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Facebook Collected Your Android Call History and SMS Data For Years

Facebook Collected Your Android Call History and SMS Data For Years

March 25, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Facebook knows a lot about you, your likes and dislikes—it's no surprise. But do you know, if you have installed Facebook Messenger app on your Android device, there are chances that the company had been collecting your contacts, SMS, and call history data at least until late last year. A tweet from Dylan McKay, a New Zealand-based programmer, which received more than 38,000 retweets (at the time of writing), showed how he found his year-old data—including complete logs of incoming and outgoing calls and SMS messages—in an archive he downloaded (as a ZIP file) from Facebook. Facebook was collecting this data on its users from last few years, which was even reported earlier in media, but the story did not get much attention at that time. Since Facebook had been embroiled into controversies over its data sharing practices after the Cambridge Analytica scandal last week, tweets from McKay went viral and has now fueled the never-ending privacy debate. A Facebook spokespe
Facebook and Cambridge Analytica – What's Happened So Far

Facebook and Cambridge Analytica – What's Happened So Far

March 23, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Top Story— Facebook has just lost over $60 billion in market value over the past two days—that's more than Tesla's entire market capitalisation and almost three times that of Snapchat. Facebook shares plunge over revelations that personal data of 50 million users was obtained and misused by British data analytics firm ' Cambridge Analytica ,' who reportedly helped Donald Trump win the US presidency in 2016. The privacy scandal that rocked the social media giant was revealed earlier this week when Chris Wylie , the 28-year-old data scientist who worked with a Cambridge University academic, turned into a whistleblower and leaked to the newspapers how poorly Facebook handles people's private information. Wylie claims Cambridge Analytica created " Steve Bannon's psychological warfare mindf**k tool " that profiles citizens to predict their voting patterns based on the personal information gathered from a variety of sources and then helps political
Android P Will Block Background Apps from Accessing Your Camera, Microphone

Android P Will Block Background Apps from Accessing Your Camera, Microphone

February 26, 2018Mohit Kumar
Yes, your smartphone is spying on you. But, the real question is, should you care? We have published thousands of articles on The Hacker News, warning how any mobile app can turn your smartphone into a bugging device—' Facebook is listening to your conversations', ' Stealing Passwords Using SmartPhone Sensors', 'Your Headphones Can Spy On You' and 'Android Malware Found Spying Military Personnel' to name a few. All these stories have different objectives and targets but have one thing in common, i.e., apps running in the background covertly abuse ‘ permissions ’ without notifying users. Installing a single malicious app unknowingly could allow remote attackers to covertly record audio, video, and taking photos in the background. But, not anymore! In a boost to user privacy, the next version of Google's mobile operating system, Android P, will apparently block apps idling in the background from accessing your smartphone's camera a
Facebook slapped with $1.43 million fine for violating users' privacy in Spain

Facebook slapped with $1.43 million fine for violating users' privacy in Spain

September 11, 2017Wang Wei
Facebook is once again in trouble regarding its users' privacy. The social media giant has recently been heavily fined once again for a series of privacy violations in Spain. Recently, Google also incurred a record-breaking fine of $2.7 billion (€2.42 billion) by the European antitrust officials for unfairly manipulating search results since at least 2008. Now, the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) has issued a €1.2 Million (nearly $1.4 Million) fine against Facebook for breaching laws designed to protect its people's information and confidentiality. According to the data protection watchdog, the social network collects its users' personal data without their 'unequivocal consent' and makes the profit by sharing the data with advertisers and marketers. The AEPD also found Facebook collects sensitive data on user's ideology, religious beliefs, sex and personal tastes and navigation—either directly from its own services or through third parties—w
Facebook Covertly Launches A Photo-Sharing App In China

Facebook Covertly Launches A Photo-Sharing App In China

August 14, 2017Wang Wei
The Chinese market is no doubt a pot of gold for big technology giants with over 700 million internet users, but the Chinese government heavily controls the Internet within its borders through its Golden Shield project – the Great Firewall of China . The Great Firewall has blocked some 171 out of the world's leading websites, including Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Dropbox, and The Pirate Bay in the country. But tech giants like Facebook and Google always try alternative ways to infiltrate the market. Now it seems like Facebook is trying to secretly enter the largest populous market by releasing an all new social networking app in China that does not carry its brand. Dubbed Colorful Balloons , the photo-sharing app appears to mimic the look and feel of Facebook's Moments, an app that allows its users to share photos with their friends and family members. According to The New York Times, Facebook approved the release of Colorful Balloons back in M
Facebook Bug Declares Millions of Users Dead, Including Zuckerberg!

