John Lister

Wed
19
Jul
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FBI Warns: Smart Toys are a Security Risk

The FBI has warned parents about privacy risks with 'smart' toys. It's more of a general warning rather than covering a specific product. The agency says the warning covers a wide range of toys which "incorporate technologies that learn and tailor ... their behaviors based on user interactions." The key risk is when the toy has an Internet connection, meaning data can be passed on to a third party. According to the FBI, the risks are particularly great given such toys may contain "sensors, microphones, cameras, data storage components, and other multimedia capabilities ... (view more)

Tue
18
Jul
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Some Windows 10 PCs Could Lose Security Updates

Some computers only a few years old are reporting that they not longer support Windows 10. It's a badly-worded blunder for now, but could be the sign of a major security problem down the line. The problem is occurring when some computers try to ... install the Creators Update, the most recent widely-distributed major update to Windows 10. The message received is worded: "Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC. Uninstall this app now because it isn't compatible with Windows 10." (Source: pcworld.com ) That's an extremely confusing and misleading message in several ways ... (view more)

Thu
13
Jul
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Kaspersky Labs Accused of Working for Russian Spies

Russian-based antivirus company Kaspersky Labs has denied working with intelligence agencies in Russia. The denial follows a crackdown on US government agencies using the company's software. The claims follow a series of previously unpublished ... emails sent in 2009 between company founder Eugene Kaspersky and colleagues. They mention a secret project "per a big request on the Lubyanka side." That's a reference to the headquarters of the FSB, the Russian security agency that's the modern-day equivalent of the KGB. In principle the project was to work on defensive software for the FSB, protecting ... (view more)

Wed
12
Jul
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Microsoft to use TV Airwaves for Internet 'Super WiFi'

Microsoft wants to use unused TV frequencies to provide Internet service in rural areas. It believes its size could help bring down the costs of the technology. The system is known as white-spaces technology and uses wireless frequencies that are in ... the band reserved for over-the-air TV broadcasts but aren't currently being used. While Microsoft plans to use some of these frequencies, it wants the government to reserve at least three frequencies in each local area for use with the technology. (Source: nytimes.com ) Tech Works Like WiFi In principle, wireless Internet signals can be sent ... (view more)

Tue
11
Jul
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Don't Worry About Jayden K Smith

Reports that accepting a friend request from a "Jayden K Smith" on Facebook will get your account hacked are a hoax. It's still a smart idea to take care with Facebook friend requests, however. As often happens, the hoax warning is circulating ... widely, likely being shared by people who believe doing so will help inform and protect their friends and family on the site. One version of the hoax message reads "Please tell all the contacts in your messenger list not to accept Jayden K. Smith friendship request. He is a hacker and has the system connected to your Facebook account ... (view more)

Thu
06
Jul
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iPhones Could Get Facial Recognition

Apple is working on facial recognition as an iPhone security measure. It's said to be have it ready for this year's iPhone 8, but may wait until the feature has been fully tested and complete. The idea is to replace fingerprint scanning for ... unlocking the phone. It's not yet confirmed if and when the facial recognition would be extended to other uses, such as using Apple Pay rather than have to type in card details or a PIN code. According to a Bloomberg source, the face unlock takes less than half a second to scan a face, confirm its identity and unlock the phone. The feature ... (view more)

Wed
05
Jul
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Judge Says Facebook Cookie 'Tracking' was Legal

A judge has thrown out a lawsuit which accused Facebook of tracking web users after they logged out of the site. Judge Edward Davila said the people bringing the case hadn't proven any financial loss or a breach of reasonable privacy expectations. ... The case involves website cookies, which are small text files created by a browser and stored on a user's computer. The cookies are readable by websites and can be used to identify the user and customize the content they see when visiting a page. In this case, the cookies were being read by third party websites that included a "Facebook ... (view more)

Tue
04
Jul
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Windows 10 Gets Anti-Ransomware Feature

Microsoft is adding a new feature to Windows 10 that could make it harder for ransomware to lock up files. It could be useful, but is certainly not a complete defense. The feature, called "Controlled Folder Access," is part of the Windows Defender ... security tool and is already being tested by users who've volunteered for advanced access to Windows 10 updates. The idea is that specific folders can be protected which means that only specified applications or programs can create, alter or delete files in those folders. This includes encrypting the files, which is the key tactic ... (view more)

Thu
29
Jun
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Google Fined $2.7 Billion for Rigging Search Results

Google has been fined $2.7 billion for unfairly favoring its own shopping services in search results. It's also got 90 days to stop the practice. The decision comes from the European Commission, the body that oversees competition law in 28 European ... countries. At the end of an investigation that started back in 2010, it now says Google did breach antitrust rules. The case relates to shopping comparison services, which let users see prices from multiple retailers. When people search Google for a particular product, the list of results will often include links to the relevant pages on such ... (view more)

Wed
28
Jun
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Windows Bug Exploited Again by Ransomware

Businesses around the world are reporting computer problems that appear to be another rapidly-spreading ransomware attack. It appears likely to be exploiting the same Windows flaw as the recent WannaCry attack. Details were still emerging at the ... time of writing, but high profile businesses including drug giant Merck, a British advertising agency and a Danish shipping company are known to have been compromised. Ukraine's government network also appears to have been hit. (Source: nytimes.com ) File Index Compromised As with WannaCry, the malware appears to be designed to lock up and encrypt ... (view more)

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