Items tagged with Privacy

A team of researchers from Positive Technologies have dug into the innards of Intel Management Engine (ME) 11 and have found a way to turn the feature off. If you aren't familiar with ME, it's a separate processor that is tucked away inside Intel CPUs that allows companies to manage the computers on their networks. Essentially, it allows the IT team to get into your machine to fix issues or apply updates among other things. The catch is that ME 11 is essentially a backdoor leaving some concerned about potential security exploits and privacy concerns. That fact has left many people who use Intel... Read more...
Sarahah, an anonymous feedback app that has recently exploded in popularity across the globe, is now coming under fire for privacy violations. The app stands accused of uploading emails and phone numbers from user address books to its servers. More intriguingly, there doesn’t seem to be a reason for why the company would need to take such an ill-advised action in the app's current form. The developers of Sarahah describe the app, stating, “Sarahah helps you in discovering your strengths and areas for improvement by receiving honest feedback from your employees and your friends in a private manner”.... Read more...
Being tracked when you are online is a everyday reality for many of us. While there are ways that you can hide your online shopping and surfing habits from tracking devices and marketers, the majority of us don't care if Google knows that we bought new pants from Amazon. Google's latest shopper tracking program is a bit creepier though and has been around since May of this year, but you probably didn't even know about it. Google's new purchase tracking program is called Google Attribution and the search giant says that the purpose of the new program is to let marketers know if their efforts... Read more...
Some of the biggest tech giants in the world have a not-so-stellar reputation when it comes to user privacy. Facebook, the largest social networking site on this or presumably any other planet, is one of them. Facebook is known to track its users' online habits, even when logged out of the social networking site, and then delivering targeted ads when they're signed in. This was the focal point of a five-year lawsuit against Facebook, one in which the company emerged victorious. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit accused Facebook of using the "Like" buttons integrated into third-party websites to track their... Read more...
Microsoft has gone to great lengths to foster adoption of its Windows 10 operating system, and for good reason. In addition to it likely being one of the best iterations of the Windows OS in a long time--with better security, support for DX12 and host of other features--it’s clearly also a platform for MSFT to better track its customer base for myriad of reasons. Many, including our team here at HotHardware, have droned on about some of the privacy concerns with Windows 10 and we even showed you how to keep Redmond’s nose out of your private bits here as well. Further, even Microsoft has reacted,... Read more...
Last fall, we reported on a somewhat humorous report of a mere "reply all" email that managed to bring down email servers of the UK's National Health Service.  Unfortunately, we have something a bit more severe to report on today: an all-out cyberattack against the NHS. At some point today, doctors at NHS had to begin turning away patients as a ransomware attack that affected NHS' most important servers reared its ugly head. Doctors and staff were immediately locked out of their computers, essentially meaning that patient data could not be accessed. Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham;... Read more...
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...
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