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Case Study: The Cookie Privacy Monster in Big Global Retail

Case Study: The Cookie Privacy Monster in Big Global Retail

Jan 16, 2024 Data Security / Privacy Compliance
Explore how an advanced exposure management solution saved a major retail industry client from ending up on the naughty step due to a misconfiguration in its cookie management policy. This wasn't anything malicious, but with modern web environments being so complex, mistakes can happen, and non-compliance fines can be just an oversight away. Download the full case study here . As a child, did you ever get caught with your hand in the cookie jar and earn yourself a telling-off? Well, even if you can still remember being outed as a cookie monster, the punishments for today's thieving beasts are worse. Millions of dollars worse. Cookies are an essential part of modern web analytics. A cookie is a small piece of text data that records website visitor preferences along with their behaviors, and its job is to help personalize their browsing experience. Just as you needed parental consent to access the cookie jar all those years ago, your business now needs to obtain user consent before i
Google Settles $5 Billion Privacy Lawsuit Over Tracking Users in 'Incognito Mode'

Google Settles $5 Billion Privacy Lawsuit Over Tracking Users in 'Incognito Mode'

Jan 02, 2024 Data Privacy / Online Tracking
Google has agreed to settle a lawsuit  filed in June 2020  that alleged that the company misled users by tracking their surfing activity who thought that their internet use remained private when using the "incognito" or "private" mode on web browsers. The  class-action lawsuit  sought at least $5 billion in damages. The settlement terms were not disclosed. The plaintiffs had alleged that Google violated federal wiretap laws and  tracked users' activity  using Google Analytics to collect information when in private mode. They said this allowed the company to collect an "unaccountable trove of information" about users who assumed they had taken adequate steps to protect their privacy online. Google subsequently attempted to get the lawsuit dismissed, pointing out the message it displayed when users turned on Chrome's incognito mode, which  informs users  that their activity might still be visible to websites they visit, employer or school, or their internet service provider. It's
How Nation-State Actors Target Your Business: New Research Exposes Major SaaS Vulnerabilities

How Nation-State Actors Target Your Business: New Research Exposes Major SaaS Vulnerabilities

Feb 15, 2024SaaS Security / Risk Management
With many of the highly publicized 2023 cyber attacks revolving around one or more SaaS applications, SaaS has become a cause for genuine concern in many boardroom discussions. More so than ever, considering that GenAI applications are, in fact, SaaS applications. Wing Security (Wing), a SaaS security company, conducted an analysis of 493 SaaS-using companies in Q4 of 2023.  Their study reveals  how companies use SaaS today, and the wide variety of threats that result from that usage. This unique analysis provides rare and important insights into the breadth and depth of SaaS-related risks, but also provides practical tips to mitigate them and ensure SaaS can be widely used without compromising security posture.  The TL;DR Version Of SaaS Security 2023 brought some now infamous examples of malicious players leveraging or directly targeting SaaS, including the North Korean group UNC4899, 0ktapus ransomware group, and Russian Midnight Blizzard APT, which targeted well-known organizat
The Power of Browser Fingerprinting: Personalized UX, Fraud Detection, and Secure Logins

The Power of Browser Fingerprinting: Personalized UX, Fraud Detection, and Secure Logins

Jun 23, 2023 Web Security / Browser
The case for browser fingerprinting: personalizing user experience, improving fraud detection, and optimizing login security Have you ever heard of browser fingerprinting? You should! It's an online user identification technique that collects information about a visitor's web browser and its configuration preferences to associate individual browsing sessions with a single website visitor.  With browser fingerprinting, many pieces of data can be collected about a user's web browser and device, such as screen resolution, location, language, and operating system. When you stitch these pieces together, they reveal a unique combination of information that forms every user's visitor ID or "digital fingerprint." Websites can use the visitor ID in various ways, including personalizing the user's experience, improving fraud detection, and optimizing login security. This article discusses the case for browser fingerprinting and how to use it safely on your websi
cyber security

Are You Vulnerable to Third-Party Breaches Through Interconnected SaaS Apps?

websiteWing SecuritySaaS Security / Risk Management
Protect against cascading risks by identifying and mitigating app2app and third-party SaaS vulnerabilities.
Apple's Safari Private Browsing Now Automatically Removes Tracking Parameters in URLs

Apple's Safari Private Browsing Now Automatically Removes Tracking Parameters in URLs

Jun 12, 2023 Privacy / Tech News
Apple is introducing major updates to  Safari Private Browsing , offering users better protections against third-party trackers as they browse the web. "Advanced tracking and fingerprinting protections go even further to help prevent websites from using the latest techniques to track or identify a user's device," the iPhone maker  said . "Private Browsing now locks when not in use, allowing a user to keep tabs open even when stepping away from the device." The privacy improvements were previewed at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) last week. They are expected to be rolled out to users as part of iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS Sonoma later this year. Another key change includes Link Tracking Protection in Mail, Messages, and Safari's private mode to automatically remove  tracking parameters  in URLs, which are often used to track information about a click. "Safari has been a somewhat unheralded pioneer of private browsing, a
Apple and Google Join Forces to Stop Unauthorized Location-Tracking Devices

