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Apple Under Fire Over Sending Some Users Browsing Data to China's Tencent

Apple Under Fire Over Sending Some Users Browsing Data to China's Tencent
October 14, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Do you know Apple is sending iOS web browsing related data of some of its users to Chinese Internet company Tencent? I am sure many of you are not aware of this, neither was I, and believe me, none of us could expect this from a tech company that promotes itself as a champion of consumer privacy. Late last week, it was widely revealed that starting from at least iOS 12.2 , Apple silently integrated the " Tencent Safe Browsing " service to power its " Fraudulent Website Warning " feature in the Safari web browser for both iOS and macOS. Just like the Safe Browsing feature in Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, Safari's fraudulent website warning feature has also been designed to protect users from various online threats by simply checking every website they visit against a regularly updated list of malicious websites. Until iOS 12.2, Apple primarily relied on the database of "blacklisted websites" provided by Google's Safe Browsing service, whic

China's Border Guards Secretly Installing Spyware App on Tourists' Phones

China's Border Guards Secretly Installing Spyware App on Tourists' Phones
July 03, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Chinese authorities are secretly installing surveillance apps on smartphones of foreigners at border crossings in the Xinjiang region who are entering from neighboring Kyrgyzstan, an international investigation revealed. Xinjiang (XUAR) is an autonomous territory and home to many Muslim ethnic minority groups where China is known to be conducting massive surveillance operations, especially on the activities of Uighurs, a Muslim Turkic minority group of about 8 million people. The Chinese government has blamed the Muslim Turkic minority group for Islamic extremism and deadly attacks on Chinese targets. According to a joint investigation by New York Times , the Guardian, Süddeutsche Zeitung and more, the surveillance app has been designed to instantly extract emails, texts, calendar entries, call records, contacts and insecurely uploads them to a local server set-up at the check-point only. This suggests that the spyware app has not been designed to continuously and remotely t

Google Secretly Planning to Launch a Censored Search Engine in China

Google Secretly Planning to Launch a Censored Search Engine in China
August 01, 2018Mohit Kumar
After an eight-year-long absence from the most populated country in the world, Google search is going to dramatically make a comeback in China. Google is reportedly planning to launch a censored version of its search engine in China that is going to blacklist certain websites and search terms to comply with Chinese government's attempts to censor the Internet, a whistleblower revealed. According to leaked documents obtained by The Intercept, CEO Sundar Pichai met with a Chinese government official in December 2017 to re-enter the world's largest market for internet users. Project Dragonfly — Censored Google Search Engine Since spring last year Google engineers have been secretly working on a project, dubbed " Dragonfly ," which currently includes two Android mobile apps named—Maotai and Longfei—one of which will get launched by the end of this year after Chinese officials approve it. The censored version of Google search engine in the form of a mobile app report

Apple Moves iCloud Data and Encryption Keys for Chinese Users to China

Apple Moves iCloud Data and Encryption Keys for Chinese Users to China
February 28, 2018Mohit Kumar
Apple has finally agreed to open a new Chinese data center next month to comply with the country's latest controversial data protection law. Apple will now move the cryptographic keys of its Chinese iCloud users in data centers run by a state-owned company called Cloud Big Data Industrial Development Co, despite concerns from human rights activists. In 2017, China passed a Cybersecurity Law that requires "critical information infrastructure operators" to store Chinese users' data within the country's borders, which likely forced Apple to partner with the new Chinese data center. And the icing on the cake is that Chinese government already has legislation called National Security Law, passed in 2015, which gives police the authority to demand companies help them bypass encryption or other security tools to access personal data. This is the first time when Apple is going to store encryption keys required to unlock iCloud accounts of its users outside the

Chinese Man Gets 5-Year Prison for Running 'Unauthorized' VPN Service

Chinese Man Gets 5-Year Prison for Running 'Unauthorized' VPN Service
December 22, 2017Wang Wei
While continuing its crackdown on services that help Chinese citizens to bypass Great Firewall, Chinese authorities have sentenced a man to five-and-a-half years in prison for selling a VPN service without obtaining a proper license from the government. Earlier this year, the Chinese government announced a ban on "unauthorized" VPN services , making it mandatory for companies to obtain an appropriate license from the government in order to operate in the country. Citizens in China usually make use of VPN and Proxy services to bypass the country's Great Firewall, also known as the Golden Shield project, which employs a variety of tricks to censor the Internet in the country. The Great Firewall project already blocked access to more than 150 out of the world's 1,000 top websites, which includes Google, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, Tumblr, and The Pirate Bay in the country. VPN helps Chinese citizens encrypt their Internet traffic and route it through a distant c

