The Internet of Things, or IoT, Connected Devices, Smart devices whatever you want to call them have become a fixture in most homes. It has gotten to the point where you have to look hard to find a device that is not “Smart”. Manufacturers love to push the marketing term smart onto the consumer as it becomes a value add proposal; hey this can do all of this and you can control it using your phone from anywhere. What they do not disclose is exactly how insecure these devices are and how much privacy you can end up giving up just by having them in your home.
Last week Google announced that they will no longer be accepting ads that feature Flash. This new should really come as no surprise as Flash (and its spirit brother Java) have taken a beating on the security front for years. Abobe and Oracle have been unable to keep the bad guys from running rampant with their code. Of course the change will not take place overnight so everyone has the chance to swap out that old and insecure Flash for the new and (insecure) HTML5.
The idea of Quantum computing has been with us since the dawn of science fiction and it is a very cool one. In recent years we have seen advances that have made this once theoretical concept turn into a reality. This is not to say that we are able to use the power that quantum computing has to offer, but we are starting to understand how it works in the real world and also how much more efficient it can be.
When you use a search engine like Yahoo or Google you expect to get relevant results for your efforts. In many cases this does really happen, but often times we enter what we are looking for and find very little that relates to the actual search. One of the reasons for this is (and has been for a long time) the ability of search providers to artificially alter the search results through internal ranking systems. Google and Yahoo both have done this in the past and in some cases with good reason.
The Google-Oracle fight has been going on for a long time now and has had a few ups and downs in the course of the case. The original premise of the case is that Google was able to speed up development through the reuse of nine (9) lines of code that Oracle claims are protected by copyright. One judge agreed that this was absurd, but his decision was thrown out on appeal. Now, the Department of Justice is throwing their two cents into the mix at the request of the Supreme Court. Their commentary is quite interesting…
There are many things that people take for granted in the world. Some of them are more than a little naïve while others are quite understandable. One of them is that the things we say or do in conversation are somewhat confidential. We do not expect our mail, phone or personal conversations to be listened to and by extension we feel that our online conversation are equally private. Sadly this is simply not the case and, in reality, it never has been.
There is no shortage of jokes about ignorance in big business and government, but there are times when some of the things that are really said just sound stupid. Recently members of the Hollywood Cartel decided that Google fiber will lead to an increase in piracy. Their reasoning is a “survey” that was conducted on illegal file haring as it relates to Google Fiber s that came up with some rather interesting numbers (they are magical). Fortunately for anyone wanting a laugh, it was leaked to the gang at TorrentFreak
There is a story running around the internet that says Google is now processing one million piracy take down requests in a single day. Now there are two different spins to this story (and we will cover both) out there. One of them is being pushed by the copyright lobby groups, while the other is popping up through sites like Google and various net neutrality groups.
DEF CON 22, Las Vegas, NV 2014 - Yesterday at DEF CON we had the chance to listen to Christopher Soghoian, Principal Technologist, American Civil Liberties Union talk about the state of the surveillance state and how we can help fight against it. Of course you might think that his talk would be about the use of spy proof technologies, but oddly enough very little of that was talked about except to make it clear that talk of spy-proof technology makes people in Washington nervous.
It is always a bad day when you find out there is a problem. Even if it is as simple as your coffee pot not working (ok bad choice for many). Things are made worse when you find out it is a problem that just cannot easily be fixed or worked around. This is the case in a new Android based vulnerability that was discovered by Blue Box Security (the same guys that found the Master Key issue) a few months ago.