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Nokia And Qualcomm 5G Trials Moving In The Right Direction

February 16, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Nokia and Qualcomm have completed interoperability testing in the 3.5Ghz and 28Ghz spectrum compliant with the global 3GPP 5G NR Release 15 standard using the commercially available Nokia AirScale base station and device prototypes from Qualcomm Technologies.

Focusing on the commercialization of 5G technology, with New Radio as its foundation, Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies testing at Nokia’s 5G center of excellence in Oulu, Finland, will provide the basis for 5G NR field trials with operators in 2018.

Nokia, Qualcomm Technologies and operators* including BT/EE, Deutsche Telekom, Elisa, KT, LGU+, NTT DOCOMO, Optus, SKT, Telia and Vodafone Group are already committed to working together in verifying and trialing 5G NR technology. This will be based on the successful interoperability tests of the flexible 5G NR interface from Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies which will support a wide array of 5G services and various deployment scenarios.

In line with Qualcomm Technologies and Nokia’s announcement in September 2017 to collaborate on 5G NR and with the success of these recent tests, Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies continue working closely in driving the industry, leading to wide-scale 5G deployments in 2019 based on 3GPP standard-compliant 5G infrastructure and devices. This will enable timely commercial network launches in 2019, in particular in the United States, China, Japan, Korea and Europe.

Marc Rouanne, president of mobile networks, Nokia said: “These tests by Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies are important to the progress of 5G. Importantly, they demonstrate how we have quickly applied the 3GPP Release 15 specifications that were set in December and using our AirScale base station – which has been shipped to more than 100 customers – together with a prototype Qualcomm Technologies UE. Now, we can look forward to commencing standards-based, over-the-air 5G NR trials with operators.”

Cristiano Amon, president, Qualcomm Incorporated, said, “The successful completion of an end-to-end interoperable connection based on the global 5G NR standard is a significant step on the path to launching 5G NR commercial networks and devices starting in 2019. We look forward to furthering collaboration on standard-compliant field trials with Nokia and global operators on the path to commercialisation.”

Courtesy-Fud

Verizon Is Re-tooling It’s Unlocked Phones Policy

February 13, 2018 by  
Filed under Mobile

Verizon is strengthening it’s security protocols to protect its phones.

The nation’s largest wireless carrier announced that it would begin locking the phones it sells to consumers, which will prevent them from using a SIM card from another carrier. Initially, the phones will be unlocked as soon as a customer signs up and activates the service. But later in the spring, the company will begin the practice of keeping the phone locked for a period of time after the purchase — in line with the rest of the industry.

Verizon said it is doing this to deter criminals from stealing phones, often on route to retail stores or from the stores themselves. Unlocked phones make attractive targets because they can be resold on the black market or used overseas with different carriers. That’s particularly the case for iPhones, which are a top target for thieves because of their high resale value.

“We’re taking steps to combat this theft and reduce fraud,” Tami Erwin, executive vice president of wireless operations for Verizon, said in a statement. “These steps will make our phones exponentially less desirable to criminals.”

For consumers, there’s little immediate impact because the phone gets unlocked immediately through a software update. But the policy change in the spring could be a hassle for customers who buy a new phone and then go overseas. One way of saving on international roaming fees is to buy a SIM card from a local carrier. If you have a locked phone, you’ll need to contact Verizon to unlock the device before switching out your SIM card — assuming the carrier will make the exception.

The policy change underscores how the issue of phone theft remains prevalent despite the CTIA wireless trade group, the carriers and phone makers banding together to add antitheft tools to phones in 2015. A study conducted by fraud and theft data provider Recipero in 2016 found that 5 percent of devices offered for sale or trade-in at retail were reported lost or stolen, while 4 percent of warranty claims were made on lost or stolen phones.

Verizon wouldn’t say how long the locked period would be, adding only that it would provide an update ahead of when it rolls out the policy. It also declined to provide a specific timeline. The wait period is in place to deter scammers from signing up for service using stolen identities to get a new phone and immediately turning around and selling the device.

