spying

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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Vizio Smart TVs show settlement information so you can claim your share

Vizio Smart TVs show settlement information so you can claim your share

You often hear news of high-profile cases being settled with some large fines, including those that were filed by consumers as a class action lawsuits. You seldom here, however, about that settlement reaching affected consumers. In addition to having to file a claim, people have to first know they're even entitled to that part of the settlement. Fortunately, Vizio, which was probably required by law, is now displaying on its Smart TVs information on how users can grab a part of its spying settlement, which could amount to as much as $31.

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US Huawei phone spying: Here’s the incentive

US Huawei phone spying: Here’s the incentive

Huawei's in a little bit of trouble right now with the United States justice department - today we're looking at how this affects the everyday consumer. The devices that've been on the market over the past few years and those on sale right now aren't likely a threat to you, the SlashGear reader, the smartphone user. If you're the sort of person who watches the news and gets concerned about businesses disobeying international trade laws - OR if you're using your Huawei phone with a T-Mobile USA sim card, you might need to take additional action.

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GO Keyboard reportedly violates Google Play privacy policies

GO Keyboard reportedly violates Google Play privacy policies

Privacy has unfortunately become almost a commodity these days. It is something that users mostly take for granted, especially in exchange for convenience, and something companies use to barter with each other. Despite that somewhat lax attitude, however, there are times when too much is really too much. As seems to be the case with GO Keyboard, a popular third-party Android keyboard that is reportedly going way above acceptable behavior and even outright violates Google Play rules.

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DHS bans Kaspersky on federal PCs over Russia fears [Updated]

DHS bans Kaspersky on federal PCs over Russia fears [Updated]

The US Department of Homeland Security has issued a blanket ban on Kaspersky anti-virus software, informing all Federal Executive Branch departments and agencies that they need to stop using the apps. Citing concerns that the anti-virus, malware protection, and other software Kaspersky Labs offers has "elevated privileges" on government computers, the DHS says that its new directive is based on fears that the company's Russian base might leave American data exposed.

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AdUps Chinese spyware still on Android phones, including Blu

AdUps Chinese spyware still on Android phones, including Blu

They say good things never last and bad things last for ages. That seems to be the case with AdUps, a Chinese “technology firm” that was blatantly installing spyware on countless of Android smartphones worldwide. Despite being involved in a scandal that even got the US Homeland Security’s attention, AdUps’ operation continues and its spyware still infects entry-level and budget smartphones, even Blu Product’s own, which was at the heart of that scandal.

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ZTE, Lenovo, Archos dragged into BLU’s AdUps scandal [UPDATE]

ZTE, Lenovo, Archos dragged into BLU’s AdUps scandal [UPDATE]

Warranted or not, Chinese companies have had the misfortune of being associated with shady business practices and espionage. That has recently come to a rather sour turn when that situation directly reached US shores via Florida-based mobile device maker BLU Products. It seems, however, that the extent of the AdUps spyware is more far-reaching than initially thought. According to a report from mobile security outfit Trustlook, AdUps’ list of customers also includes some rather known brands like ZTE, Lenovo, MediaTek, and even France-based Archos.

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Spies at 33,000 feet! NSA listens to phone calls in flight

Spies at 33,000 feet! NSA listens to phone calls in flight

Aircraft carrying GSM phone-using passengers are revealed to have been targeted by the NSA for at least the past 5 years. This information comes from a newly revealed document from the National Security Agency's former contractor and infamous leaker Edward Snowden. In this document, a riddle starts off the reveal of technology which allowed and allows the NSA to listen in on phone calls and intercept messages posted to social networks - texts too, of course.

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BLU to use Google’s updater instead of Chinese “spyware”

BLU to use Google’s updater instead of Chinese “spyware”

2016 may be remembered as being unkind to smartphone makers, be it because of slumping, or at least plateauing, sales, or distinct problems and scandals that rocked even mainstream news. Miami-based BLU Products would have had a normal year if not for the one last minute issue that gripped its business. Security firm Kryptoware discovered and reported that some of the company’s smartphones used a particular piece of software sourced from China. And that piece of software regularly phone home with data collected for the sake of advertising. Or so the story goes.

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Chinese spyware on BLU smartphones claimed to be a “mistake”

Chinese spyware on BLU smartphones claimed to be a “mistake”

BLU Products is a US-based smartphone maker known for selling low to mid range unlocked smartphones at dirt cheap prices. Almost like Xiaomi, but without the impressive sales numbers. But what buyers, and even BLU itself, didn’t know is that the low price may have come at the cost of privacy. Security firm Kryptowire has just revealed that a small piece of code hidden deep inside some of BLU’s smartphones was actually private user data, not to some US company, but to an undisclosed OEM in China.

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