spying

iOS 14.8 closes FORCEDENTRY zero-click exploit linked to Pegasus spyware

iOS 14.8 closes FORCEDENTRY zero-click exploit linked to Pegasus spyware

Apple's privacy stance, even in the face of government pressure, may have endeared it to many activists and people of interest, but that also means its devices have become even bigger hacking targets. Several high-profile organizations and companies have made it their business to circumvent Apple's strong protections and pilfer data from compromised iPhones and Macs, often owned by people in danger of state-sponsored espionage. That seems to be the case with a new exploit discovered this year that has been traced to the notorious NSO Group's Pegasus spyware, and all that it takes to trigger the exploit is a seemingly innocuous GIF sent through iMessage.

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Audacity spyware denial: App-owners defend privacy policy change

Audacity spyware denial: App-owners defend privacy policy change

Audacity owners Muse Group have denied that the popular open-source audio app is secretly turning into spyware, blaming an unclear privacy policy update rather than nefarious intent for the confusion. Long a popular tool for musicians and podcasters, Audacity made headlines earlier this week after changes to its privacy policy suggested the owners planned to sell user data.

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Audacity open source audio editor has become spyware

Audacity open source audio editor has become spyware

One of open source software's biggest strengths is, naturally, its openness, which brings other benefits like freedom of use, security through scrutiny, flexibility, and more. That is mostly thanks to the open source-friendly licenses these programs use, but, from time to time, someone comes along and tries to make changes that infuriate the community of users and developers. Sometimes, those changes can even be illegal. Such seems to be the fate that has befallen Audacity, one of the open source world's most popular pieces of software that now comes under a very invasive privacy policy.

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Microsoft, Google back Facebook in lawsuit against NSO spyware company

Microsoft, Google back Facebook in lawsuit against NSO spyware company

The last few months of this already troubled year will also be remembered for reports of massive and high-profile data security breaches, a.k.a. hacking. From security firm FireEye's disclosure to the still-spreading SolarWinds exploit, the incidents have revealed not only the flaws in current software but also the lapses in organizations and laws in protecting data, especially private ones. Facebook has been on the receiving end of that hack last year and has sought legal action against one of the biggest sources of hacking tools and is now joined by Microsoft, Google, and Cisco in its fight against the NSO Group.

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Al Jazeera hacking blamed on zero-click iPhone exploit

Al Jazeera hacking blamed on zero-click iPhone exploit

Just as we're about to put a close on an already troubled 2020, news of massive hacking incidents, particularly targeting US government offices, exploded over the Internet. They aren't, however, the only victims and something equally sinister and serious may be taking place around the Persian Gulf. Al Jazeera, the popular and outspoken Doha-based media organization, was informed that dozens of its journalists may have been spied on by nation-states using an iMessage bug on iPhones running slightly older versions of iOS.

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US Treasury and Commerce emails reportedly exposed to Russian hackers

US Treasury and Commerce emails reportedly exposed to Russian hackers

There has been a lot of coverage lately about the Chinese government's ability to use the likes of Huawei and ZTE to spy on the US but it seems that a different country may have successfully pulled that off instead. According to multiple sources, at least two US government agencies have had their emails snooped on by hackers who are believed to be backed by a nation-state, specifically Russia.

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ZTE is still a security threat according to FCC decision

ZTE is still a security threat according to FCC decision

Some might presume that recent political changes in the US government might weaken the campaign against certain US companies but it is far too early to count those eggs. The current government still holds the power and, as far as the Trump administration is concerned, nothing has really changed. Huawei is still on its entity list and TikTok still risks getting banned next month. And according to a recent FCC order, ZTE remains a national security threat because of its potential to be used for state-sanctioned espionage.

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Google Play Store sort of bans stalkerware Android apps

Google Play Store sort of bans stalkerware Android apps

Given its more open ecosystem, Android has become notorious for the rampant operation of all kinds of malware. Some of those even get past Google's own scrutiny in reviewing apps for the Google Play Store. Those covertly try to hide their less than innocent behavior but it seems that a certain class of software has been operating out in the open under Google's nose. Starting today, however, stalkerware apps are banned from the Google Play Store, except in cases when they're allowed.

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ToTok messaging app is the latest tool in government-sanctioned espionage

ToTok messaging app is the latest tool in government-sanctioned espionage

From time to time you hear about apps that carry some malware used to spy on users. At times, those apps are even associated with governments instead of some rogue hackers or groups. This "digital arms" war is increasing in frequency and audacity that governments seem to be less keen to hide their ties to such apps. The latest to join that notorious club is a messaging app called ToTok and it comes not from China or even Russia but from a country the US considers an ally in the war on terror.

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Avast extension removed from Firefox and Opera for tracking users

Avast extension removed from Firefox and Opera for tracking users

Once upon a time, you couldn't go living a normal Internet-connected life without an anti-virus software of some kind. While the threat and effects of malware haven't really gone down, the quality of said security software sadly has. Some of the giants in that industry have been gobbled up by even bigger giants while others have been accused of using their reach for their government or for their own profit. The latest to fall prey to that tactic is Avast, which also owns the free AVG software, and its questionable activities are apparently also at work even on web browsers.

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Pegasus spyware maker has keys to Google, Amazon, Big Tech cloud

Pegasus spyware maker has keys to Google, Amazon, Big Tech cloud

We often hear news about some service being compromised but, despite the popularity of things like WhatsApp, we often presume it only affects a small percentage of people, excluding ourselves. But what if the spyware could actually break into almost any and all of the popular cloud and social networking services that almost everyone uses? That's the frightening thought that a new report generates when it claims that a company has the technology to pilfer data from Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook, just to name a few.

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WhatsApp bug allowed Israeli spyware to infiltrate phones

WhatsApp bug allowed Israeli spyware to infiltrate phones

There are currently quite a number of messaging services, a handful of them from Google itself, but few have withstood the test of time and of the market. WhatsApp, even before its acquisition by Facebook, was already making waves but its popularity and notoriety rose after being snatched up by the social networking giant. It prided itself for its end-to-end encryption, one of the few mainstream platforms to advertise such a feature, but that turned out to be pretty useless if a vulnerability allowed certain actors to inject spyware into phones by simply ringing up the phone.

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