The move may elicit a backlash from people concerned that this isn’t a consumer-friendly action. But Verizon’s policy to sell entirely unlocked phones — which it has done ever since it began selling 4G LTE devices — was the most generous in the industry. That’s largely because of a deal with the Federal Communications Commission requiring it to unlock phones as part of its acquisition of a block of 700 megahertz spectrum, which it uses to power its LTE network.

AT&T requires you to pay off your phone and be active on your service for at least 60 days. Even then, there’s a 14-day wait after you make your request. Sprint also requires that you have paid off your phone and wait 50 days, although the phone is automatically unlocked. T-Mobile has the same paid device requirement and a 40-day wait period, but will offer to temporarily unlock the device sooner for travel.

Even after the change, Verizon will continue to unlock the phone regardless of whether it’s paid off or not. The company will also still accept unlocked phones from other carriers.

Facebook Illegally Collecting Personal Data, Says German Court

February 13, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

A German consumer rights group revealed that a court had found Facebook’s use of personal data to be illegal because the U.S. social media platform did not adequately secure the informed consent of its users.

The verdict, from a Berlin regional court, comes as Big Tech faces increasing scrutiny in Germany over its handling of sensitive personal data that enables it to micro-target online advertising.

The Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzvb) said that Facebook’s default settings and some of its terms of service were in breach of consumer law and that the court had found parts of the consent to data usage to be invalid.

“Facebook hides default settings that are not privacy-friendly in its privacy center and does not provide sufficient information about it when users register,” said Heiko Duenkel, litigation policy officer at the vzvb.

“This does not meet the requirement for informed consent.” The vzvb posted a copy of the ruling on its website. A court spokesperson confirmed that a judgment had been handed down but declined further comment.

Facebook said it would appeal, even though several aspects of the court judgment had been in its favor. In a statement, it said it had already made significant changes to its terms of service and data protection guidelines since the case was first brought in 2015.

“We are working hard to ensure that our guidelines are clear and easy to understand and that the services offered by Facebook are in full accordance with the law,” Facebook said.

Further, Facebook would in the meantime update its data protection guidelines and its terms of service so that they comply with new European Union-wide rules that are due to enter force in June.

Facebook, which counts more than 2 billion users worldwide, already faces scrutiny from Germany’s competition authorities over its handling of its users’ personal data.

Microsoft Office 2019 May Only Work On Windows 10

February 13, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Software king of the world Microsoft has decided that its nice new shiny Office 2019 will not run on versions of Windows before Windows 10.

In a support article for service and support of Windows and Office, Microsoft has revealed you’ll need to upgrade to Windows 10 if you want the latest version of Office without subscribing to the company’s Office 365 service.

It’s a move that’s clearly designed to push businesses that are holding off on Office 365 into subscriptions, as the standalone Office 2019 software will only be supported on Windows 10 and not Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 machines.

Microsoft is also altering the support lifecycle for Office 2019, so it will receive five years of mainstream support and then “approximately two years of extended support”.

Courtesy-Fud

nVidia AI Base Mercedes Benz In Development

February 13, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Mercedes has unveiled its new A-Class at the event in Amsterdam last night, which is the first Mercedes car to feature the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system powered by Nvidia.

While the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class is quite an impressive hatchback which will enter series production this spring, it is also the first car with the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system as a standard feature.

Powered by an Nvidia chip, the MBUX is described as a system that combines natural language processing, “silky-smooth” 3D graphics and an augmented reality boosted navigation system, bringing both better intuitive interactive and safety. The MBUX system will be available in three display versions, two 7-inch, 7-inch, and 10.25-inch or two 10.25-inch displays.

Although it looks like two tablets stitched together and placed where the dashboard should go, Nvidia claims that the chip will have more than enough computational capabilities to even support new and future applications. As it is updateable over-the-air and as speech and AI applications evolve, MBUX has the potential to offer much more.

Ola Källenius, board member for group research and Mercedes-Benz car development said that the company’s mission was to take the user experience to a new level and by choosing the best technology available for AI they created a learning system that will better anticipate your preference the longer you use it.

The MBUX also has speech recognition and indirect commands, it will not only understand simple phrases like “raise temperature” but also much more complex ones like the “I’m cold. Make it warmer in here.”

