security

US gov OKs social media background checks for visa applicants

US gov OKs social media background checks for visa applicants

The US government has approved social media background checks applied to individuals applying for a visa, it has been announced. The controversial move will require visa applicants to provide a list of their social media handles from the past half-decade, as well as 'biographical information' from the past 15 years. The decision to approve this new vetting method was made by the Office of Management and Budget.

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Download security updates for these phones ASAP

Download security updates for these phones ASAP

Google released a list of smartphones this week that includes every device touched by a Security Update over the last two months. This includes devices from a bunch of different manufacturers - everything from BlackBerry to Vivo. Samsung has a bunch in there, as does General Mobile and Google (with its Pixel and Nexus devices). I and we recommend that every device on this list should be checked immediately to make certain these security updates have been downloaded - that means, you, Janice from accounting!

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Rooting Android phones is no longer cool, it’s a liability

Rooting Android phones is no longer cool, it’s a liability

Android prides itself for being an open platform. On a technical and legal level, that might be true. But when it comes to the day to day use of smartphones, Android doesn't stray too far from iOS' walled garden. Although not completely locked down, users are still locked out of functionality and hardware that may be rightfully theirs. There exists a class of Android users that constantly work to subvert this status quo. Some might see them as revolutionaries. Others look at them like they're insane. They are the root users, and they are on the verge of becoming an endangered specie.

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OneLogin attacker may have gotten ability to decrypt data

OneLogin attacker may have gotten ability to decrypt data

The implicit promise of password management and single sign-on services like OneLogin is that they keep your credentials safe and private so you won't have to worry about remembering them or writing them down somewhere insecure. As such, it isn't uncommon for these services themselves to be become the target of malicious attacks in order to pilfer their customers' data. It is somewhat rare, however, for such services fall victim to a very serious breach of security, like just what happened to OneLogin at the end of last month.

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Gmail taps machine learning for early phishing detection

Gmail taps machine learning for early phishing detection

It was just a few weeks ago that Google was on the receiving end of a fairly big phishing scam, one that targeted Google Docs users with real-looking emails. The scam was only live for a short while before Google squashed it, but the risk remains and anyone can fall victim. Here to help protect its users is Google and its security updates to Gmail. Among other things, the company is utilizing machine learning to help detect phishing attempts and, ultimately, keep users safe.

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Chipotle on payment system breach: ‘most’ stores affected

Chipotle on payment system breach: ‘most’ stores affected

Late last month, restaurant franchise Chipotle Mexican Grill revealed that it had suffered a security breach affecting its POS system. The company has released an update on that revelation, saying that 'most' of its stores in the US were affected by the malware. Chipotle says the investigation into the breach, which involved both law enforcement and security firms, has been completed.

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Cloak & Dagger exploits Android accessibility, overlay features

Cloak & Dagger exploits Android accessibility, overlay features

The phrase "cloak and dagger" is often used to refer to acts of subterfuge and espionage, almost always naughty things. That term is indeed apt for this latest set of exploits on Android that use those tactics to ensnare unwitting users. A set of vulnerabilities rather than a single one, these exploits abuse otherwise useful, even critical, features of the Android platform to do their nefarious deeds, successfully hiding themselves even from more vigilant users.

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Galaxy S8: How to bypass the Iris Scanner with a photo and a contact lens

Galaxy S8: How to bypass the Iris Scanner with a photo and a contact lens

The folks at Chaos Computer Clubs have shown how to bypass biometric security on the Samsung Galaxy S8 with a set of simple tools. Infrared camera capture of the target user's face creates a photo which is then printed. This printed photo is combined with a contact lens, and placed in front of the smartphone. The next step is opening the phone - which then allows the user in without real eyeballs.

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Nest 4K security camera tipped with ‘smart features’ like auto-zoom

Nest 4K security camera tipped with ‘smart features’ like auto-zoom

Nest is working on a new security camera product, at least according to a newly surfaced source, that features 4K resolution able to facilitate high-resolution zooming within a 1080p Full HD video. According to the leak, this camera product will be intended for home security and feature 'advanced smart features' like automatic zooming in on a region when the camera detects motion. The camera will work with a home's WiFi network to provide remote access, as well.

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iCloud Notes recovered well beyond Apple’s 30-day deletion window

iCloud Notes recovered well beyond Apple’s 30-day deletion window

Like many of Apple's apps and services, the Notes app can be synced to iCloud to make the information available on a number of devices. When a user chooses to delete a note, they can recover it within 30 days, but after that Apple states the data is wiped. However, security firm ElcomSoft has discovered that it's able to recover notes well beyond this 30-day window.

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Android apps can now do a Netflix and hide from rooted phones

Android apps can now do a Netflix and hide from rooted phones

If you were up in arms over Netflix's latest move that put itself against the Android enthusiast and modding community, you might want to borrow a few more arms to raise. Netflix might actually just be the first of a new breed of Android apps, a breed that shuns rooted devices or even those whose bootloaders have been unlocked. And before you point your fingers at developers, do know that it is Google that is actually making this an official feature.

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Prison installs ‘force field’ to keep away sneaky drones

Prison installs ‘force field’ to keep away sneaky drones

Drones pose a problem for prisons, being one of many methods employed to smug drugs, cell phones, and other items to prisoners. In cases where drones have been caught, officials have reported spotting drones dropping items for specific recipients within the prison yard. Some locations have threatened to shoot down any drones that get too close as a result, but one prison in the Channel Islands has employed a more reliable method: it has installed a 'force field' around itself to stop drones from operating over its land.

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