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Intel Will Exit 5G Phone Modem Business, Hours After Apple and Qualcomm Settle Licensing Dispute

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Śr, 2019-04-17 02:10
Intel announced Tuesday afternoon that it will no longer be working on 5G chips for smartphones, leaving Apple with only one supplier for its iPhones, Qualcomm -- the same company that it was battling in court until midday Tuesday. CNET reports: Intel late Tuesday said it plans to exit the 5G smartphone modem business. It had been working on a processor for Apple, with the chip expected to be in iPhones in 2020. Lately there have been worries the chip wouldn't be ready until iPhones released in 2021. "The company will continue to meet current customer commitments for its existing 4G smartphone modem product line, but does not expect to launch 5G modem products in the smartphone space, including those originally planned for launches in 2020," Intel said in a press release. Its only customer in modems is Apple. Intel added that it will "complete an assessment of the opportunities for 4G and 5G modems in PCs, internet of things devices and other data-centric devices." It also said it will "continue to invest in its 5G network infrastructure business." "We are very excited about the opportunity in 5G and the 'cloudification' of the network, but in the smartphone modem business it has become apparent that there is no clear path to profitability and positive returns," Intel CEO Bob Swan said in a statement. The announcement comes hours after Apple and Qualcomm announced that they had reached a settlement in their multi-year battling over licensing royalties.

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Presidential Candidate John Delaney Wants To Create a Department of Cybersecurity

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Śr, 2019-04-17 00:50
On Tuesday, former Maryland representative and 2020 presidential candidate John Delaney announced a plan to create a Department of Cybersecurity that "would be led by a cabinet-level secretary who would be in charge of implementing the United States' cybersecurity strategy," reports The Verge. "The proposal is the first major cybersecurity push from any presidential candidate so far this cycle." From the report: In a press release, Delaney argued that the U.S.'s cyber authorities are spread too thin across too many agencies. This new agency would work to streamline the country's current approach. "Securing our cyber-infrastructure is not only a national security priority, it is an economic one as well," Delaney said. "In light of the many recent and continued cyberattacks on our country, we need to establish a cabinet-level agency to focus on protecting our cyberspace." Currently, the cybersecurity responsibility is scattered across a number of agencies, with Homeland Security handling threats to civilian agencies, US Cyber Command dealing with military cyberattacks, the FBI prosecuting federal and international cybercrime, and a string of ISACs coordinating private sector actors alongside government agencies. In the past, the White House has appointed a cybersecurity coordinator, or "czar," to work across those agencies, but President Trump eliminated the position in May 2018, leaving no single person or agency in charge of leading the country's cybersecurity efforts.

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Russia Adopts Bill That Would Expand Government Control Over the Internet

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2019-04-16 23:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ABC News: Russia's lower chamber of parliament has adopted a bill that would expand government control over the internet, raising fears of widespread censorship. The State Duma on Tuesday overwhelmingly voted to support the bill, which still has to be approved by the upper chamber of Russian Parliament and signed into the law by the president. The bill requires internet providers to install equipment to route Russian internet traffic through servers in the country. That would increase the power of state agencies to control information while users would find it harder to circumvent government restrictions, and the quality of the connection may suffer. Proponents of the bill say it is a defense measure in case the United States or other hostile powers cut off the internet for Russia.

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Google Pulls TikTok From Play Store in India Following Court Order

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2019-04-16 22:10
Google has pulled popular video app TikTok from the Play Store in India following a local court's direction, stoking fear among some activists that this could set a dangerous precedent. From a report: TikTok, which has amassed over 120 million monthly active users in India, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. TikTok, operated by Chinese conglomerate Bytedance, has come under hot water in India in recent weeks after some users complained about inappropriate content, including pornography, on the video service. A high court in Southern state of Tamil Nadu urged the central government to ban the download of TikTok in India earlier this month, alleging that TikTok "encouraged pornography" and risked spoiling the "future of the youngsters and mindset of the children." Bytedance challenged the state court's order in India's apex Supreme Court last week, asserting that such a move would undermine freedom of speech in the nation. The Supreme Court referred the case back to the state court on Tuesday, thereby rejecting Bytedance's appeal to call off the ban. The government sent a notice to Google and Apple earlier today to pull the app from their respective app stores, preventing any more downloads, as first reported by The Economic Times. Google's Android mobile operating system runs on more than 95% of smartphones in India, according to estimates from research firm Counterpoint. Notably, users who already have TikTok app installed on their Android smartphone can continue to use the service.