“Natural language with AI will be the preferred method of interacting with the car,” said Georges Massing, Daimler AG’s director of user interaction. “That’s because speech is the easiest — and safest — way to interact.”

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class will be the first car to get the MBUX but similar versions will also be available across its entire vehicle lineup in future.

Courtesy-Fud

Facebook Testing ‘Downvote’ Button

February 12, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

It’s probably the easiest ways to express your opinion: like or dislike.

Yet for a more than a decade, Facebook only offered the happier option, the thumbs-up. That’s about to change.

The social networking giant is testing a new feature that lets some people register a negative reaction to comments with a button called “downvote.”

The goal, Facebook said, is to allow people to weigh in on comments people leave on public pages, like those for President Donald Trump. When selected, the button offers reporting options like “offensive,” “misleading” and “off topic.”

“We are not testing a dislike button,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “We are exploring a feature for people to give us feedback about comments on public page posts.”

Facebook is currently only testing this feature in the US, with a small number of people using its app on Android-powered phones.

The move marks yet another way Facebook is hoping to spur more interaction on its site, and keep its users happy. Offering easy ways for people to mark comments as “offensive” and “misleading” may help quell users’ concerns about harassment, as well as the impact of Russian propagandists who used the site to spread misleading information during the 2016 election.

Facebook’s efforts also answer people’s long-running response to the company’s mascot, the thumbs-up “like” button, which was rolled out in 2009. While the “like” feature allows users to express their approval over a post or a photo, some people complained it was too limiting.

“Not every moment is a good moment,” said Facebook’s co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a Q&A session in 2015. He said he realizes people may not want to “like” a current event such as the Syrian refugee crisis or a family member passing away. But at the time, he didn’t want users to merely vote up or down on people’s posts.

The answer was a set of emojis, which the company released in 2016. The reactions expanded options to a laughing face, an angry face, a “wow,” a sad face and a heart. “It’s surprisingly complicated to make an interaction that’s that simple,” Zuckerberg said when announcing the initiative.

Unlike the “like” button or “reactions,” the downvote button isn’t about giving feedback to commenters but rather to Facebook. The intention is to give users a way to flag inappropriate, uncivil or misleading comments, Facebook said.

It doesn’t affect a comment’s ranking, and users won’t even see how many people downvoted a comment.

Facebook said there are currently no plans to expand the feature.

Uber Agrees To $245M Settlement With Google’s Waymo

February 12, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Uber Technologies Inc will shell out $245 million worth of its own shares to Alphabet Inc’s Waymo self-driving vehicle unit to end a legal dispute over trade secrets, allowing Uber’s chief executive to move past one of the company’s most bruising public controversies.

The settlement announcement on Friday brought an abrupt halt to the captivating case just before the fifth day of testimony was to begin at a jury trial in federal court in San Francisco.

In a lawsuit filed last year, Waymo said that one of its former engineers who became chief of Uber’s self-driving car project took with him thousands of confidential documents.

The lawsuit cost Uber precious time in its self-driving car ambition, which is a key to its long-term profitability. Uber fired its self-driving chief after Waymo sued, and it is well behind on its plans to deploy fleets of autonomous cars in one of the most lucrative races in Silicon Valley.

The settlement allows Uber’s chief executive officer, Dara Khosrowshahi, to put another scandal behind the company and move ahead with development of self-driving technology, following the tumultuous leadership by former CEO Travis Kalanick, who testified at the trial on Tuesday and Wednesday.

As part of the deal, Waymo gets a 0.34 percent stake in Uber, worth about $245 million based on Uber’s current $72 billion valuation, a Waymo representative said. The settlement includes an agreement to ensure that Waymo confidential information is not being incorporated into Uber technology, which Waymo has said was its main goal in bringing the lawsuit.

In settlement talks last year, Waymo had sought at least $1 billion from Uber, and wanted an independent monitor to ensure that Uber would not use Waymo technology in the future, Reuters reported. Waymo also asked for an apology. Uber rejected those terms as non-starters.

Waymo had agreed earlier this week to a settlement proposal valued at $500 million, and Khosrowshahi brought the proposal to the Uber board of directors, offering his support.

