security

China debuts world’s first ATM with facial recognition tech

China debuts world’s first ATM with facial recognition tech

It's not all that often that technology "firsts" come out of China, but here is an interesting one. A technology company has built the world's first ATM to rely on facial recognition technology for security. The machine is described as only letting users withdraw money from their accounts if a scan of their face matches with the data stored on their bank card. It's certainly a unique twist on preventing banking fraud, but it's still far from being proven foolproof.

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Hola makes Steve Jobs defense over VPN botnet

Hola makes Steve Jobs defense over VPN botnet

VPN-under-fire Hola has issued a mea-culpa after fears the service had turned users' computers into a botnet. Concerns about the way the company's P2P virtual private network had been utilized for potentially nefarious purposes kicked off last week, after users realized that their idle bandwidth was being sold off under a secondary brand, and possibly used to commit distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on servers.

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Google launches go-to hub for lost phones and privacy

Google launches go-to hub for lost phones and privacy

Let's face it, even with all the remote locking, wiping, and tracking tools in the world, when your phone gets stolen you want one simple place to handle it. Google has launched just that, and with bells on it, in the shape of My Account, a centralized hub from which device security can be managed and account passwords changed, in the case of an emergency. However, it's for more than just emergencies, with Google also using the hub as an interface for all of its personalized tools and services.

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Google wants to make your life the password

Google wants to make your life the password

Our digital lives are punctuated by an increasing number of PINs, fingerprint scans, and other security hurdles, but an Android project could end all that. The Google ATAP team has been working on a new authentication system, publicly revealed at I/O 2015 this week for the first time, which bypasses explicit codes and biometrics, and instead uses ongoing user-recognition to figure out who you are simply by how you use your phone.

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Google Project Vault bakes super-security into microSD

Google Project Vault bakes super-security into microSD

How much trust can you squeeze into a microSD card? If you're Google ATAP, the search giant's outlandish research arm, it turns out the answer is "a huge amount." Today at I/O the ATAP team revealed Project Vault, a full security computer packed into a microSD form-factor, and which if plugged into a phone, PC, or even an Internet-of-Things device could allow for entirely encrypted communications without the host device ever seeing what's being discussed or worked on. Best of all, Google is releasing the whole thing as an open-source project.

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Hola VPN is selling users’ bandwidth as botnet

Hola VPN is selling users’ bandwidth as botnet

Free virtual private network (VPN) service Hola, available as a popular Chrome extension, is well-known among users who frequently like to watch videos and TV shows from other countries that location blocked. Sadly, it has just been discovered that owners of the service have actually been selling users' bandwidth as botnet, or bulk traffic that can be purchased and used in a denial-of-service attack on a website. Hola claims this has always been clear in their terms of service, but users say they have never been made aware of this bandwidth usage.

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IRS on hack: all signs point to Russia

IRS on hack: all signs point to Russia

Earlier this week, it was reported that the IRS had been hacked and the tax returns for more than 100,000 people were swiped. That reality has not changed, but now there’s a potential culprit: Russian hackers. The news was stated by Illinois Rep. Peter Roskam, who serves as the chairman of a House subcommittee that oversees the IRS. The news itself reportedly was given to him by IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, who relayed the breach’s Russian origins in a phone call.

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Facebook is testing new Security Checkup tool

Facebook is testing new Security Checkup tool

On Wednesday Facebook announced that it is testing a new security checkup tool, something that is akin to the previous privacy checkup tool that users were seeing. Facebook has been criticized in the past for what some think are lax security measures, or then-convoluted menus that made finding security settings difficult for some. These changes bring the security settings directly to the user’s eyes, and makes them go through a quick checkup that ensures all the settings are as desired.

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Synology owners update! Major Photo Station flaws patched

Synology owners update! Major Photo Station flaws patched

Bugs and security holes in software aren't exactly unusual, but there are times when they become so severe that they warrant special attention, immediate fixes, and fast rollouts. That is apparently the case here with Synology's NAS boxes, which was recently discovered to have a critical security flaw related to its photo and blogging features that could practically hand hackers a key to the data contained in those boxes. Synology has patched up those holes last week and the strongly recommended updates are rolling out to users now.

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Google research reveals security questions’s vulnerability to attack

Google research reveals security questions’s vulnerability to attack

Google has just published research which puts the nail in the coffin of security question-based password protection. We like to think that security questions are reliable because the answers are easy to remember, but research shows this isn't the case. Not only are the answers to security questions often forgotten, but they are susceptible to attacks by simply guessing answers. These reasons contribute to the evolution of two-step authentication and SMS-based verification codes for quicker, more reliable password retrieval and authentication.

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