security

Unlocking tool that FBI bought won’t work on iPhone 5s or newer

Unlocking tool that FBI bought won’t work on iPhone 5s or newer

The FBI and other government agencies might have been too quick to celebrate their victory in getting access to encrypted iPhones. The FBI has formally ended its legal squabble with Apple after it managed to purchase a tool that would unlock the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone 5c without Apple's involvement. The agency perhaps also too quickly offered the fruits of that acquisition to authorities similarly hindered by encrypted iPhones. But even FBI directory James Comey himself admits that the tool isn't a skeleton key and won't work on newer models.

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Researchers defeat Google’s reCAPTCHA system with a 70% success rate

Researchers defeat Google’s reCAPTCHA system with a 70% success rate

When it comes to interacting with a website, they always seem to want to know if you're a human. Sure, my cat has managed to get to a surprising number of sites on her own, but websites aren't really worried about cats. Rather, they want to keep bots from getting in and mucking things up. That's why most sites employ some sort of CAPTCHA system that most computers can't crack easily. Unfortunately, some of the best ones have now been cracked.

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Malware can hijack Firefox extensions to compromise users

Malware can hijack Firefox extensions to compromise users

Web browsers these days, especially Chrome, use sandboxing methods to prevent unauthorized access to the computer or excessive use of resources. But while that may be true for the browser's tabs and content themselves, that might not always apply to other things related to it, like extensions. That is the problem facing Firefox and some of its most popular extensions right now. Security researchers have discovered that thanks to vulnerabilities in how Firefox implements extensions, hackers can write seemingly harmless add-ons that piggyback on "clean", valid extensions in order to gain access to files or scam users.

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Trump Hotels possibly hit with (another) credit card system breach

Trump Hotels possibly hit with (another) credit card system breach

Trumps Hotels may have been hit by a second credit card system breach, according to a new report. If proven true, this would be the second instance within a year of hackers compromising the hotels' payment systems, leaving customers at risk. An increasing number of hotels have fallen victim to such security breaches, including Hilton which disclosed a similar breach this past November.

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FBI’s iPhone-cracking trick unlikely to remain secret for long

FBI’s iPhone-cracking trick unlikely to remain secret for long

The ongoing battle between Apple and the FBI over bypassing an iPhone's security during a criminal investigation took an interesting turn last week, when the government abruptly dropped its court appointment, saying it had found another method to get inside the iPhone 5c at the middle of San Bernardino terrorism case. Unfortunately for the FBI, this new trick for bypassing Apple's encryption is unlikely to remain a secret for long.

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Report: Egypt nixed Free Basics over Facebook’s refusal to spy

Report: Egypt nixed Free Basics over Facebook’s refusal to spy

In December, news surfaced that Egypt had shut down Facebook’s Free Basics Internet service, news that itself followed the social network’s troubles in India. The move was a sudden one, and officials made no public announcements about their reason for pulling the plug. According to new sources who have surfaced, Free Basics was canned because Egyptian government officials wanted access to spy on users, something Facebook reportedly rejected.

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FBI will use its new tech to unlock another iPhone, iPod

FBI will use its new tech to unlock another iPhone, iPod

The FBI's legal battle with Apple over the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone came to a sudden end when a third-party approached the government agency with a possible way to unlock the iPhone. The planned court case was halted while the government tested the method, and a few days later the announcement was made: they'd unlocked the iPhone sans Apple's help. Now that word is out, law enforcement across the country is begging the government to unlock their own suspects' phones.

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Google’s been hit with All Writs Act phone unlocking orders, too

Google’s been hit with All Writs Act phone unlocking orders, too

The government has been seeking All Writs Act court orders against both Apple and Google for several years, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which discovered 63 legal cases that involved the law. The ACLU doesn’t know the outcome of these cases — whether the companies unlocked the phones or even if the court orders were granted — but present legal actions and past statements from prosecutors hint that such court orders were often granted, and sought to unlock smartphones’ passcodes.

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TrueCaller exposed 100 million Android users’ details to hackers

TrueCaller exposed 100 million Android users’ details to hackers

While our smartphones have definitely become more capable and smarter, the phone functionality itself has remained locked in the 20th century. There have been many attempts to make the phone app itself even smarter. Google's dialer app is one. Third-party TrueCaller, which is making its way to the likes of Cyanogen OS and BLU Products devices, is another. Yet for all the convenience that the service might bring, one single design flaw potentially exposed the private details of 100 million Android users who have downloaded the app in good faith.

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Mattel briefly lost $3m to thieves in phishing scam

Mattel briefly lost $3m to thieves in phishing scam

A Mattel executive was hit with a Chinese phishing scam, and it resulted in $3 million dollars being sent overseas, according to a source with knowledge of the matter. Neither the source nor the executive have been named, but the report claims the Mattel executive received an email seemingly from then-new company CEO Christopher Sinclair ordering a payment be made to a vendor in China.

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August Smart Keypad Review

August Smart Keypad Review

The smartphone may be the remote control for your smart home, but there are times when a simple button makes a lot of sense. August's Smart Keypad has eleven of them, a $79 add-on to the company's Smart Lock that allows you to unlock the door with a PIN code as well as grant access to visitors who might not have an iPhone or Android device.

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August Doorbell Cam Review

August Doorbell Cam Review

Home security is one of the cornerstones of the Internet of Things, and seeing who is at the door - and then optionally letting them in - is a growing market. August is following up its popular Smart Lock with the August Doorbell Cam, a handsome WiFi-connected streaming video camera which gives you a sneaky eye on the front door frame. At $199, though, before you've even bought the Smart Lock, it's not a cheap upgrade for your home security, but does the convenience make it worth it?

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