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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: location track

Google and Apple Plan to Turn Phones into COVID-19 Contact-Tracking Devices

Google and Apple Plan to Turn Phones into COVID-19 Contact-Tracking Devices

April 10, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Tech giants Apple and Google have joined forces to develop an interoperable contact-tracing tool that will help individuals determine if they have come in contact with someone infected with COVID-19. As part of this new initiative, the companies are expected to release an API that public agencies can integrate into their apps. The next iteration will be a built-in system-level platform that uses Bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacons to allow for contact tracing on an opt-in basis. The APIs are expected to be available mid-May for Android and iOS, with the broader contact tracing system set to roll out "in the coming months." "Privacy, transparency, and consent are of utmost importance in this effort, and we look forward to building this functionality in consultation with interested stakeholders," the companies said. The rare collaboration comes as governments worldwide are increasingly turning to technology such as phone tracking and facial recognition to
Google Helps Police Identify Devices Close to Crime Scenes Using Location Data

Google Helps Police Identify Devices Close to Crime Scenes Using Location Data

April 15, 2019Swati Khandelwal
It's no secret that Google tracks you everywhere, even when you keep Google's Location History feature disabled. As revealed by an Associated Press investigation in 2018 , other Google apps like Maps or daily weather update service on Android allows the tech giant to continuously collect your precise latitude and longitude. According to Google, the company uses this location-tracking features with an intent to improve its users' experience, like "personalized maps, recommendations based on places you've visited, help finding your phone, real-time traffic updates about your commute, and more useful ads." Moreover, it's also known that Google could share your location data with federal authorities in criminal investigations when asked with a warrant. Google 'SensorVault' Database Help Police Solve Crimes But what many people weren't aware of is that Google also helps federal authorities identify suspects of crimes by sharing locati
New Attacks Against 4G, 5G Mobile Networks Re-Enable IMSI Catchers

New Attacks Against 4G, 5G Mobile Networks Re-Enable IMSI Catchers

February 25, 2019Mohit Kumar
At NDSS Symposium 2019, a group of university researchers yesterday revealed newly discovered cellular network vulnerabilities that impact both 4G and 5G LTE protocols. According to a paper published by the researchers, " Privacy Attacks to the 4G and 5G Cellular Paging Protocols Using Side Channel Information, " the new attacks could allow remote attackers to bypass security protections implemented in 4G and 5G, re-enabling IMSI catching devices like " Stingrays " to intercept users' phone calls and track their location. Here below, we have described all the three attacks, how they work, what are their impacts, and why you should be concerned about these attacks. ToRPEDO Attack — Location Verification, DoS, Inject Fake Alerts Short for "TRacking via Paging mEssage DistributiOn," TorPEDO is the most concerning attack that leverages paging protocol, allowing remote attackers to verify a victim device's location, inject fabricated paging mess
Google Tracks Android, iPhone Users Even With 'Location History' Turned Off

Google Tracks Android, iPhone Users Even With 'Location History' Turned Off

August 13, 2018Mohit Kumar
Google tracks you everywhere, even if you explicitly tell it not to. Every time a service like Google Maps wants to use your location, Google asks your permission to allow access to your location if you want to use it for navigating, but a new investigation shows that the company does track you anyway. An investigation by Associated Press revealed that many Google services on Android and iPhone devices store records of your location data even when you have paused "Location History" on your mobile devices. Disabling " Location History " in the privacy settings of Google applications should prevent Google from keeping track of your every movement, as its own support page states: "You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored." However, AP found that even with Location History turned off, some Google apps automatically store "time-stamped location data" on users without ask
New 4G LTE Network Attacks Let Hackers Spy, Track, Spoof and Spam