Apple and Google Join Forces to Stop Unauthorized Location-Tracking Devices

May 03, 2023 Privacy / Technology
Apple and Google have  teamed up  to work on a  draft industry-wide specification  that's designed to tackle safety risks and alert users when they are being tracked without their knowledge or permission using devices like AirTags. "The first-of-its-kind specification will allow Bluetooth location-tracking devices to be compatible with unauthorized tracking detection and alerts across Android and iOS platforms," the companies said in a joint statement. While these trackers are primarily designed to keep tabs on personal belongings like keys, wallets, luggage, and other items, such devices have also been abused by bad actors for  criminal or nefarious purposes , including instances of  stalking, harassment, and theft . The goal is to standardize the alerting mechanisms and minimize opportunities for misuse across Bluetooth location-tracking devices from different vendors. To that end, Samsung, Tile, Chipolo, eufy Security, and Pebblebee have all come on board. In doi
Google Bringing Privacy Sandbox to Android to Limit Sharing of User Data

Google Bringing Privacy Sandbox to Android to Limit Sharing of User Data

Feb 17, 2022
Google on Wednesday announced plans to bring its Privacy Sandbox initiatives to Android in a bid to expand its privacy-focused, but also less disruptive, advertising technology beyond the desktop web. To that end, the internet giant said it will work towards building solutions that prevent cross-app tracking à la Apple's App Tracking Transparency ( ATT ) framework, effectively limiting sharing of user data with third-parties as well as eliminating identifiers such as advertising IDs on mobile devices. "The Privacy Sandbox on Android builds on our existing efforts on the web, providing a clear path forward to improve user privacy without putting access to free content and services at risk," Anthony Chavez, vice president of product management for Android security and privacy,  said . Privacy Sandbox , launched in 2019, is Google's umbrella term for a set of technologies that will phase out third-party cookies and curb covert tracking, like  fingerprinting , by redu
Facebook Agrees to Pay $90 Million to Settle Decade-Old Privacy Violation Case

Facebook Agrees to Pay $90 Million to Settle Decade-Old Privacy Violation Case

Feb 16, 2022
Meta Platforms has agreed to pay $90 million to settle a lawsuit over the company's use of cookies to allegedly track Facebook users' internet activity even after they had logged off from the platform. In addition, the social media company will be required to delete all of the data it illegally collected from those users. The development was first reported by  Variety . The decade-old case, filed in 2012, centered around Facebook's use of the proprietary "Like" button to track users as they visited third-party websites – regardless of whether they actually used the button – in violation of the federal wiretapping laws, and then allegedly compiling those browsing histories into profiles for selling the information to advertisers. Based on the terms of the proposed settlement, users who browsed non-Facebook websites that included the "Like" button between April 22, 2010, and September 26, 2011, will be covered. "Reaching a settlement in this cas
New Unpatched Apple Safari Browser Bug Allows Cross-Site User Tracking

New Unpatched Apple Safari Browser Bug Allows Cross-Site User Tracking

Jan 16, 2022
A software bug introduced in Apple Safari 15's implementation of the IndexedDB API could be abused by a malicious website to track users' online activity in the web browser and worse, even reveal their identity. The vulnerability, dubbed  IndexedDB Leaks , was disclosed by fraud protection software company FingerprintJS, which  reported the issue  to the iPhone maker on November 28, 2021. IndexedDB is a low-level JavaScript application programming interface (API) provided by web browsers for managing a  NoSQL database  of structured data objects such as files and blobs. "Like most web storage solutions, IndexedDB follows a same-origin policy," Mozilla  notes in its documentation  of the API. "So while you can access stored data within a domain, you cannot access data across different domains." Same-origin is a  fundamental security mechanism  that ensures that resources retrieved from distinct  origins  — i.e., a  combination  of the scheme (protocol),
Patch Tor Browser Bug to Prevent Tracking of Your Online Activities

Patch Tor Browser Bug to Prevent Tracking of Your Online Activities

Jun 23, 2021
Open-source Tor browser has been updated to version 10.0.18 with fixes for multiple issues, including a privacy-defeating bug that could be used to uniquely fingerprint users across different browsers based on the apps installed on a computer. In addition to  updating  Tor to 0.4.5.9, the browser's Android version has been upgraded to Firefox to version 89.1.1, alongside incorporating patches rolled out by Mozilla for several  security vulnerabilities  addressed in Firefox 89. Chief among the rectified issues is a new fingerprinting attack that came to light last month. Dubbed  scheme flooding , the vulnerability enables a malicious website to leverage information about installed apps on the system to assign users a permanent unique identifier even when they switch browsers, use incognito mode, or a VPN. Put differently, the  weakness  takes advantage of custom URL schemes in apps as an attack vector, allowing a bad actor to track a device's user between different browsers
New Browser Attack Allows Tracking Users Online With JavaScript Disabled