But Uber’s board rejected those terms on Tuesday, two sources familiar with the discussions said, sending Khosrowshahi and chief legal officer Tony West back to renegotiate.

In the interim, the famously pugnacious Kalanick testified in court, maintaining a calm demeanor as he answered questions about Uber’s soured relationship with Alphabet and his admiration for Anthony Levandowski, the self-driving-car engineer whose actions led to the lawsuit.

After four days of testimony, Waymo had presented little public evidence that Uber used Waymo’s trade secrets.

By late Thursday, Waymo agreed to the $245 million deal, one of the sources said.

In a statement on Friday, Khosrowshahi expressed “regret” for Uber’s actions.

“While we do not believe that any trade secrets made their way from Waymo to Uber, nor do we believe that Uber has used any of Waymo’s proprietary information in its self-driving technology, we are taking steps with Waymo to ensure our Lidar and software represents just our good work,” Khosrowshahi said in a statement.

Microsoft Offering OneDrive For Business For Free

February 8, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Microsoft is stepping up plans to win over customers from its cloud content storage rivals, offering free usage of OneDrive for Business platform in a new promotion. 

Under the deal announced Tuesday, current customers of Box, Dropbox or Google can switch to OneDrive and use the service for free for the remainder of their existing contracts. The offer is valid until June 30 and is available for organizations that are not currently OneDrive for Business or Office365 customers. Those making the switch must also commit to moving a minimum of 500 users to the platform.

“We want new customers to be able to experience OneDrive without incremental costs above and beyond what they are paying for today,” said Seth Patton, OneDrive general manager of product marketing at Microsoft.

Forrester principal analyst Cheryl McKinnon said the cloud content platform market is “rapidly consolidating” into a handful of large providers, and the Microsoft move could entice customers already on the fence about switching or driven primarily by cost concerns.

But McKinnon argued that customers need to “look beyond just discounts and bold offers” to ensure they’re investing in the content and collaboration services that best help employees and allow for easy sharing and collaboration when needed.

Patton said many organizations are keen to consolidate the number of vendors they rely on for content storage and collaboration. “They are interested in looking at OneDrive for Business but they have existing contracts that they are paying for which they can’t get out of,” he said. “We are reducing that cost and making it easier for new customers to move over.”

To that end, Microsoft provides FastTrack support services to help customers migrate onto OneDrive and Office365.

However, even with support from Microsoft, migrating from one cloud provider to another is no small feat. The offer may appeal to organizations that use cloud platforms for simple file storage or sharing internally, but it will not necessarily work for those that have applications more deeply embedded with their processes.

“Customers who are using these cloud platforms for more strategic content applications…may be less likely to leap within this window, and face rebuilding or reworking key apps or business processes,” McKinnon said.

Alongside the offer, Microsoft noted that 350,000 organizations now use OneDrive for Business, including both Office 365 and standalone customers. OneDrive is a standard part of the cloud application suite.

Among the customers to make the switch to OneDrive for Business are Accenture, Lowe’s, DBS Bank and Land O’Lakes.  Meanwhile, monthly active usage rates doubled during 2017, and the volume of OneDrive for Business storage more than tripled.

Patton also pointed to recent additions and improvements to OneDrive for Business. This includes   Files on Demand file sync service, File Restore and new search capabilities thanks to integration with Microsoft Graph.

McKinnon said the Office 365 suite is rich in what it offers, with only Google offering a near-comparable set of capabilities. “However, there is still some confusion among customers when trying to figure out how the O365 pieces can best complement each other.”

For example, OneDrive for Business is positioned as a personal file storage workspace, facilitating file or folder sharing with internal or external participants, yet SharePoint Online is pushed by Microsoft as the team or company-wide content repository for documents and related metadata.

“Box, Dropbox Business and Google have a clearer story when it comes to personal, team or enterprise content workspaces,” McKinnon said.

She added that the latest OneDrive for Business offer “adds fuel to the fire” in what is a hugely competitive cloud content management and collaboration market. “There has been tremendous innovation in this market over the last five years, with vendors traditionally known for ‘enterprise file sync and share (EFSS)’ capabilities moving into broader collaboration and cloud-native content repository services.”

