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Merging Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram: a technical, reputational hurdle

Secure messaging is supposed to be just that—secure. That means no backdoors, strong encryption, private messages staying private, and, for some users, the ability to securely communicate without giving up tons of personal data. So, when news broke that scandal-ridden, online privacy pariah Facebook would expand secure messaging across its Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram apps, a broad community … [Read more...]

Apple pulls Facebook enterprise certificate

It’s been an astonishing few days for Facebook. They’ve seen both an app and their enterprise certificate removed and revoked with big consequences. What happened? Apple issue enterprise certificates to organizations with which they can create internal apps. Those apps don’t end up released on the Apple store, because the terms of service don’t allow it. Anything storefront-bound must go … [Read more...]

What does ‘consent to tracking’ really mean?

Thanks to Jerome Boursier for contributions. Post GDPR, many social media platforms will ask end users to consent to some form of tracking as a condition of using the service. It’s easy to make assumptions as to what that means, especially when the actual terms of service or data policy for the service in question is tough to find, full of legal jargon, or just long and boring. Part of the … [Read more...]

Smart speakers: Christmas treat or lump of coal?

Christmas is nearly upon us, and thoughts are perhaps turning to various digital presents of a “smart” nature. Home security, hubs, speakers, cameras, and mashups of all of those and more besides. With regards to speakers, the most immediate pieces of your home are theoretically at your beck and call. There’s lots of good advice out there in terms of what to do with your new devices. Untick boxes, … [Read more...]

Christmas tech scams roundup

There’s a fair few Christmas tech scams floating around out there as 2018 winds up, and we thought it’d be a good time to warn you about them. It’s the usual mish-mash of phone antics, social media shenanigans, and click bait. Shall we begin? This scam looks divine BOOM reports on a collection of anti-aging cream websites targeting regions such as the Philippines, Malaysia, Mexico, and Colombia. … [Read more...]

Flaw in Twitter form may have been abused by nation states

Twitter announced in a blog post on Monday that they discovered and addressed a security flaw on one of their support forms. The discovery was made on November 15 — more than a month ago — and was promptly fixed the next day. From the Twitter blog on this issue: We have become aware of an issue related to one of our support forms, which is used by account holders to contact Twitter about issues … [Read more...]

Data scraping treasure trove found in the wild

We bring word of yet more data exposure, in the form of “nonsensitive” data scraping to the tune of 66m records across 3 large databases. The information was apparently scraped from various sources and left to gather dust, for anyone lucky enough to stumble upon it. What is data scraping? The gathering of information from websites either by manual means, which isn’t time optimal, or by automated … [Read more...]

Breaches, breaches everywhere, it must be the season

After last weeks shocker from Marriott this week started off with disclosures about breaches at Quora, Dunkin’ Donuts, and 1-800-Flowers. Quora Quora is an online community that focuses on asking and answering questions. It was founded in 2009 by two former Facebook employees. The stolen data may concern up to 100 million users of the platform and included the username, the email address, and the … [Read more...]

ESTA registration websites still lurk in paid ads on Google

Google has taken direct action against adverts promoting ESTA registration services, often offered by third parties at highly inflated prices. Ads displayed on the Google network shouldn’t display fees higher than what a public source or government charges for products or services. This tightening of the ad leash has taken a remarkable eight years to complete—and we argue it’s not done … [Read more...]