Ms. Smith

Ms. Smith (not her real name) is a freelance writer and programmer with a special and somewhat personal interest in IT privacy and security issues. She focuses on the unique challenges of maintaining privacy and security, both for individuals and enterprises. She has worked as a journalist and has also penned many technical papers and guides covering various technologies. Smith is herself a self-described privacy and security freak.

Discord quietly changed ToS, clock is ticking for US users to opt out of arbitration

Discord quietly changed ToS, clock is ticking for US users to opt out of arbitration

Discord changed its Terms of Service and the clock is ticking for U.S. users to opt out of the arbitration clause before being automatically opted in.

Another government system breached; 75,000 people affected

Another government system breached; 75,000 people affected

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service confirmed a breach. Apple CEO Tim Cook wants Bloomberg to retract the spychip story. A Connecticut city paid a ransom to unlock 23 servers.

Ransomware attack hits North Carolina water utility following hurricane

Ransomware attack hits North Carolina water utility following hurricane

A North Carolina water utility still recovering from Hurricane Florence became the victim of a ransomware attack.

35 million voter records from 19 states for sale on hacking forum

35 million voter records from 19 states for sale on hacking forum

Researchers found more than 35 million U.S. voter records for sale on a hacking forum. The records are from 2018 voter registrations in 19 states, including Wisconsin, Texas and Georgia.

Amazon patent gives Alexa ability to detect illness, 'emotional abnormality'

Amazon patent gives Alexa ability to detect illness, 'emotional abnormality'

Amazon's Alexa may one day detect your real-time status, if you're sick, or if you have an "emotional abnormality" and target you with ads based on the voice analysis.

Microsoft patch for JET flaw zero-day is ‘incomplete,’ Windows still vulnerable

Microsoft patch for JET flaw zero-day is ‘incomplete,’ Windows still vulnerable

Microsoft's fix for the zero-day JET flaw only limits the vulnerability, doesn't eliminate it. Meanwhile, a Pentagon breach affects 30,000 workers, and a vigilante hacker is patching vulnerable MikroTik routers.

Pentagon's new weapon systems are easy to hack, GAO report finds

Pentagon's new weapon systems are easy to hack, GAO report finds

A recent GAO report revealed that some US Department of Defense weapon systems use default passwords and that a port scan can cause weapon systems to fail.

RIP Google Plus: Shutdown announced after API bug exposes 500,000 users' details

RIP Google Plus: Shutdown announced after API bug exposes 500,000 users' details

The end is near for Google Plus -- August 2019 -- after an API bug exposed 500,000 users’ details and Google chose not to disclose the breach for six months.

Facebook wants you to put a Portal camera and microphone in your home

Facebook wants you to put a Portal camera and microphone in your home

Facebook's Portal camera doesn't have end-to-end encryption, which could make it handy for police to tap your video calls.

Microsoft yanks Windows 10 Update after it reportedly deleted users’ files

Microsoft yanks Windows 10 Update after it reportedly deleted users’ files

Microsoft pulled Windows 10, Version 1809 for deleting users’ files. Meanwhile, US companies deny Chinese spy chips were added to their servers, and the Justice Department indicted 7 Fancy Bear hackers.

Recipe Unlimited denies ransomware attack, despite alleged ransom note

Recipe Unlimited denies ransomware attack, despite alleged ransom note

Recipe Unlimited denies a ransomware attack impacted nine restaurant brands, despite an alleged ransom note that shows the bitcoin ransom demand ticking up daily.

BlackVue dashcams share cars' mapped GPS locations, stream video feeds and audio

BlackVue dashcams share cars' mapped GPS locations, stream video feeds and audio

Thanks to default cloud settings, BlackVue dashcam customers may be live-streaming video and audio from their vehicles, as well as having their location mapped.

New vicious Torii IoT botnet discovered

New vicious Torii IoT botnet discovered

Move over, Mirai. There’s a new, much more sophisticated IoT botnet boss. The Torii IoT botnet has advanced techniques and persistence methods.

Facebook security and privacy issues revealed

Facebook security and privacy issues revealed

Last week saw Facebook dealing with security and privacy issues, while the Port of San Diego got hit with a ransomware attack and researchers discovered two Linux kernel bugs.

US Customs and Border Protection fails with drone surveillance privacy, security

US Customs and Border Protection fails with drone surveillance privacy, security

An audit by the Office of Inspector General found U.S. Customs and Border Protection failed to consider the privacy of drone surveillance data, as well as IT security controls.

First known malicious cryptomining campaign targeting Kodi discovered

First known malicious cryptomining campaign targeting Kodi discovered

Add-ons for Kodi, the media streaming app, have been infected with malware that mines Monero and may continue to do so unless you take action.

Forcing users to log into Google Chrome without consent raises privacy concerns

Forcing users to log into Google Chrome without consent raises privacy concerns

Google defends the forced login to Chrome when you access a Google-owned site, updating the Chrome privacy policy to reflect the new changes.

Brewery became victim of targeted ransomware attack via job vacancy ad

Brewery became victim of targeted ransomware attack via job vacancy ad

Hackers took a job ad on the Arran Brewery website and posted it on international recruitment sites. One of the resumes submitted as a result had a Dharma Bip ransomware payload.

State Department confirms breach of unclassified email system

State Department confirms breach of unclassified email system

The U.S. State Department confirmed it suffered a data breach of its unclassified email system. It says less than 1% of employees were affected.

Sophisticated mobile spyware Pegasus found in the US and 44 other countries

Sophisticated mobile spyware Pegasus found in the US and 44 other countries

Ten Pegasus operators deployed the Pegasus spyware for cross-border surveillance and may be violating U.S. law.

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