Chinese Man Jailed For Selling VPNs that Bypass Great Firewall

Chinese Man Jailed For Selling VPNs that Bypass Great Firewall
September 05, 2017Wang Wei
Image source: goldenfrog In an effort to continue its crackdown on VPNs, Chinese authorities have arrested a 26-year-old man for selling VPN software on the Internet. China's Supreme Court has sentenced Deng Jiewei from Dongguan in Guangdong province, close to Hong Kong, to nine months in prison for selling virtual private network (VPN) software through his own small independent website. VPN encrypts users' Internet traffic and routes it through a distant connection so that web surfers can hide their identities and location data while accessing websites that are usually restricted or censored by any country. Chinese citizens usually make use of VPNs to bypass the Great Firewall of China , also known as the Golden Shield project, which employs a variety of tricks to censor the Internet in the country. The project already blocked access to some 171 out of the world's 1,000 top websites, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Dropbox, and The Pirate Bay in

China Enforces Real-Name Policy to Regulate Online Comments

China Enforces Real-Name Policy to Regulate Online Comments
August 29, 2017Wang Wei
If you reside in China, your Internet life within the borders will soon be even more challenging. Last Friday, China's top Internet regulator announced a new set of rules that would force citizens to post comments using their real-world identities on Internet forums and other web platforms. Yes, you heard that right. Anonymity is about to die in the country. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) will start officially enforcing the new rules starting from October 1, 2017, requiring websites operators and service providers of online forums to request and verify real names and other personal information from users when they register and must immediately report illegal content to the authorities. According to the CAC, the following content would be considered unlawful and forbidden from being published online: Opposing the basic principles as defined in the Constitution Endangering national security Damaging nation's honor and interests Inciting national ha

Microsoft Unveils Special Version of Windows 10 For Chinese Government

Microsoft Unveils Special Version of Windows 10 For Chinese Government
May 24, 2017Wang Wei
China is very strict about censorship, which is why the country has become very paranoid when it comes to adopting foreign technologies. The country banned Microsoft's Windows operating system on government computers in 2014 amid concerns about security and US surveillance. Even in the wake of that, China had been pushing its custom version of Windows XP and its forked version of Ubuntu Linux . To deal with this issue and target the world's largest market, Microsoft's CEO for the Greater China region last year confirmed that the company was working on a Chinese version of Windows 10 that included "more management and security controls" and less bloatware. Now, Microsoft has just announced a new version of its Windows 10, which is now ready for Chinese government agencies to use. In its event in Shanghai on Tuesday, Microsoft announced Windows 10 China Government Edition specifically designed for the Chinese government.The OS is based on Windows 1

Microsoft built a special version of Windows 10 just for Chinese Government

Microsoft built a special version of Windows 10 just for Chinese Government
March 29, 2016Unknown
China is very strict about censorship, which makes it difficult for companies to launch their products in the country. But companies like Microsoft are playing smartly to target the largest market in the world. Microsoft has found a way to enter into the banned Chinese Market, but this time with official support for Chinese Government through a new custom and exclusive Windows 10 version for China. It sounds like Microsoft has no issues like Apple, which strongly refused the court order to create a special 'GovtOS' version to help the Feds with unlocking iPhone. Microsoft's CEO for the Greater China region Ralph Haupter has confirmed that the company has built a Chinese government-approved version of Windows 10 OS that includes " more management and security controls " and less bloatware ( pre-installed apps ). Specialized Windows 10 'Zhuangongban' for China In a joint venture with a state-run technology and defense company, CETC ( China Electronic Technology Gr

China Passes Anti-Terrorism Law; Here's What You Need to Know

China Passes Anti-Terrorism Law; Here's What You Need to Know
December 28, 2015Swati Khandelwal
If you rely on encrypted services to keep your data private and, unfortunately, you are in China, then you are about to be worried. As of now Chinese government could snoop into the operations of technology companies as well as circumvent privacy protections in everyday gadgets. China So-called Anti-Terrorism Law Despite months of objections from major technology firms and concerns over human rights… China passed its controversial new anti-terrorism law on Sunday that requires tech companies to help decrypt information or hand over encryption keys to officials when they want to spy on someone's communication in order to counter terror operations. However, the officials swear that the law wouldn't require technology firms to install " backdoors " in their products, but it doesn't make any difference when the government mandate companies operating in China to provide encryption keys and passwords when requested. Just like recent propo

