Items tagged with Privacy

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...
The Wynn hotel and casino in Las Vegas is going high tech by equipping all 4,748 rooms with an Amazon Echo smart speaker. Wynn Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn likened the hands-free speaker to having a personal butler, saying that in all the years he has been in the business he's never seen a better implementation of technology designed to make the user experience more seamless. He might be right, but having an Internet-connected speaker in every room also challenges the notion that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, as the popular phrase goes. "As we have moved through the years, technology has... Read more...
An appeals court in Florida has overturned a previous ruling that stated a man suspected of voyeurism should not be compelled to give up the passcode to his iPhone as it violate the Fifth Amendment and force him to testify against himself. The appeals court disagreed with that ruling and has ordered the iPhone owner to provide his four-digit passcode to law enforcement.Police arrested Aaron Stahl after a woman who was out shopping allegedly saw him bend down and extend and an illuminated mobile phone under her skirt. Court records say that when she confronted Stahl about the incident, he claimed... Read more...
When the topic of encryption comes up, it is often related to smartphones and tablets, and the differing opinions on the matter between hardware makers such as Google and Apple versus government agencies. Those are not the only areas where encryption matters. In an open letter to the camera makers around the world, Freedom of the Press Foundation makes a plea to build encryption into still photo and video cameras to protect the "safety and security" of photojournalists and filmmakers, along with their sources.The open letter is signed by more 150 documentary filmmakers and photojournalists. It... Read more...
It's no secret that Apple places a high value on customer security and privacy, and the company goes to great lengths to make sure that it's a market-leader in both regards. However, even the most careful companies can be exposed to crippling security vulnerabilities. If software contains a previously unidentified bug or exploit, it just sits there waiting for some enterprising user to spot it. And that's just what happened with Apple's Activation Lock. When an iPhone or iPad is lost, the user has the ability to enable "Find My iPhone", which can immediately locks the device, requiring correct... Read more...
The Supreme Court approved a series of changes to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure by the United States Department of Justice that go into effect today. Those changes, which the DoJ proposed earlier this year and that were never discussed by Congress, gives the FBI permission to hack into multiple computer systems here and abroad with a just a single warrant in cases where they're part of a botnet or otherwise can't be traced to a precise location.Any U.S. judge can authorize such a warrant, including magistrate judges who typically only issue warrants within their own jurisdiction.... Read more...
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