnerabilities in third-party mobile apps are one kind. Those at the operating system level are another. Both necessitate that device makers and software vendors issue patches on a timely basis to mitigate the risk of such exploits. But what if these apps contain old software components that harbor vulnerabilities which have been long fixed? This is exactly what researchers over at cybersecurity firm Check Point Research set out to find. “To verify our hypothesis that long-known vulnerabilities…

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Trust issues loom large over Google’s ambitious healthcare plans

Google‘s healthcare deal with Ascension has rightly attracted a lot of scrutiny, and now the search giant has stepped in once again to clarify the controversial undertaking. David Feinberg, the head of Google‘s health initiatives, said the company is working towards building an “intelligent suite of tools to help doctors, nurses, and other providers take better care of patients, leveraging our expertise in organizing information.” Last week, it emerged that Google had struck a partnership with the US’ second largest health system Ascension — called “Project Nightingale” — to develop AI-based tools in exchange for moving all the patient data to…

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Uber will start audio-recording trips to protect its passengers

Uber has plans to ensure its passengers feel safe when using the service by introducing an audio-recording safety feature to all rides. This feature, which will be tested in Mexico and Brazil next month, is being introduced amidst increasing user safety concerns, as first reported by The Washington Post.  Once it’s been tested in various Latin American cities, Uber has plans to roll out the feature in the US, which will eventually allow drivers to automatically record all rides, while passengers can opt in to activate the feature through the app’s Safety Toolkit prior to their ride. Neither driver or passenger…

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Antivirus giants form new coalition to put an end to stalkerware

A bunch of antivirus software vendors and non-profits including Avira, Kaspersky, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have banded together to take on secretly-installed snooping apps plaguing your devices. Dubbed the Coalition Against Stalkerware (CAS), the collaborative effort aims to fight domestic violence, stalking, and harassment by addressing the use of stalkerware and raising public awareness about the issue. To that effect, the CAS intends to define best practices and improve the security industry’s response to stalkerware by sharing known samples among participating cybersecurity firms. In all, 10 organizations are part of the coalition: Avira, the EFF, G Data, Kaspersky,…

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Bug in Google Camera put Android users at risk of being secretly recorded

Not one to let Facebook get ahead, Google has disclosed a vulnerability in Android which made it possible for hackers to hijack your camera, and secretly capture photos and record footage — even when the phone is locked or the screen is off. The bug, discovered by researchers from Checkmarx, stemmed from permission bypass issues in the Google Camera app. The issue (filed under CVE-2019-2234) affected Pixel phones, but further spilled over to devices from Samsung and other manufacturers. “An attacker can control the app to take photos and/or record videos through a rogue application that has no permissions to do so,”…

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