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Google is this week rolling out its Advanced Protection Program (APP) to all Android users in a bid to improve protection against malicious apps. The APP was originally reserved for high-risk users such as journalists, activists, political campaigners and others. However, it will now be available to all users with an Android 7.0+ device. There are...
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You’ve assuredly heard this before about ubiquitous surveillance, or perhaps even said it yourself: “If you have nothing to hide, and you’ve done nothing wrong, why should you worry?” Zachary McCoy, of Florida, offers this answer: If you’re innocent, that doesn’t mean you can’t be in the wrong place at the wrong time, like going...
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Google’s Play Protect anti-malware tool is bottom of the league when compared to its main rivals, according to the latest findings from AV-Test. The independent testing body found that the Google tool, which is built-in to newer Android devices, was able to detect only around a third of malware, allowing thousands through. AV-Test argued that...
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Unsettling news for anyone who relies on smartphone voice assistants: researchers have demonstrated how these can be secretly activated to make phone calls, take photos, and even read back text messages without ever physically touching the device. Dubbed SurfingAttack by a US-Chinese university team, this is no parlor trick and is based on the ability...
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Just because YouTube is everywhere doesn’t make it the town square, a Seattle appeals court said on Wednesday. It’s neither a public forum nor a “state actor”, and it can’t be held to First Amendment court oversight as if it were a government body. Thus did the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco...
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New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas is suing Google over its alleged slurping of students’ data off of the free Chromebooks it passes out to needy schools and from its free G Suite for Education products, including Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, and other apps. According to the complaint, which was filed in the US...
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You know those ads that obscure your whole screen when you’re trying to make a phone call, unlock your device or use your phone’s GPS? Technically, they’re called disruptive or out-of-app ads, and they maddeningly pop up outside of the app that hosts them, sometimes causing users to mistakenly click them, thereby frustrating users and...
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Google has removed almost 600 Android apps from its Play Store for violating its policy on disruptive advertising. The tech giant has not only removed the titles from the Android marketplace but also banned them from Google AdMob and Ad Manager, meaning their developers will not be able to monetize them on its platforms. The...
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Security experts are warning of a new extortion email campaign threatening to bombard websites using AdSense with fake traffic, thereby triggering Google’s anti-fraud systems. A website owner wrote to journalist and researcher Brian Krebs claiming to have received just such a threat. The extortionists demanded $5000 in Bitcoin, or else they would bombard the site...
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It’s a small business’s worst nightmare: someone leaves a review on a popular site trashing your company, and they do it anonymously. That’s what happened to Mark Kabbabe, who runs a tooth whitening business in Melbourne, Australia. Last week, a court forced Google to reveal the details of an anonymous poster who published a bad...
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Google has abruptly pulled over 500 Chrome extensions from its Web Store that researchers discovered were stealing browsing data and executing click fraud and malvertising after installing themselves on the computers of millions of users. Depending on which way you look at it, that’s either a good result because they’re no longer free to infect...
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Google has announced a timetable for phasing out insecure file downloads in the Chrome browser, starting with desktop version 81 due out next month. Known in jargon as ‘mixed content downloads’, these are files such as software executables, documents and media files offered from secure HTTPS websites over insecure HTTP connections. This is a worry...
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Clearview AI, the facial recognition company that’s scraped the web for three billion faceprints and sold them all (or given them away) to 600 police departments so they could identify people within seconds, has received yet more cease-and-desist letters from social media giants. The first came from Twitter. A few weeks ago, Twitter told Clearview...
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As the well-worn internet saying goes – there is no cloud, it’s just someone else’s computer. This week, an unknown number of Google Photos users were alarmed to find that this can turn out to be true in surprisingly personal ways. According to an email sent to affected users, between 21 and 25 November 2019...
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Interested in using hardware security keys to log into online services more securely? Well, now you can make your own from scratch, thanks to an open-source project that Google announced last week. Google has released an open-source implementation called OpenSK. It’s a piece of firmware that you can install on a USB dongle of your...
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Far from protecting the security and privacy of Safari users as advertised, Apple’s much-vaunted Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) could leave them exposed to a raft of privacy issues, including – ironically – being tracked. That’s the surprising conclusion of a group of Google researchers who this week published a short but sharp proof-of-concept analysis of...
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On Monday, Google pushed out an update for the iOS version of Smart Lock, its built-in, on-by-default password manager. Smart Lock – which has been available for Google’s Chrome browser since 2017 – now also lets iOS users set up their device as the second factor in two-factor authentication (2FA), meaning that you no longer...
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Google has tweaked its Project Zero disclosure policy in a bid to drive more thorough patch development and improved adoption. The new direction for 2020 centers around one major change: from January 1 this year the firm will implement a full 90-day disclosure policy regardless of when a vulnerability is fixed by a vendor. In...
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Global rights groups have joined forces to demand that Google tackles the problem of budget Android smartphones pre-installed with privacy infringing apps that users can’t remove. Over 50 organizations, including the UK’s Privacy International, today asked the tech giant to stop manufacturers and other Android partners from delivering devices that could undermine user privacy and security....
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Google has temporarily disconnected Xiaomi’s IP cameras from its Home Hub service after a user reported that he was seeing images from other people’s devices. Google’s Home Hub is the company’s answer to Amazon’s Echo – a connected home automation display controlled via the GUI and a voice assistant. You can use it to control...
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