Privacy & Rights News - Page 1
Amazon has just done something very, very naughty that might get them scrubbed off Santa's nice list -- the everything giant has just leaked out every single home address of its Ring surveillance camera customers.
In a new investigation by Gizmodo, it revealed that thousands of Amazon Ring camera customers have had their home addresses leaked. The exact location of their house has been displayed, with Gizmodo (and myself, and I'm sure anyone that reads this story) completely blown away. Gizmodo says its discovery casts "new doubt on the effectiveness of the company's privacy safeguards".
Gizmodo continued, adding that its discovery "further offers one of the most "striking" and "disturbing" glimpses yet, privacy experts said, of Amazon's privately run, omni-surveillance shroud that's enveloping U.S. cities".
In another 'Only in Japan' post -- you can stay overnight in the Asahi Ryokan hotel for just $1 per night, but there's a big catch -- you'll need to livestream your stay 24/7.
Asahi Ryokan owner Tetsuya Inoue made the changes not long after taking on the business after his grandmother founded it, and tried to improve it for the new economy of 2019 and beyond. Asahi Ryokan is now offering guests rooms for just $1 per night if they agree to allowing their stay overnight (or longer) to be livestreamed.
There are rules and at least some privacy, with Asahi Ryokan not placing cameras in the bathroom, guests can turn the lights in the room on or off, and most importantly the livestream is video-only, so there's no audio to listen to that gives a thin layer of privacy. Inoue began running the hotel starting in 2018, explaining: "This is a very old ryokan and I was looking into a new business model. Our hotel is on the cheaper side, so we need some added value, something special that everyone will talk about".
If you watch porn Down Under, you might need to scan your face to get your rocks off in the future... with Australia's Department of Home Affairs seemingly aroused over the idea of scanning your face to verify your age before you can access porn or gambling websites.
The new system is called "The Capability" and feels like it's ripped right out of Fringe, The X-Files and 1984 combined -- and even though the Department of Home Affairs said the facial recognition system is not functional, it is still floating the idea to Parliament in Australia that would change things in a big way for Australians porn and gambling habits.
The department said that its Document Verification Service and Face Verification Service which is used to fight regular crime and identify theft, could be enabled and used by authorities for age verification. The parliamentary submission explains: "This could assist in age verification, for example by preventing a minor from using their parent's driver licence to circumvent age verification controls".
NordVPN has confirmed that it was hacked, after rumors began swirling that the virtual private network provider had an expired internal private key exposed. This means that the ones with that key could impersonate NordVPN, and you know how bad that could get.
While NordVPN says it has a "zero logs policy" by stating that the VPN provider doesn't "track, collect, or share your private data"... I'd dare say this is all in teh air right now. TechCrunch reached out to NordVPN, which spokesperson Laura Tyrell then explained: "One of the data centers in Finland we are renting our servers from was accessed with no authorization".
The hackers got into the NordVPN server by taking advantage of an insecure remote management system that was left open by the data center provider, NordVPN said that it was not aware of this system. NordVPN also didn't name the datacenter provider, for obvious reasons.
Google is in some hot water right now, with 50 state attorneys general (had to Google that, it is indeed attorneys general and not attorney generals) launching a new antitrust probe into Google.
The leader of the 50 strong AGs is Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who has said the investigation will kick off looking into Google's advertising business, before it looks deeper into how the company operates itself. On the steps of the Supreme Court, Paxton said: "The facts will lead where the fact lead".
What happens from here? Well, the antitrust probe isn't a lawsuit just yet -- but if the company has broken US antitrust rules then Google could be broken up into smaller pieces. For example, YouTube has long been accused of censoring conservative voices, personalities, channels, and normal everyday people -- yet they can't be held accountable, yet.
We know that Google has political bias (it's not a hidden thing, it's just hiding in plain sight) something that Project Veritas broke open less than a month ago now.
Facebook has been paying contractors to listen to users audio clips and transcribe them, according to anonymous sources who spoke with The Associated Press.
The sources state that the social networking giant has hired outside contractors to go over the audio clips, with every single word (good and bad, secret and explicit conversations) being transcribed. Worse yet, the contractors do not know why Facebook needs the voice clips transcribed.
