Items tagged with security

Time and again, United States government officials and agencies have warned that Huawei and other Chinese telecommunication companies pose a security threat, due to spying concerns. Huawei has repeatedly denied being in bed with China's government, so to speak. Its founder recently doubled down on the company's denial that it's not a spy for China, while also acknowledging a love for his country and the Communist party. "I still love my country, I support the Communist party, but I will never do anything to harm any country in the world," Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei said, according to a report... Read more...
Owners of Ring security cameras have reason to feel violated according to a new report. While most thought that the cameras were able to detect what was going on inside and around their homes using automated computer vision technologies, there may have been an entire team of humans watching the footage as well. An unnamed source claims that starting in 2016 Ring gave a team of research and development personnel access to a folder on the Amazon S3 cloud service. This move granted them complete and unfettered access to every video created by every Ring camera in the entire world (that includes... Read more...
The October 2018 Update for Windows 10 may have gotten off to a rocky start, but that has not deterred Microsoft from forging ahead with its next major update, which is due out sometime in the first half of this year. As work progresses on its next major update, Microsoft has made available a new test build to Windows Insiders who are subscribed to the Fast ring, and with it comes a few interesting changes. For one, Microsoft has disabled Cortana's voice-over instructions during the installation phase, based on user feedback. This default setting applies to Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education... Read more...
One of the hottest trends in technology right now is artificial intelligence. It's not a new tech, by any means, but it's being applied to numerous different product and service segments, everything from self-driving cars and healthcare, to smartphones and graphics cards. As a matter of national security, US officials may decide to place certain restrictions in AI exports. The US Commerce Department included AI in a list of technologies that could be saddled with new export rules, if approved. As an added wrinkle, the US and China are engaged in a trade war that could potentially see these rules... Read more...
Typically when we talk about malware, we are talking about malicious code that is hidden inside software to try and take advantage of end users. An example is a malware that was hiding aboard a fake Adobe Flash update that was designed to install cryptocurrency mining software or other nefarious payloads. Earlier this month, another malware making the rounds was able to steal PayPal account balances despite users having two-factor authentication enabled. Today, a new malware has been identified and this one isn't attacking end users, it's attacking major newspapers around the U.S., underscoring... Read more...
Huawei is a Chinese company that makes smartphones and networking equipment, and has close ties to the Chinese government. A new report has surfaced that claims a deal between Huawei and the Washington Redskins NFL team was axed after a U.S. government complaint. The deal would have reportedly seen fans at the stadium where the team plays home games get free Wi-Fi. The deal fell through, in 2014, after the NFL team was warned that Huawei posed a cybersecurity threat according to a source familiar with the matter. So far, the U.S. government and its agencies that have been issuing these warnings... Read more...
In what could pass for a scene in a movie, a hacker managed to breach a school district's database and steal 10 years worth of personal data belonging to half a million students and staff. Only this wasn't a movie, it happened in real life. Had it been a movie, the hacker would likely have been revealed to be a student or former employee. It's not clear who the actual culprit is, though, only that it was a pretty serious security breach. The mystery hacker infiltrated the San Diego Unified School District, which contained a wealth of personal data—first and last names, dates of birth, mailing... Read more...
Microsoft has released an emergency patch to fix a critical vulnerability discovered in Internet Explorer. If left unpatched, an attacker could exploit the security hole to remotely execute malicious code on a victim's PC when visiting a compromised website. Listed as CVE-2018-8653, the flaw affects all supported versions of Windows. "A remote code execution vulnerability exists in the way that the scripting engine handles objects in memory in Internet Explorer. The vulnerability could corrupt memory in such a way that an attacker could execute arbitrary code in the context of the current user.... Read more...
The web is a potentially dangerous place, we've known that for years and are reminded every time a family member brings over a laptop that needs 'fixing' (i.e., clean out the malware). Even savvy users have to be careful, though. To help watch your step, Microsoft is developing an application called Windows Sandbox, which is exactly like it sounds. Click to Enlarge To be more clear, Windows Sandbox is a lightweight desktop environment for safely running applications in isolation. In other words, it's a sandbox for Windows, hence the name. "Any software installed in Windows Sandbox stays only in... Read more...
Mark Zuckerberg may end up finding out the hard way that even Facebook, the largest social network on the planet, is not invincible. After being dogged by numerous security gaffes and privacy outrages, including the Cambridge Analytica scandal that caused the company to be put under a microscope, it's now come to attention that Facebook allowed some of the biggest technology companies in the world to have greater access to people's data than it let on. No little thing, Facebook is home to around 2.27 billion monthly active users, after having surpassed 1 billion users six years ago. Privacy is... Read more...
As promised, Facebook has released a tool that lets users see if they are among the 6.8 million people who were potentially affected by a "photo API bug" that may have exposed their private photos during September. "When someone gives permission for an app to access their photos on Facebook, we usually only grant the app access to photos people share on their timeline. In this case, the bug potentially gave developers access to other photos, such as those shared on Marketplace or Facebook Stories. The bug also impacted photos that people uploaded to Facebook but chose not to post," Facebook said... Read more...
In a new post on its Windows Blog, Microsoft details its Windows Update mechanism, allowing us to peer inside the company process to see how those precious updates are rolled out. While some Windows updates have clearly not gone according to plan, the vast majority do, and given the complexity and reach of these updates, it's actually surprising we don't see even more issues than we do. According to Microsoft, it delivers updates to about one thousand devices per second, ultimately topping one billion devices per month. That's not only Windows 10, but every version if Windows that Microsoft... Read more...
A bug in Firefox that was first reported 12 years ago is still being exploited by malicious websites. The bug essentially allows a malicious site to ensnare a user by repeatedly showing them an "Authentication Required" pop-up login box. When the users tries to close the login box, a new one appears. The only way out is to close the browser. Users have reported this flaw in Firefox several times over the years, including yesterday (Saturday), but it's never been resolved. Here's the most recent report (edited for clarity)... "When I was browsing some site, a pop-up ad window appeared... At first... Read more...
Go home, Australian government, you're drunk. That's the general sentiment among technology firms and privacy advocates around the world, in response to a controversial encryption bill Australia's parliament passed this week. The new legislation forces companies to crack their own encryption when and if it's requested by law enforcement and intelligence agencies. That in and of itself is controversial—Apple, for example, refused the US Federal Bureau of Investigation's demands to build a backdoor into iOS so that it could crack an iPhone that was confiscated from a crime scene. The issue... Read more...
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