Facebook Bug Declares Millions of Users Dead, Including Zuckerberg!

November 12, 2016Wang Wei
Last night, Facebook declared everyone dead, including the company's CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in a massive memorial 'remembering' profile glitch. Well, that's awkward. Despite being very much alive, Facebook users, when logged on to their accounts on Friday afternoon, found their accounts turned to a " memorialized account ," strongly suggesting that they are dead to everyone who visits their profile. A statement on Mark Zuckerberg's profile read: "We hope people who love Mark will find comfort in the things others share to remember and celebrate his life." When the message appeared, thousands of users shaken by the incident complained on Twitter about their premature digital deaths, offering their proof-of-life so that their concerned relatives could calm themselves down. This weird glitch was first spotted by Business Insider when several of its employees saw the message at the top of their Facebook profiles on Friday. When reached
Facebook agrees to Stop using UK Users' WhatsApp Data for Targeted Ads

Facebook agrees to Stop using UK Users' WhatsApp Data for Targeted Ads

November 08, 2016Swati Khandelwal
In August, Facebook introduced a hugely controversial data sharing plan to start harvesting data from its WhatsApp messaging app from September 25 for delivering more relevant ads on the social network. Many users were not happy with the move, because there was no real way of opting out from the data sharing – WhatsApp users could only do so within a short period – and even if users did opt out then, some data would still be shared. Eventually, some countries like Britain stood up and opposed the decision. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) of the United Kingdom has asked Facebook and WhatsApp to better explain the changes to its customers in the U.K. And if they don't, the ICO could hand out a heavy fine. What's the good news? In response, the social media giant has agreed to "pause" sharing of data, including their phone numbers, between WhatsApp and Facebook in Britain to target advertisements on its core social network. "We have
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Share Data with Location-based Social Media Surveillance Startup

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Share Data with Location-based Social Media Surveillance Startup

October 12, 2016Mohit Kumar
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, VK, Google's Picasa and Youtube were handing over user data access to a Chicago-based Startup — the developer of a social media monitoring tool — which then sold this data to law enforcement agencies for surveillance purposes, the ACLU disclosed Tuesday. Government records obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) revealed that the big technology corporations gave "special access" to Geofeedia. Geofeedia is a controversial social media monitoring tool that pulls social media feeds via APIs and other means of access and then makes it searchable and accessible to its clients, who can search by location or keyword to quickly find recently posted and publicly available contents. The company has marketed its services to 500 law enforcement and public safety agencies as a tool to track racial protests in Ferguson, Missouri, involving the 2014 police shooting death of Mike Brown. With the help of a public records request, the
How to Start Secret Conversations on Facebook Messenger

How to Start Secret Conversations on Facebook Messenger

October 06, 2016Swati Khandelwal
If you are looking for ways to start a secret conversation on Facebook Messenger with your friends, then you are at the right place. In this article, I am going to tell you about Facebook Messenger's new end-to-end encrypted chat feature, dubbed " Secret Conversations ," but before that, know why do you need your chats to be end-to-end encrypted? Your online privacy is under threat not only from online marketers and hackers but also from governments. Just yesterday, it was revealed that Yahoo secretly built hacking tool to scan all of its customers' incoming emails for US intelligence officials. So, to hide your personal life online from prying eyes, you need end-to-end encryption that allows you to send and receive messages in a way that no one, including the feds with a warrant, hackers and not even the company itself, can intercept or read them. Last year, WhatsApp became the largest end-to-end encrypted messaging network in history by rolling out anoth
Facebook releases Osquery Security Tool for Windows

Facebook releases Osquery Security Tool for Windows

September 27, 2016Swati Khandelwal
OSquery , an open-source framework created by Facebook that allows organizations to look for potential malware or malicious activity on their networks, was available for Mac OS X and Linux environments until today. But now the social network has announced that the company has developed a Windows version of its osquery tool , too. When Facebook engineers want to monitor thousands of Apple Mac laptops across their organization, they use their own untraditional security tool called OSquery. OSquery is a smart piece of cross-platform software that scans every single computer on an infrastructure and catalogs every aspect of it. Then SQL-based queries allow developers and security teams to monitor low-level functions in real-time and quickly search for malicious behavior and vulnerable applications on their infrastructure. In simple words, OSquery allows an organization to treat its infrastructure as a database, turning OS information into a format that can be queried using SQL
Germany Bans Facebook From Collecting WhatsApp Data

