Show us your metadata

Large-scale data sets of human behavior have the potential to fundamentally transform the way we fight diseases, design cities, or perform research. Metadata, however, contain sensitive information. Understanding the privacy of these data sets is key to their broad use and, ultimately, their impact. We study 3 months of credit card records for 1.1 million

It’s Just Laziness

We hear people complain that it’s too difficult to keep their computers secure. Or perhaps they are just to lazy. We are living in a “now” world where everything has to happen straight away. We don’t have time to read an email AND verify its authenticity. Hackers gain access to computers and networks by exploiting the weaknesses in

App Permissions

The biggest risk to you is your smartphone. Some of the most popular apps on your smartphone ask for permissions that expose data to outside sources. We asked people on the street to read some of these permissions out loud so we could capture their reactions. Some of these requests are necessary for the app

SSD Data Wiping

In many cases, used SSDs simply aren’t as fast as newer ones, though they’re all faster than the latest hard drives. The biggest issue stems from an inconvenient characteristic of NAND flash memory: Previously written cells must be erased before they can be rewritten with new data. If the SSD is forced to reuse cells

‘BADASS’ Spied on Smartphones

British and Canadian spy agencies accumulated sensitive data on smartphone users, including location, app preferences, and unique device identifiers, by piggybacking on ubiquitous software from advertising and analytics companies, according to a document obtained by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The document outlines a secret program run by the intelligence agencies called BADASS. The German newsweekly did

Malware report

The AV-Test reported that they found 143 Million new malware samples in 2014 and 12 million new variants per month. Independent IT security institute AV-Test regularly publishes a great statistic about the number of malware strains. Their new report reveals there are now a whopping 12 million new variants per month. The AV-TEST Institute registers

i2P Anonymous Network

I first posted a story about the i2P Anonymous Network two weeks ago. It is gathering interest. But as usual, tread carefully. I2P has the potential to act as an anonymizing service for a great range of applications. But it has not had its architecture tested in the way that Tor has, and characterising it as

MegaChat

Kim Doctom’s file-sharing site Mega has launched the public beta of its video and audio chat service MegaChat. The browser-based app features end-to-end encryption on calls, which Dotcom says gives the service a clear advantage over competitors such as Skype and Google Hangouts. While it’s true that the Snowden leaks suggested that the NSA essentially has free

Snowden SLAMS iPhone

Word out of Russia is that whistle blower Edward Snowden refuses to use an Apple iPhone over fears that the handsets are built to remotely track and transmit data about users. The famed engineer-turned-leaker’s attorney apparently told Russian state media that Snowden believes the Apple handset contains remote management and tracking tools that could be

Cottonmouth

Just over a year ago, Jacob Appelbaum and Der Spiegel revealed pages from “wish book” for spies that listed technology that could be used to exploit the computer and network hardware of targets for espionage. One of those tools was a USB cable with embedded hardware called Cottonmouth-I—a cable that can turn the computer’s USB

What’s your password?

Jimmy Kimmel’s producers went around the streets of LA under the guise of assessing people’s password security, which they were able to do by getting them to reveal their super secret passwords directly into the microphone. We don’t know their email address or anything, so it’s not the worst thing in the world. But still,

Privacy Mode and Super Cookies

For years, Chrome, Firefox, and virtually all other browsers have offered a setting that doesn’t save or refer to website cookies, browsing history, or temporary files. Privacy-conscious people rely on it to help cloak their identities and prevent websites from tracking their previous steps. Now, a software consultant has devised a simple way websites can

Hackers for Hire

A man in Sweden says he will pay up to $2,000 to anyone who can break into his landlord’s website. A woman in California says she will pay $500 for someone to hack into her boyfriend’s Facebook and Gmail accounts to see if he is cheating on her. A new website, called Hacker’s List, seeks

Land of the free

I am probably not the only Aussie who has a little giggle every time we hear that phrase. The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has admitted that for years it kept a secret log of phone calls made by American citizens calling overseas. Much like the secret NSA and FBI databases, the DEA got its

Your connected car data

US technology companies and advertisers have been seeking access to the data generated by sensors in so-called “connected cars”, a senior figure at German car manufacturer BMW has said. Data such as that which outlines how long a car engine has been running, matched with location data, could allow advertisers to promote outlets such as