China — OPM Hack was not State-Sponsored; Blames Chinese Criminal Gangs

China — OPM Hack was not State-Sponsored; Blames Chinese Criminal Gangs
December 03, 2015Mohit Kumar
In the most surprising manner, the Chinese government said it arrested criminal hackers behind the massive cyber attack on US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) earlier this year, dismissing its involvement. Three months back, we reported that China arrested a handful of hackers within its borders who were suspected of allegedly stealing commercial secrets from US companies. The arrests took place shortly before China President Xi Jinping visited the United States in September 2015 when both heads of states agreed that neither side will participate in commercial espionage against one another. China: Cyber Criminals Hacked OPM, Not Government Spies Now, those suspected hackers have turned out to be the ones in connection with the OPM hack that resulted in the theft of personal details of more than 21 Million United States federal employees, including 5.6 Million federal employees' fingerprints . Citing an " investigation ", the Chinese governme

After 5 Years, Now Google Ready to Comply with China's Censorship Laws for Business

After 5 Years, Now Google Ready to Comply with China's Censorship Laws for Business
September 07, 2015Khyati Jain
Google is planning to introduce a trimmed down special version of Google Play Store and Android Wear to The Mainland China. But wait, if I'm not wrong… Google had ended ties with China five years ago. Then what made Google to re-establish itself in China once again? Business?? Recent reports by Amir Efrati at The Information state that Google has massive plans to re-establish itself in the Mainland China. The search engine giant is aiming to get approval from China (the largest populated country in the world) for: Reviving Google as the Internet service provider Designing a tailor-made Google play store for China Android Wear software for the wearable existing in China Smart steps, though, but what happened back in 2010? Google and China always contradict each other, China's Internet laws and Google's censoring the search engine was one battle. In 2010, Google famously retracted its search engine Google.cn from Mainland China, after they ma

Is China Behind the Massive Data Theft of 4 Million U.S. Officials?

Is China Behind the Massive Data Theft of 4 Million U.S. Officials?
June 06, 2015Swati Khandelwal
The US federal agency has notified its 4 Million current and former government employees that their private data has been compromised in a massive data breach. Hackers managed to break into US government computer systems in the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and steal records of Millions of employees, making it one of the largest known breaches of information ever on federal workers. The stolen information includes birth dates, credit card data, banking records, security clearance information, and background checks dating back three decades, potentially affecting people across the spectrum of the federal agency. The massive breach is believed to be carried out by the hackers based in China, the Obama administration announced on Thursday. The breach is believed to be an "attack against the (American) nation." Biggest Data Breach in US History However, China has denied any involvement in what could be the largest cyber-attack in US history by c

The Great... Great... Firewall of China Hijacks Facebook Connect Plugin

The Great... Great... Firewall of China Hijacks Facebook Connect Plugin
April 29, 2015Swati Khandelwal
From past few days, Internet Users in China are dealing with a weird redirection of traffic nationwide while accessing any website that makes use of connect.facebook.net resource. Great Firewall of China , which is infamous for the Internet censorship by Chinese government, believes to be intercepting the JavaScript module used by Facebook Connect Login, which is meant to allow third-party websites to authorize users through Facebook infrastructure. Chinese Internet users are complaining that when they visit any website that contain " Login with Facebook " or " Connect with Facebook " buttons (which is being used by a vast number of sites), they automatically redirect to unrelated websites. The two websites to which the traffic is being redirected: wpkg.org — A website for open source automated software deployment, upgrade, and removal program for Windows. ptraveler.com — A personal travel blog authored by a young couple of Poland. "Th

China Demands Tech Companies to give them Backdoor and Encryption Keys

China Demands Tech Companies to give them Backdoor and Encryption Keys
February 03, 2015Swati Khandelwal
A number of western companies are doing big business in China, but now they may have to pay a huge value for to do so. China has introduced strict new banking cyber security regulations on western companies selling technology to Chinese banks. The Chinese government wants backdoors installed in all technologies that imports into the Middle Kingdom for the benefit of Chinese security services. The latest rules also state that western companies must hand over the Encryption Keys and secret source code as well. The requirements are so absurd that it would be impossible for companies like Apple to comply, which could harm American businesses. " The Chinese government has adopted new regulations requiring companies that sell computer equipment to Chinese banks to turn over secret source code, submit to invasive audits and build so-called back doors into hardware and software, according to a copy of the rules obtained by foreign technology companies that do billions of do

