The blocking of popular Western social media platforms in China is nothing new, and regulators appear to have gone after the increasingly fashionable chat app Signal. Users in the country report that the service has been down since yesterday.
The popular SHAREit app isn't just set to be banned in the US in the next three days; it was also apparently vulnerable to a (slightly convoluted) attack. The technical details are a bit of a slog, but in short, the app could indirectly allow for the execution of arbitrary code remotely, read or overwrite the app's local files, or even allow for third-party APKs to be installed. Developers of the app, which claims over a billion installs at the Play Store, were notified of the vulnerability three months ago, but according to Trend Micro, they haven't done anything to address it.
With just two weeks to go before he leaves office, President Trump has issued an executive order banning transactions with a handful of Chinese apps. Set to kick in Friday, February 19th, the order will ban Alipay, CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate, WeChat Pay, and WPS Office from US app stores.
Apple and Google have both taken the exceptional step of banning any apps that include X-Mode's software from their respective app stores, according to The Wall Street Journal. The news comes after investigations revealed location data gathered by X-Mode in those apps were sold to parties with ties to the US government and national security efforts. Play Store developers have one week to comply before the banhammer falls.
India began banning mobile applications and services based in China earlier this year, following a series of border tensions. The bans have taken place under the guise of national security, though the government rarely states how the violating apps are placing India or its citizens in danger. There have been severaladditionalbans, and now the latest order includes AliExpress and other services.
IFTTT is a convenient service that connects devices, services, websites, and more, setting up routines that tell them if that happens, then do this. It's a great way to automate almost anything you can think of — including Reddit. One of the most popular use cases is having IFTTT email you when certain keywords are posted. But over the last 24 hours, many users with accounts connected to IFTTT received a shock: Reddit permanently banned them for no good reason.
TikTok’s US ban, combined with similar restrictions in India, is seriously affecting the service's ability to reach markets with hundreds of millions of users. As we hear about players like Microsoft or even Oracle showing interest in taking charge of the US side of things, TikTok itself has been gearing up for a fight. Following reports that TikTok was planning to challenge the executive order, the company has now announced its suit against the Trump administration.