Apple's iPhone and iOS Security and Privacy

Security researcher: iOS security has been intentionally compromised by Apple

By on July 21, 2014 at 12:33 PM.

Security researcher: iOS security has been intentionally compromised by Apple

Apple’s placing a lot of emphasis on iOS security (especially when compared with that “toxic hellstew” Android) and on privacy (again, compared to its rival) but it turns out that iOS might not be as secure or private as Apple has led customers to believe. Security researcher Jonathan Zdziarski has a new paper out called “Identifying Backdoors, Attack Points, and Surveillance Mechanisms in iOS Devices,” in which he reveals Apple’s complex tools inside iOS that would allow Apple to share certain user data at the request of law enforcement without the user knowledge.

More importantly, with or without Apple’s help, spying agencies such as NSA and other third parties that are very familiar with how iOS operates can apparently use these vulnerabilities to grab plenty of data from an iPhone, or to install applications for spying and other malicious purposes without the user’s knowledge. More →

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Best Password Tips Microsoft

Now they tell us: Microsoft says strong passwords are overrated

By on July 16, 2014 at 6:45 PM.

Now they tell us: Microsoft says strong passwords are overrated

You know all the time and trouble you put into making and memorizing unique strong passwords for every website you visit? Well, Microsoft says a lot of that was likely misspent energy. The Guardian informs us that new research from Microsoft (PDF) shows that we probably shouldn’t use strong passwords for all our websites and that having weak passwords will suffice in many circumstances. More →

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GCHQ Names for Spying Tools

These are the absurd names British intelligence spies have to remember to spy on you

By on July 15, 2014 at 9:45 PM.

These are the absurd names British intelligence spies have to remember to spy on you

In case you didn’t know it by now, spy agencies are really good – and hopefully effective – at spying on people, including both actual valid targets as well as unsuspecting citizens who aren’t plotting anything bigger than a trip to an exotic country. To further demonstrate the power of one such agency – NSA’s close buddy, the British GCHQ, in this case – The Intercept has published a new Snowden leak, which reveals such ambitious mass spying plans, as well as their silly names. More →

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Apple Disables Outdated Flash Player

Here’s how Apple is protecting you from outdated versions of Flash Player

By on July 11, 2014 at 7:30 PM.

Here’s how Apple is protecting you from outdated versions of Flash Player

As if Apple hadn’t made a strong enough case against Flash already, Adobe announced this week that a security vulnerability had been discovered in the most recent version of Flash Player. Adobe quickly addressed the issue, but Apple took safety measures a step further by adding any version of Adobe Flash Player version below 14.0.0.145 (and 13.0.0.231 on older machines) to its plugin blacklist. More →

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iPhone Location Tracking

China says iPhone’s location-tracking could compromise state secrets

By on July 11, 2014 at 5:50 PM.

China says iPhone’s location-tracking could compromise state secrets

We saw plenty of complaints arise when it was first discovered that Apple’s iOS 7 software included a “frequent locations” function in the iPhone. The feature, which can be easily disabled, tracks users’ locations in order to determine the locations they visit most frequently. All sorts of privacy concerns arose, naturally, but none were quite as intense as the warnings issued on Friday morning by state broadcasters in China. More →

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Adobe Flash Critical Security Update

Update Adobe Flash on your system right now

By on July 9, 2014 at 6:50 AM.

Update Adobe Flash on your system right now

Adobe on Tuesday issued a critical security update to patch a vulnerability that could help hackers “take control” of computers after users visit various sites, CNET reports. Security blogger Michele Spagnuolo, who detailed the security exploit, says the Flash issue can be used by hackers to steal cookies that authenticate users on “thousands of websites.” More →

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Android Malware

This huge Android security flaw could cost you a fortune

By on July 8, 2014 at 11:31 AM.

This huge Android security flaw could cost you a fortune

Android’s open nature offers some substantial benefits to consumers versus rival mobile platforms such as Apple’s iOS operating system. There are also some negative affects, however, and one of them is the fact that Google’s Android devices are far more susceptible to malware attacks. We have seen plenty of reports on various Android security holes and malware in the past, and now a newly discovered flaw could end up costing Android device owners a fortune. More →

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TSA Smartphone Power and Battery

If you forget to charge your phone, airport security might force you to leave it behind

By on July 7, 2014 at 9:20 AM.

If you forget to charge your phone, airport security might force you to leave it behind

Frequent fliers who also happen to own various smart devices including smartphones, tablets and laptops should make sure their toys have good-enough battery charges and can be easily turned on during security checks, so agents can play with them, Engadget reports. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said on Sunday in a press release that it requires certain overseas airports with direct flights to the U.S. to check whether electronic devices power on and work as supposed to. More →

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Android Device Wi-Fi Location Sharing

Your Android device might be broadcasting your location history to everyone around you

By on July 3, 2014 at 2:50 PM.

Your Android device might be broadcasting your location history to everyone around you

In an age where we store our most important data on our mobile devices, we depend on device manufacturers and designers to ensure our information is kept safe. Unfortunately, potential problems are often overlooked until someone finds a way to take advantage of them, as appears to be the case with the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s latest discovery. More →

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Smartphone Security Tips Tricks

5 things you absolutely need to do to keep your smartphone secure

By on July 2, 2014 at 1:05 PM.

5 things you absolutely need to do to keep your smartphone secure

Believe it or not, you can have a reasonably secure smartphone without shelling out $630 for the recently released Blackphone. The Wall Street Journal’s Geoffrey Fowler has written up five best practices for making sure the conversations and messages you have on your smartphone stay as private as possible and they’re simple enough for just about anyone to use. More →

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How To Stop Facebook Tracking

Here’s how to stop Facebook from tracking your browsing data once and for all

By on July 2, 2014 at 11:44 AM.

Here’s how to stop Facebook from tracking your browsing data once and for all

Facebook always seems to be taking heat for something, and its most recent slip up involved conducting a massive psychological experiment on its users without their knowledge or permission. Mere weeks before this latest uproar, however, Facebook found itself the target of user complaints for another reason: The company announced that it would begin tracking users’ web browsing history and using it to serve targeted advertisements.

But thankfully, there is now a way to stop it once and for all. More →

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NSA Spying Programs

Every crazy NSA revelation in one giant chart

By on July 1, 2014 at 1:26 PM.

Every crazy NSA revelation in one giant chart

The United States National Security Agency has had a rough year. It all began when former NSA contractor Edward Snowden infiltrated the agency’s systems and stole thousands upon thousands of confidential documents revealing many of the top-secret cyber surveillance programs the NSA has employed in recent years. The revelations began with PRISM but there have now been so many that it may be a good time for a quick recap. More →

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