security

PowerOffHijack Malware keeps spying even after users shut off the device

PowerOffHijack Malware keeps spying even after users shut off the device

Malware can grant hackers unfettered access to your devices, and this time even turning off your phone can't stop them. AVG security has dubbed this threat PowerOffHijack. It's so called because it actually hijacks your ability to turn off your phone. This malware creates a false shutdown screen, so the user thinks he is turning off his phone. The screen turns black and it looks like any other time your phone has been turned off. In fact, the device is still on and just as capable of being controlled by an outside user.

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Lenovo found installing adware on its computers

Lenovo found installing adware on its computers

Bloatware might be a common curse on smartphones these days, but it didn't start with mobile devices. Even PCs and laptops bought from manufacturers and dealers had them long before. Now the biggest PC maker has just been found installing adware on machines. Lenovo used software from Superfish to inject ads into users' browsers without them knowing it, but the somewhat innocent sounding adware might actually be more trouble and more dangerous that it might initially look.

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Nope, Samsung doesn’t actually encrypt Smart TV voice data

Nope, Samsung doesn’t actually encrypt Smart TV voice data

If Samsung thinks it's already safe from the latest Smart TV scandal, it better put its PR team into action again. The company publicly stated that its Smart TVs were not eavesdropping on users and that it follows security best practices when transmitting voice queries, and only voice queries, to a third-party company for processing. Apparently, for the Korean consumer electronics giant, such "best practices" don't actually include encryption, leaving owners' voice commands, or practically anything they say to the TV, open for hackers to hear.

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Equation group creates “The Death Star of Malware”

Equation group creates “The Death Star of Malware”

According to the Kaspersy Labs Global Research and Analysis Team (GREAT), one piece of malware has infected thousands of victims throughout the world. The team suggests that it may be possible that tens of thousands of victims have been infected with malware made by Equation APT, or The Equation Group, through a number of "implants" - otherwise known as Trojans. These infection points are called upon by Kaspersy to identify the spread. Kaspersy calls this team of hackers The Equation group - their real identities remain a mystery.

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DARPA’s “Dark Web” revealing Memex tool is also pretty scary

DARPA’s “Dark Web” revealing Memex tool is also pretty scary

In the realm of cybersecurity, balancing national security and personal privacy is undoubtedly a tough act to pull off. The Internet has long been held as the bastion of free speech, but it has also become a breeding ground and hiding place for miscreants. So it isn't surprising that law enforcers would want to penetrate all corners of the Web in order to catch the bad guys. That is exactly what DARPA's new search engine called Memex is trying to do, by diving even into the depths of the "Dark Web".

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Microsoft makes biometrics focal point for Windows 10 security

Microsoft makes biometrics focal point for Windows 10 security

With Windows 10, you’ll have more options for password protection. In a recent blog post, Microsoft announced they’ll support new Fast Identity Online Alliance (FIDO) standards, which they also helped contribute to. With FIDO 2.0, you’ll have wider availability to use biometrics, which means your next-generation PC might have some biometric scanners built right in. In fact, it could make that Synaptics touchpad, which also supports new FIDO guidelines, a must-have accompaniment for Windows 10, if you’re of the mind that fingerprints are better than passwords.

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Google defends, revises Project Zero 90-day policy

Google defends, revises Project Zero 90-day policy

In the software security community, a debate rages around when and how to disclose vulnerabilities and bugs. One camp wants a fixed deadline in order to somewhat force software vendors to fix their bugs before word goes out to the public. Others want a slightly more secretive approach that will only disclose such issues if and only if a fix is already ready. Google's Project Zero has adopted a hard 90-day stance but now it's yielding just a wee bit to address some complaints against its policy.

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Obama signs divisive cyberthreat bill amid privacy fears

Obama signs divisive cyberthreat bill amid privacy fears

President Obama publicly signed the executive order driving through new cyber security legislation today, using an appearance at Stanford to discuss the controversial balance of privacy and protection. The bill - already a topic of fierce debate in Congress, which had continually refused to pass it - demands greater information sharing between government and private industry, "sharing appropriate information" as relevant to ensure vital infrastructure isn't compromised by hackers or malicious governments. However, exactly what counts as "appropriate", and what impact that has on individual privacy, remains to be seen.

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Apple adds two-step verification to iMessage, FaceTime

Apple adds two-step verification to iMessage, FaceTime

After a widely reported hack, Apple stepped up security measures for iCloud, with a more widespread iCloud integration. In addition to iCloud, Apple is also rolling out their two-step verification feature for iMessage and FaceTime today, which is available to anyone who has the feature active on their Apple ID. Now when you configure a new device to use FaceTime and/or iMessage, you’ll have to enter a verification code in iCloud so Apple knows you’re who you say you are.

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iPhone Kill Switch praised as phone thefts tumble

iPhone Kill Switch praised as phone thefts tumble

New smartphones aren't only coveted by regular users but by thieves, too, though the iPhone's "kill switch" Activation Lock is being credited with cutting thefts significantly across three major cities. The feature, added in iOS 7 back in 2013, remotely locks down a lost or stolen iPhone so that it cannot be activated in future without the original credentials, something intended to make such thefts less appealing to those committing street crime. That's paying off in three cities - New York, San Francisco, and London - where having a phone snatched has traditionally been a significant peril, new research from each confirms.

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