Yes, we say this every time, but it has been a really, really long time since we’ve done one of these.
Nonetheless, it’s never too late to jump back in, especially considering the wealth of worthwhile stories about compromised technology, internet privacy, and online security these days. Suffice to say, our usual advice about staying safe online using VPNs and FlashRouters devices is important to remember when considering the issues raised by these stories. Anyway, dig in!
Vulnerable Tech News
Short Password Reset Code Vulnerabilities Hacker News is reporting that they “received a vulnerability report in web applications from some unknown Indian Hacker.” The potentially exploitable is in the password reset process, which could leave many big websites that are reliant on the CAPTCHA image verification system more exposed than they realize.
Also, USB Internet Modems Are Vulnerable Too It seems Hacker News won’t be happy until everyone is trembling in the presence of a computer. In addition to the scary story posted directly above this one, Hacker News is also reporting that an Indian Security Researcher named Rahul Sasi found a critical flaw in a USB Internet Modems or Data Card that allowed him to “execute a malicious code remotely” and gives him full access to a potential victim’s PC.
Zuck Hacked! Well, if Facebook is going to insist on the safety of their site to the point of ignoring warnings from outside IT experts, then this sort of thing is bound to happen. A Palestinian IT expert has infiltrated Facebook CEO’s Mark Zuckerberg’s profile page to demonstrate a vulnerability in the social media site’s security. Khalil Shreateh said he attempted to contact the site about the bug through conventional means, and only took more drastic action when his reports were ignored. Betcha Facebook’s security team takes these sorts of warnings a little more seriously next time.
More WiFi Routers Exposed As Vulnerable to Hacking Once again, Independent Security Evaluators (ISE) have come up with a sizable list of popular wireless routers with common vulnerabilities and exposures. Check out the list and make sure you don’t have one of them.
Google Encrypting Cloud Storage By Default Well, here’s something nice from Google (which a post below will sort of negate): the company is now automatically encrypting all of their customer’s data as they enter it into Google Cloud storage. In fact, even older files will be encrypted in the coming months. Isn’t Google just the best (*high-fives Vince Vaughn)?!
Internet Privacy News
No Expectation of Privacy When Using Gmail? – Hey, remember that thing we said about Google being the best? Well, we’re already rethinking that after reading this recently uncovered court filing, in which Google said that Gmail users (you know, the only e-mail service anyone uses anymore) have no “reasonable expectation” of privacy regarding their e-mails. And you thought you were being funny when you put quotes around the phrase “private e-mails”.
The UK’s Online Pornography Ban Perhaps you’ve heard about British Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan to effectively block online pornography in the UK. Well, as you might imagine, there are plenty of ways around it, and we’re happy to tell you about them.
Don’t Be Tricked By “Browlock” You up for one more scary story from Hacker News? Well, this time, they’re warning you about a cyber criminals who’ve figured out how to trick unsuspecting web users into believing the police have locked their computer until the user pays a fine. Read up and stay safe.
How Much Are Instagram Likes Worth to You? You ever post something on Instagram that was then “liked” by someone you’ve never met? Then you go to their page and find that they’re basically selling their “likes”? Apparently, some buzz-seeking businesses are taking advantage of these phony likes, purchasing the malware-based services these companies offer to make their business look popular and hip.
Baby Monitor Hijacker We’d be hard-pressed to think up a creepier story than this one: someone hacked a baby monitor in suburban Houston, Texas and said absolutely terrible things to a sleeping two-year old. Follow this link to learn how you can prevent this sort of thing from happening to you.
WiFi Fun Straight Out of the FlashRouters Camp
How Bout Some WiFi in Your Tooth? Have you ever wished you could track your speaking, eating, drinking, and/or smoking habits? Us neither, but the technology is fast approaching, so start working on your reason for why you don’t want to do it.
Google WiFi Coming to Starbucks If you’ve been feeling like your Starbucks is a little crowded lately, then this can only come as bad news: WiFi speeds at Starbucks are about to drastically increase now that the company has traded their old AT&T coverage for Google WiFi hotspots.
WiFi Slowly Filters Into NYC Subways You’ve seen people staring at their phones on the subway even though you know good and well that they have no signal. Well, soon enough, those people won’t look so foolhardy anymore as subway stops and trains start getting wireless service.
If You Could See WiFi Signals If we had to guess about what the world would look like with visible WiFi signals, we’d have assumed the worst. But, as it turns out, when artist Nikolay Lamm and former NASA employee M. Browning (who has a PH.D in Astrobiology) imagine it, the results are rather beautiful.
Retail Stores Tracking Customers Info Log in to the public WiFi that some retail stores offer, and run the risk that the stores start tracking your shopping habits. Just a warning.
…And One, Last, Fun Miscellaneous FlashRouters Link
The Internet, As Understood By Teen Actors in 1997 And finally, we had some fun with this last week, but it’s worth another look: the quaintness of this internet instructional video from 1997 is matched only by its cringeworthiness (and no, a web page isn’t something ducks walk on).