New 4G LTE Network Attacks Let Hackers Spy, Track, Spoof and Spam

March 05, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have discovered a set of severe vulnerabilities in 4G LTE protocol that could be exploited to spy on user phone calls and text messages, send fake emergency alerts, spoof location of the device and even knock devices entirely offline. A new research paper [ PDF ] recently published by researchers at Purdue University and the University of Iowa details 10 new cyber attacks against the 4G LTE wireless data communications technology for mobile devices and data terminals. The attacks exploit design weaknesses in three key protocol procedures of the 4G LTE network known as attach, detach, and paging. Unlike many previous research, these aren't just theoretical attacks. The researchers employed a systematic model-based adversarial testing approach, which they called LTEInspector , and were able to test 8 of the 10 attacks in a real testbed using SIM cards from four large US carriers. Authentication Synchronization Failure Attack Traceability Attack Nu
Heat Map Released by Fitness Tracker Reveals Location of Secret Military Bases

Heat Map Released by Fitness Tracker Reveals Location of Secret Military Bases

January 29, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Every one of us now has at least one internet-connected smart device, which makes this question even more prominent —how much does your smart device know about you? Over the weekend, the popular fitness tracking app Strava proudly published a " 2017 heat map " showing activities from its users around the world, but unfortunately, the map revealed what it shouldn't—locations of the United States military bases worldwide. Strava which markets itself as a "social-networking app for athletes" publicly made available the global heat map, showing the location of all the rides, runs, swims, and downhills taken by its users, as collected by their smartphones and wearable devices like Fitbit. Since Strava has been designed to track users' routes and locations, IUCA analyst Nathan Ruser revealed that the app might have unintentionally mapped out the location of some of the military forces around the world, especially some secret ones from the United States. Wi
Uber Now Tracks Your Location Even After Your Ride

Uber Now Tracks Your Location Even After Your Ride

December 09, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Uber was in controversies at the mid of this year for monitoring the battery life of its users, as the company believed that its users were more likely to pay a much higher price to hire a cab when their phone's battery is close to dying. Uber is now tracking you even when your ride is over, and, according to the ride-hailing company, the surveillance will improve its service. Uber recently updated its app to collect user location data in the background. So, if you have updated your Uber app recently, your app's location tracking permissions have changed, allowing the app to monitor your location before and five minutes after your trip ends, even if you have closed the app. A popup on the Uber app will ask you, "Allow 'Uber' to access our location even when you are not using the app?" You can click " Allow " or " Don't Allow " in response to this request. If you don't allow it, Uber won't track you. According to t
Photos On Dark Web Reveal Geo-locations Of 229 Drug Dealers — Here's How

Photos On Dark Web Reveal Geo-locations Of 229 Drug Dealers — Here's How

September 21, 2016Swati Khandelwal
It's a Fact! No matter how smart the criminals are, they always leave some trace behind. Two Harvard students have unmasked around 229 drug and weapon dealers with the help of pictures taken by criminals and used in advertisements placed on dark web markets. Do you know each image contains a range of additional hidden data stored within it that can be a treasure to the investigators fighting criminals? Yeah it's true — "A picture is worth a thousand words." Digital images come with basic metadata, as well as EXIF data that contains information about the device with which it was taken. EXIF, stands for " Exchangeable Image File Format ," may contain image dimensions, date and time (when it was originally taken and modified), the model of camera and its settings, information about the software used for editing, it's creator and copyright information, as well as GPS co-ordinates of the location where the photo was taken. If a criminal, let's say a
Beware! Advertisers Are Tracking You via Phone's Battery Status

Beware! Advertisers Are Tracking You via Phone's Battery Status

August 02, 2016Mohit Kumar
Is my smartphone battery leaking details about me? Unfortunately, YES! Forget about supercookies, apps, and malware; your smartphone battery status is enough to monitor your online activity, according to a new report. In 2015, researchers from Stanford University demonstrated a way to track users' locations – with up to 90 percent accuracy – by measuring the battery usage of the phone over a certain time. The latest threat is much worse. Two security researchers, Steve Engelhard and Arvind Narayanan, from Princeton University, have published a paper describing how phone's battery status has already been used to track users across different websites. The issue is due to the Battery Status API (application programming interface). How Does Battery Status API Help Advertisers Track You? The battery status API was first introduced in HTML5 and had already shipped in browsers including Firefox, Chrome, and Opera by August last year. The API is intended to allo
Hackers can spy on your calls and track location, using just your phone number

