Biz & IT

OpenWRT code-execution bug puts millions of devices at risk

Enlarge OpenWRT For almost three years, OpenWRT—the open source operating system that powers home routers and other types of embedded systems—has been vulnerable to remote code-execution attacks because updates were delivered over an unencrypted channel and digital signature verifications are easy to bypass, a researcher said. OpenWRT has a loyal base of users who use …

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Saudi Arabia reportedly tracked phones by using industry-wide carrier weakness

Enlarge Gary Lerude / Flickr The Guardian says it has evidence that Saudi Arabia is exploiting a decades-old weakness in the global telecoms network to track the kingdom’s citizens as they travel in the United States. The publication cited data provided by a whistleblower that suggests Sudia Arabia is engaged in systematic spying by abusing …

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OneWeb goes bankrupt, lays off staff, will sell satellite-broadband business

Enlarge / Illustration of a OneWeb satellite. OneWeb OneWeb has filed for bankruptcy and intends to sell its business, bringing an abrupt end to the company’s plan to offer high-speed satellite Internet service around the world. OneWeb announced Friday that it “voluntarily filed for relief under Chapter 11 of the [US] Bankruptcy Code,” and “intends …

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>4,000 Android apps silently access your installed software

Enlarge Mike MacKenzie / Flickr More than 4,000 Google Play apps silently collect a list of all other installed apps in a data grab that allows developers and advertisers to build detailed profiles of users, a recently published research paper found. The apps use an Android-provided programming interface that scans a phone for details about …

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Control Panel isn’t dead yet—but the System applet is looking nervous

Enlarge / We find Windows 10’s Settings dialog difficult to love. Jim Salter You may have seen dark rumors around the Web that Microsoft is about to kill off the classic Control Panel. Rest assured, friend, we were as horrified as you are—but on more careful inspection, this seems not to be the case. A …

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Broadband speeds fall in dozens of big US cities during pandemic

Enlarge Getty Images | imaginima Home-Internet download speeds have fallen during the COVID-19 pandemic in dozens of the biggest US cities as millions of Americans stay home due to school and business closures. However, typical download speeds remain high enough to support normal broadband-usage patterns, with the vast majority of cities still above the Federal …

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Charter gives techs $25 gift cards instead of hazard pay during pandemic

Enlarge / A Charter Spectrum vehicle. Charter Charter Communications is giving its cable technicians $25 restaurant gift cards instead of hazard pay for going into customer homes during the coronavirus pandemic, BuzzFeed reported yesterday. The gift cards are a “token of our appreciation,” an internal email from management on Monday said, BuzzFeed reported. Of course, many …

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New attack on home routers sends users to spoofed sites that push malware

Enlarge Wikipedia A recently discovered hack of home and small-office routers is redirecting users to malicious sites that pose as COVID-19 informational resources in an attempt to install malware that steals passwords and cryptocurrency credentials, researchers said on Wednesday. A post published by security firm Bitdefender said the compromises are hitting Linksys routers, although BleepingComputer, …

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How to get Verizon and AT&T data-cap fees waived during the pandemic

Enlarge Getty Images | Aurich Lawson Verizon Wireless and AT&T say they’re both waiving mobile-data overage fees to help customers deal with the coronavirus pandemic, but the fees will not be waived automatically. Instead, Verizon and AT&T users have to contact the carriers’ customer service and say they’re experiencing pandemic-related financial hardship to get the …

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Google Play’s malicious app problem infects 1.7 million more devices

Enlarge portal gda / Flickr Google Play, the company’s official repository for Android apps, has once again been caught hosting fraudulent and potentially malicious apps, with the discovery of more than 56 apps—many of them for children—that were installed on almost 1.7 million devices. Tekya is a family of malware that generates fraudulent clicks on …

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