New Browser Attack Allows Tracking Users Online With JavaScript Disabled

Mar 12, 2021
Researchers have discovered a new side-channel that they say can be reliably exploited to leak information from web browsers that could then be leveraged to track users even when JavaScript is completely disabled. "This is a side-channel attack which doesn't require any JavaScript to run," the researchers said. "This means script blockers cannot stop it. The attacks work even if you strip out all of the fun parts of the web browsing experience. This makes it very difficult to prevent without modifying deep parts of the operating system." In avoiding JavaScript, the side-channel attacks are also architecturally agnostic, resulting in microarchitectural website fingerprinting attacks that work across hardware platforms, including Intel Core, AMD Ryzen, Samsung Exynos 2100, and Apple M1 CPUs — making it the first known side-channel attack on the iPhone maker's new ARM-based chipsets. The  findings , which come from a group of academics from the Ben-Gurion U
Bug in Apple's Find My Feature Could've Exposed Users' Location Histories

Bug in Apple's Find My Feature Could've Exposed Users' Location Histories

Mar 05, 2021
Cybersecurity researchers on Thursday disclosed two distinct design and implementation flaws in Apple's crowdsourced Bluetooth location tracking system that can lead to a location correlation attack and unauthorized access to the location history of the past seven days, thereby deanonymizing users. The  findings  are a consequence of an exhaustive review undertaken by the Open Wireless Link (OWL) project, a team of researchers from the Secure Mobile Networking Lab at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, who have historically taken apart Apple's wireless ecosystem with the goal of identifying security and privacy issues. In response to the disclosures on July 2, 2020, Apple is said to have partially addressed the issues, stated the researchers, who used their own data for the study citing privacy implications of the analysis. How Find My Works? Apple devices come with a feature called  Find My  that makes it easy for users to locate other Apple devices, including
Online Trackers Increasingly Switching to Invasive CNAME Cloaking Technique

Online Trackers Increasingly Switching to Invasive CNAME Cloaking Technique

Feb 24, 2021
With browser makers steadily clamping down on third-party tracking, advertising technology companies are increasingly embracing a DNS technique to evade such defenses, thereby posing a threat to web security and privacy. Called  CNAME Cloaking , the practice of blurring the distinction between first-party and third-party cookies not only results in leaking sensitive private information without users' knowledge and consent but also "increases [the] web security threat surface," said a group of researchers Yana Dimova, Gunes Acar, Lukasz Olejnik, Wouter Joosen, and Tom Van Goethem in a new study. "This tracking scheme takes advantage of a CNAME record on a subdomain such that it is same-site to the including web site," the researchers  said  in the paper. "As such, defenses that block third-party cookies are rendered ineffective." The findings are expected to be presented in July at the 21st Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium (PETS 2021). Rise
Firefox 69 Now Blocks 3rd-Party Tracking Cookies and Cryptominers By Default

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

Sep 04, 2019
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
Learn Python Programming – 7 Courses Video Training Bundle

Learn Python Programming – 7 Courses Video Training Bundle

Jan 24, 2019
It's no secret that learning how to code is one of the most important things you can do when it comes to the beginning or furthering practically any career in programming and technology. The only problem a beginner often faces is that there are seemingly countless programming languages to choose from, which makes it exceedingly difficult for aspiring or even seasoned programmers to know which language to learn next. But if you haven't already learned Python, look no further. Python is no doubt one of the most powerful and popular programming languages on the planet, and the Complete Python Programming Bundle will teach you everything you need to know for more than 90% off at just $79. With seven modules led by expert instructors, this bundle walks you through everything from the fundamental aspects of Python to its most advanced tricks and tools. Whether you're just embarking on a career in coding and development, or you are a veteran programmer who wants to add
Apple Blocks Sites From Abusing HSTS Security Standard to Track Users

Apple Blocks Sites From Abusing HSTS Security Standard to Track Users

Mar 20, 2018
If you are unaware, the security standard HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) can be abused as a 'supercookie' to surreptitiously track users of almost every modern web browser online without their knowledge even when they use "private browsing." Apple has now added mitigations to its open-source browser infrastructure WebKit that underpins its Safari web browser to prevent HSTS abuse after discovering that theoretical attacks demonstrated in 2015 were recently deployed in the wild against Safari users. HSTS—HTTP Strict Transport Security—is a great feature that allows websites to automatically redirects user's web traffic to secure page connections over HTTPS if the user accidentally opens an insecure URL and then remembers to route that user to the secure connection always. Since HSTS does not allow websites to store any information/value on users web browser except remembering the redirect information about turning it on/off for future use, using
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