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Millions of Chrome users quietly added to Google’s FLoC pilot

Last month, Google began a test pilot of its Federated Learning of Cohorts—or FLoC—program, which the company has advertised as the newest, privacy-preserving alternative in Google Chrome to the infamous third-party cookie. Sounds promising, right? Well, about that. Despite Google’s rhetoric about maintaining user privacy, its FLoC trial leaves much to be desired. Google Chrome users had no … [Read more...]

Android “System Update” malware steals photos, videos, GPS location

A newly discovered piece of Android malware shares the same capabilities found within many modern stalkerware-type apps—it can swipe images and video, rifle through online searches, record phone calls and video, and peer into GPS location data—but the infrastructure behind the malware obscures its developer’s primary motivations. First spotted by the research team at Zimperium zLabs, the newly … [Read more...]

Slack hurries to fix direct message flaw that allowed harassment

The enormous work messaging platform Slack quickly reversed course yesterday, promising to revise a brand-new direct message feature that could have been misused for harassment. Added to the company’s “Slack Connect” product—which lets enterprise users share messages with contract workers and third-party partners outside their company—the new “direct message” feature allowed paying Slack users … [Read more...]

Safe Connections Act could help domestic abuse survivors take control of their digital lives

A bill introduced in the US Senate could help domestic abuse and sex trafficking survivors—including those tracked by stalkerware-type applications—regain digital independence through swift, shared phone plan termination and the extension of mobile phone plan subsidies. Titled the Safe Connections Act, the bill targets the significant problem of shared mobile phone contracts between abuse … [Read more...]

Teen behind 2020 Twitter hack pleads guilty

The so-called “mastermind” behind the 2020 Twitter hack that compromised the accounts of several celebrities and public figures—including President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk—pleaded guilty to several charges on Tuesday in a Florida court. As part of an agreed-upon plea deal with prosecutors, Graham Clark will serve three years in juvenile prison, with an additional three years … [Read more...]

How your iPhone could tell you if you’re being stalked

The latest iOS beta suggests that Apple’s next big update will include an iPhone feature that warns users about hidden, physical surveillance of their location. The feature detects AirTags, Apple’s answer to trackable fobs made by Tile, and serves to block the potential abuse of the much-rumored product. While the feature represents great potential, digital surveillance experts said that … [Read more...]

TinyCheck: Stalkerware detection that doesn’t leave a trace

In 2019, when Malwarebytes helped found the Coalition Against Stalkerware, which brings together cybersecurity vendors and nonprofits to detect and raise awareness about stalkerware, we encountered a significant roadblock in our fight: For some users, the very detection of these potentially privacy-invasive tools could put their lives at greater risk. In short, we needed a way to detect … [Read more...]

21 million free VPN users’ data exposed

Detailed credentials for more than 21 million mobile VPN app users were swiped and advertised for sale online last week, offered by a cyber thief who allegedly stole user data collected by the VPN apps themselves. The data includes email addresses, randomly generated password strings, payment information, and device IDs belonging to users of three VPN apps—SuperVPN, GeckoVPN, and ChatVPN. The … [Read more...]

Why Data Privacy Day matters

Our Lock and Code special episode on Data Privacy Day, featuring guests from Mozilla, DuckDuckGo, and Electronic Frontier Foundation can be listened to here. Today, January 28, is Data Privacy Day, the annual, multinational event in which governments, companies, and schools can inform the public about how to protect their privacy online. While we at Malwarebytes Labs appreciate this calendar … [Read more...]

The strangest cybersecurity events of 2020: a look back

This year is finally coming to an end, and it only took us about eight consecutive months of March to get here. There is a ton to talk about, and that’s without even discussing the literal global pandemic. You see, 2020’s news stories were the pressure-cooker product of mania, chaos, and the downright absurd. “Murder hornets” made the journey to the US. Mystery seeds from China arrived in … [Read more...]