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Apple, Qualcomm Settle Royalty Dispute

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2019-04-16 21:25
Apple and Qualcomm have settled their royalty dispute, the companies said on Tuesday. From a report: The settlement includes a payment from Apple to Qualcomm as well as a chipset supply agreement, suggesting that future iPhone may use Qualcomm chips. The two companies started proceedings in a trial in federal court in San Diego on Monday, which was expected to last until May. Both sides were asking for billions in damages. In November, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said that he believed that the two companies were on the "doorstep" to settling. Apple CEO Tim Cook contradicted him shortly after, saying that Apple hasn't been in settlement discussions since the third calendar quarter of 2018. The complicated legal battle centered around modem chips and had been raging in courts around the world since 2016. For years, Apple bought modem chips from Qualcomm, but chafed under Qualcomm's prices and requirement that any company using its chips would also pay licensing fees for its patents. New iPhone models released in 2018 used Intel modem chips, and Apple said in a previous FTC trial that Qualcomm. UPDATE: Intel announced this afternoon that it plans to exit the 5G smartphone modem business, leaving Qualcomm as the only supplier for Apple's iPhones.

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HP's EliteBook 800 G6 Notebook Series Adds Convenience, Privacy Features

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2019-04-16 20:45
HP today announced its latest Elitebook 800 G6 line of business notebooks, boasting additional privacy options and a security software agent that HP says will make them more capable against zero-day attacks. From a report: HP's new models -- the EliteBook 830 G6, HP EliteBook 840 G6, and HP EliteBook 850 G6, plus the HP EliteBook x360 830 G6 -- offer up to 18 hours of battery life, a behind-the-glass privacy shutter, and options for a 1,000-nit screen that can be used outdoors. HP said it will ship most of the models in May, while the x360 model is expected to ship in June. Prices have not been announced. According to specifications provided to PCWorld, all four notebooks will share common Core i5-8265U and Core i7-8565 Whiskey Lake processors from Intel, while the Elitebook 830 G6 and EliteBook x360 830 G6 will offer a Core i3-8145U option as well. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 also appear for the first time in this generation, HP said. The members of the EliteBook lineup differ by screen size. The EliteBook 830 G6 and x360 830 G6 offer 13.3-inch displays. The 840 G6 is a 14-inch laptop, and the 850 G6 is a 15-inch machine. As many business notebooks do, HP has innovated on two axes: improving the hardware, as well as building in additional software and services. The company seems especially proud of the latter, specifically what it calls Sure Sense. The technology will be included on all of the newly announced EliteBook PCs. With Sure Sense, the company believes the lightweight software agent can react in real time to unknown threats, intelligently deciding whether they represent a risk to the system. The idea, HP said, is to provide an additional layer of security against so-called "zero-day" attacks that may come out of the blue and install ransomware or worse on corporate machines.

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'Avengers: Endgame' Footage Leaks on Reddit, YouTube, and Twitter

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2019-04-16 17:25
Despite Disney's efforts to keep as much of Avengers: Endgame under wraps as possible before the latest Marvel blockbuster hits theaters next week, several minutes of blurry Avengers: Endgame footage have leaked. From a report: The footage reveals some significant plot details, and GIFs, screenshots and descriptions -- none of which we're sharing here -- are spreading across the likes of Twitter and Reddit. Given the level of anticipation and hype surrounding Avengers: Endgame, Disney has trodden very carefully when it comes to revealing information about the movie. Press and critics have yet to see the film and you can bet everyone involved with the production has had to sign iron-clad non-disclosure agreements. However, Disney has shown critics 10 minutes of footage in the US and around 20 minutes in South Korea.

