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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Privacy

Zoom Caught in Cybersecurity Debate — Here's Everything You Need To Know

Zoom Caught in Cybersecurity Debate — Here's Everything You Need To Know

April 06, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Over the past few weeks, the use of Zoom video conferencing software has exploded ever since it emerged the platform of choice to host everything from cabinet meetings to yoga classes amidst the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and work from home became the new normal. The app has skyrocketed to 200 million daily users from an average of 10 million in December — along with a 535 percent increase in daily traffic to its download page in the last month — but it's also seen a massive uptick in Zoom's problems, all of which stem from sloppy design practices and security implementations. Zoom may never have designed its product beyond enterprise chat initially, but with the app now being used in a myriad number of ways and by regular consumers, the company's full scope of gaffes have come into sharp focus — something it was able to avoid all this time. But if this public scrutiny can make it a more secure product, it can only be a good thing in the long run. A Laundry
Marriott Suffers Second Breach Exposing Data of 5.2 Million Hotel Guests

Marriott Suffers Second Breach Exposing Data of 5.2 Million Hotel Guests

March 31, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
International hotel chain Marriott today disclosed a data breach impacting nearly 5.2 million hotel guests, making it the second security incident to hit the company in recent years. "At the end of February 2020, we identified that an unexpected amount of guest information may have been accessed using the login credentials of two employees at a franchise property," Marriott said in a statement . "We believe this activity started in mid-January 2020. Upon discovery, we confirmed that the login credentials were disabled, immediately began an investigation, implemented heightened monitoring, and arranged resources to inform and assist guests." The incident exposed guests' personal information such as contact details (name, mailing address, email address, and phone number), loyalty account information (account number and points balance), and additional information such as company, gender, dates of births, room preferences, and language preferences. The ho
500 Chrome Extensions Caught Stealing Private Data of 1.7 Million Users

500 Chrome Extensions Caught Stealing Private Data of 1.7 Million Users

February 14, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Google removed 500 malicious Chrome extensions from its Web Store after they found to inject malicious ads and siphon off user browsing data to servers under the control of attackers. These extensions were part of a malvertising and ad-fraud campaign that's been operating at least since January 2019, although evidence points out the possibility that the actor behind the scheme may have been active since 2017. The findings come as part of a joint investigation by security researcher Jamila Kaya and Cisco-owned Duo Security, which unearthed 70 Chrome Extensions with over 1.7 million installations. Upon sharing the discovery privately with Google, the company went on to identify 430 more problematic browser extensions, all of which have since been deactivated. "The prominence of malvertising as an attack vector will continue to rise as long as tracking-based advertising remains ubiquitous, and particularly if users remain underserved by protection mechanisms," sa
Zoom Bug Could Have Let Uninvited People Join Private Meetings

Zoom Bug Could Have Let Uninvited People Join Private Meetings

January 28, 2020Swati Khandelwal
If you use Zoom to host your remote online meetings, you need to read this piece carefully. The massively popular video conferencing software has patched a security loophole that could have allowed anyone to remotely eavesdrop on unprotected active meetings, potentially exposing private audio, video, and documents shared throughout the session. Besides hosting password-protected virtual meetings and webinars, Zoom also allows users to set up a session for non-pre-registered participants who can join an active meeting by entering a unique Meeting ID, without requiring a password or going through the Waiting Rooms. Zoom generates this random meeting ID, comprised of 9, 10, and 11-digit numbers, for each meeting you schedule or create. If leaked beyond an individual or intended group of people, merely knowing Meeting IDs could allow unwelcome guests joining meetings or webinars. This could be bad news for anyone expecting their conversations to be private. To circumvent suc
Xiaomi Cameras Connected to Google Nest Expose Video Feeds From Others

