No software is immune to being hacked! Not even Linux. The Ubuntu online forums have been hacked, and data belonging to over 2 Million users have been compromised, Canonical announced.
The compromised users’ data include their IP addresses, usernames, and email addresses, according to the company, who failed to apply a patch to secure its users' data. However, users should keep in mind that the hack did not affect the Ubuntu operating system, or it was not due to a vulnerability or weakness in the OS. Instead, the breach only affected the Ubuntu online forums that people use to discuss the OS.Read more
The United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a non-binding resolution condemning countries that intentionally disrupt citizens' internet access.
The resolution builds on the UN's previous statements on digital rights, reaffirming the organization's stance that "the same rights people have offline must also be protected online," in particular the freedom of expression covered under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The resolution was passed by consensus last Friday, but was opposed by a minority of authoritarian regimes including Russia, China, and Saudi Arabia, as well as democracies like South Africa and India.Read more
Microsoft is today closing off a vulnerability that one Chinese researcher claims has “probably the widest impact in the history of Windows.” Every version of the Microsoft operating system going back to Windows 95 is affected, leaving anyone still running unsupported operating systems, such as XP, in danger of being surreptitiously surveilled.
The bug can be exploited silently with a “near-perfect success rate”, as the problems lie in the design of Windows. The ultimate impact? An attacker can hijack all a target’s web use, granting the hacker ”Big Brother power”, as soon as the victim opens a link or plugs in a USB stick.Read more
Got a smart lock connected to the Samsung's SmartThings platform? Click the wrong link or download the wrong app, and hackers could take it over, researchers say.
The claim comes from a report titled "Security Analysis of Emerging Smart Home Applications" published by a team of security researchers from Microsoft Research and the University of Michigan. In it, the team details four potential attacks hackers could use against Samsung's connected home platform. The first is a phishing attack aimed at anyone using a specific, unnamed third-party Android app designed to control SmartThings systems.Read more
A company owned by Google has been given access to the healthcare data of up to 1.6 million patients from three hospitals run by a major London NHS trust.
DeepMind, the tech giant’s company most famous for its innovative use of artificial intelligence, is being provided with the patient information as part of an agreement with the Royal Free NHS trust, Chase Farm and Royal Free hospitals. It includes information about people who are HIV-positive as well as details of drug overdoses, abortions and patient data. DeepMind announced that it was developing a software in partnership with NHS hospitals to alert staff to patients at risk of deterioration and death through kidney failure.Read more
Two security researchers, Roberto Paleari and Aristide Fattori, have revealed the technical details of an exploit they've discovered in Samsung Galaxy devices that allows an unauthorized third-party to start calls or send SMS texts from locked devices.
According to a technical write-up published on GitHub two days ago, an attacker that has temporary access or has stolen a Samsung Galaxy device, can connect it via USB to a Linux workstation and send malicious commands that initiate hidden calls and send SMS messages. This trick works without leveraging any software vulnerability, and even if the phone has USB debugging or USB tethering turned off.Read more
British immigration officials have been hacking into the phones of refugees, including those of rape and torture victims, for the past three years.
Since 2013 officers have been given powers that allow them to engage in “property interference, including interference with equipment” through an amendment to the Police Act 1997. This grants them the legal power to install listening devices in homes, cars or detention centres - and the permission to hack into phones or computers. In a statement, the Home Office said the bill was “strengthening safeguards and oversight”.Read more
Samsung is exploring a smart contact lens concept that puts an embedded display and camera right in front of users' eyeballs. A patent filing from the South Korean company spotted by SamMobile details how such a device could be used to provide an augmented reality view of the world.
It would be powered by a wireless connection to a user's smartphone, and come with an embedded motion sensor to allow blink controls. The patent references Google Glass, but says that such external displays offer poor viewing angles and image quality. These problems could be solved.Read more
Samsung laptop owners are being urged to update their Windows PCs after the discovery of a vulnerability that can allow remote attackers to download files onto a targeted system and gain complete control over the laptop.
The flaw is tied to a feature called “Samsung SW Update Tool 18.104.22.168” designed keep Samsung laptop users’ drivers and software up to date. “This vulnerability could be considered as a medium or low threat to most Samsung laptop users,” said Joaquín Varela, senior security researcher from Core Security CoreLabs Team, who discovered the Samsung vulnerability.Read more
MasterCard will bring facial recognition payment services dubbed “selfie pay” to the UK as part of a range of new services designed to improve identity verification for mobile phone payments.
British users will be able to scan fingerprints or snap selfies to validate their identities, in a system designed to let them complete an online purchase without the need for pin codes, passwords or confirmation codes. The picture is mapped against a stored image on file, allowing use of mobile payments. Mobile phone groups such as Samsung are expected to use Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to reveal more details of their payment platforms.Read more