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Mozilla Wants Apple To Change Users' iPhone Advertiser ID Every Month

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2019-04-16 16:04
Mozilla has launched a petition today to get Apple to rotate the IDFA unique identifier of iOS users every month. From a report: The purpose of this request is to prevent online advertisers from creating profiles that contain too much information about iOS users. IDFA stands for "IDentifier For Advertisers" and is a per-device unique ID. Apps running on a device can request access to this ID and relay the number to advertising SDKs/partners they use to show ads to their users. As experts from Singular, a mobile marketing firm explain, "IDFAs take the place of cookies in mobile advertising delivered to iOS devices because cookies are problematic in the mobile world." IDFAs are different from UDIDs, which stand for "unique device identifiers," which are permanent and unchangeable device identifiers. Apple added support for IDFAs specifically to replace UDIDs, which many apps were collecting for all sorts of shady reasons, enabling pervasive tracking of iOS users.

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US Government Admits It Doesn't Know If Assange Cracked Password For Manning

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2019-04-16 15:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: The U.S. government does not have any evidence that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange succeeded in cracking a password for whistleblower Chelsea Manning, according to a newly unsealed affidavit written by an FBI agent. Last week, Assange was escorted out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and arrested for breaching bail in connection to allegations of sexual misconduct in Sweden. The day of Assange's arrest, the U.S. government unsealed an indictment against Assange with a hacking conspiracy charge. The Department of Justice accused WikiLeaks' founder of agreeing to help Manning crack a password that would have helped the former military analyst get into a classified computer system under a username that did not belong to her, making it harder for investigators to trace the eventual leak. On Monday, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia unsealed the affidavit, which is dated December 21, 2017. The document contains more details on the interactions between Assange and Manning. And, most significantly, contains the admission that the U.S. government -- as of December of 2017 -- had no idea whether Assange actually cracked the password. Until now, we knew that the U.S. was aware that Assange attempted to crack a password for Manning once, but didn't know if it had more evidence of further attempts or whether it thought Assange was successful. "Investigators have not recovered a response by Manning to Assange's question, and there is no other evidence as to what Assange did, if anything, with respect to the password," FBI agent Megan Brown said in the affidavit. According to lawyers, the simple offer to help can be considered part of a conspiracy to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. "For purposes of a conspiracy charge, it is not necessary for the action to be successful. All that is needed is an overt action in furtherance of the conspiracy, namely Assange's efforts to crack the password for Manning," Bradley, a lawyer at the Mark Zaid P.C law firm in Washington, DC, told Motherboard via email. "That he failed is irrelevant."

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TicTocTrack Smartwatch Flaws Can Be Abused To Track Kids

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2019-04-16 01:40
secwatcher shares a report from Threatpost: A popular smartwatch that allows parents to track their children's whereabouts, TicTocTrack, has been discovered to be riddled with security issues that could allow hackers to track and call children. Researchers at Pen Test Partners revealed vulnerabilities in the watch (sold in Australia) on Monday, which could enable hackers to track children's location, spoof the child's location or view personal data on the victims' accounts. The parent company of the TicTocTrack watch, iStaySafe Pty Ltd., has temporarily restricted access to the watch's service and app while it investigates further. Researchers found that the service's back end does not make any authorization attempt on any request -- besides the user having a valid username and password combination. That means that an attacker who is logged into the service could remotely compromise the app and track other accounts that are based in Australia. The smartwatch, available in Australia for $149 (USD), is designed for children and uses GPS to track the movement of the wearer every six minutes, and offers voice calling and SMS features. The smartwatch's API can be attacked by changing the FamilyIdentifier number (which identifies the family that the user belongs to), which then could give a bad actor complete access to the user's data -- including the children's location, parent's full names, phone numbers and other personal identifiable information. Researchers with Pen Test Partners collaborated with security researcher Troy Hunt to test the attack. Hunt uploaded a video showing how the smartwatch vulnerability could be exploited to call his daughter -- and how her smartwatch would answer automatically without any interaction needed from her end.