Chinese Hackers Hacked Into U.S. Defense Contractors 20 Times In Just One Year

Chinese Hackers Hacked Into U.S. Defense Contractors 20 Times In Just One Year
September 18, 2014Swati Khandelwal
Chinese hackers associated with the Chinese government have successfully infiltrated the computer systems of U.S. defense contractors working with the government agency responsible for the transportation of military troops and goods across the globe, a Senate investigators have found. The Senate Armed Services Committee has been investigating the issue for the past year and found that the U.S. Military's Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) has been infiltrated at least 20 times in a single year, out of which only two were detected. This is probably the most serious allegation yet against China. The successful intrusions attributed to an "advanced persistent threat," a term used to designate sophisticated threats commonly associated with governments. All of those intrusions were attributed to China, the report stated. The investigation was conducted in the 12 months period from June 2012 to June 2013 based on information provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigat

Chinese Government Accused of Intercepting Traffic Between Google and CERNET

Chinese Government Accused of Intercepting Traffic Between Google and CERNET
September 08, 2014Mohit Kumar
So far, we all are well aware of the fact that Chinese have had a past filled with cases of Cyber Crime. China is the world's largest exporter of IT goods, but it has been criticized by many countries due to suspected backdoors in its products, including United States which has banned its several major government departments, including NASA, Justice and Commerce Departments, from purchasing Chinese products and computer technology. The new exposure indicates the same. Chinese Government is running a man-in-the-middle (MitM) cyber attack campaign on SSL encrypted traffic between the country's education network and Google. In an effort to monitor its users of China Education and Research Network (CERNET) , Chinese authorities has started intercepting encrypted traffic to and from Google's servers, the non-profit organization GreatFire reported on Thursday. However, just like many other foreign websites, Google is blocked in China. Because Google is one of the vast and v

China Bans Microsoft Windows 8 for Government Computers

China Bans Microsoft Windows 8 for Government Computers
May 20, 2014Swati Khandelwal
While US government is always prohibiting the purchase of Huawei products due to suspected backdoors from the Chinese government, China also keep itself totally apart from the US productions. China is a bit famous for using its own operating systems, smartphone application services and lots more, rather than using the US developed Operating Systems, and now China has reportedly banned the installation of Microsoft Corporation's latest operating system, Windows 8 on any of its government computers. The Central Government Procurement Center issued a notice that was posted on its website last week prohibiting the use of Microsoft's latest operating system and the reason behind it is to support the use of energy-saving products, the report said. But the state news agency ' Xinhua ' pointed out a different reason for the ban saying the country wants to avoid any further losing of the support for an operating system like it did recently by pulling out its support from t

'Anonymous Philippines' hacks Hundreds of Chinese Government Websites

'Anonymous Philippines' hacks Hundreds of Chinese Government Websites
May 20, 2014Wang Wei
A Philippine Hacker group claiming ties with the hacktivist collective Anonymous defaced early Monday several Chinese Government websites. " Anonymous Philippines " claimed responsibility for defacing more than 200 Chinese websites in retaliation for Beijing's aggressive actions in the West Philippine Sea, according to the messages posted on their Facebook page . " The operation was a success, we might not have brought China to it's knees but we gave hope to our brothers and sisters, because hope is what we need right now. Hope that someday people will stand-up and fight back! " Anonymous Philippines said. At the time of writing, More than 145 Chinese Government ( list 1 ) and 45 Commercial websites ( list 2 ) were displaying the following defacement message: " China's alleged claim on maritime territories and oppressive poaching can no longer be tolerated. Stand against Oppression! It's time to fight back! Say NO to China'

28% of Internet Users know the Importance of Online Privacy Tools

28% of Internet Users know the Importance of Online Privacy Tools
January 23, 2014Anonymous
Privacy is "workings of your mind". We share our personal moments captured in images, credit card details, thoughts that are personal or professional with a person or a certain group at different instances of time and want it to be safe and secure. We use an electronic gadget to share something trusting blindly the service provider company which may have to obey some unveiled laws of that country to which it belong and our data might be at risk. The surveillance programs can force these companies to store the information and share it with the Government and can even sniff all the data passing through the channels i.e. Wire or Air, and hence compromise our privacy. Though surveillance programs were in existence before Snowden's leaks, but after the revelation of NSA's surveillance programs, we need to think twice when it comes to our privacy. 28% of all Internet users, i.e. 415 Million people say that they use some sort of privacy tool for their Internet browsing sessio
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