Xiaomi Cameras Connected to Google Nest Expose Video Feeds From Others

January 03, 2020Wang Wei
Internet-connected devices have been one of the most remarkable developments that have happened to humankind in the last decade. Although this development is a good thing, it also stipulates a high security and privacy risk to personal information. In one such recent privacy mishap, smart IP cameras manufactured by Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi found mistakenly sharing surveillance footage of Xiaomi users with other random users without any permission. The issue appears to affect Xiaomi IP cameras only when streamed through connected Google's Nest Hub, which came into light when a Reddit user claimed that his Google Nest Hub is apparently pulling random feeds from other users instead of his own Xiaomi Mijia cameras. The Reddit user also shared some photos showing other people's homes, an older adult sleeping on a chair, and a baby sleeping in its crib that appeared on his Nest Hub screen. It appears the issue doesn't reside in Google products; instead, it c
Avast and AVG Browser Extensions Spying On Chrome and Firefox Users

Avast and AVG Browser Extensions Spying On Chrome and Firefox Users

December 03, 2019Mohit Kumar
If your Firefox or Chrome browser has any of the below-listed four extensions offered by Avast and its subsidiary AVG installed, you should disable or remove them as soon as possible. Avast Online Security AVG Online Security Avast SafePrice AVG SafePrice Why? Because these four widely installed browser extensions have been caught collecting a lot more data on its millions of users than they are intended to, including your detailed browsing history. Most of you might not even remember downloading and installing these extensions on your web browser, and that's likely because when users install Avast or AVG antivirus on their PCs, the software automatically installs their respective add-ons on the users' browsers. Both online security extensions have been designed to warn users when they visit a malicious or phishing website; whereas, SafePrice extensions help online shoppers learn about best offers, price comparisons, travel deals, and discount coupons from variou
Malicious Android SDKs Caught Accessing Facebook and Twitter Users Data

Malicious Android SDKs Caught Accessing Facebook and Twitter Users Data

November 26, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Two third-party software development kits integrated by over hundreds of thousands of Android apps have been caught holding unauthorized access to users' data associated with their connected social media accounts. In a blog post published yesterday, Twitter revealed that an SDK developed by OneAudience contains a privacy-violating component which may have passed some of its users' personal data to the OneAudience servers. Following Twitter's disclosure, Facebook today released a statement revealing that an SDK from another company, Mobiburn , is also under investigation for a similar malicious activity that might have exposed its users connected with certain Android apps to data collection firms. Both OneAudience and Mobiburn are data monetization services that pay developers to integrate their SDKs into the apps, which then collect users' behavioral data and then use it with advertisers for targeted marketing. In general, third-party software development k
T-Mobile Suffers Data Breach Affecting Prepaid Wireless Customers

T-Mobile Suffers Data Breach Affecting Prepaid Wireless Customers

November 21, 2019Mohit Kumar
Are you a T-Mobile prepaid customer? If yes, you should immediately create or update your associated account PIN/passcode as additional protection. The US-based telecom giant T-Mobile today disclosed a yet another data breach incident that recently exposed potentially personal information of some of the customers using its prepaid services. What happened? In a statement posted on its website, T-Mobile said its cybersecurity team discovered a "malicious, unauthorized access" to information associated with an undisclosed number of its prepaid wireless account customers. However, the company did not disclose precisely how the breach happened, when it happened, and how the attackers unauthorizedly managed to access the private information of the company's prepaid customers. What type of information was accessed? The stolen data associated with customers' prepaid wireless accounts include their: names, phone numbers, billing addresses (if customers provided
NordVPN Breach FAQ – What Happened and What's At Stake?

NordVPN Breach FAQ – What Happened and What's At Stake?