Google Brings Nest Thermostat Unit Into The Fold

February 8, 2018 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

 Alphabet Inc has combined smart thermostat maker Nest, which had operated as an independent unit, into its Google hardware group, the company announced in a blog post.

The move unifies Google’s growing hardware team, which designs smartphones, laptops and speakers, with Nest, which sells video doorbells, security cameras and thermostats that automatically adjust settings based on user behavior.

Rick Osterloh, who leads Google’s hardware efforts, and Nest Chief Executive Marwan Fawaz, said in the blog post that they hoped integration of their teams would “supercharge Nest’s mission” to make homes safer, friendlier to the environment and more affordable.

Google acquired Nest for $3.2 billion in 2014. Nest operated on its own as part of the establishment in 2015 of holding company Alphabet, which also explored selling the firm in 2016, Reuters reported.

Alphabet has not taken impairment charges in the last three years on its acquisitions.

Nest device sales represented a big chunk of revenue for Alphabet’s “Other Bets” division, which brought in $1.2 billion last year. Other Bets now is left with revenue-generating units such as Access, which sells Internet services, and Verily, which licenses medical technology.

Google spokeswoman Lily Lin said “significant role reductions” are not expected at Nest because the businesses are not being combined “to gain efficiencies.”

 Nest and Google also will stay at their separate offices “for the foreseeable future,” she said.

The companies had already begun to collaborate on hardware development, with Google last year testing acoustics and its speakers at a Nest facility.

Bitcoin Slide Continues, Falls Below $7000

February 6, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Digital currency bitcoin BTC=BTSP dropped more than 15 percent on Monday to a nearly three-month low amid a slew of concerns ranging from a global regulatory clampdown to a ban on using credit cards to buy bitcoin by British and U.S. banks.

On the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, Bitcoin fell as low as $6,853.53 in early afternoon trading in New York. That marked a fall of more than half from a peak of almost $20,000 hit in December.

Bitcoin has fallen in six of the last eight trading session.

The currency, which surged more than 1,300 percent last year, has lost about half its value so far in 2018, as more governments and banks signal their intention for a regulatory crackdown. Last week bitcoin suffered its worst weekly performance since 2013.

“We envisage this decline will continue, setting the next technical level at $5,000 a coin,” said Miles Eakers, chief market analyst at Centtrip, which specializes in foreign exchange, worldwide payments and treasury management.

Other cryptocurrencies also suffered double-digit declines on Monday, according to industry tracker Coinmarketcap.com.

Ethereum, the second largest virtual currency, was last down nearly 19 percent at $703.40, while Ripple, the third largest, last traded at 71 cents, down 14.1 percent.

British bank Lloyds Banking Group said on Sunday it was banning customers from using credit cards to buy bitcoin. It joined U.S. banking giants JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup, which announced similar bans on concerns the lenders could be held liable when the volatile currencies plunge in value.

On Monday, India said it was planning steps to make virtual currencies illegal within its payments system and to regulate the trading of crypto assets.

“Cryptocurrencies have seriously fallen out of favor since the middle of December, and constant negative news flow and speculation of increased regulation has exacerbated the move lower,” Craig Erlam, an analyst at currency broker Oanda, said.

The cryptocurrency sector has also attracted the spotlight after news of hacks and scams, including the roughly 58 billion yen ($532.9 million) stolen in digital money from Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck two weeks ago.

Reddit Finally Goes Two-Factor

February 6, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Reddit is finally getting two-factor authentication (2FA) to keep user accounts better locked down.

Reddit has been testing the use of 2FA for some time, but now it looks to be finally ready to push it out to all.

“You asked for it, and we’re delivering! Today, all Reddit users have the option to enable two-factor authentication for an additional layer of account security,” said the company in a Reddit post, naturally.

“We have been slowly rolling this feature out, starting with beta testers, moderators, and third-party app developers, to ensure a positive experience across devices. Your feedback has been incredibly valuable, from pointing out bugs to recommending features. Thank you to everyone involved in testing.”

“Two-factor adds more security to your Reddit account by requiring a second step to sign in. In this case, if you opt into 2FA, you’ll access a six-digit verification code generated by your phone after a new sign-in attempt. With two-factor enabled, even if someone else obtained your Reddit username and password, they still could not log in as you.”

