privacy

FCC expands coronavirus (COVID-19) phone scams and texts list

FCC expands coronavirus (COVID-19) phone scams and texts list

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to phone scammer schemes and malicious attempts to capitalize on panic. The FCC expanded their list of scam and hoax test messages, phone calls, and related media with new coronavirus-related instances that've appeared over the last couple of weeks. These scams range from offers for "free test kits" to a rumor that President Trump will be issuing a "mandatory quarantine" for the entire USA for a 2-week period (he hasn't.)

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Google Advanced Protection Program tweaks “outside” app installs

Google Advanced Protection Program tweaks “outside” app installs

Today the folks at Google responsible for the Google Advanced Protection Program let it be known that their security system would change. Ever-so-slightly, but in some extremely important ways, the Google Advanced Protection Program will modify the ways it handles Google Play Protect and the limiting of app installs from outside the Google Play Store. These changes will not affect Android, iOS, or desktop users not enrolled in the Google Advanced Protection Program.

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Google’s toughest account security is getting a malware upgrade

Google’s toughest account security is getting a malware upgrade

Google is upgrading its Advanced Protection system, the most stringent security it offers to at-risk users, with two new ways protect from potential hacks and malware. Announced at the tail-end of 2017, Advanced Protection builds on existing two-factor authentication with extra security systems, for those who might be a more alluring target for hackers.

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Don’t download coronavirus (COVID-19) apps: Here’s why

Don’t download coronavirus (COVID-19) apps: Here’s why

If you're having COVID-19 problems, I've got news for you, son, there are plenty of proven sources and an app ain't one. A perfect example of a situation appeared today showing why apps should not be downloaded in a panic. The app was called COVID19Tracker, or Covid Lock, and it locked smartphone users' phones, demanding a ransom. This app went so far as to display a countdown and assurances that the user was being tracked via GPS - just to make extra sure the user, already in a panic over our current global pandemic, was sent into a frenzy.

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Ring smart doorbell maker puts data collection on hold temporarily

Ring smart doorbell maker puts data collection on hold temporarily

Smart home security company Ring was so popular that Amazon bought it up just a few years after it launched. Most popular for its smart video doorbell, Ring quickly cornered that market and its name almost became synonymous to that category. And then came the exposé that showed how the company was too quick to share users' data with third-parties. Now Ring has put its data collection on hold but it won't be forever.

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Sensor Tower allegedly harvested user data via mobile VPNs, ad blockers

Sensor Tower allegedly harvested user data via mobile VPNs, ad blockers

What do you do when the very things that are supposed to protect you turn out to be the very things that harm you? What can you do when those things come from a company that, until today, may have been cited multiple times for its rich and deep data? Those are the questions that may be facing users, developers, and platform makers in light of news that Sensor Tower, one of the more popular analytics platform especially for mobile ecosystems, has been using rather shady methods to get that data it is so proud of.

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Intel CSME flaw: 5 years of chips have a truly ominous, unfixable flaw

Intel CSME flaw: 5 years of chips have a truly ominous, unfixable flaw

This week a report showed an "unfixable" flaw in the Intel Converged Security and Management Engine (CSME) in Intel chips. This flaw exists in essentially every piece of Intel-released silicon from the last half-decade. A brief report was released by the folks at Positive Technologies today which aims to make the world aware of the flaw ahead of their full white paper report.

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DuckDuckGo Tracker Radar adds some automation to protect your privacy

DuckDuckGo Tracker Radar adds some automation to protect your privacy

The Web is home to a never-ending game of cat and mouse between privacy advocates and a large number of advertisers. Web browsers have finally become more attentive and more forceful in protecting users by marking and even blocking trackers that are often used to identify and keep tabs on them. Some of these trackers, however, may not be enough, efficient, or even unbiased, which is why DuckDuckGo developed its own tracker data set and is now releasing it and its software for everyone and anyone to use to protect themselves online.

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MediaTek-SU hacks phone from a simple app

MediaTek-SU hacks phone from a simple app

Highlighting the extreme importance of keeping current with security updates for one's phone, MediaTek-SU was noted today by Google. In the Android Security Bulletin for March 2020, security vulnerability CVE-2020-0069 was detailed by Google. This is not a new exploit - in fact it's been out in the wild for almost a year.

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Today Firefox launched DoH encryption by default: Why it matters

Today Firefox launched DoH encryption by default: Why it matters

Today in the USA, Mozilla updated Firefox for security and privacy purposes. They did this with DNS over HTTPS (DoH), a system which encrypts the interactions between computers and servers when they connect via the Internet. Because of the way insecure DNS works, "lookups" of servers done by your computer when connected to the internet are vulnerable to malicious agents. DoH stops all that business.

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Google claims less Android location tracking in near future

Google claims less Android location tracking in near future

This week Google is "previewing" policy changes to Android and Google Play that'll impact the ways in which developers of apps are able to access location data on smartphones and tablets. This affects background data collection with respect to systems like GPS location tracking, and it all starts in Android 11 / Android R. This is a major move - or it would appear to be a major move - in the smartphone user control realm in reaction to concern about how and when location data is used by apps - both known and unknown and/or malicious.

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Microsoft Defender ATP anti-virus on iOS and Android soon, Linux preview now

Microsoft Defender ATP anti-virus on iOS and Android soon, Linux preview now

Today Microsoft Defender ATP for Linux was made available for public preview, and a version for iOS (for iPhone and iPad) and Android were announced. The Android and iOS versions of Microsoft Defender ATP will be released later this year. Today's preview of the Linux version was first shown at Ignite 2019 running on Ubuntu.

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