But don't worry, because Facebook confirmed it had been transcribing users' audio calls but it wouldn't do it anymore. On Tuesday, Facebook said: "Much like Apple and Google, we paused human review of audio more than a week ago". Pegging them into the first week of August 2019 where they stopped transcribing voice chats.
Further reading: Mark Zuckerberg has tape covering his microphone and webcam on his laptop, all the way back in June 2016.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to US Senator Gary Peters back in April 2018 during his Congressional testimony over privacy concerns, where he said: "You're talking about this conspiracy theory that gets passed around that we listen to what's going on on your microphone and use that for ads. We don't do that".
NCIX is in some big effing trouble with a story breaking over the weekend that someone had access to their old servers that went for auction and were purchased, after the Canadian retailer went bankrupt in 2017.
The servers that were previously owned by NCIX somehow ended up on Craigslist, with Travis Doering from Privacy Fly access the servers and pretending to be someone called "Jeff" for privacy (fly) reasons. Doering was after the data on the NCIX server, making is clear he was after the contents of the HDD alone and not the juicy server hardware. Doering met with the seller multiple times, confirming that they were ex-NCIX servers and that they indeed had NXIC user and business data on it.
The used servers were sold because NCIX reportedly didn't pay their warehouse storage bills in late-2017 with over $115,000 owed, where the servers were given to the warehouse owner to sell to recoup costs. Yeah well, the NCIX servers weren't wiped and millions of customers private detailed were exposed, as well as business customers who used to buy many millions worth of goods.
Doering said that Jeff, the guy selling the NCIX servers on Craigslist, had access to "300 desktop computers from NCIX's corporate offices and retails stores, 18 DELL Poweredge servers, as well as at least two Supermicro server's running StarWind iSCSI Software that NCIX had used to back up their hard disks". Jeff also gave Doering access to even more storage, with "109 hard drives which had been removed from servers before auction and one large pallet of 400-500 used hard drives from various manufacturers".
What Is Bitdefender BOX?
This is a hard one to explain because people think that most security is done either on your PC (with software) or on your router (hardware protection). But, this is where Bitdefender steps in with their hardware offering in the Bitdefender BOX 2, the successor to the original BOX device.
The new BOX is the same hardware security appliance that the original one was, which works with your modem or router, but it can also function as the router if you don't already have one.
BOX can protect your various devices that are running Windows, Mac OS or Android... but it can also protect iOS devices, Kindle-based devices, smart TVs, consoles, smart thermostats, and any other internet-connected device. It's not just a simple solution, it's an all-round security solution.
BOX 1 + BOX 2: What Are The Differences?
There are some rather large hardware-based changes between the BOX 1 and BOX 2, with the original BOX packing a single-core CPU at 400MHz, 64MB DDR2, 16MB flash, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and 100Mbps of throughput.
BOX 2 is beast in comparison, increasing the CPU up to a dual-core chip at 1.2GHz (300% faster, double the cores). RAM goes up to 1GB, flash memory up to 4GB, 802.11ac MiMo Wi-Fi, and 1Gbps of throughput. BOX 2 is a serious upgrade from BOX 1, with specifications magnitudes better than its predecessor.
Amazon have their evil tentacles in as many places as you can imagine, including a huge $10 billion deal with The Pentagon, so the news of a 1984-style facial recognition technology system shouldn't surprise you, at all.
The new surveillance system is reportedly called "Rekognition", with Amazon having a huge library of "tens of millions of faces" that will see it track up to 100 individuals in a given image, and then analyze their identity. Don't worry about your privacy as this is all for security and your personal safety.
Don't think that Amazon's super-secret Rekognition system is just a pipe dream, it is already deployed in some US cities. Washington County Sheriff's Office is already using Rekognition to reduce the time suspect identification takes, down from multiple days to a few minutes.
Intel is set to go through another battle with security holes in its CPUs with a revised version of Spectre found, with 8 new Spectre-like issues discovered.
Spectre Next Generation, or Spectre NG is what it's called, with Intel recently being notified of the security holes. 4 of them were rated high, while the remaining 4 were medium severity. The technical details behind Spectre NG haven't been announced, but we know that they will be similar or worse than the original Spectre, which was bad enough.
Intel is reportedly working on getting Spectre Next Generation problems fixed, with Microsoft and others working on OS level adjustments. There will reportedly be two new waves of updates, with the first coming soon and another reportedly in August, but these dates could vary depending on how bad Spectre NG really is.