Friday, June 15, 2018
Apple fixes lingering security flaw in iPhone that enables law enforcement investigations on locked phones
My own iPhone updated to IOS 11.4 a little while ago.
Apple has announced a security fix to prevent hackers from getting into a locked phone, but that would also preclude law enforcement from getting into one. The New York Times story by Jack Nicas is here.
Tim Cook has always said that allowing anyone but a phone owner to open it post-mortem would be a kind of “cancer”.
Thursday, June 14, 2018
Security companies need more transparency in how they report customer site risk, even to hosting providers
There has been some controversy (since mid 2017) over how security companies like SiteLock mark websites as “high risk” with apparently no transparency as to what the risk factors are.
This is also an issue because security companies usually work with hosting providers who do the billing and who might have some concerns over their own downstream liability for customers (as this climate has been changing rapidly, as with FOSTA, for example).
Forbes had a piece in August 2017 by Kalev Leetaru, and Whitefirdesign has several articles from 2017, for example this one.
There are reports of hosting providers threatening to cut off customers who experience one malware hacking attack. There are also reports of telemarketing calls selling site security services, which would dilute the credibility of the services if the calls weren’t legitimate.
It is not clear whether site risk is based on the technical components (use of specific Wordpress plugins, for example) or its content (whether it is controversial according to the “skin in the game” theory, which has percolated for years while getting very little media attention).
One concern is that with network neutrality gone, telecoms could (with public pre-notice first) block sites rated as risky, either bu anti-virus companies that they acquire through mergers, or even through content delivery security services like SiteLock, Cloudflare, and the like. We already know that Cloudflare has blocked or closed accounts of some objectionable publishers (so far limited to white supremacy).
This is an evolving issue that may change with time and generate new incidents and controversies.
Friday, June 08, 2018
Here is Geoffrey A Fowler’s moral lecture “Hands off mydata: 15 default privacy settings you should change right now”, in the Washington Post. A Facebook friend shared this piece early Friday, and said he accepted he has no privacy online.
Facebook is the worst offender, but even Microsoft and Apple have their sins.
For most of us, this sounds like paranoia. But it really depends on how exposed you are to meddling by others, in your personal living situation and employment.
It also depends on whether you are in a circumstance where people connected to you can be affected – especially if your online reputation matters in the workplace because you sell somebody else’s ideas.
We all depend on surveillance capitalism.
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Trend Micro loops updating Windows 10 computer with creators updates, after returning from vacation non-use
On one Windows 10 computer, which I did not use for 11 days while on the road, Trend Micro update keeps looping.
I find that if I restart the computer, it says it is active and will let me run a scan. But the icon that says an update is being installed persists. Of course, until the problem is resolved it cannot keep up with updates.
The computer that I took with me and used every day (also Windows 10 with the same latest features update) does not now have this problem.
There are various links available on Trend Micro Community, dating back to early 2017, but I believe this could also have something to do with a period of non-use or recent Microsoft updates.
Update: June 12
A 90 minute support session where Trend applied several hotfixes fixed the problem. Going not logged on for 11 days was only part of the problem. tmqa.jp and login.me were used to that the technician could work remotely.
Sunday, June 03, 2018
A hacking group called XENOTIME has attracted attention for the capacity to hack and shut down industrial plants, after it did so in the Middle East last year. The threat was written up by Shannon Varga in Axios here.
DRAGOS expanded with more details in a blog post here.
There could be dangers to water treatment plants, pipeline controls, and maybe some power plants.
But it is not clear how they would get into a system off the public Internet.
The name of the group seems to be related to the Pokemon game.