A German regulator has banned the sale of smartwatches aimed at children, describing them as spying devices. It had previously banned an internet-connected doll called, My Friend Cayla, for similar reasons.
Telecoms regulator the Federal Network Agency urged parents who had such watches to destroy them. One expert said the decision could be a "game-changer" for internet-connected devices. "Poorly secured smart devices often allow for privacy invasion. That is really concerning when it comes to kids' GPS tracking watches - the very watches that are supposed to help keep them safe," said Ken Munro, a security expert at Pen Test Partners.Read more
The Terdot banking Trojan packs information-stealing capabilities that could easily turn it into a cyber-espionage tool, Bitdefender says in a new report. Highly customized and sophisticated, Terdot is based on the source code of ZeuS, which leaked online in 2011.
The banking Trojan resurfaced in October last year and Bitdefender has been tracking its whereabouts ever since, the security company notes in a technical paper. Terdot was designed to operate as a proxy to perform man-in-the-middle attacks, as well as to steal browser information such as login credentials or the stored credit card data. Furthermore, the malware is capable of injecting HTML code into visited web pages.Read more
During a hacking operation in which U.S. authorities broke into thousands of computers around the world to investigate child pornography, the FBI hacked a number of targets in Russia, China, and Iran.
The news signals the bold future of policing on the so-called dark web, where investigators are increasingly deploying malware without first knowing which country their suspect is located in. Experts and commentators say the approach of blindly kicking down digital doors in countries not allied with the U.S. could lead to geopolitical fallout. The case centers around the FBI’s 2015 Operation Pacifier investigation, which delved into a child-pornography site.Read more
Gaining access to the global network used by spies to track phone calls and intercept communications is relatively cheap and easy for hackers, criminals, or even anyone, an investigation has found.
The network, known as SS7, has faced renewed attention in the past few years, especially after researchers exploited it to eavesdrop on a congressman’s calls in real-time from the other side of the world. But a major concern is that more sinister hackers could conduct this sort of surveillance. To test just how possible opening the door to SS7 really is, experts posed as a small potential customer to a telecom in Europe, and was offered SS7 access for just a few thousand dollars.Read more
Facebook could be listening in on people’s conversations all of the time, an expert has claimed. The app might be using people’s phones to gather data on what they are talking about, it has been claimed.
Facebook says that its app does listen to what’s happening around it, but only as a way of seeing what people are listening to or watching and suggesting that they post about it. The feature has been available for a couple of years, but recent warnings from Kelli Burns, mass communication professor at the University of South Florida, have drawn attention to it. Professor Burns has said that the tool appears to be using the audio it gathers not simply to help out users.Read more
Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab said on Monday it will ask independent parties to review the security of its anti-virus software, which the U.S. government has said could jeopardize national security, citing concerns over Kremlin influence and hijacking by Russian spies.
Kaspersky, which research firm Gartner ranks as one of the world’s top cyber security vendors for consumers, said in a statement that it would submit the source code of its software and future product updates for review by a broad cross-section of computer security experts and government officials. It also vowed to have outside parties review other aspects of its business, including software development.Read more
Christopher Wray said encryption on devices was "a huge, huge problem" for FBI investigations. The agency had failed to access more than half of the devices it targeted in an 11-month period, he said. One cyber-security expert said such encryption was now a "fact of life".
Many smartphones encrypt their contents when locked, as standard - a security feature that often prevents even the phones' manufacturers from accessing data. Such encryption is different to end-to-end encryption, which prevents interception of communications on a large scale.Read more
Life for Uber hasn't gotten easier. Experts revealed that the U.S. Justice Department is investigating five cases against the ride-hailing giant, two of which were previously unreported.
In the two previously unknown cases, authorities are looking at whether Uber violated price transparency laws and determining how the company may have stolen documents from Alphabet's self-driving technology division. This news comes amid other legal scandals like Uber's Greyball program. Over the last year, the ride-hailing giant has been scrutinized over its toxic workplace culture and other shady practices.Read more
Transport for London plans to make £322m by collecting Tube users' location data and potentially selling it to third parties. At the end of 2016, TfL ran a pilot which tracked the Wi-Fi signals from 5.6 million phones as people moved around the London Underground, even if they weren't connected to a Wi-Fi network.
TfL publicly stated that the purpose of the scheme was to use the aggregated, anonymised data "to better understand how people navigate the London Underground network, allowing TfL to improve the experience for customers". It is now in consultation about tracking passengers on a permanent basis.Read more
Some weeks ago, I saw an ad (sponsored post) on Instagram that surprised me. It was about a product I never googled, shared, liked, or talked about on any social network even in direct messages. I had a bad intuition: the only time this product came up was in a random chat with a couple of friends in a cafe.
And the only way for Instagram to know about this was to listen to my real life conversations with the microphone. Last week, I did an experiment to confirm this and the result is just as scary as you can imagine. I speak Spanish, French and English. I usually mix these three languages.Read more