Germany Bans Facebook From Collecting WhatsApp Data

September 27, 2016Mohit Kumar
Just last month, the most popular messaging app WhatsApp updated its privacy policy and T&Cs to start sharing its user data with its parent company, and now both the companies are in trouble, at least in Germany and India. Both Facebook, as well as WhatsApp, have been told to immediately stop collecting and storing data on roughly 35 Million WhatsApp users in Germany. The Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information Johannes Caspar even ordered Facebook on Tuesday to delete all data that has already been forwarded to WhatsApp since August. Also in India, the Delhi High Court on September 23 ordered WhatsApp to delete all users’ data from its servers up until September 25 when the company’s new privacy policy came into effect. When Facebook first acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash in 2014, WhatsApp made a promise that its users’ data would not be shared between both companies. But now apparently this has changed, which, according to Caspa
Hacker reveals How He Could have Hacked Multiple Facebook Accounts

Hacker reveals How He Could have Hacked Multiple Facebook Accounts

August 27, 2016Swati Khandelwal
How to Hack a Facebook Account? That's possibly the most frequently asked question on the Internet today. Though the solution is hard to find, a white hat hacker has just proven how easy it is to hack multiple Facebook accounts with some basic computer skills. Your Facebook account can be hacked, no matter how strong your password is or how much extra security measures you have taken. No joke! Gurkirat Singh from California recently discovered a loophole in Facebook's password reset mechanism that could have given hackers complete access to the victim's Facebook account, allowing them to view message conversations and payment card details, post anything and do whatever the real account holder can. The attack vector is simple, though the execution is quite difficult. The issue, Gurkirat ( @GurkiratSpeca ) says, actually resides in the way Facebook allows you to reset your password. The social network uses an algorithm that generates a random 6-digit passcode ‒
WhatsApp to Share Your Data with Facebook — You have 30 Days to Stop It

WhatsApp to Share Your Data with Facebook — You have 30 Days to Stop It

August 25, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Nothing comes for Free, as "Free" is just a relative term used by companies to develop a strong user base and then use it for their own benefits. The same has been done by the secure messaging app WhatsApp, which has now made it crystal clear that the popular messaging service will begin sharing its users’ data with its parent company, Facebook. However, WhatsApp is offering a partial opt-out for Facebook targeted ads and product related purposes, which I will let you know later in this article, but completely opting out of the data-sharing does not seem to be possible. Let's know what the company has decided to do with your data. Of course, Facebook is willing to use your data to sell more targeted advertisements. WhatsApp introduced some significant changes to its privacy policy and T&Cs today which, if accepted once, gives it permission to connect users' Facebook accounts to WhatsApp accounts for the first time, giving Facebook more data about us
Facebook to Launch Commercial Express Wi-Fi Service In India

Facebook to Launch Commercial Express Wi-Fi Service In India

August 08, 2016Wang Wei
After the failure of Facebook's Free Basics -- an initiative to provide free Internet access -- in India due to the violation of Net Neutrality principles, Facebook has reintroduced its plan to provide Internet access in rural India, but this time: The social networking giant is planning to launch a commercial WiFi service in India. Facebook is testing a WiFi service in rural India, allowing people with no internet connection to buy affordable data packages from their local internet service providers (ISPs) in order to access the Internet via local hotspots. Dubbed Express Wi-Fi , the program is in sync with Mark Zuckerberg's Internet.org -- the platform Facebook used for its Free Basics to bring the Internet to all. India banned Free Basics in the country on net neutrality grounds. Net Neutrality advocates argued that by offering some websites and services for free, people are discouraged from visiting other sites. Now, Facebook has partnered with state-owned
I'm Warning You, Don't Read this Article. It's a Federal Crime!

I'm Warning You, Don't Read this Article. It's a Federal Crime!

July 14, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Yes, you heard it right. If I tell you not to visit my website, but you still visit it knowing you are disapproved, you are committing a federal crime, and I have the authority to sue you. Wait! I haven't disapproved you yet. Rather I'm making you aware of a new court decision that may trouble you and could have big implications going forward. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has taken a critical decision on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA): Companies can seek civil and criminal penalties against people who access or visit their websites without their permission. Even Sharing Password is also a Federal Crime... Yes, a similar weird decision was taken last week when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that sharing passwords can be a violation of the CFAA, making Millions of people who share their passwords "unwitting federal criminals." Now, you might be wondering how visiting a publically open website could be a crime. We
Oculus CEO's Twitter gets Hacked; Hacker declares himself new CEO

