security

Skype Private Conversations end-to-end encryption arrives for Insiders

Skype Private Conversations end-to-end encryption arrives for Insiders

Signal, the company behind the encrypted messaging app by the same name, has announced a new partnership with Microsoft. Under this partnership, Signal will help Microsoft bring a new feature to Skype called 'Private Conversations.' With Private Conversations, users can choose to engage in conversations secured by end-to-end encryption, a feature many Skype users have been requesting but that still isn't available to general users.

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Intel reveals Meltdown and Spectre fix slow-down cost

Intel reveals Meltdown and Spectre fix slow-down cost

The Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities that were discovered last week are very bad news, and though Intel has been quick to roll out patches for them, the measures it had to take aren't exactly ideal. Specifically, these patches come with a performance hit for Intel systems, and in the lead up to their delivery, some benchmarks showed that the potential slowdown could be as high as 30%. While Meltdown and Spectre are issues that absolutely need to be defended against, the looming slowdown that accompanied these patches was still a bitter pill for Intel users to swallow.

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macOS High Sierra unlocks App Store Preferences with any password

macOS High Sierra unlocks App Store Preferences with any password

Some might say that Apple is getting sloppy with its software updates. It hasn’t even been two months since a severe security-related bug was discovered on macOS High Sierra, another one comes along. Fortunately, it’s not as severe but still worrying. It turns out, you can get access to the App Store’s preferences just by using any password. Fortunately, there is one caveat to this process and Apple already has a fix ready for later this month.

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Microsoft’s Spectre and Meltdown update is breaking AMD PCs

Microsoft’s Spectre and Meltdown update is breaking AMD PCs

Though the discovery of the CPU vulnerabilities known as Spectre and Meltdown have the worst implications for Intel users, AMD users aren't exactly out of the woods. Meltdown may not affect AMD processors, but Spectre does, prompting Microsoft to push out an update that patches those vulnerabilities. In a perfect world, that would be the end of it - at least until new exploits related to Spectre and Meltdown are discovered - but of course, we don't live in a perfect world.

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Ring Stick Up Cam, Beams, Alarm round out home security lineup

Ring Stick Up Cam, Beams, Alarm round out home security lineup

Ring revealed a collection of home security devices this week at CES 2018. These devices include the Stick Up Cam, Stick Up Cam Elite, Ring Beams, Ring Alarm, and a new Ring Protect Plan. This Ring Protect Plan is at the center of the Ring home security push, bringing on 24/7 professional monitoring and cloud video storage for any number of Ring devices at any one location.

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D-Link CES 2018 lineup revealed: A trove of cameras and routers

D-Link CES 2018 lineup revealed: A trove of cameras and routers

D-Link showed up to CES 2018 in Las Vegas with a bunch of new products in tow, with many of them focused on connectivity around the house. In all, the company announced three new routers, a new mesh networking system, and five new security cameras at the show, so it certainly had quite the stockpile on hand.

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Vivint Streety is a neighborhood watch app of shared cameras

Vivint Streety is a neighborhood watch app of shared cameras

Connected cameras are often some of the first devices added to the fledgling smart home, and now Vivint wants to take advantage of that with its 21st century take on the neighborhood watch. Vivint Streety is launching at CES 2018 today, a new app which looks beyond an individual smart home setup, and instead to a network of shared cameras spread throughout a street, block, or further.

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Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt now works with Google Assistant

Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt now works with Google Assistant

Smart locks are already smart for being able to connect to the Internet, be controlled remotely, and communicate with our mobile devices. These days, however, you’re not a smart home product if you can’t be controlled by voice. Lock master Schlage already has its Sense Smart Deadbolt talking with Siri via Apple HomeKit. Now it’s leveling the mobile platform playing field by making the Sense also respond to “OK Google”.

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Fortnite downtime blamed on patches for Meltdown vulnerability

Fortnite downtime blamed on patches for Meltdown vulnerability

While the recent Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities are causing wide-ranging effects on the computing and tech industries as a whole, gamers may start noticing a direct impact on their favorite hobby as well. Fortnite publisher and developer Epic Games has revealed that the multiplayer survival game may start experiencing a number of issues over the next week, including downtime, as the services behind the game are patched.

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Dashlane Project Mirror to kill passwords with a password manager

Dashlane Project Mirror to kill passwords with a password manager

Next to humans themselves, passwords are the bane of digital security. Decades after they have been invented, humans still haven’t learned their lesson, no matter how devastating some cases have been. Many still resort to the worst possible passwords. That frailty has, in a way, helped keep password managers like Dashlane in business. Ironically, Dashlane is now proposing to kill passwords. If that weren’t enough of a head-scratcher, maybe this will be: it will start killing passwords by introducing a password manager.

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LightsOut adware infects utility apps, bypasses Google Play Store checks

LightsOut adware infects utility apps, bypasses Google Play Store checks

Utility apps are a dime a dozen in Google Play Store, but if you’re not careful, you might install one that has some unwanted payload inside. That is the unfortunate situation that a few million Android users may have found themselves in after downloading and installing some random flashlight or utility app, which left them exposed to ads in inappropriate places. And their only fault is to have presumed that since the apps are from Google Play Store, they must be safe to install and use.

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Meltdown, Spectre affect Mac, iOS but there are no known exploits

Meltdown, Spectre affect Mac, iOS but there are no known exploits

The computing industry has just gotten its first security scare of the year and boy is it a big one. Nicknamed Meltdown and Spectre, the security vulnerabilities take advantage of how modern processors work on the hardware level, making it a tad difficult to fix without repercussions. Plus, it affects not just in Intel but AMD and even ARM CPUs as well and doesn’t discriminate between operating systems either. So while Macs and iOS devices, often hailed for being very secure, aren’t immune, Apple’s latest bulletin basically says stay calm and keep updated.

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