Software

Apple Complies with Russian Government, Restricts Telegram

Apple Complies with Russian Government, Restricts Telegram

Telegram CEO Pavel Durov wrote this week that Apple had been preventing Telegram from updating on iOS, possibly to appease the Russian government after it had blocked the encrypted messaging app in the country. It is said that Apple had been pressured by Russia’s telecommunications regulator, Roskomnadzor, who asked the US phone giant to immediately drop Telegram from its app store. Google was reportedly asked to do the same. Durov said that Apple’s move prevented it from fully complying with the EU’s GDPR, but Russia only comprises 7% of its user base and assured the company will continue to find […]

Artist Programs Google Home to Remotely Fire a Gun

Artist Programs Google Home to Remotely Fire a Gun

An artist named Alexander Reben set up this week a contraption that allowed him to remotely fire a toy gun at an apple using Google Home. Reben said that he used a WiFi connected outlet and a change-dispensing solenoid to fire the gun by commanding Google Assistant. Reben clarified that the provocative, proof-of-concept project was not necessarily aimed at Google, but rather he only wanted to raise a conversation that focuses on the possibilities and consequences of weaponizing AI.    Source: CNBC

Microsoft CEO Reveals Research on Brain Implants

Microsoft CEO Reveals Research on Brain Implants

Microsoft this week revealed that it has been doing research on augmenting human intelligence via brain implants. CEO Satya Nadella said that the technology may eventually help people with various disabilities. Nadella also mentioned last Thursday at the company’s 8th Ability Summit an app called Seeing AI which can help blind people understand what is in front of them. He also said that Microsoft researchers are working on technology to assist people with lock-in syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that allows those afflicted to communicate only via eye movement. Facebook is reportedly also exploring technology that will connect brains to […]

Google Fixes reCaptcha Bypass Flaw

Google Fixes reCaptcha Bypass Flaw

Google said that it had patched this week a security bug in reCaptcha which could have been exploited by attackers to bypass the anti-spam system. Google’s reCaptcha is a Turing test-based that uses puzzles or logica cases to screen out bots. However, it is not foolproof and may also trust website visitors using cookies. Security researcher Andres Riancho identified the flaw which he submitted to Google. Riancho said that Google merely said that reCaptcha was working as intended the first time he reported the bug, but eventually confirmed it and awarded him $500. Source: ZDNet

Microsoft to Kill Off Passwords in Windows 10

Microsoft to Kill Off Passwords in Windows 10

Karanbir Singh, principal program manager for enterprise and security at Microsoft, said in a recent blog post that the software giant is looking to do away with passwords since users find them to be inconvenient, insecure, and expensive. Singh additionally revealed that the software giant is looking at multi-factor authentication and biometrics to replace passwords. He said that their Hello biometric log-in is now being used by over 47 million users and over 5000 businesses on a million or more devices. Singh also said that they are working on an authentication method that would allow users to log on to […]

Google to Sue “RoboCall” Scammers

Google to Sue “RoboCall” Scammers

Google said this week that it will be taking legal action against several marketing firms in the US that used the company’s name for their search engine optimization scams. These companies had reportedly been using robocalls to warn small businesses that their listing on Google Search and Maps will be taken down unless they return the call immediately. The scheme is used to coerce these businesses to sign up for the scammer’s SEO services. In a blogspot post, a Google representative said that the company will be suing Kydia Inc. d/b/a BeyondMenu, Point Break Media, LLC (and affiliated entities), and […]

Mobile Payments Still Far From Replacing Cash in Southeast Asia

Mobile Payments Still Far From Replacing Cash in Southeast Asia

According to recent data by research firm IDC, mobile payments are still facing an uphill battle against cash in the Southeast Asian region where more than 70% of the 600 million-plus people do not use banks. IDC found that 44% of total e-commerce transactions last year was still made in hard currency. Some obstacles to the adoption of mobile payment is low monthly income, which is around $200 on the average in Vietnam and Indonesia, the lack of a dominant player in the space, slow and spotty internet connectivity, and the impression of customers that such kind of payment method […]

Google Drops “Secure” HTTPS Indicator

Google Drops “Secure” HTTPS Indicator

Google announced last Thursday that it will stop marking https pages as secure, pointing out that users should expect the web to be safe by default. The change, which will be rolled out in Chrome 69 in September, will include the removal of the green padlock and “secure” wording from the address bar. Additionally, it was revealed that http pages will be marked as “not secure” starting around October with Chrome 70. Google reasoned that the usage of http before was too high which is why they did not mark it with a strong red warning. Source: ZDNet

Dutch Government Ends Use of Kaspersky Antivirus

Dutch Government Ends Use of Kaspersky Antivirus

It was revealed in a letter by Justice Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus to the Dutch parliament this week that the government of Netherlands will no longer be using antivirus software made by Kaspersky Labs. Grapperhaus said that the decision was due to concerns of Russia’s offensive cyber programme that may include Netherlands and Dutch interests. However, Grapperhaus clarified that the Dutch Cabinet’s independent review of the matter yielded no concrete cases of misuse known in the Netherlands, and the government would consider revising its decision if it finds enough justification to do so. Source: Reuters

UK Privacy Watchdog Slams Police Facial Recognition Tools for Flaws

UK Privacy Watchdog Slams Police Facial Recognition Tools for Flaws

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said this week that UK police have to address concerns regarding their facial recognition systems which have been found to be “staggeringly inaccurate” Denham said the issue had become a “priority” for her office upon learning the results of an investigation of Big Brother Watch which revealed that the technology had incorrectly flagged 102 people as suspects and thousands of false alarms. The authorities however, defended their use of the system, saying that safeguards are in place and the system does improve over time. Source: BBC