October 22, 2019Swati Khandelwal
NordVPN, one of the most popular and widely used VPN services out there, yesterday disclosed details of a security incident that apparently compromised one of its thousands of servers based in Finland. Earlier this week, a security researcher on Twitter disclosed that "NordVPN was compromised at some point," alleging that unknown attackers stole private encryption keys used to protect VPN users traffic routed through the compromised server. In response to this, NordVPN published a blog post detailing about the security incident, and here we have summarized the whole incident for our readers to let you quickly understand what exactly happened, what's at stake, and what you should do next. Some of the information mentioned below also contains information The Hacker News obtained via an email interview with NordVPN. What has been compromised? — NordVPN has thousands of servers across the world hosted with third-party data centers. One such server hosted with a
You Gave Your Phone Number to Twitter for Security and Twitter Used it for Ads

You Gave Your Phone Number to Twitter for Security and Twitter Used it for Ads

October 09, 2019Swati Khandelwal
After exposing private tweets , plaintext passwords , and personal information for hundreds of thousands of its users, here is a new security blunder social networking company Twitter admitted today. Twitter announced that the phone numbers and email addresses of some users provided for two-factor authentication (2FA) protection had been used for targeted advertising purposes—though the company said it was 'unintentional.' In a blog post, the company said an 'error' in its 'Tailored Audiences and Partner Audiences advertising system' inadvertently used the information provided by users for security reasons to run targeted ads based on the advertisers' own marketing lists. "When an advertiser uploaded their marketing list, we may have matched people on Twitter to their list based on the email or phone number the Twitter account holder provided for safety and security purposes. This was an error and we apologize," Twitter said in a blog po
Thousands of Google Calendars Possibly Leaking Private Information Online

Thousands of Google Calendars Possibly Leaking Private Information Online

September 17, 2019Mohit Kumar
"Warning — Making your calendar public will make all events visible to the world, including via Google search. Are you sure?" Remember this security warning? No? If you have ever shared your Google Calendars, or maybe inadvertently, with someone that should not be publicly accessible anymore, you should immediately go back to your Google settings and check if you're exposing all your events and business activities on the Internet accessible to anyone. At the time of writing, there are over 8000 publicly accessible Google Calendars, searchable using Google engine itself, that allow anyone to not only access sensitive details saved to them but also add new events with maliciously crafted information or links, security researcher Avinash Jain told The Hacker News. Avinash Jain , a security researcher from India working in an e-commerce company, Grofers, who previously found vulnerabilities in other platforms like NASA, Google, Jira, and Yahoo. "I was able
WhatsApp 'Delete for Everyone' Doesn't Delete Media Files Sent to iPhone Users

WhatsApp 'Delete for Everyone' Doesn't Delete Media Files Sent to iPhone Users

September 16, 2019Mohit Kumar
Mistakenly sent a picture to someone via WhatsApp that you shouldn't have? Well, we've all been there, but what's more unfortunate is that the 'Delete for Everyone' feature WhatsApp introduced two years ago contains an unpatched privacy bug, leaving its users with false sense of privacy. WhatsApp and its rival Telegram messenger offer "Delete for Everyone," a potentially life-saving feature on which millions of people today rely to escape the awkwardness of mistakenly sending messages / pictures / videos to the wrong person. As the name indicates, the ' Delete for Everyone ' feature is intended to unsend mistakenly sent inappropriate messages—including text, photos and videos—from the recipient's phone, or from the phones of all members of a group. In the case of WhatsApp, the feature is only available within 1 hour, 8 minutes, and 16 seconds of sending a message you want to delete, which is fine and a fair use case. However, it tur
Popular Period Tracking Apps Share Your Sexual Health Data With Facebook

Popular Period Tracking Apps Share Your Sexual Health Data With Facebook

September 12, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Hello Ladies, let's talk about periods, privacy, and Facebook. Are you using an app on your smartphone to keep tracks on your periods? Well, it's worrying, because it might be sharing your extremely sensitive information like menstrual cycle and sexual activities with Facebook. A new investigative report from UK-based advocacy group Privacy International revealed how some most popular period tracker apps used by millions of women share their most private health information—including monthly period cycles, contraception use, sexual life, symptoms, like swelling and cramps, and more—directly with Facebook. These period-tracking apps, listed below, transfer your data to Facebook the moment you open them, regardless of the fact that you have a Facebook account or not, and whether you are logged into the social network platform or not. Period-tracking apps are used by women to keep tracks on their monthly period cycles, but mostly they are being used by those who want t
Google to Experiment 'DNS over HTTPS' (DoH) Feature in Chrome 78

