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Tag Archives for " phone "

Privacy, effectiveness among concerns of robocall-blocking apps

If you’re one of many Canadians who’ve considered alternative measures to block robocalls to your smartphone, a consumer agency says you should be aware of the dangers.

Whether or not the apps are effective is another matter, as most services won’t be able to completely block out the calls. Other features that some apps offer, such as answering calls with nonsensical messages, may actually result in a number getting more scam calls than before.

There is also the concern that a blocking app may expose your personal information, especially when it comes to those that require access to your voicemail.

Source: Better Business Bureau says there are better ways to block auto-dialers than using an app | CTV News

Apple delays new anti-tracking privacy feature for phones and tablets

Apple has delayed the introduction of a stricter privacy feature designed to stop apps and websites tracking people online without their consent. The company had previously announced a change that would mean app developers have to ask users for permission to track them for advertising purposes.

The company had previously announced a change that would mean app developers have to ask users for permission to track them for advertising purposes. The measures were due to be implemented in the iOS 14 update to its operating system in the autumn.

Source: Apple delays new anti-tracking privacy feature for phones and tablets

U.S. Government Contractor Embedded Software in Apps to Track Phones

Anomaly Six LLC , a small U.S. company with ties to the U.S. defense and intelligence communities has embedded its software in numerous mobile apps, allowing it to track the movements of hundreds of millions of mobile phones world-wide.

Virginia-based company founded by two U.S. military veterans with a background in intelligence, said in marketing material it is able to draw location data from more than 500 mobile applications, in part through its own software development kit, or SDK, that is embedded directly in some of the apps.

Source: U.S. Government Contractor Embedded Software in Apps to Track Phones – WSJ

iPhone spyware lets police log suspects’ passcodes when cracking doesn’t work

A tool, previously unknown to the public, doesn’t have to crack the code that people use to unlock their phones. It just has to log the code as the user types it in.

The spyware has been available for about a year but this is the first time details of its existence have been reported, in part because of the non-disclosure agreements police departments sign when they buy a device from Grayshift known as GrayKey.

Source: iPhone spyware lets police log suspects’ passcodes when cracking doesn’t work

Geofence warrants: How police can use protesters’ phones against them

Rather than seeking warrants for a person backed up with probable cause, police have begun relying on geofence warrants that sweep up information on any device that happened to be in the vicinity of a crime.

Using these wide-ranging data requests, police often get information from companies like Google, collecting data on people who were in the area and almost all of whom are innocent. Police have used the tactic for serious cases like murder investigations, as well as nonviolent property crimes like burglaries.

Source: Geofence warrants: How police can use protesters’ phones against them – CNET

Warrant needed to search locked phones, US court rules

Thanks to the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution and all the case law built upon it, police generally need a warrant to search your phone—and that includes just looking at the lock screen, a judge has ruled.

Generally, courts have held that law enforcement can compel you to use your body, such as your fingerprint (or your face), to unlock a phone but that they cannot compel you to share knowledge, such as a PIN. In this recent case, however, the FBI did not unlock the phone. Instead, they only looked at the phone’s lock screen for evidence.

Basically, the court ruled, the FBI pushing the button on the phone to activate the lock screen qualified as a search, regardless of the lock screen’s nature.

Source: Just turning your phone on qualifies as searching it, court rules | Ars Technica

WhatsApp Phone Numbers Pop Up in Google Search Results — But is it a Bug?

A researcher found that phone numbers tied to WhatsApp accounts are indexed publicly on Google Search creating what he claims is a “privacy issue” for users.

But WhatsApp owner Facebook says it is no big deal and that the search results only reveal what the users have chosen to make public anyway. Click to Chat offers websites an easy way to initiate a WhatsApp chat session with website visitors. It works by associating a Quick Response (QR) code image (created via third-party services) to a site owner’s WhatsApp mobile phone number.

The problem, Jayaram said, is that those mobile numbers can also turn up in Google Search results, because search engines index Click to Chat metadata. The phone numbers are revealed as part of a URL string (https://wa.me/<phone_number>) and so, this in effect “leaks” the mobile phone numbers of WhatsApp users in plaintext, according to the researcher’s view.

Source: WhatsApp Phone Numbers Pop Up in Google Search Results — But is it a Bug? | Threatpost

Apple iPhone mail app vulnerable to hacking

Apple’s built-in iPhone email app has a major security flaw, according to new research, allowing hackers to exploit an iPhone without victims knowing or even clicking on anything.

The discovery raises new questions about whether iPhones are safe to use, especially for people who may be targets of deep-pocketed hackers.

Source: Apple iPhone mail app vulnerable to hacking, new research says – The Washington Post

Trump signs TRACED Act

This week President Trump signed the first federal law designed to combat robocalls , giving federal agencies new abilities to go after illegal robocallers.

The Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED) imposes harsher fines of as much as $10,000 per call on robocallers who knowingly violate the rules.

Source: #Privacy: Trump signs TRACED Act

Chinese researchers reveal method to bypass biometric fingerprint scanners in smartphones

Chinese security researchers from X-Lab security at Tencent challenged fingerprint security in a presentation at the GeekPwn 2019 conference in Shanghai, writes Forbes. The team claims it can hack into almost any Android or iOS device in just about 20 minutes by using what appears to be a fairly simple fingerprint hacking method.

Without giving too many details about the actual technical approach to the audience, researchers used a smartphone to take a photo of fingerprints left on a glass and ran the photo through an app they developed. They were then able to gain access into three different phones equipped with different scanning technologies, one each with capacitive, optical, and ultrasonic sensors.

Source: Chinese researchers reveal method to bypass biometric fingerprint scanners in smartphones | Biometric Update

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