security

University of Calgary pays $20k for ransomware decryption keys

University of Calgary pays $20k for ransomware decryption keys

The University of Calgary was recently infected by ransomware that has affected the institution’s systems for the past ten days. As with other ransomware attacks, the university found some of its computers encrypted with demands for payment in order to decrypt the data. Though the university has been working on the matter for several days, it has ultimately had to pay approximately $20,000 CDN to get the decryption keys.

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What Google says about keeping your Android phone secure

What Google says about keeping your Android phone secure

You probably do all sorts of sensitive things on your phone or tablet: logging into your bank account, having private conversations with friends, taking pictures, maybe accessing work email or accounts. You, like any reasonable person, want to make sure your Android phone and/or tablet is reasonably secure, but researching how to do so leads to a sprawling mess of affiliate links, sketchy security products, and questionable advice. Fortunately, you can ignore all that: here's what Google says about keeping your Android device secure.

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Mark Zuckerberg Pinterest and Twitter hacks blamed on LinkedIn leak

Mark Zuckerberg Pinterest and Twitter hacks blamed on LinkedIn leak

Late last month there was a major leak at LinkedIn that saw the passwords of 6.5 million users leaked online. It later became clear that the massive leak meant that 60% of the passwords used on the LinkedIn social network had been cracked. Among the users caught in that LinkedIn leak was none other than Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg wasn’t the most secure user on the networks using the same password for LinkedIn as he did for Twitter and Pinterest apparently.

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Synaptics USB fingerprint scanner gives any PC biometric security

Synaptics USB fingerprint scanner gives any PC biometric security

Synaptics is a name known to many in the industry as a company specializing in interface controllers, like laptop touchpads and mobile touchscreens. Lately, it has also been raising its profile in the biometrics markets, making such technology more accessible to device manufacturers and, therefore, users. Last February it announced a fingerprint sensor small enough to fit under a smartphone volume button. At Computex last week, it unveiled a fingerprint USB module that can give any desktop or laptop better security features.

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Facebook denies reports it’s using phone mics to eavesdrop

Facebook denies reports it’s using phone mics to eavesdrop

Internet giant Facebook has released an official statement refuting recent reports that it uses the microphones on users' smartphones to eavesdrop and record conversations, using the data to deliver targeted ads. The company wrote that it "does not use your phone’s microphone to inform ads or to change what you see in News Feed," noting that ads are only based on users' profiles and interests.

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Google My Account can now locate Android and iOS devices

Google My Account can now locate Android and iOS devices

Google landed the My Account hub a year ago with the goal of giving users access to controls for protecting their personal information and data in one place on Google. My Account put lots of privacy and security controls in one location including controls for privacy and security checkups. Google says that in the year since it launched, over a billion people globally have used My Account.

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Samsung registers trademarks for Galaxy Iris and Galaxy Eyeprint

Samsung registers trademarks for Galaxy Iris and Galaxy Eyeprint

Samsung has filed for some new trademarks for product names that could be for features rather than for new products. The two trademarks were filed for in the US and South Korea and are for Galaxy Iris and Galaxy Eyeprint. Samsung recently launched a tablet in India called the Galaxy Tab Iris that was focused on biometric iris security for registering children for government assistance programs.

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Yahoo has made three National Security Letters public

Yahoo has made three National Security Letters public

National Security Letters are a big deal, and that’s because companies face severe restrictions related to them. No company has been able to make the nature of the letters, nor the number or even a narrow range of the number of letters received, public. As consumer fears about privacy invasions led to a fast scramble on tech companies’ parts to be more transparent, certain law changes have come about, and one of them has led to Yahoo disclosing publishing National Security Letters.

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Why the MySpace hack matters to you, a non-MySpace user

Why the MySpace hack matters to you, a non-MySpace user

If you've ever used MySpace in the past, now is the time to change your current passwords. Don't bother changing your MySpace password - that ship has essentially sailed (unless you still use MySpace). I mean change every other password you have, especially if you happen to be using the same password now that you used back then, but here and now for a different service. This is more common than you might think. Lots of people do it.

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Facebook Messenger may get an encrypted mode this summer

Facebook Messenger may get an encrypted mode this summer

Facebook Messenger may offer users an encrypted messaging mode this summer, according to sources, following behind WhatsApp, Viber and some other services in offering users a more secure messaging option. This isn't the first time we've heard rumors of Messenger encryption plans, but is the first instance of some big details being offered. Among other things, the sources say this encryption feature will be opt-in.

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Android SoC security keys extracted: Qualcomm TrustZone in question [UPDATE]

Android SoC security keys extracted: Qualcomm TrustZone in question [UPDATE]

A security exploit appears to have been discovered which allows smart devices (mostly Android) with Qualcomm processors to be hacked into easily. This story began as documented on the blog Bits, Please back in April of 2015, when user "laginimaineb" decided to reverse-engineer Qualcomm's TrustZone implementation on Snapdragon processors. Using a Nexus 5 smartphone, this user detailed "a chain of vulnerabilities that I've discovered which will enable us to escalate our privileges from any user up to the highest privilege of all - executing our code within TrustZone itself."

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North Korea may be hacking banks across the world

North Korea may be hacking banks across the world

North Korea, allegedly behind the Sony Pictures cyberattack and more, could be behind a series of bank hacks across the globe resulting in tens of millions of lost dollars. Researchers with Symantec cite a recent trio of attacks that involved rare code seen in both the Sony cyberattack and earlier attacks against companies — including banks — in South Korea and the US. Assuming North Korea is behind the attacks, it would be a worrisome and exceedingly rare instance in which a nation-state is hacking global banks to steal money.

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