Hackers can spy on your calls and track location, using just your phone number

April 19, 2016Swati Khandelwal
In Brief The famous '60 Minutes' television show shocked some viewers Sunday evening when a team of German hackers demonstrated how they spied on an iPhone used by U.S. Congressman, then recorded his phone calls and tracked his movement through Los Angeles. Hackers leverage a security flaw in SS7 (Signalling System Seven) protocol that allows hackers to track phone locations, listen in on calls and text messages. The global telecom network SS7 is still vulnerable to several security flaws that could let hackers and spy agencies listen to personal phone calls and intercept SMSes on a potentially massive scale, despite the most advanced encryption used by cellular networks. All one need is the target's phone number to track him/her anywhere on the planet and even eavesdrop on the conversations. SS7 or Signalling System Number 7 is a telephony signaling protocol used by more than 800 telecommunication operators around the world to exchange information with one
Facebook Fired An Intern After He Exposes How to Track Users' Location

Facebook Fired An Intern After He Exposes How to Track Users' Location

August 14, 2015Khyati Jain
Previously, we posted about a privacy issue in Facebook messenger ; Aran Khanna , a Harvard University student, discovered ' A Marauder's Map ' that could sense and give the geolocations of your friends on the messenger. Khanna had received an opportunity to work as an intern for Facebook… …But destiny had planned something else for him, as after publicly stating the risk associated with the app; Facebook withdrew his candidature as a summer intern. Why Facebook Fired Him? Khanna himself confessed to be an avid user of the Facebook Messenger app , as it is an integral part of his social life. However, one day, while going through his chat history he found that a location is attached to each message he has sent and received from his device. Also, the location is shared with the ' power of default ' even if you choose to turn the location sharing option off. This made him look for the complete inside story, which brought him to a strange thing while writing the
CO-TRAVELER : NSA’s Cellphone Location Tracking Tool gathering 5 Billion records a day

CO-TRAVELER : NSA's Cellphone Location Tracking Tool gathering 5 Billion records a day

December 05, 2013Swati Khandelwal
Believe it or not, but the National Security Agency (NSA) is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on mobile phone locations around the world. Snowden released documents that show that the NSA is tracking cell phone locations the world over as well as map the relationships of the mobile phone user and of course the purpose of this program is to identify terrorists and their networks overseas.  " Sophisticated mathematical techniques enable NSA analysts to map cell phone owners' relationships by correlating their patterns of movement over time with thousands or millions of other phone users who cross their paths. " The Washington Post wrote. According to the WP, the NSA's tracking tool is known as CO-TRAVELER , that tracks the locations of cell phones abroad as well as domestic cell phones that place calls abroad and capable of tracking cell phones even when they're not being used. ' U.S. Officials said the programs that collect and analyze location data are
Security flaw in 3G could allow anyone to track your smartphone

Security flaw in 3G could allow anyone to track your smartphone

October 09, 2012Mohit Kumar
New privacy threats have been uncovered by security researchers that could allow every device operating on 3G networks to be tracked, according to research from the University of Birmingham with collaboration from the Technical University of Berlin. Researchers said that standard off-the-shelf equipment, such as femtocells, could be used to exploit the flaw, allowing the physical location of devices to be revealed. The 3G standard was designed to protect a user's identity when on a given network. A device's permanent identity, known as International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) is protected on a network by being assigned a temporary identity called a Temporary Mobile Subscriber Identity TMSI. The TMSI is updated regularly while the 3G networks are supposed to make it impossible for someone to track a device even if they are eavesdropping on the radio link. Researchers have discovered that these methods can easily be sidestepped by spoofing an IMSI paging reques
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