It took Chinese authorities just seven minutes to locate and apprehend BBC reporter John Sudworth using its powerful network of CCTV camera and facial recognition technology. This wasn’t a case of a member of the media being forcibly removed from the country.
The chase was a stunt set up to illustrate just how powerful and effective the Chinese government’s surveillance system can be. It’s a stark example of the type of monitoring that China has invested heavily in over recent years with the aim of helping police do their job more efficiently. Such systems are also used in private organizations, for example to monitor workers and processes in factories.Read more
President Donald Trump signed into law on Tuesday legislation that bans the use of Kaspersky Lab within the U.S. government, capping a months-long effort to purge the Moscow-based antivirus firm from federal agencies amid concerns it was vulnerable to Kremlin influence.
The ban, included as part of a broader defense policy spending bill that Trump signed, reinforces a directive issued by the Trump administration in September that civilian agencies remove Kaspersky Lab software within 90 days. The law applies to both civilian and military networks. “The case against Kaspersky is well-documented and deeply concerning.Read more
A team of security researchers that has warned of the dangers of smart toys has found another that can be used to spy on your children. Pen Test Partners examined the Teksta Toucan, finding that it's easy to hack the device's microphone and speaker.
The device is built by Genesis Industries, makers of the iQue and My Friend Cayla, two devices that are already feeling the heat from regulators. Both are currently being looked at in the US and Europe, while the latter has been withdrawn from sale in Germany. The Toucan had two ways of being accessed, the first of which was simply by connecting to the device's built-in Bluetooth speaker.Read more
The Trump administration has decided that the National Security Agency and the F.B.I. can lawfully keep operating their warrantless surveillance program even if Congress fails to extend the law authorizing it before an expiration date of New Year’s Eve.
National security officials have implored Congress for the past year and a half to extend the legal basis for the program, Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. They portrayed such a bill as the “top legislative priority” for keeping the country safe. But with Congress focused on passing a major tax cut and divided over what changes, if any, to make to the surveillance program, lawmakers may miss that deadline.Read more
More than 5 million people in the UK could be entitled to compensation from Google if a class action against the internet giant for allegedly harvesting personal data is successful.
A group led by the former executive director of consumer body Which?, Richard Lloyd, and advised by City law firm Mischon de Reya claims Google unlawfully collected personal information by bypassing the default privacy settings on the iPhone between June 2011 and February 2012. They have launched a legal action with the aim of securing compensation for those affected. The group says that approximately 5.4 million people in Britain used the iPhone.Read more
A former Uber security manager says an espionage team inside the ride-hailing service used former CIA agents to help the company spy on its rivals overseas.
The testimony in a San Francisco courtroom Tuesday comes amid revelations that federal prosecutors are investigating allegations that Uber deployed an espionage team to plunder trade secrets from its rivals. That has triggered a delay in a high-profile federal trial over whether the beleaguered ride-hailing service stole self-driving car technology from a Google spinoff. Uber’s manager of global intelligence said that Uber hired several contractors that employed former CIA agentsRead more
The FBI failed to notify scores of US officials that Russian hackers were trying to break into their personal Gmail accounts despite having evidence for at least a year, an investigation found.
The Associated Press dedicated two months and a small team of reporters to go through a hit list of targets of Fancy Bear, a Russian government-aligned cyberespionage group, that was provided by the cybersecurity firm Secureworks. Previous investigations based on the list had shown how Fancy Bear worked in close alignment with the Kremlin’s interests to steal tens of thousands of emails from the Democratic party.Read more
Researchers at YALE Privacy Lab and French nonprofit Exodus Privacy have documented the proliferation of tracking software on smartphones, finding that weather, flashlight, rideshare, and dating apps, among others, are infested with dozens of different types of trackers collecting vast amounts of information to better target advertising.
Exodus security researchers identified 44 trackers in more than 300 apps for Google’s Android smartphone operating system. The apps have been downloaded billions of times. Yale Privacy Lab is working to replicate the Exodus findings and has already released reports on 25 of the trackers.Read more
Even in the 2000s, when you stepped onto a bus or train and looked around, you saw people reading books and newspapers, for the most part. Fast-forward 10 years, and now 9 in 10 are looking at their smartphones or tablets, either chatting in WhatsApp or Telegram, or browsing through Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat, liking kittens, food shots, selfies on the beach, and whatnot.
You probably use social networks on the go as well. Having a powerful mobile device and always being connected is very handy: It means in addition to using social networks, you can do online banking with a couple of taps, get a taxi, buy a new scarf, and do a lot of other things.Read more
This is bad. Google actively receives location data from Android users even when location services have been switched off. Starting from early 2017, Android phones have been gathering addresses of nearby cellular towers and sending this data back to Google. The most troubling part is that this has been going on even when users have disabled location services.
According to the publication, Android handsets collected location data pretty much all the time and subsequently relayed all stored information back to Google once connected to the internet. Quarts claims that all modern Android phones are affected by this vulnerability.Read more
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