privacy

Senate approves controversial CISA bill in 74-21 vote

Senate approves controversial CISA bill in 74-21 vote

In an overwhelming number of votes, the US Senate has given the thumbs up to the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, more popularly known as CISA, though it definitely has less flattering nicknames. While the bill will still have to go through a joint committee of House and Senate, the show of majority support is already quite telling. Naturally, privacy interest groups are raising their voices high in continued opposition, calling the bill a huge step backwards in the fight for privacy rights and an ineffective weapon against cybercrimes.

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15-year-old arrested in connection with TalkTalk hack

15-year-old arrested in connection with TalkTalk hack

Last week, the UK telecom TalkTalk was hit with a cyberattack, and a short while later it revealed that a ransom had been made by an individual claiming to be behind the hack. The cyberattack was described as being “significant and sustained,” though later on it stated the attack wasn’t as bad as previously feared. Now a teenager has been arrested by law enforcement in Northern Ireland in connection to the cyberattack.

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FCC to turn the tables, publish telemarketers’ numbers

FCC to turn the tables, publish telemarketers’ numbers

Telemarketers and robocallers aren't as big of a problem as they used to be, but they're still around, and they're still managing to call just as you sit down for dinner. The FCC has served on the front lines in the battle against them, and now it is planning to turn the tables, so to speak, and put telemarketers on the defense. The Commission has revealed plans to publish such spammers' phone numbers, making it easy to blacklist them.

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Apple: technically impossible to unlock newer iOS devices

Apple: technically impossible to unlock newer iOS devices

Apple might have just scored some points with users but might have also further cemented the government's stance against encrypted devices. Responding to a Brooklyn federal judge's request for input, Apple revealed that it is impossible for it to unlock an iPhone or an iPad running iOS 8 or later due to stronger encryption methods. That said, it does admit that it can technically unlock devices running an older version, including the one involved in a current court proceeding, but advises the judge not to open that can of worms.

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256 App Store apps found using ad SDK collecting private data

256 App Store apps found using ad SDK collecting private data

Apple is known, even notorious, for its tight grip on which apps get into its App Store. While sometimes viewed to be a rather heavy handed or authoritarian approach, it has also been praised for curbing the amount of low quality apps and malware. Lately, however, some seem to have slipped through the cracks. This latest App Store violation even numbers in the hundreds. Code analytics service SourceDNA discovers more than 200 iOS apps accepted on the App Store using an advertising SDK that collect users' private data.

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Now Facebook will warn if you’re under state-sponsored attack

Now Facebook will warn if you’re under state-sponsored attack

It's a sign of the times that, just as Facebook warns which of your friends and family will see your posts, now it'll flag potential state intrusion too. The new alert will appear if the social network believes an individual's account is being "targeted or compromised by an attacker suspected of working on behalf of a nation-state," Alex Stamos, chief security officer at Facebook, said today.

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Report: Dow Jones suffered second, more serious hack

Report: Dow Jones suffered second, more serious hack

On October 9, Dow Jones revealed that it had been hacked and data belonging to about 3500 customers had been compromised as a result. According to a new report, a Russian hacking collective has breached Dow Jones in what appears to be a separate attack; the information comes from unnamed sources “familiar with the matter.” The hackers’ intent was to steal data for trading purposes, according to the sources. Three federal agencies are reportedly investigating the matter.

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JPEG images may one day have DRM copy protection

JPEG images may one day have DRM copy protection

It's not time to panic just yet, but there could one day be a fundamental change to the JPEG image format that would have a significant impact on the way we view and use images on the web. The committee behind the format, the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG), is now holding discussions on the topic of privacy and security, and considering the idea of bringing digital rights management (DRM) to the popular image type.

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HP, 3M team up for laptops with built-in privacy screens

HP, 3M team up for laptops with built-in privacy screens

HP and 3M have partnered to produce business laptops with built-in privacy screens, the same sort of screens used at banks, hotels and other businesses to keep the contents on a monitor away from nosy people. These screens are available to purchase as independent items, but must be cut to fit an existing laptop’s display (or, perhaps, taped if you’re not concerned about style).

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Line messaging app updated with end-to-end encryption

Line messaging app updated with end-to-end encryption

Line, the dominant mobile messaging app in many parts of Asia, has just announced that it's updating its service on all platforms to take advantage of end-to-end encryption. This protects the privacy of conversations between two users, and brings Line up to speed with other popular messaging services, including Apple's iMessage and the Facebook-owned WhatsApp. The new security feature, which Line has dubbed "Letter Sealing," is now available on its updated iOS and Android apps.

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Archos joins the enterprise fray with GranitePhone

Archos joins the enterprise fray with GranitePhone

With the launch of Silent Circle's privacy-focused Blackphone 2 and the upcoming fully Android BlackBerry Priv, Google's spiel of Android for Work is suddenly becoming more interesting. Trying to capitalize on this still nascent market, Archos has joined forces with communications and security company Sikur to bring out the GranitePhone. Like the aforementioned smartphones, this Android handset has security and privacy in mind, which is especially enticing for an enterprise scenario. The one catch is that it does thing slightly differently from what others are doing so far.

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Obama administration softens encryption backdoor law stance

Obama administration softens encryption backdoor law stance

It's not a complete victory for security advocates, but still a reprieve they could rejoice in. White House spokesperson Mark Stroh told the press Saturday that the Obama administration isn't going to push for legislation that would require tech and network companies to provide backdoor access to their encrypted systems. At least not yet. The government still stands by its position on encryption despite increasing opposition from advocates and companies themselves. For now, however, they could breathe a sigh of relief that they won't have legislature breathing down their necks for a while.

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