Items tagged with Privacy

It looks as though Microsoft just can’t catch a break when it comes to the privacy settings incorporated into Windows 10. The company came under fire shortly after the launch of the operating system during the summer of 2015 over concerns that personal information was being beamed back to the mothership in Redmond, Washington; and Microsoft hasn’t completely alleviated those concerns for some. The latest to show signs of skepticism is the European Union (EU). According to Reuters, the Article 29 Working Party, which is composed of 28 governing bodies that enforce data protection laws, is taking... Read more...
Can the FBI access your email if it is on a foreign server? Google was recently ordered by a United States judge to release emails stored on foreign mail servers to the FBI. The communications are possibly related to a domestic fraud case. U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Rueter in Philadelphia ruled that transferring emails from a foreign server to the FBI does not count as seizure. He contended that the email transfer did not create any “meaningful interference” with the account holder’s “possessory interest”. Furthermore, Judge Reuter insisted that any privacy infringement occurs “at the time of... Read more...
When ransomware strikes, its impact could range from mild to severe. Sometimes, ransomware targets regular users, while other times, it targets important mega-corporations (or even police stations). In this latest incident, it affected a hotel, and subsequently ran the risk of affecting all of its guests. Here it is, the downright gorgeous Romantik Seehotel Jägerwirt in Austria. Staying at a place like this is the stuff dreams are made of. It could feel like paradise on Earth; certainly not a place where you'd expect to have to deal with the major hassle of being locked out of your room against... Read more...
For what we're sure are obvious reasons, Google has long blocked certain types of attachments from being sent through its Gmail service. Those include .bat (Windows Batch), .exe (Windows executable), and .msc (Microsoft Management Console). Soon, .js (JavaScript) will be joining the prohibited ranks. This is the kind of feature update that's needed, although it's not one that's going to please those who need to legitimately send JavaScript files, such as developers or IT staff. However, given the kind of damage any sort of scripts can cause, it's hard to disagree with Google's decision here. If... Read more...
The FBI may have overstepped its bounds (again) and acted outside what was made legally permissible by a 2008 Justice Department memo when it asked Twitter to provide information about certain account holders. Twitter received the data requests by way of two national security letters (NSLs) that were served, one in 2015 and the other in 2016, which at the time were protected by gag orders preventing Twitter from notifying the affected account holders or publicly disclosing their existence. Those gag orders have been lifted and just as other tech companies have done in recent months—most notably... Read more...
It appears that the first Mac malware discovery of 2017 belongs to "Quimitchin", a strange little find that targets, of all things, scientific research. The "strange" part of the malware comes from the fact that it features system calls that have long been deprecated, or at least haven't been relevant for quite some time. It's also not designed to wreak havoc, but rather act as an effective spy. Quimitchin was discovered by an IT admin who noticed that one particular Mac had more than the usual amount of network activity. Thanks to the help of Malwarebytes, the culprit was found, and its nickname... Read more...
As we've discussed multiple times before here at HotHardware, IoT device makers have largely been unconcerned about security up until this point, which means that way too many devices in use out there in the wild are sitting there unsecured. Samsung's Smartcam is one such device. After Smartcam's launch, hackers discovered a couple of huge vulnerabilities, which Samsung acknowledged immediately. However, instead of actually fixing the issues, Samsung crippled the device, removing the entire Web admin interface that customers would use to configure their camera. Instead, customers were shifted to... Read more...
WhatsApp is one of the most popular chat apps on the planet, for a handful of reasons. For one, WhatsApp makes it extremely easy to keep communications with friends and family open and ongoing even if your mobile data package is paltry (thanks to Wi-Fi), in addition, it's also been deemed one of the most secure chat apps available, a fact that's led those even with the most confidential subject matter to rely on it. But there may be a chink in WhatsApp's armor. A report recently outed a significant security flaw in WhatsApp that "could" let the company regenerate your encryption keys without your... Read more...
When Microsoft first unleashed Windows 10 onto the world, everything seemed hunky-dory at first. It is without question Microsoft's most ambitious OS to date, but more importantly, it's stable, fast, and packed with the latest features and technologies. However, as we discovered not long after launch, the OS also comes strapped with a number of privacy concerns. We in fact published a quick guide shortly after launch, on how to keep Microsoft's nose out of your digital goods with Windows 10.  It has taken quite a while for Microsoft to respond to these concerns in a meaningful way, but... Read more...
At HotHardware, we unfortunately have to frequently write about security and privacy breaches, and those breaches can seriously affect their victims. But while a cyberattack on a bank might make for a bad day, nothing could compare to a cyberattack on equipment that helps keep their owners alive. If you have a family member using a pacemaker, for example, you want to be confident in its ability to thwart potential attacks. The Food and Drug Administration wholeheartedly agrees, and it proves it through in-depth guidelines for makers of life-saving devices. The FDA doesn't sugar-coat the importance,... Read more...
Police are hoping that audio captured from an Amazon Echo smart speaker can help shed light on a murder investigation in Bentonville, Arkansas. The device belongs to James Andrew Bates, who was arrested and charged with first-degree murder after the victim, Victor Collins, was found dead in Bates' hot tub at his residence. Police determined the cause of death to be strangulation followed by drowning. Bates and Collins had been drinking and watching football with two other friends the night the alleged murder took place. As the night went on, one of the friends left the residence while the other... Read more...
Some users have noticed that Uber's mobile app continues to track a user's location after a ride is completed. In some cases, the location tracking stays active for days or even weeks after the last completed ride. Is Uber spying on users who hail rides from the popular ridesharing service? Uber says no and instead points the finger at iOS, Apple's mobile operating system for iPhone devices. More specifically, Uber says it is the fault of the iOS Maps extension that Apple opened a few months ago, insisting that it was not due to buggy code in its own app or part of its recent location services... Read more...
The growing consensus is that the U.S. government is overstepping its bounds and trampling on people's right to privacy. Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the government's vast spying program, and while that was an eye opener for the country (and world) at large, the full extent of its efforts are still coming to light. The most recent example is the email scanner Yahoo built under the direction of the NSA and FBI.Developed in secret, the email scanner was found to be a sophisticated hacking tool, or rootkit, as some experts have classified it. The email scanner gave the... Read more...
Google finds itself at the receiving end of a lawsuit, a not uncommon thing for the sultan of search, only this one is comes from within. One of the company's product managers is suing the firm over allegations of illegal confidentiality agreements and employee policies that run afoul of California's labor laws. The employee even accuses Google of promoting a culture of spying on one another. At dispute are the policies that Google puts in place to prevent leaking confidential information. However, the lawsuit alleges that the policies go to far and in essence restrict employees "from speaking... Read more...
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