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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: mobile location tracking

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
How to Stop Facebook App From Tracking Your Location In the Background

How to Stop Facebook App From Tracking Your Location In the Background

February 22, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Every app installed on your smartphone with permission to access location service "can" continually collect your real-time location secretly, even in the background when you do not use them. Do you know? — Installing the Facebook app on your Android and iOS smartphones automatically gives the social media company your rightful consent to collect the history of your precise location. If you are not aware, there is a setting called "Location History" in your Facebook app that comes enabled by default, allowing the company to track your every movement even when you are not using the social media app. So, every time you turn ON location service/GPS setting on your smartphone, let's say for using Uber app or Google Maps, Facebook starts tracking your location. Users can manually turn Facebook's Location History option OFF from the app settings to completely prevent Facebook from collecting your location data, even when the app is in use. However, unf
Google Sued Over Misleading Users About Location Tracking Feature

Google Sued Over Misleading Users About Location Tracking Feature

August 21, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Google was in the news last week for a misleading claim that "with Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored," which is not true. Now, the search engine giant is once again in the news after a San Diego man has filed the first lawsuit against Google over this issue. Last week, the Associated Press investigation revealed that the search engine giant tracks movements of millions of iPhone and Android device users, even if they have disabled the "Location History" setting to prevent it. However, it turned out that to fully opt-out of having your location activities stored by Google, you also have to disable the 'Web and App Activity' control as well, about which the company has mentioned deep into its product documentation. In response to the AP investigation, Google defended itself by saying, "there are a number of different ways that Google may use location to improve people's experience," and that "we provide c
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
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