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Data and device security for domestic abuse survivors

For more than a month, Malwarebytes has worked with advocacy groups, law enforcement, and cybersecurity researchers to deliver helpful information in fighting stalkerware—the disturbing cyber threat that enables domestic abusers to spy on their partners’ digital and physical lives. While we’ve ramped up our detections, written a safety guide for those who might have stalkerware on their … [Read more...]

Backdoors are a security vulnerability

Last month, US Attorney General William Barr resurrected a government appeal to technology companies: Provide law enforcement with an infallible, “secure” method to access, unscramble, and read encrypted data stored on devices and sent across secure messaging services. Barr asked, in more accurate, yet unspoken terms, for technology companies to develop encryption backdoors to their own … [Read more...]

How to get your Equifax money and stay safe doing it

Following the enormous data breach of Equifax in 2017—in which roughly 147 million Americans’ suffered the loss of their Social Security numbers, addresses, credit card and driver’s license information, birthdates, and more—the company has agreed to a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission, in which it will pay at least $650 million. Much of that settlement—up to $425 million—is … [Read more...]

Changing California’s privacy law: A snapshot at the support and opposition

Last week, the corporate-backed, legislative battle against California privacy met a blockade, as one Senate committee voted down and negotiated changes to several bills that, as originally written, could have weakened the state’s data privacy law, the California Consumer Privacy Act. Though the bills’ authors have raked in thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from companies … [Read more...]

FaceApp scares point to larger data collection problems

Last week, if you thumbed your way through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you likely saw altered photos of your friends with a few extra decades written onto their faces—wrinkles added, skin sagged, hair bereft of color. Has 2019 really been that long? Not really. The photos are the work of FaceApp, the wildly popular, AI-powered app that lets users “age” pictures of themselves, change … [Read more...]

Your device, your choice: AdwCleaner now detects preinstalled software

For years, Malwarebytes has held firm to a core belief about you, the user: You should be able to decide for yourself which apps, programs, browsers, and other software end up on your computer, tablet, or mobile phone. Basically, it’s your device, your choice. With the latest update to Malwarebytes AdwCleaner, we are working to further cement that belief into reality. AdwCleaner 7.4.0 now … [Read more...]

Parental monitoring apps: How do they differ from stalkerware?

In late June, Malwarebytes revived its long-running campaign against a vicious type of malware in use today. This malware peers into text messages. It pinpoints victims’ movements across locations. It reveals browsing and search history. Often hidden from users, it removes their expectation of, right to, and real-world privacy. But after we recommitted our staunch opposition to this type of … [Read more...]

What should a US federal data privacy law ideally include?

In the constant David-and-Goliath struggle between digital privacy advocates and corporate privacy invaders, the question of how to legally protect Americans with a comprehensive, federal data privacy law provides conflicting answers. Advocates want protections, which Big Tech interprets as restrictions. As of today, there is no one digital privacy law to rule them all. While a few state laws … [Read more...]

Helping survivors of domestic abuse: What to do when you find stalkerware

We’re going to talk about something different today. We’re going to talk about domestic abuse. Earlier this year, cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab announced that the latest upgrade to its Android app would inform users about whether their devices were running stealthy, behind-the-scenes monitoring apps sometimes referred to as stalkerware. This type of software can track unsuspecting … [Read more...]

Radiohead’s ransom response shows novel approach for ransomware victims

Last week, British rock bank Radiohead thwarted an attempted digital ransom, in which unnamed hackers stole roughly 18 hours of unreleased music dating back to the band’s recording of its studio album OK, Computer, revealing some less-than-ok computer security (sorry). Instead of paying a ransom to keep the music secret, Radiohead released the files themselves, giving listeners a chance to … [Read more...]