Oculus CEO's Twitter gets Hacked; Hacker declares himself new CEO

June 30, 2016Mohit Kumar
Twitter account of another high profile has been hacked! This time, it is Facebook-owned virtual reality company Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe who had his Twitter account hacked Wednesday. Iribe is the latest in the list of technology chief executives to have had their social media accounts hacked in recent weeks. Recently, Google's CEO Sundar Pichai , Twitter's ex-CEO Dick Costolo , and Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg , have all fallen victim to similar hacks. The hacker, who has not been identified yet, changed Iribe's cover photo and replaced his bio to " im not testing ya security im just having a laugh. " The hack became apparent when a tweet from Iribe Twitter account was made saying: "We here @Oculus are very excited to announce our CEO. @Lid ! :)." This tweet was followed by another saying: "Imagine creating the coolest s*** to ever be introduced to gaming and technology but using the same pass for 4 years lol... silly mr CE
Photo reveals even Zuckerberg tapes his Webcam and Microphone for Privacy

Photo reveals even Zuckerberg tapes his Webcam and Microphone for Privacy

June 22, 2016Swati Khandelwal
What do you do to protect your 'Privacy' and keep yourself safe from potential hackers? Well, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg just need a bit of tape to cover his laptop webcam and mic jack in order to protect his privacy. Yes, Zuck also does the same as the FBI Director James Comey . Zuckerberg posted a photo on Tuesday to celebrate Instagram's 500 Million monthly user milestone, but the picture end up revealing about another security measure he takes to ensure that nobody is spying on him – and it's surprisingly simple. Some eagle-eyed observers quickly noticed that the MacBook Pro on Zuckerberg's desk in the background of the image has the tape covering not only the webcam, but also the laptop's dual microphones. While some tried to argue that it was not Zuckerberg's desk, Gizmodo pointed out that Zuckerberg has posted videos, live streams and images from there before, so it seems like a safe assumption. So, Zuckerberg joins FBI director Jam
Facebook CEO Zuckerberg's Twitter, Pinterest accounts Hacked! And the Password was...

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg's Twitter, Pinterest accounts Hacked! And the Password was...

June 06, 2016Mohit Kumar
The man who runs the biggest social network and continuously implements new security measures to boost its billion users security, himself failed to follow basics of Internet security for his own online accounts. Yes, I’m talking about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg , who had his Twitter and Pinterest accounts compromised on Sunday. The hacker group from Saudi Arabia, dubbed OurMine , claimed responsibility for the hack and guess how the group did it? Thanks to the LinkedIn data breach ! The hackers tweeted that they found Zuck's account credentials in the recent LinkedIn data breach, from which they took his SHA1-hashed password string and then broke it and tried on several social media accounts. Also Read: Hacker Removed Zuckerberg's Facebook Cover Photo The group, which has more than 40,000 Twitter followers, then successfully broke into Zuck's Twitter ( @finkd ) and Pinterest profile and defaced its banners with its logo as well as tweeted out some offens
Have you ever suspected that Facebook is listening to your conversations through Microphone?

Have you ever suspected that Facebook is listening to your conversations through Microphone?

June 03, 2016Mohit Kumar
Have you ever felt Facebook is showing you very relevant ads about topics you’re only discussing around your phone? If yes, then you may find this news worth reading. Communications Professor Kelli Burns from the University of South Florida claims that Facebook is listening to all conversations people have while its app is open to serve more relevant ads for products related to what they are talking about. However, the social networking giant responds  it does listen to audio and collect information from users, but does not record or use sounds heard around people for targeted ads. " Facebook does not use microphone audio to inform advertising or News Feed stories in any way ," a Facebook spokesperson said. " Businesses are able to serve relevant ads based on people's interests and other demographic information, but not through audio collection. " Facebook rolled out a feature in May of 2014 when the company said that it might target ads " in t
Facebook Messenger App — Choose either End-to-End Encryption or Artificial Intelligence

Facebook Messenger App — Choose either End-to-End Encryption or Artificial Intelligence

June 03, 2016Mohit Kumar
Facebook is set to introduce end-to-end encryption for its Messenger app , allowing more than its 900 Million users to send and receive messages that can not be read or intercepted by law enforcement or even the social network itself. However, it’s not the kind of end-to-end encrypted chat feature provided by Apple or WhatsApp in which all your conversation are entirely encrypted by default. Instead, the social networking giant will offer an end-to-end encrypted chat mode in Messenger as opt-in, just like Google’s Allo smart chat app that provides encrypted chat feature only if users opt for it. Privacy advocates criticized Google for adding its ' incognito ' encrypted chat mode as an opt-in feature, rather than offering end-to-end encryption by default. Now, Facebook Messenger will roll out the same choice for its users in the next few months, when the company will roll out this new encrypted chat mode in Messenger as an opt-in feature, reports  The Guardian.
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