security

The feds are ramping up for war on bad mobile security

The feds are ramping up for war on bad mobile security

Apple, Google, and a host of other smartphone makers and US carriers have found themselves the subject of a mobile security investigation. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have kicked off a joint inquiry to figure out how smartphones and other devices are kept secure and up-to-date, given the increasing number of hacking attempts and the amount of personal data users now generally carry around in their pockets or purses.

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Android N splits up mediaserver to prevent future Stagefrights

Android N splits up mediaserver to prevent future Stagefrights

The Stagefright security exploit definitely sent the Android world in a tumble. It put Android security and integrity under a microscope and increased the scrutiny of Android fragmentation and the dismally slow rollout of critical security updates. For its part, Google addressed the latter issue by starting monthly security updates, at least for its own Nexus devices. Some, but sadly not even most, OEMs followed suit. And in Android N, Google is further minimizing Stagefright's effects by dissecting mediaserver into a few more pieces.

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Qualcomm code bug leaves Android open to attack

Qualcomm code bug leaves Android open to attack

Android has acquired, warranted or not, the reputation of being a relatively less secure mobile platform. In some cases, it's attributed to the freedoms that the operating system affords developers and users. At other times, the weakness can be found inside Android's core, like the Stagefright flaw. This time, an equally frightening and far reaching security hole has crept into the Android codebase via one of Google's own partners. In introducing new networking features like tethering for its chips, Qualcomm inadvertently created a way for hackers to gain access to private user data, potentially affecting thousands, if not millions, of Android devices out in the wild.

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Google Play App Security Improvement Program boosts app safety

Google Play App Security Improvement Program boosts app safety

Google is increasing security on the Android platform via the launch of its new Google Play App Security Improvement Program. The company calls this new program “the first of its kind,” and it involves two core components: information for developers about ways to make secure apps, and alerting developers about any security (or possible security) issues when the apps are uploaded to the Google Play Store.

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10-year-old becomes Facebook’s youngest bounty hunter

10-year-old becomes Facebook’s youngest bounty hunter

When I was a kid, I always thought that being a bounty hunter or a smuggler would be a cool profession. Of course, in my mind, I was thinking that I'd be Boba Fett, or Han Solo. In reality, those titles are far different than they're depicted in the Star Wars universe. But that doesn't make it any less interesting when a 10-year-old can claim to be the youngest bounty hunter ever.

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ADA sends out infected flash drives to 37,000 dentists

ADA sends out infected flash drives to 37,000 dentists

We all know that you need to be careful when clicking on any links in an email that seem questionable, even if they appear to be from someone that you know. The same thing goes for plugging in flash drives. And thousands of dental offices around the country are learning that that hard way, right now.

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Your fingerprint won’t protect your phone in court

Your fingerprint won’t protect your phone in court

After the San Bernardino iPhone debacle, the idea of unlocking smartphones has become a hot topic. These days, we store a lot of personal information on our phones. In fact, nearly every method of digital communication I use can be accessed on my phone, so I don't want anyone getting in there without my permission. And as it turns out, a court can now force you to unlock your phone for them.

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Waze: hackers can’t track you specifically, so stop worrying

Waze: hackers can’t track you specifically, so stop worrying

Researchers detailed a security vulnerability affecting navigation app Waze this week, and it ignited concerns about potential privacy violations and mass surveillance. Waze has been quick to respond, saying in a lengthy statement today that it has tighten up the vulnerability, but also that concerns were overblown and you shouldn’t waste your time worrying. Among other things, the vulnerability wouldn’t have allowed anyone to find you specifically.

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Waze vulnerability lets hackers monitor your travels

Waze vulnerability lets hackers monitor your travels

A security vulnerability with Waze allows anyone to monitor a user’s travels, according to newly revealed research by University of California, Santa Barbara researchers. Using this vulnerability, researchers were able to create so-called “ghost drivers” and monitor real drivers using them — a big invasion of privacy, and one that could potentially be used by law enforcement, hackers, and anyone else snooping where they’re not welcome.

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Your password could soon be a sound from your skull

Your password could soon be a sound from your skull

Fingerprint scanners are becoming the norm for unlocking our mobile devices these days, while iris and facial recognition are also being explored, but the next big solution in biometric authentication might be something that can only come from inside your head. Literally. A group of university researchers in Germany have come up with a system that uses a unique sound that comes from within a user's skull.

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Bank forgoes a firewall, has $80 million stolen by hackers

Bank forgoes a firewall, has $80 million stolen by hackers

We've heard plenty about banks and other institutions losing money to ransomware, which essentially holds a company's data hostage, in exchange for money. These kinds of attacks can be hard to combat and protect against, given the number of people using computers inside of a company. But one bank has learned the hard way that you need to at least take the most basic precautions.

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PlayStation Network will soon offer two-factor authentication

PlayStation Network will soon offer two-factor authentication

Sony will be increasing security for PlayStation owners, confirming that two-factor authentication is being added to the PlayStation Network. The move has long been anticipated, and helps keep gamers’ personal data safe by requiring them to authenticate any log-in attempts. When the new security feature will go live isn’t clear, though a spokesperson has said that Sony will be providing more details in the future.

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