If you happen to have an old Android device lying around and a reason to worry about people messing with your business, Edward Snowden has an app for that.
Haven is an open-source project that Snowden developed in conjunction with Freedom of the Press Foundation and Guardian Project. You can find directions and links for downloading and installing it on the latter organization's Github page. This isn't your typical security app. Haven doesn't lock down a single device or prevent tampering; instead, it repurposes an Android device — an old, unused one, preferably — and, using an assortment of built-in sensors, turns it into a multi-functional security gadget.Read more
Moscow-based security software maker Kaspersky Lab said on Monday it has asked a U.S. federal court to overturn a Trump administration ban on use of its products in government networks, saying the move deprived the company of due process.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in September issued a directive ordering civilian government agencies to remove Kaspersky software from their networks within 90 days. It came amid mounting concern among U.S. officials that the software could enable Russian espionage and threaten national security.Read more
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
Some of the largest websites on the Internet use third-party software to track everything you do on their sites — including what you type, click, and scroll through.
Basic website tracking — page views, searches — isn’t news to anyone who pays attention to issues of online privacy and security. We’ve discussed website users being tracked, and we also offer a useful primer series on how Internet ads work. The scope and depth of the tracking may unnerve even jaded readers, though. New research investigated the use of session replay scripts, which track what exactly users do while browsing, on some of the Web’s top sites.Read more
Princeton researchers have developed a proof-of-concept app that can be used to reliably track users even if an app does not access a phone's GPS data, and the user has purposely turned off GPS services.
Researchers say this is possible because modern phones come with a large number of accurate sensors that track a wealth of data that could be corroborated with external sources —such as elevation maps and weather data— and reconstruct a user's movements. To prove such an attack was possible, the Princeton research team created an app called PinMe that they installed on the phones of three test subjects, using phones such as Galaxy S4 i9500, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6S.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
Britain’s main cyber security agency on Friday warned British government agencies to avoid using anti-virus software from Russian companies, the latest in a series of moves targeting Moscow-based security software maker Kaspersky Lab.
In a letter to departmental permanent secretaries, the director of the UK National Cyber Security Centre, Ciaran Martin, said Russian-made anti-virus software should not be used in systems containing information that would harm national security if it was accessed by the Russian government. He said his agency is in talks with Kaspersky Lab to develop a system for reviewing its products for use in Britain.Read more
D.J.I., the popular drone maker, stands as a symbol of China’s growing technology prowess. Its propeller-powered machines dominate global markets and buzz regularly over beaches, cityscapes at sunset and increasingly, power plants and government installations.
Now D.J.I. is fighting a claim by one United States government office that its commercial drones and software may be sending sensitive information about American infrastructure back to China, in the latest clash over the power of data in the growing technological rivalry between the two countries.Read more