spying

Your phone’s power usage can reveal where you’ve been

Your phone’s power usage can reveal where you’ve been

When you think of smartphone location tracking, both legitimate or otherwise, and you will most likely think of technologies that directly relate to locations, like GPS, WiFi, or even Bluetooth. But a group of researchers from Standford University and Israeli defense group Rafael are proving even something so innocent sounding like your phone's battery consumption can be used to track your movements. The good news is that it's not exactly as easy or as informational as those more dedicated sensors. At least not yet.

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Hush, your Samsung Smart TV might be eavesdropping

Hush, your Samsung Smart TV might be eavesdropping

Smart TVs are smart, no doubt about that, but their smartness might come at a price. A review of Samsung's privacy policy, which, like many other such policies, are dense and full of legal gibberish, reveals that the Koeran manufacturer's intelligent entertainment displays transmit even spoken words to a third party. This means that everything you say to that fancy voice control feature is fair game to Samsung, that still unnamed third party, and potential hackers, whether you're telling the TV to switch channels or accidentally revealing details about certain undesirable family members.

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UK Prime Minister to messaging services: backdoor or get out

UK Prime Minister to messaging services: backdoor or get out

In his bid for re-election, UK Prime Minister David Cameron is threatening to have popular messaging services banned in the country unless a requirement is met. These services, which can be used as a vehicle for any type of communication, legal or otherwise, must provide a backdoor for the government to use or face being banned from the country. It's not exactly a novel or shocking idea but its is probably the boldest and most outright support for such methods from a head of state.

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Snowden reveals how to go ‘level 5′, give the NSA fits

Snowden reveals how to go ‘level 5′, give the NSA fits

In the wake of Edward Snowden once again making revelations about the NSA’s widespread and troubling spying and information gathering, we’re getting a better idea of the lengths the United States Government agency went through to soak in knowledge. We’re also finding out how hard it can be to get the information they desire. Though a single “secure” system may be easy to crack, Snowden says a layering of several might actually render you totally safe from the prying eyes of big brother.

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NSA reveals how many times you’ve been spied on (sort of)

NSA reveals how many times you’ve been spied on (sort of)

While you and I were enjoying time with our families and suffering through Grandma’s stories, the NSA decided to let loose some of their family secrets. On Christmas Eve, long after we’d all checked out mentally in anticipation of Christmas, the NSA gifted us with a file dump of all the times they’ve illegally spied on us. If you’re thinking “oh, good, I’ll command-F for my name”, think again. The files are heavily redacted, and only discuss the instances of erroneous spying.

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Palo Alto Networks reveal CoolReaper backdoor on Coolpad devices

Palo Alto Networks reveal CoolReaper backdoor on Coolpad devices

Bloatware has been an annoying issue on any device, whether it be smartphone, tablet or laptop, but what Chinese OEM Coolpad is doing goes beyond bloatware into potentially criminal territory. Palo Alto Networks, the very same research firm that alerted the world to the WireLurker iOS malware last month is now hot on the trails of "CoolReaper" a backdoor software that Coolpad has intentionally installed on millions of its devices, exposing users not just to its own control but possibly to external malicious threats as well.

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NSA AURORAGOLD ops aimed to weaken all cellphone networks

NSA AURORAGOLD ops aimed to weaken all cellphone networks

When your job involves spying on other people's conversations, it is in your best interest that such lines of communications remain open to your snooping. That is pretty much the principle used in one of NSA's operations, codenamed AURORAGOLD, that virtually aimed to weaken the world's networks so that it will always have a backdoor to use, no matter the country. This is just one of the latest revelations unearthed from the documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden regarding the NSA's almost godlike power and reach.

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Symantec discovers highly sophisticated Regin spyware

Symantec discovers highly sophisticated Regin spyware

Malware, even the spying kind, isn't uncommon, but it is quite rare to come across something as complex, modular, sophisticated, and long-lasting as the Backdoor.Regin that Symantec uncovered. This particular Trojan has managed to evade detection and forensic tools and in fact might still have some form out there. And it has been going around since circa 2008. This makes it a very dangerous tool in the hands of the very wrong people, and a bit of speculation suggests that it might indeed be the work of a nation state.

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US cellphone spy program turned prison jammers against us

US cellphone spy program turned prison jammers against us

Flying overhead in a Cessna aircraft, the Justice Department may very well be sending a cellphone dragnet over your city right now. This plane will use an amplified cell signal that'll override the next-most powerful signal in your area, tapping in to your phone's automatic aim to connect to the best signal in range. With this connection, the U.S. Marshals Service will summon registration data for the lot of the phones it's located, aiming to ping a single phone in the process. All other phone data is said to be dropped. But there's more to this equation than simple information gathering.

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US DOJ accused of stealing cellphone data via “dirtyboxes”

US DOJ accused of stealing cellphone data via “dirtyboxes”

A troubling new report suggest the Department of Justice has been engaging in a practice that gave them data from your smartphone, but it’s not what you might think. Rather than wiretaps and hacking, the DOJ is instead accused of flying overhead with a device that spoofed a signal tower your carrier would have. In fooling your phone into thinking it was simply searching for a signal, the DOJ was pinching the data from it. The reason given? The never-ending hunt for criminals.

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