spying

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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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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