Items tagged with Privacy

We can't seem to go a single week without news of a severe vulnerability out there in the wild, and it looks like our streak isn't about to end. Not too long ago, a number of NSA-derived tools were released online, giving us an idea of how desperate the folks at one of the US government's leading intelligence agencies are to get inside targeted PCs. Now, we have to hope that IT managers and system owners alike take updating their OS seriously. This particular family of NSA exploits are being dubbed "DoublePulsar", and they're severe enough to warrant immediate attention to your Windows PCs. Last... Read more...
The latest bombshell to come out of WikiLeaks’ Vault7 series of leaks from the CIA, exposes a tool codenamed “Grasshopper”, which allows operatives to deploy persistent surveillance and hacking payloads on target Windows-based computer systems and remain undetected from popular anti-malware and anti-virus tools.WikiLeaks has an array of documentation on-line, including an in-depth user’s guide for Grasshopper. The user’s guide explains that Grasshopper is “a software tool used to build custom installers for target computers running Microsoft Windows operating systems”, which seems straightforward... Read more...
Privacy is hard to come by on the Internet, that's just the way it is. But hey, at least wireless carries and Internet service providers (ISPs) are not selling your browsing history without your permission right? Well, we're sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the House of Representatives narrowly voted 215-205 to repeal broadband privacy rules that were recently introduced under the Obama administration. The bill eked a majority vote among party lines in the Senate (50-48) last week before it headed to the House of Representatives. In both cases, a simple majority vote was needed to pass the... Read more...
Earlier this month, we told you about a Senate bill that would undo what had been deemed overreaching “midnight regulations” by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that were aimed at protecting consumer privacy. Today, the Senate voted along party lines (50-48) to kill the FCC measure that would require ISPs to gain consent before sharing customers' browsing data. The bill was authored by Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law. The vote to dismantle the FCC’s privacy rules was the result of the Congressional Review Act,... Read more...
How broad can you make a search warrant? Google is currently battling one judge in Minnesota who issued a search warrant on searches potentially related to a wire fraud case. Spire Credit Union recently notified the authorities that a customer named “Douglas” had transferred $28,500 USD from his bank account. The transfer proved to be fraudulent and it soon became evident that someone had stolen Douglas’ identity. The criminal posed as the victim by faxing a fake United States passport to the bank. The image used on the passport is unfortunately publicly available through a Google search, but does... Read more...
The usefulness of social networks is undeniable, but the convenience of sharing our daily lives should also be met with some caution. If our data is so easy to find for a regular person, it's going to be an absolute cinch for a bot or nefarious parties. Worrying about having your data siphoned is fairly common and indeed it has happened in various recent report. We're sure it will continue to happen to some degree, regardless systems these networks put into place. Regardless, Facebook has made it known that it is doing all it can to protect the data of its users, resulting in an update to its policies.... Read more...
Several technology firms have issued statements after Wikileaks published a massive cache of documents alleging that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had developed methods to hack popular electronics devices, including iPhones, Android handsets, and Samsung smart TVs. Dubbed "Vault 7," the data dump is considered the largest public reveal of confidential documents related to the CIA.If the documents are real, they contain detailed exploits on popular devices that would allow the CIA to snoop on users and even take control of gadgets. The documents, which are dated between 2013 and 2016, purportedly... Read more...
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...
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