John Lister

Wed
24
Jul
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Google Cracks Down on Rogue Browser Extensions

Google is cracking down on Chrome browser extensions that risk user privacy. The new policies err on the side of caution and follow a Washington Post investigation that claimed millions of users had data stolen by rogue browser extensions. A browser ... extension, also called an "add-on" in some browsers, is a third-party tool that users can incorporate into their web browser. It's designed to add extended functions to the browser, which then make using the browser and web much easier. Examples of extensions include: a password manager, which can remember user passwords and ... (view more)

Tue
23
Jul
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Google's Updated Incognito Mode May Break Paywalls

Google is changing the way its "incognito" mode works. It says the move is necessary, but some news and magazine website owners are upset by the change. Incognito is Google's version of private browsing. Despite the name, it's mainly about privacy ... on the user's device: when in incognito mode, the local browser stops adding websites to its browsing history, which consists of a list of pages the user has visited and the searches they've carried out. The mode won't stop the activity being recorded by an Internet service provider (ISP) or by a local network administrator - something that has ... (view more)

Wed
17
Jul
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New Router Exploit Auto-redirects to Rogue Sites

A security firm says hackers have hijacked 180,000 routers in Brazil alone so far this year. They target people who haven't changed the default login for the router's control system. According to Avast, there have been more than 4.6 million attempts ... to modify router settings remotely. Although the attacks were targeted at people using particular Internet service providers in Brazil, there's no reason the same tactics couldn't work elsewhere. The goal of the attacks is to change the DNS settings on a router. In simple terms, that's like the address book that a router uses to turn a website ... (view more)

Tue
16
Jul
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Shady Lawyers Uploaded Movies, Sued Downloaders

Two lawyers have been jailed for five and fourteen years respectively for an online copyright scam. The pair uploaded adult material with the specific aim of suing those who downloaded it. John Steele and Eric Hansmeir have been convicted on fraud ... and money laundering charges for their activities as "Prenda Law." The pair bought the rights to adult films and even produced their own material. They then uploaded it to file sharing sites and waited until people downloaded it. $3,000 Settlements Accepted Prenda Law then got court orders for Internet service providers to identify the ... (view more)

Mon
15
Jul
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Google Admits Staff Listen to Google Home Recordings

Google has admitted that staff listen to some recordings from the Google Home smart speaker. It says it's only for quality control purposes. It made the comments after a contractor in the Netherlands went to local media to talk about his work, in ... which he was paid a "few cents" to transcribe comments and questions made by people using the voice controlled device or phone app. According to the worker, some of the clips he heard did not appear to be people intentionally using the device. This included one case of a mother scolding a child and another clip which the worker suspected ... (view more)

Thu
11
Jul
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New Super Stealth Astaroth Malware Records Keystrokes

Microsoft has warned users about a complicated but cunning malware attack that might not be caught by all security tools. The "Astaroth" malware doesn't actually exist as a file in its own right. The main risk to users from Astaroth is that it ... includes a keylogger. This means it can access everything victims type, including passwords and other sensitive data. That's one of the reasons sites such as online banks often ask users to type specific characters (such as third and eighth) rather than an entire password. Malware Hides Within Windows What makes Astaroth so hard to detect is ... (view more)

Wed
10
Jul
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Chinese Giant Ditches Android OS

Chinese phone maker Huawei says its making a rival to Android that will be "up to 60 percent faster." The problem is it will be missing many key Google applications. Huawei started work on the new mobile operating system after an executive order ... from the US President that limits American companies supplying the Chinese company, something said to relate to security concerns. Following the order, Google announced it would no longer supply Huawei with new editions of Android or security updates for the existing system. While it could still use Android, which is an open source system, ... (view more)

Tue
09
Jul
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Airline Fined $229 Million for Data Breach

An airline faces a fine of more than $200 million after its customers were hit by a hacking scandal. Around 500,000 worldwide customers of British Airways were affected by the breach. British Airways reported the breach in September last year. It ... doesn't appear that the hackers were able to get into BA's system and take any customer data that way. Instead, traffic to the site was hijacked. The attack is believed to have begun last June and involved the hackers exploiting security flaws in the design of BA's site. They were able to intercept traffic to the site and redirect visitors to a bogus ... (view more)

Thu
04
Jul
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Premium Email Service Sparks Privacy Outrage

A premium email service has been slammed for letting users track other people's locations simply by sending a message. It's not a new issue, but has raised legal and ethical questions. The email service is called Superhuman and costs $30 a month. ... That covers a host of features, such as being able to "unsend" a message before its read, plus an "artificial intelligence" tool to decide and highlight which incoming messages are most important. While reviewers are split between whether it's a fantastic service for power users or just a jumped-up Gmail, one designer has laid into Superhuman for a ... (view more)

Wed
03
Jul
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Cloudflare 'CPU Spike' Glitches 16M Sites

One of the most important services on the Internet went down for around an hour this week, causing widespread problems on other sites. The glitch is a reminder of how fragile some aspects of the Internet are. Cloudflare is a website that offers ... several free and paid services designed to make websites more efficient. Two of its main services are traffic filtering and web caching. The former involves web traffic between a user and a website going through Cloudflare. During this process, the client machine is checked for signs of malicious activity. This can involve attempted hacking, but also ... (view more)

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