bugs

Cortana will helpfully let you break into locked Windows PCs

Cortana will helpfully let you break into locked Windows PCs

The ubiquity of voice-controlled smart assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Siri, and even Microsoft Cortana should probably motivate an audit of our platforms’ security features. Because more often than not, the almost overarching powers given to these virtual assistants come at the price of, well, giving them too much power. Cortana may not be the most famous one of the bunch but, considering it’s pre-installed on every Windows 10 PC, especially laptops and tablets, then it has even more potential to do harm, as this McAfee report proves.

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OnePlus 6 can boot any image even with locked bootloader

OnePlus 6 can boot any image even with locked bootloader

What use is having a lock when you leave the door wide open anyway. That’s the puzzle that OnePlus 6 owners are now facing after it was discovered how the phone may be fundamentally insecure right at the very gates. According to a security researcher, it is possible to flash any modified boot image on to the OnePlus 6, regardless of whether the bootloader is locked or not. The only consolation users have is that the hacker will need physical access to the device to accomplish this easy break-in.

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Chrome, Firefox has been leaking Facebook profiles, names since 2016

Chrome, Firefox has been leaking Facebook profiles, names since 2016

Facebook just can't seem to catch a break and has become everyone's favorite scapegoat for privacy problems. Sometimes, however, it's not exactly Facebook's fault. Case in point is a recently reported and, fortunately, fixed vulnerability that allowed malicious third-party sites to glean Facebook information like a user's profile picture and name. And that vulnerability, ironically comes from a standard Web feature that was introduced way back in 2016.

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Google app bug shows your SMS history, Internet goes crazy

Google app bug shows your SMS history, Internet goes crazy

Developers, especially game developers, are known for hiding unrelated, surprising, and often useless features or pieces of code known as "Easter Eggs". This recently discovered behavior on the Google search app almost looks like one except for one critical difference: it actually gives anyone who has physical access to your unlocked Android phone read your text messages. It is more likely to be a bug and it's sending Android users into a frenzy. That said, "fixing" it is easy but does come with a drawback.

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Android Trusted Places disappears after months of headaches

Android Trusted Places disappears after months of headaches

Google is all about automating things that you shouldn't have to manually do. Like unlocking and keeping your phone unlocked under certain conditions. Android calls this feature "Smart Lock" and those conditions can range from Bluetooth devices to networks to locations. That last one has been the subject of complaints by many users for months but now it seems that Google has found away to silence all of those. Ironically that's by actually removing Smart Lock's Trusted Places option completely.

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Variant 4 vulnerability: Spectre continues to haunt Intel, AMD, ARM

Variant 4 vulnerability: Spectre continues to haunt Intel, AMD, ARM

2018 immediately started off on the wrong foot for Intel and, consequently, the computing industry at large. Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities plagued modern processors, mostly from Intel but also from its rivals, even on some ARM chips. They can never be fully fixed without an entirely new CPU architecture, so all we're left with are mitigations to lessen the probability of an exploit. Even so, new variants still arise and a fourth one based on Spectre has just been found. Fortunately, at least for now, Intel says there's little reason to panic.

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Pixel XL charging bug: It’s real, you’re not crazy

Pixel XL charging bug: It’s real, you’re not crazy

I thought I'd lost my mind when Android 8.1 was released for the Pixel XL (the first one) and charging stopped working. I mean, it'd work sometimes, but a lot of the time my phone would no longer charge. I'd plug it in, and nothing - sometimes the charging notification (the lightning bolt) would appear on the battery icon, but most of the time it wouldn't. I tried all sorts of cords, old and new - nothing!

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WhatsApp on Android crashes with this message

WhatsApp on Android crashes with this message

WhatsApp seems to make headlines all for the wrong reasons. The most recent is its CEO's departure over Facebook's privacy policies. Before that, co-founder Brian Acton called for a Facebook boycott over its privacy scandal. Though less sensational, this latest tidbit about WhatsApp could be even more destructive. A few messages are now being forwarded that, when tapped, could send not just the WhatsApp Android app crashing but possibly even the entire Android device as well.

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Nintendo Switch Fusée Gelée exploit can’t be fixed with a patch

Nintendo Switch Fusée Gelée exploit can’t be fixed with a patch

The Nintendo Switch is an impressive device so it isn't surprising to know that there are people who want to get the most out of the hardware, even when it goes against Nintendo's intentions for it. Hackers and modders have, time and again, tried to look for exploits to gain access to and take control of the Switch's system, only to be foiled by the next firmware update. Hope springs eternal, however, now that hacker Katherine Temkin and the team at ReSwitched revealed an exploit that cannot be closed by any and all firmware updates.

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Windows 10 Spring Creators Update web search controls are broken

Windows 10 Spring Creators Update web search controls are broken

Another major Windows 10 update, another potential privacy lapse. Although it does seem to respond to criticisms about privacy policies and options, Microsoft can’t seem to avoid making blunders in the first place. More often than not, its policies are clearly made to turn or force users to its services. In the case of the latest Windows 10 update, that has come to mean being forced to always have web search enabled even when the switch says they’re not. And web searches are, of course, powered by Microsoft Bing.

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Some Galaxy S9+ phones reported to have touch screen issues

Some Galaxy S9+ phones reported to have touch screen issues

Considering how little of the Galaxy S9 and S9+ have changed over their predecessors, you’d think that they wouldn’t be experiencing that much problems. After all, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ were relatively problem-free compared to the late 2016 disaster. Unfortunately, there are already some problems reported that mar the Galaxy S9’s reputation right off the bat. The worst, so far at least, is the random and inexplicable case of dead zones on the screen, mostly on the larger Galaxy S9+.

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Pixel XL Android 8.1 charging bug is dangerous [UPDATE]

Pixel XL Android 8.1 charging bug is dangerous [UPDATE]

The Pixel 2 XL, for all its impressive features and camera, has been burdened by numerous bugs, none of which, fortunately, are as dangerous as this new one to beset its predecessor. The original 2016 Pixel XL just received its Android 8.1 update a few months ago, but it seems to have received more than what users bargained for. A charging bug experienced by some, but not all, Pixel XL owners leads to an overcurrent that could become a safety hazard if not addressed immediately.

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