Security

Wed
01
Feb
John Lister's picture

Social Media Moderation Elicits Free Speech Probe

The Supreme Court has asked the government for advice over two cases involving social media. The court is reviewing challenges to laws that could effectively ban moderation on sites. The state laws in Florida and Texas both limit the ability of ... social media companies to moderate some content, though they would work in different ways. The Florida law covers online platforms with more than 100 million users. It says companies must publish their moderation rules and apply them consistently to all users. It also says companies cannot ban any user who is an active political candidate for a future ... (view more)

Mon
23
Jan
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Report: Most Smart Devices Patched 2 Years, Max

Some "smart" home products could become unsupported in just two years according to a consumer group. That could mean premium features stop working and may even create security risks. The details come from "Which?," a British organization very ... similar to Consumer Reports in the US. It explored a big potential problem with smart tech: that the support for such features is often guaranteed for much less time than the expected useful lifespan of the product itself. The group researched smart features, meaning devices were linked to the Internet or a local network and allowing extra ... (view more)

Mon
09
Jan
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US Politicians Told to Delete TikTok

TikTok has been banned from all US federal government devices over security fears. The ban even extends to phones issued to members of the House of Representatives. The government ban was introduced in the "omnibus" spending bill recently passed by ... Congress. It gives federal employees two months to delete the app, along with any others issued by developers ByteDance, from government-issued handsets. Although the bill did not cover politicians, the House of Representatives chief administrative Catherine Szpindor has written to the house's members and staff to say the rules will now apply to ... (view more)

Thu
05
Jan
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Millions Will Lose Chrome Updates

Google's Chrome browser will soon be unsafe to use on Windows 7, 8 or 8.1. Google is about to finally ditch support for the systems, meaning no more updates. Version 109 of Chrome, scheduled for a full public release on January 10th, 2022, will be ... the last available for those editions. Starting with version 110, expected in February, new versions will only be available for Windows 10 and later. (Source: google.com ) Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users can still run Chrome 109 (or earlier versions) but the browser will become increasingly outdated with no new features or performance fixes. More ... (view more)

Thu
22
Dec
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Windows 8.1 End of Life: No More Security Fixes

Windows 8.1 will no longer receive security updates from next month. It is said to effect millions of users. Microsoft has reminded users that January 10th, 2020 is the "end of support" date for the system. That means it will continue to work, but ... users will no longer get any updates or fixes, whether for security or performance bugs. The deadline also means an end to technical support from Microsoft of any kind. (Source: microsoft.com ) The system has already past the mainstream support deadline in 2018. That's when Microsoft stopped adding any new features. No Pay-To-Secure Option Unlike ... (view more)

Wed
21
Dec
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Government Apps Used 'Russian' Code

Two US government apps have been revealed as using code from a Russian company that falsely claims to be based in the US. It's also claimed one of that company's developers has a history with malware. The initial revelation came from Reuters which ... highlighted "thousands" of smartphone apps included code from a company called Pushwoosh. The apps included one for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and another used by the US Army. Both have now removed the code. (Source: reuters.com ) The Pushwoosh code lets apps put together profiles of users and send notifications without ... (view more)

Thu
15
Dec
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Donut Theory Cracks Security Algorithm

A theory involving donuts has helped crack a proposed government security algorithm. It's nothing to do with distracting security guards, Better Call Saul-style, but rather advanced mathematics. Government agencies and others involved in security ... are constantly looking for new ways to encrypt data, with quantum computing seen as a potentially major threat. Most encryption methods used at the moment rely on length and complexity to deter brute force cracking techniques that simply try every possible decryption key. The idea is that it should take so many tries (on average) to get the right ... (view more)

Tue
13
Dec
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Deepfake Videos Could Be Exposed

Intel claims it can spot 96 percent of "deepfake" videos. The trick appears to be tracking blood flow in the face. A deepfake is a more sophisticated version of the comparatively basic task of replacing one person's face with another in a video. ... Common uses include making the person appear to be saying something they never actually said (creating political distrust) or making it look like they performed lewd actions. The "deep" element comes from deep learning, where a computer program tries out and develops different tactics for performing a task better. In this case, the ... (view more)

Fri
02
Dec
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Microsoft Defender May Hurt Performance

Microsoft Defender has come in last in two separate tests of Windows 11 security software. It's a surprise result given it generally did well on Windows 10. There's some comfort for Microsoft, however, as the nature of the testing means many users ... won't notice that much difference in practice. That's important given Microsoft Defender (previously Windows Defender) is built-in to Windows 11. The first rankings came from AV-Test, which describes itself as "The Independent IT-Security Institute." It ran a series of tests on 19 products using "realistic test scenarios" and "real-world threats." ( ... (view more)

Thu
01
Dec
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Android Unlock Bug Fixed

Android users have been urged to check their phone has the latest security patches. It follows a researcher accidentally uncovering a significant flaw in the screen lock. The researcher discovered the problem on a Google Pixel 6 and replicated it on ... a Pixel 5. The problem appears to affect phones running Android 10 or later that use a SIM card, not just those made by Google. However, some reports suggest it doesn't affect Samsung handsets. The problem is with the personal unblocking key (PUK). That's a way to regain access to a handset that's been locked after forgetting the phone's passcode ... (view more)

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