Google pays people to find and close the flaws in its systems. This is pretty common throughout the tech industry, largely because it motivates people to approach from different backgrounds and with contrasting ways of thinking, something you can't get from internal employees. With Google products getting into the hands of billions of people and serving mission critical roles, it's crucial that services and information are safe.
Over the past five years, Google says it has paid over 1.5 million dollars to people that discovered vulnerabilities in Chrome and other products through its Security Rewards program. Read More
Just before the weekend, LastPass came across some suspicious activity on its network. It closed off the security breach, but only after the bad guys had made off with some personal information. The incident serves as a reminder of the risks inherent with trusting a company and web service with your security.
The team found no evidence that any encrypted vault data was taken. This means you shouldn't have to change passwords on sites that you've stored in your LastPass account. Read More
Google has made fingerprint scanner support in Android official, but of course we knew that was coming. The Nexus 6 was supposed to have a fingerprint reader, but now future Android devices will be able to reap the benefits of native biometrics. This will be used for accessing the device, of course, but that's not all.
In the latest update on NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden, The Intercept is reporting on the surveillance establishment's efforts to use the Google Play Store to distribute spyware. Another fun fact from the data dump is that these agencies found and exploited a security hole in the ultra-popular UC Browser for years until an activist group informed its developers about it just about a month ago.
The information comes from a set of slides distributed to agency specialists in 2012 discussing plans for the use of mobile devices in surveillance. Read More
Google has been rolling out updates to Smart Lock over the past months, adding On-body detection and Trusted voice, and while this recent change doesn't bring other options to the table, it does make the feature more user-friendly.
Previously, if you had set your Android phone or tablet to trust a certain place, Bluetooth device, or any of your physical attributes, it would keep your phone unlocked when those variables were in effect, but you'd still come across a secure lock screen if you left your handset untouched for a period of time. Read More
Alarm.com, despite its security-oriented URL, has become a thriving platform for home management hardware and software both defensive and benign. The latest update to the app, version 3.2, adds a handful of small but important features and adjustments that should make it much easier for users of compatible automated home hardware to get stuff done. The updated version appears to be rolling out in the Play Store with no delays, so no need to track down the APK. Read More
In early 2014, Microsoft started providing Office 365 users with the option to secure their accounts with multi-factor authentication. When signing in, folks have to respond to a phone call, text message, or phone notification after entering their password. The feature has since worked on PCs and smartphones, but when Office came to Android tablets, support was absent.
According to the identical changelogs accompanying the latest versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for tablets, that has changed. Read More
The increasingly popular team chat platform Slack confirmed in a blog post today that a database containing user profile information had been breached. Slack says the database contained usernames, email addresses, hashed passwords, and information users could connect to their account like Skype names. There's no evidence that the hackers were able to decrypt user passwords, but they did have access to the above-mentioned information.
Slack says it has blocked the unauthorized access, and - in the same blog post - announced the launch of a two-factor authentication option for its users, along with a "password kill switch" for team owners. Read More
The next time you sign into your Twitch account, you're going to have to change your passwords and stream keys. You will also need to reconnect your Twitter and YouTube accounts. Why? The same reason as always. It appears someone may have obtained unauthorized access to some Twitch user account information, and these precautions are for your own good.
Twitch has sent out emails to affected users of the video game streaming service, warning that their usernames, email addresses, encrypted passwords, last IP addresses, phone numbers, addresses, and dates of birth may have been accessed. Read More