Unlocking Your Phone May Be Legal Once Again

Senate Bill 517, aka Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, has passed Congress and is now on its way to the POTUS desk to be signed or vetoed.  It will once again allow consumers the right to “unlock/jailbreak” their smartphones/phones without violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This means you can legally take your phone from ATT to T-Mobile and vice versa or use your phone internationally with an overseas SIM card rather that international roaming through your provider. if Bill 517 passes it will also will force the librarian of Congress to decide on wireless portable devices are eligible for unlocking.

All-in-all it has taken 19 months for Bill 517 to get where it is today and it got there because of readers like you who got online and signed the petition at the We The People website, which now has 114,000 signatures to date.

 

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Chinese Hackers Targeting Top-Secret Federal Employee Records

Chinese Hackers Targeting Top-Secret Federal Employee Records
Original Gizmodo article by Jamie Condliffe HERE

Earlier this year, Chinese hackers broke into U.S. government computer networks in order to gain access to the personal information of thousands of employees with top-secret security clearances.

The New York Times reports that the hackers gained access to databases of the Office of Personnel Management in March. Federal authorities identified the intrusion and blocked their access—but it remains unclear how deeply the hackers penetrated and how much information they were privy to. Sources have told the Times that the attack was traced to China, but it’s unclear if the perpetrators were connected with the government or not. Either way, it’s the latest in a long line of hacks against the U.S. mastermind from China.

The records held in the database contain detailed information about federal employees who apply for security clearance—from foreign contacts and previous jobs, to personal information like drug use and relationship history. Not the kind of data you want in the wrong hands.
NY Times Original Story HERE

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Android’s phone wiping fails to delete personal data

Android’s Phone Wiping Fails to Delete Personal Data

A new study from security software vendor, Avast calls into question the effectiveness of Android’s factory reset option, which many people have relied upon to delete personal data from their old smartphones before reselling or making a charitable donation with the old device.

Avast, known for its security software on Windows, Mac, and Android , purchased 20 Android smartphones from eBay, which has around 80,000 used smartphones for sale at any given time. Among the data that Avast employees recovered from the phones were more than 40,000 photos, including 250 nude male selfies, along with 750 emails and text messages, 250 contacts, the identities of four phones’ previous owners, and one completed loan application. The problem, as Avast mobile division president Jude McColgan told CNET, is that people still aren’t used to considering the implications of all the personal data stored on a smartphone. “Users thought they were doing a clean wipe and factory reinstall,” he said, but the factory reinstall is cleaning phones “only at the application layer.”

To read the full CNET article by Seth Rosenblatt Click HERE

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Massachusetts Supreme Court says it can order you to decrypt your computer

Massachusetts Supreme Court Says Decrypting Your Data is not a Violation of the 5th Amendment.

On June 25th  the US Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that the police can’t search your phone without a warrant but today the Massachusetts ruled that your encrypted data is not protected by the 5th Amendment. Want to know more keep on reading.

“Say you get arrested, your computer is seized and state wants to peek at the encrypted data hidden away on your machine’s hard drive. Can it force you to decrypt your computer? Traditionally, the answer has been no: courts have previously ruled that ordering a defendant to decrypt their data was tantamount to self-incrimination — a violation of their 5th amendments rights. The Massachusetts Supreme Court sees things differently, and has recently ordered a defendant to decrypt his machine because the pertinent data’s presence on the computer was a “foregone conclusion.” In other words, if the police already know the data they are looking for is there, it doesn’t count as new testimony and is not protected by the 5th amendment.”

For more information please check out the original Engadget article posted HERE.

 

 

 

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Heartbleed still leaves 300,000 servers exposed.

Heartbleed Still Leaves 300,000 Servers Exposed.

A while back we posted that Heartbleed was in decline but a new study shows that 2 months later more than 300k of the original 600k servers were still unpatched leaving your login details and password available to be exploited.

Based on the CNET.com article found HERE by Charlie Osborne, now that the major top companies online have patched the issues smaller organizations may not follow suit.

While Heartbleed only affects servers it never hurts to have check your machine for virus/malware. If you computer has been running slow, you’re worried about losing data, or you just need email setup give us ring or stop on by the shop at 119th Street and we’ll get you taken care of.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comcast is turning your home router into a public Wi-Fi hotspot

Comcast Wi-Fi Everywhere

If you have Comcast internet service your home router is being turned into a public wireless hotspot. As reported by CNN Money, Comcast has been replacing old outdated modem with new wireless router/modem combos in an effort to extend their public Wi-Fi. This doesn’t mean any Tom, Dick, or Harry can get on your network but rather there are 2 networks broadcasting from your Comcast equipment. In order to use this Wi-Fi network you must be a Comcast customer and log in once you have connected. Next time your out for a ride have someone check their smartphone and see if you are in a Comcast Wi-Fi network area, you may be surprised.

If you’d like more details about the Comcast public Wi-Fi Check out the CNN story HERE

 

IN THE FACE…BOOK!

Stop the Ads in Facebook

Facebook announced this week that their new system will create new ad sets based around your surfing history. If you aren’t a fan of the idea you can always opt out at the following site Here (*Cookies must be enabled*) in your browser .If you use iOS go to General>Restrictions>Advertising (located under the PRIVACY heading) and move the slider to turn on Limit Ad Tracking. For you Android users out there go to Google Settings>Ads>Opt Out of Interest-Based Ads and check it.

With this done your should have fewer ads for Facebook to bombard you.

Happy Facebooking.

Originally Posted here

 

 

Another Potential Heartbleed Plugged

Another Potential Heartbleed Plugged

Hot on the heels of Heartbleed another OpenSSL has been discovered and corrected. Discovered in May, this latest exploit could allow attacks between servers and client using OpenSSL but rest assured it is a difficult exploit to execute. Relying on a “man-in-the-middle” attack, a compromised router, switch, and etc. , to strip encryption from transmitted data.

So with all that scary stuff out of the way here’s the skinny: The average Joe has nothing to worry about as this exploit doesn’t effect desktop browsers like Firefox, IE, Safari, or Chrome. This is mostly a server related risk (so keep an eye out Admins!) but as stated above it has already been patched with the latest update.

Safe Browsing everyone and have a great weekend.

For more information check here

 

Spotify Breach

Spotify Breach Will Require Android App Upgrades

Spotify is requiring people listening to its popular music service on Android devices to install new software as a safeguard against a recent security breach.

Spotify says the break-in has only resulted in unauthorized access to one user’s account. The company says passwords and financial information were not stolen.

Spotify users streaming on iPhones, iPads and Windows devices won’t have to do anything at this time.

Some users will be required to re-enter their passwords to log in.

Spotify has more than 40 million users. A substantial number of them rely on Android, the world’s most popular mobile operating system.

Source

 

Snapchat Caught You, the FTC Caught Snapchat

Snapchat Caught You, the FTC Caught Snapchat

Earlier this month Snapchat and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) settled over charges that the data sent via Snapchat specifically contacts, images, location, and videos were collected without asking users for permission. It was pointed out by the ftc that any user using an I-device predating iOS7 could take screenshots of sent images with the sender being none-the-wiser and that videos sent via Snapchat were still accessible via computer on the recipients phone after a video “disappeared” because the videos aren’t encrypted. Even scarier though is that Android users, that use the Snapchat app, were broadcasting their location without their knowledge/consent.

Next time you want to send a Snapchat ask yourself the following: Who’s getting it? Who’s keeping it? Who knows where I am? Should I really be putting this out over the internet?

You can find the full yahoo article here