Google to Experiment 'DNS over HTTPS' (DoH) Feature in Chrome 78

September 11, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Immediately after Mozilla announced its plan to soon enable ' DNS over HTTPS ' (DoH) by default for Firefox users in the United States, Google today says it is planning an experiment with the privacy-focused technology in its upcoming Chrome 78. Under development since 2017, ' DNS over HTTPS ' performs DNS lookups—finding the server IP address of a certain domain name—over an encrypted HTTPS connection to a DNS server, rather than sending DNS queries in plaintext. The protocol that sends DNS queries over secure HTTPS connections has specifically been designed to prevent miscreants from interfering with domain name lookups, eventually stopping network observers, including your ISPs and attackers, from figuring out what sites you visit. Though the privacy-focused technology is also helpful in preventing attackers from redirecting unsuspecting visitors to phishing and malware sites, DNS over HTTPS could also bring its own new challenges to the enterprise security so
Mozilla Launches 'Firefox Private Network' VPN Service as a Browser Extension

Mozilla Launches 'Firefox Private Network' VPN Service as a Browser Extension

September 11, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Mozilla has officially launched a new privacy-focused VPN service, called Firefox Private Network , as a browser extension that aims to encrypt your online activity and limit what websites and advertisers know about you. Firefox Private Network service is currently in beta and available only to desktop users in the United States as part of Mozilla's recently expunged "Firefox Test Pilot" program that lets users try out new experimental features before they were officially released. The Firefox Test Pilot program was first launched by the company three years ago but was shut down in January this year. The company now decided to bring the program back but with some changes. "The difference with the newly relaunched Test Pilot program is that these products and services may be outside the Firefox browser, and will be far more polished, and just one step shy of general public release," said Marissa Wood, vice president of product at Mozilla. Firefox
Firefox 69 Now Blocks 3rd-Party Tracking Cookies and Cryptominers By Default

Firefox 69 Now Blocks 3rd-Party Tracking Cookies and Cryptominers By Default

September 04, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Mozilla has finally enabled the "Enhanced Tracking Protection" feature for all of its web browser users worldwide by default with the official launch of Firefox 69 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The company enabled the " Enhanced Tracking Protection " setting by default for its browser in June this year, but only for new users who downloaded and installed a fresh copy of Firefox. Remaining users were left with options to either enable the feature manually or wait for the company to activate it for all users. Now, the wait is over. With Firefox 69, Enhanced Tracking Protection will automatically be turned on by default for all users as part of the "Standard" setting in the Firefox browser, blocking known "third-party tracking cookies" and web-based cryptocurrency mining scripts. Firefox 69 By Default Blocks Known Third-Party Tracking Cookies Cookies are created by a web browser when a user loads a specific website, which helps
Chinese Face-Swapping App ZAO Sparks Privacy Concerns After Going Crazily Viral

Chinese Face-Swapping App ZAO Sparks Privacy Concerns After Going Crazily Viral

September 03, 2019Swati Khandelwal
What could be more exciting than seeing yourself starring alongside your favorite actor in a movie, music video, or TV program? Yes, that's possible—well, kind of, by using a new AI-based deepfake app that has gone viral in China over this weekend, climbing to the top of the free apps list in the Chinese iOS App Store in just three days. Dubbed ZAO , the app is yet another deepfake app for iPhone that lets you superimpose your face onto actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, Kit Harrington from "Game of Thrones," and many others in video clips from their popular movies and TV shows with just a selfie uploaded by you. Developed by Chinese developer MoMo, one of China's most popular dating apps, ZAO was released on Friday (August 30) and rapidly got downloaded millions of times with users being excited about the experience for the app's realistic face-swapping videos that last for as little as 8 seconds. ZAO Deepfake Face Swap App Sparks Privacy Outcry Howeve
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