Microsoft Buys So Bad Guys Can’t

Found on Krebs On Security on Tuesday, 07 April 2020
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Domain experts called dangerous because years of testing showed whoever wields it would have access to an unending stream of passwords, email and other sensitive data from hundreds of thousands of Microsoft Windows PCs at major companies around the globe.

The story went on to describe how years of testing — some of which was subsidized by grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security — showed hundreds of thousands of Windows computers were constantly trying to send this domain information it had no business receiving, including attempts to log in to internal corporate networks and access specific file shares on those networks.

The sweet fallout of default values to keep things simple and easy.

A hacker has wiped, defaced more than 15,000 Elasticsearch servers

Found on ZD Net on Monday, 06 April 2020
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The attacks appear to be carried with the help of an automated script that scans the internet for ElasticSearch systems left unprotected, connects to the databases, attempts to wipe their content, and then creates a new empty index called

However, these types of destructive attacks were Elasticsearch data is wiped are not the first of their kind. In the spring and summer of 2017, multiple hacker groups engaged in database ransom attacks against multiple types of database technologies, including Elasticsearch.

Three years and ongoing, and people still put unprotected systems online. The pity is limited.

Zoombombing is a crime, not a prank, prosecutors warn

Found on Ars Technica on Sunday, 05 April 2020
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Internet trolls and other troublemakers have responded with "Zoombombing": joining Zoom meetings uninvited and disrupting them.

"Hackers are disrupting conferences and online classrooms with pornographic and/or hate images and threatening language," wrote the US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan. "Anyone who hacks into a teleconference can be charged with state or federal crimes."

Those are not even hackers, because security at Zoom is practically non-existant. It's just a poorly designed software, full of holes and lies.

TikTok Users In China Temporarily Banned For Speaking Their Own Cantonese Language

Found on Techdirt on Saturday, 04 April 2020
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A person who manages a Douyin account promoting Cantonese culture to its 230,000 followers said he had received two bans and multiple warnings for using Cantonese. Clearly, using Mandarin instead of Cantonese would nullify the whole point of the account.

There are around 68 million native speakers of Cantonese -- more than most languages around the world -- notably in Hong Kong. Moreover, Cantonese is not merely a "dialect" of Mandarin, as Douyin implies when it talks of "languages and dialects": they are quite separate languages that derive independently from Middle Chinese.

In order to create a unified culture, Eastasia needs to weed out any differences.

Zoom's end-to-end encryption isn't actually end-to-end at all

Found on The Register on Friday, 03 April 2020
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Most notably, the company has been forced to admit that although it explicitly gives users the option to hold an “end-to-end encrypted” conversation and touts end-to-end encryption as a key feature of its service, in fact it offers no such thing.

E2E ensures all communications are encrypted between devices so that not even the organization hosting the service has access to the contents of the connection. With TLS, Zoom can intercept and decrypt video chats and other data.

Zoom granted itself the right to mine your personal data and conference calls to target you with ads, and seemed to have a "creepily chummy" relationship with tracking-based advertisers.

Personal information gathered by the company included, but was not limited to, names, addresses and any other identifying data, job titles and employers, Facebook profiles, and device specifications. It also included "the content contained in cloud recordings, and instant messages, files, whiteboards ... shared while using the service."

Another day, another failure day for Zoom. Do yourself and everybody else a favor and drop this insecure spyware.

Zoom is Leaking Peoples' Email Addresses and Photos to Strangers

Found on Vice on Thursday, 02 April 2020
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The issue lies in Zoom's "Company Directory" setting, which automatically adds other people to a user's lists of contacts if they signed up with an email address that shares the same domain.

"I just had a look at the free for private use version of Zoom and registered with my private email. I now got 1000 names, email addresses and even pictures of people in the company Directory. Is this intentional?," one user tweeted last week along with a screenshot.

Last week, Zoom updated the iOS version of its app after Motherboard found it was sending analytics data to Facebook. On Monday a user filed a class action lawsuit against Zoom for the data transfer. On the same day the New York Attorney General sent a letter to Zoom asking what security measures the company had put in place as the app has sky-rocketed in popularity.

It's just getting worse and worse for them. Whenever one hears abou Zoom, it's about pricavy problems, spying and tracking. It feels like you could just install malware instead of it.

Cloudflare Launches a DNS-Based Parental Control Service

Found on Bleeping Computer on Wednesday, 01 April 2020
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During the coming months, Cloudflare is also working on developing and providing users with additional configuration settings for the for Families service.

"This year, while many of us are sheltering in place, protecting our communities from COVID-19, and relying on our home networks more than ever it seemed especially important to launch for Families," Prince added.

Well, censorship is coming with the excuse of protecting the children. Who would have thought that?

Microsoft corrects '775 per cent cloud usage surge' claim

Found on The Register on Tuesday, 31 March 2020
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The software giant has now updated the post - and published a correction with the US Securities and Exchange Commission - that made the claim with new data, namely: "We have seen a 775 per cent increase in Teams' calling and meeting monthly users in a one month period in Italy, where social distancing or shelter in place orders have been enforced."

Microsoft has at least been classy enough to apply a strikethrough tag to the mistake, rather than dropping it into an Orwellian memory hole.

You can always try to make it look bigger than it is.

Grsecurity maker finally coughs up $300k to foot open-source pioneer Bruce Perens' legal bill

Found on The Register on Monday, 30 March 2020
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Spengler and OSS sued Perens for a June 2017 blog post in which Perens ventured the opinion that grsecurity, Open Source Security's Linux kernel security enhancements, could expose customers to potential liability under the terms of the General Public License (GPL).

OSS says that customers who exercise their rights to redistribute its software under the GPL will no longer receive software updates – the biz wants to be paid for its work, a problem not really addressed by the GPL. Perens, the creator of the open-source definition, pointed out that section six of the GPLv2 prohibits modifications of the license terms.

That lawsuit sure backfired. They should have just accepted the GPL terms without trying to wiggle around and ignore the fine print.

From Gmail to Gfail: Google's G-Suite topples over for unlucky netizens, rights itself

Found on The Register on Sunday, 29 March 2020
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The outage affected Gmail, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Hangouts Chat, and Meet services. The G-Suite admin console and Classroom services were also down. Basically, Google said users reported being unable to access its platforms.

"Some of our users experienced a service disruption ... as a result of a significant router failure in one of our data centers in the South Eastern US, causing network congestion," the web giant said.

It's rather strange that a router failure would cause such an downtime, considering marketing never fails to point out how many redundancy systems are in place.