If users lose their phone or the Reddit app has a case of the tech hiccups, Reddit will supply each user with 10 one-off codes to allow them to authenticate their accounts securely.

So that’s all good news for paranoid Reddit users who want to make sure any of the noise they spout on the site does indeed come from them and not someone else masquerading as an angry poser peeved at… well… pretty much everything under the sun.

While 2FA is enabled on desktop, mobile and third-party versions of Reddit, it needs to be turned on by users by accessing the ‘password/email’ tab in the desktop version.

One might wonder why 2FA isn’t switched-on automatically, especially for new Reddit users. But the reason for having it as an option could simply be for user ease-of-use in the same way two-factor authentication isn’t enabled by default in Google’s Gmail.

2FA isn’t the be all and end all of cybersecurity but it at least throws another hurdle in the way of have-a-go hackers.

Courtesy-Fud

Cybercriminals Increasingly Focusing On Crytocurrencies

February 2, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Bitcoin’s burgeoning popularity and the emergence of about 1,500 other digital coins or tokens have drawn more hackers into the red-hot cryptocurrency space, expanding opportunities for crime and fraud, cybersecurity firm Digital Shadows warned in a report on Thursday.

“Cybercriminals follow the money and right now they see in the unregulated and largely unsecure world of digital currencies a huge opportunity to target people, businesses and exchanges and make money quickly and easily,” said Rick Holland, vice president of strategy at Digital Shadows.

Digital currencies have quickly grown into a more mainstream asset class over the last two years as corporations and financial institutions have expanded use of the underlying blockchain technology.

With weekly launches of new alternative coins, or “altcoins,” cybercriminals have developed several schemes to defraud cryptocurrency holders. “Crypto jacking”, account takeovers, mining fraud, and scams against initial coin offerings (ICOs) have all grown more common, the report said.

In crypto jacking, cybercriminals secretly take over another computer user’s browser and use it to fraudulently mine or create cryptocurrencies, according to Digital Shadows’ report. Miners use special software to solve math problems and are issued a certain number of bitcoins or cryptocurrenices in exchange.

Crypto Jacker software allows users to clone popular websites and initiate spam campaigns.

The cybersecurity company said criminals also perpetrate mining fraud using botnets, collections of internet-connected devices, which may include PCs, servers, and mobile devices that are infected and controlled by a common type of malware. Users are often unaware a botnet has infected their system.

Botnets were first used to mine bitcoin in 2014. The process was too complex to be financially viable, but botnets have made a comeback because newer cryptocurrencies like Monero are easier to “mine”, Digital Shadows said.

The company said botnets could be rented for $40. It said one such offering had “flown off the shelves” with almost 2,000 rentals so far.

 Cybercriminals have also been drawn to the surging initial coin offering market, the report said. ICOs have raised roughly $5 billion for various startups and projects in 2017, according to data from Crunchbase. That is up exponentially from just $100 million in 2016.

Rather than selling scam tokens, criminals target legitimate currencies, either by stealing funds from ICOs or by manipulating prices through the type of “pump and dump” schemes often used with penny stocks and other less-liquid assets, the report said.

Is Sega’s Sonic Game Leaking User Information On Android Devices

February 2, 2018 by  
Filed under Gaming

Sega has said it’s ‘investigating’ claims that its Sonic games for Android are leaking user data to dodgy servers.

Security firm Pradeo Lab said last week that it a trio of Sonic games – Sonic Dash, which has been downloaded between 100 to 500 million times, and Sonic the Hedgehog Classic and Sonic Dash 2: Sonic Boom, both of which have been installed between 10 to 50 million times – have been leaking users’ geolocation and device data.

Pradeo’s research shows that the three Android apps “geolocate users and relay their position,” “leak device data,” and “send data to an average of 11 distant servers.”

While the majority of these have a legitimate tracking and marketing purpose, three of the servers are uncertified, and two are linked to a variant of ‘Android/Inmobi.D’, which Symantec claims is an unwanted advertisement library that comes bundled with certain Android applications. 

