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security

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Samsung's new Mobile Security Rewards Program will award researchers up to $200,000 per vulnerability discovered

Many companies give out rewards for vulnerabilities found in their software, and Samsung is now joining those ranks. The Korean tech company's Mobile Security Rewards Program has just gone public, enabling security researchers to receive awards of up to $200,000 per bug found.

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[Update: September security patches still to come] Google releases Android's September security bulletin, new images and OTAs to follow

The September 2017 Android security update is here, and the bulletin contains the usual details about vulnerabilities that could be affecting various Android devices. Images and OTAs that include the September patches should protect against any possible issues, but so far they're only available for the Nexus 9 on Android 7.1.1. There are no Android 8.0 Oreo images with September patches for Pixel or Nexus devices live yet, but it shouldn't be too long before they are added.

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Cerberus v3.5 adds 'fake shutdown' feature to fool phone thieves

Every Android phone has a built-in capability to send out its location in the event it's lost or stolen, and the same goes for iPhones. This has led some phone thieves to immediately turn off phones as soon as they get their hands on them. A new update to the security app Cerberus aims to fool the thief with a "fake shutdown" message.

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Dropbox adds mobile prompts for two-step verification

Choosing a strong password to protect your online accounts is a good idea, but the best way to keep your data secure is to enable two-factor authentication (sometimes called two-step verification) on the accounts that support it. This usually requires you to enter a code sent to you by SMS or generated by an app, and this has long been true of Dropbox's two-factor system. Now, Dropbox is making it easier to access your account securely by adding mobile prompts for two-factor.

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Security firm discovers several major flaws in MIUI

If you have read one of our several reviews of Xiaomi phones, such as the Mi Note 2 and Mi 6, you'll know that the software experience just isn't good. MIUI is Xiaomi's heavily modified version of Android, complete with less-than-stellar RAM and Bluetooth management (among other issues). But the ROM has several major security problems, as found by research firm eScan.

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After a short hiatus, BLU phones are back on Amazon

Earlier this week Amazon took some of the low-budget manufacturer BLU's phones off the retailer's digital shelves, following allegations that BLU had included spyware in its products. It seems to have been a false alarm, though, as today BLU has announced in a tweet that Amazon is back to stocking its phones. Customers looking to pick up a cheap and capable phone can again purchase them at the US' biggest online merchant. 

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Amazon suspends sales of BLU phones due to alleged spyware, BLU denies wrongdoing

BLU is one of many low-end phone manufacturers, known for its dirt-cheap unlocked Android phones. But back in November, a security firm discovered spyware on some BLU phones sold in the United States, prompting Amazon to stop selling the affected devices until the issue was resolved.

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LastPass Families is a new way to securely share information with your loved ones

Password managers are becoming ever more popular the more we manage our lives online. Thankfully, there's a trend toward being more security conscious, and LastPass is a great way to get around the issue of having too much important information to remember. If you're doing it right, and don't just use "Password1234" for everything, LastPass can remember all your login credentials, and its cross-platform apps make them easy to access from anywhere. Now, the company is introducing a new service aimed at family members who need to share data securely with each other.

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Google is trying to get SMS 2-step verification users to switch to phone prompts

In June of last year, Google introduced phone prompts that made using two-step verification easier than ever. These proved popular, being more secure and simple to use than SMS codes. In February of this year, Google updated these prompts to show more information about the device attempting to sign into your account. And soon, the company will begin pushing these prompts to users of the older, less seamless SMS two-step verification method.

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[1Change ManyDeceits] 1Password betrayed users, disappointed security experts by moving from license and local storage to monthly cloud subscription

For as long as I remember, 1Password has been a popular albeit expensive password management solution. Before LastPass and Dashlane came into the picture, most password managers relied on an encrypted locally stored file that you could only open with a master password if you had physical access to the device it was saved on, with clunky manual syncing options between different devices. There were no subscription models (you just paid for the app), no cloud storage, and no security risks unless your device itself was compromised. 1Password kept that model for years, adding some cloud syncing solutions like Dropbox for those who didn't want to keep manually syncing their file, but sticking with the app-based pricing.

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