Flash Used on 5% of All Websites, Down From 28.5% Seven Years Ago

Found on Bleeping Computer on Thursday, 19 April 2018
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Taking into account the sheer number of abandoned sites on today's Internet, the decline is quite considerable, and W3Tech's findings confirm similar statistics put out by a Google security engineer in February.

With Flash usage numbers going down, by the time the end of 2020 comes around and Adobe stops all Flash support, the technology would be an afterthought for most users, except the few sysadmin souls trapped into supporting the aging tech on desperately outdated corporate networks and apps.

4.9% is still too much. When it comes to that giant security hole, 0% is the only option.

Hackers once stole a casino's high-roller database through a thermometer in the lobby fish tank

Found on Business Insider on Monday, 16 April 2018
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Eagan gave one memorable anecdote about a case Darktrace worked on in which a casino was hacked via a thermometer in an aquarium in the lobby.

"The attackers used that to get a foothold in the network," she said. "They then found the high-roller database and then pulled that back across the network, out the thermostat, and up to the cloud."

You have to give them credits for creativity. Hopefully such attacks will make people aware that not everything needs to be turned into an IoT device. In most cases, having a "dumb" and off-the-grid device is the better choice.

Unethical growth hacks: A look into the growing Youtube news bot epidemic

Found on Hackernoon on Saturday, 14 April 2018
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Someone has effectively created a fully automated process running 24/7 that is taking and stripping recent articles, converting them into video format, and posting it on Youtube as their own. And while doing so, they take credit for it and reap all the rewards — such as revenue and influence — that come with it.

Because these are video format, they often get preferred treatment in Google’s search results, as it helps their search results seem more diverse when including video, images, and other non-link content.

You have to exclude youtube from searches anyway, because too much useless results are messing them up. Not necessarily bot-generated content, but pointless junk like recording text typed into notepad.exe to explain something. That's what html is for.

Facebook a big contributor to the committees in Congress that will question Mark Zuckerberg

Found on USA Today on Sunday, 08 April 2018
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Members of the committee, whose jurisdiction gives it regulatory power over Internet companies, received nearly $381,000 in contributions tied to Facebook since 2007, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Of the 55 members on the Energy and Commerce Committee this year, all but nine have received Facebook contributions in the past decade.

Plus, nearly 30 members of Congress own Facebook stock, according to a story in Roll Call, including two Democratic members of the committee who will question Zuckerberg next week.

The deeper you dig, the uglier it gets. Just go out and buy your politician too.

Facebook sent a doctor on a secret mission to ask hospitals to share patient data

Found on CNBC on Saturday, 07 April 2018
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Facebook has asked several major U.S. hospitals to share anonymized data about their patients, such as illnesses and prescription info, for a proposed research project. Facebook was intending to match it up with user data it had collected, and help the hospitals figure out which patients might need special care or treatment.

It also has a growing "Facebook health" team based in New York that is pitching pharmaceutical companies to invest its ample ad budget into Facebook by targeting users who "liked" a health advocacy page, or fits a certain demographic profile.

With more and more nasty details emerging, it would be a good idea to have a closer look at the secret projects Facebook as running behind the curtains as this is probably just the tip of the iceberg.

Facebook admits Zuckerberg wiped his old messages—which you can’t do

Found on Ars Technica on Friday, 06 April 2018
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Facebook has been quietly deleting old messages from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg out of their recipients' Facebook Messenger inboxes, the company has acknowledged. This isn't an option available to ordinary users.

Zuckerberg has a history of having old, embarrassing instant messaging conversations come back to haunt him.

With ever-increasing scrutiny into Facebook's business practices, it's not hard to see why Zuckerberg would want to minimize his paper trail.

Cleaning up the embarrassing old postings? Now that would be a killer feature for everybody else who ever used Facebook.

Facebook admits 'most' of its 2bn+ users may have had public profiles slurped by bots

Found on The Register on Thursday, 05 April 2018
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"It is clear now that we didn't do enough, we didn't focus enough on preventing abuse," Zuckerberg told reporters. "We didn't take a broad enough view of what our responsibility is, and that was a huge mistake."

Noting that the scraped profile information was limited to what was publically viewable, Zuckerberg told reporters "the vast majority of the data that Facebook knows is because you chose to share it."

The huge mistake was sharing data with a slurping company which happily sells its userdata to everybody.

Facebook says Cambridge Analytica fiasco worse than we thought

Found on CNet News on Wednesday, 04 April 2018
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Until now, it was reported that 50 million people's data had been co-opted from the social network. Facebook said today it's 87 million.

The news comes more than two weeks after Facebook first said it banned Cambridge Analytica for harvesting the data from a third part quiz app called "thisisyourdigitalife."

People will also no longer be able to search for Facebook profiles by typing phone numbers and email addresses into the social network's search box. That's because Facebook said it left people vulnerable to having their public profiles scraped by bad actors.

It took them this long to realize that such "features" get abused? That aside, if a "third part quiz app" gets you access to 87 million people, what range and data do the well-known apps have?

Instagram suddenly chokes off developers as Facebook chases privacy

Found on Techcrunch on Tuesday, 03 April 2018
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This weekend it surprised developers with a massive reduction in how much data they can pull from the Instagram API, shrinking the API limit from 5,000 to 200 calls per user per hour.

Causing this kind of platform whiplash could push developers away from the Instagram ecosystem, not that the company was too keen on some of these apps.

If Facebook and Instagram can’t even communicate changes to its policies with proper procedure and transparency, it’s hard to imagine it’s composed enough to firmly and fairly enforce them.

Hopefully it's he beginning of the downfall.

Grindr Is Letting Other Companies See User HIV Status And Location Data

Found on BuzzFeed on Monday, 02 April 2018
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The two companies — Apptimize and Localytics, which help optimize apps — receive some of the information that Grindr users choose to include in their profiles, including their HIV status and “last tested date.”

“The HIV status is linked to all the other information. That’s the main issue,” Pultier told BuzzFeed News. “I think this is the incompetence of some developers that just send everything, including HIV status.”

Hopefully more and more such cases will become public so people start to realize how bad the extensive data collection and mining is. The "I have nothing to hide" argument just shows how delusional some are.