Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Somebody is probably spying on you

"You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it." 
~ Scott McNealy, CEO, Sun Microsystems

Are Facebook Messenger and Other Apps Listening to You Through Your Phone? Here's How to Turn the Microphone Off

As it turns out, if you have the Facebook Messenger app on your phone, the mic on your phone is set to "On" by default. Even creepier is this admission by Facebook given to The Independent: Facebook says that its app does listen to what's happening around it, but only as a way of seeing what people are listening to or watching and suggesting that they post about it. Professor Burns…says that to test the feature, she discussed certain topics around the phone and then found that the site appeared to show relevant ads. Facebook denies that it does this and says the professor has recanted his story.

A Hacker Turned an Amazon Echo Into a Wiretap

An Amazon Echo as a potential spy sitting in plain sight. With just a few minutes of hands-on time, a hacker could turn an Echo into a personal eavesdropping microphone without leaving any physical trace. The technique requires gaining physical access to the target Echo, and it works only on devices sold before 2017. But there's no software fix for older units, Barnes warns, and the attack can be performed without leaving any sign of hardware intrusion.

It is easy to expose users' secret web habits, say researchers

Two German researchers say they have exposed the porn-browsing habits of a judge, a cyber-crime investigation and the drug preferences of a politician. The pair obtained huge amounts of information about the browsing habits of three million German citizens from companies that gather "clickstreams." These are detailed records of everywhere that people go online. The researchers argue such data - which some firms scoop up and use to target ads - should be protected. The data is supposed to be anonymised, but analysis showed it could easily be tied to individuals.

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