In addition to geolocation data, the three Sonic apps are also said to be leaking mobile network information such as service provider name and network type, and device information including manufacturer, battery level, the maximum level of battery, and operating system version number.

As if that wasn’t bad enough considering the app shave been downloaded from Google Play up to 550 million times, Pradeo warns that the three apps contain 15 Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) flaws. 

“Among the vulnerabilities detected in the analyzed Sega apps, we identified two critical ones that make them highly vulnerable to Man-In-The-Middle attacks (X.509TrustManager and PotentiallyByPassSslConnection),” Pradeo said.

Related: Kaspersky uncovers ‘world’s most powerful Android spyware tool’

“The other OWASP vulnerabilities detected can result in denial of service, sensitive data leakage and clearly show encryption weaknesses.”

In a statement given to ZDNet, Sega has said it’s looking into the vulnerabilities and will take “prompt corrective action”.

“Sega works diligently to address any technical issues that could compromise customer data,” a spokesperson for the company said.

“If any third-party partners are collecting, transmitting, or using data in a manner that is not permitted by our agreement with the third party or Sega’s mobile privacy policy, prompt corrective action will be taken.”

Courtesy-GI.biz

Will Apple Drop The iPhone X In The Summer

January 31, 2018 by  
Filed under Mobile

It appears that Apple is starting to doubt that its policy of charging its users double for a product which was pretty much the same as an earlier model has proved to be a disaster and it is set to walk away from the iPhone X.

That is the news from the analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who normally has a good feel for the doings of Apple. He recently issued a new investor note claiming that Apple’s 2018 lineup will feature two brand new versions of the iPhone.

One model is said to feature a 6.5-inch OLED display while the second will reportedly boast a 6.1-inch LCD display. Naturally, both devices will feature edge to edge displays and will use Face ID for user authentication as opposed to Touch ID.

However, he warned that Apple might opt to discontinue the current iPhone X entirely if sales remain underwhelming. In fact, he is pretty sure that the iPhone X will be ‘end of life’ in the summer of 2018, instead of being retained as a lower-cost option in the following year.

If Kuo’s projection pans out, this will represent a marked shift in Apple’s iPhone sales strategy. Going back nearly a decade, Apple has always positioned older iPhone models around as a wallet-friendly alternative for users who weren’t keen on paying a premium for Apple’s flagship. This means that the 6.1-inch iPhone with an edgeless LCD will become the more affordable version of the current iPhone X. However, it looks like this will not be the case.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will stick around for at least another generation too.

Courtesy-Fud

‘Jackpotting’ ATM Cash Theft Hits America

January 30, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

ATM makers are sounding the alarm that a scheme in which cyberthieves force machines to spit out cash like a winning slot machine has arrived in the United States.

It’s not the first time we’ve heard of hackers making ATMs spew out cash like a casino slot machine. We actually saw so-called “jackpotting” demonstrated last summer at the Black Hat security conference and it’s reportedly been a real threat for banks in Europe and Asia for a couple years now.

But a Saturday report from security expert Brian Krebs marks the stateside arrival of the crime, in which thieves install malicious software and/or hardware at ATMs that forces the release of the cash. Up until now, such attacks “have somehow eluded US ATM operators,” Krebs said.

“But all that changed this week after the U.S. Secret Service quietly began warning financial institutions that jackpotting attacks have now been spotted targeting cash machines here in the United States,” Krebs wrote.

On his website, Krebs on Security, he reported that the US Secret Service has warned financial institutions about the attacks in the past few days and notes that ATM maker NCR sent an alert about the threat to its customers.

Reuters later confirmed alerts were sent out to customers of both NCR and ATM maker Diebold Nixdorf, noting that neither company identified any victims or how much money has been lost. Both companies confirmed to CNET that those alerts went out offering customers guidance on how to protect their machines. The Diebold alert sent to its customers on Friday notes that the attacks were first reported in Mexico and target one of its out-of-production models.

The Secret Service notice, according to Krebs, said hackers have targeted stand-alone ATMs “routinely located in pharmacies, big-box retailers, and drive-thru ATMs.”

The Department of Justice didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about the Secret Service’s warnings.

 

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