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Google Fiber To Pay Nearly $4 Million To Louisville In Exit Deal

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-04-15 23:40
As Google Fiber prepares to leave Louisville, Kentucky, Google has agreed to pay the city government $3.84 million to fix damage to city streets. "The payments, to be made over 20 months, will cover removing fiber cables and sealant from roads, milling and paving streets 'where needed' and removing Google's above-ground infrastructure," reports WDRB, citing a news release from Mayor Greg Fischer's office. From the report: Google Fiber also agreed to donate $150,000 to the Community Foundation of Louisville to support Metro's "digital inclusion" efforts, which include "refurbishing used computers for low-income individuals and the enrollment of public housing residents in low-cost internet access through other companies providing service in Louisville," according to the mayor's office. Google Fiber, a unit of the Silicon Valley tech giant, said Feb. 7 that it would abandon the Louisville market after running into too many problems with the micro-trenching technique it used to install its fiber-optic cables as shallow as two inches below the pavement surface of city streets. Louisville, which lobbied for years to get Google Fiber, has the distinction of being the first city to lose the super-fast internet service. The report notes that Google Fiber only reached a small slice of the city, estimating that the service was only available to, at most, about 11,000 households.

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DARPA Wants To Make a Better, More Secure Version of WhatsApp

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-04-15 23:00
The Defense and Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) appears to be in the process of developing its own ultra secure communication platform. The program is called "Resilient Anonymous Communication for Everyone," or RACE, and it will be similar to WhatsApp in that it will be for everyone to use. Trusted Reviews reports: The objectives of the program are to create a distributed messaging system that can do three things: Exist completely within a network; Provide confidentiality, integrity and availability of messaging; and Preserve privacy to any participant in the system. DARPA seem to be putting security front and center, and the description of the project claims that "compromised system data and associated networked communications should not be helpful for comprising any additional parts of the system," meaning that DARPA are keen that one breach shouldn't also give them a leg up on access to other parts of the system. So, will we soon be using a U.S government branded DARPA? Probably not, but the chances are that RACE will go some way to creating a messaging app that's resilient to attacks, with the protocol and security they find no doubt dripping through to consumer tech and features in the coming years.

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Volkswagen's Former CEO Charged In Germany Over Diesel Rigging

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-04-15 22:23
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Former Volkswagen AG head Martin Winterkorn was charged with serious fraud in Germany for his role in the diesel-rigging scandal that rocked the carmaker and cost it about $33 billion. The former chief executive officer was accused alongside four other managers of equipping vehicles sold to customers in Europe and the U.S. with a so-called defeat device, authorities in Braunschweig said Monday in an emailed statement. Fraud charges carry a sentence of as long as 10 years, and prosecutors also want to seize bonuses paid to the five men, which ranged from 300,000 euros for some managers to about 11 million euros for Winterkorn. Allegations that VW wrongfully withheld information about the emission software used in its diesel cars have loomed over the company since the scandal first broke in 2015. The crisis involved as many as 11 million diesel cars worldwide, and shattered the Wolfsburg-based company's reputation. Winterkorn's lawyer Felix Doerr said prosecutors haven't given him full access to their files. Unless all information is disclosed to him, he said, he can't comment on the charges. Winterkorn was also charged with breach of trust for failing to swiftly tell authorities about the defeat devices used "to seemingly meet tightened emission standards for diesel cars and preserve market shares for VW or even increase them for the benefit of the company and the accused themselves," prosecutors said.

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Starz Goes on Twitter Meta-Censorship Spree To Cover Up TV-Show Leaks

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-04-15 18:43
American entertainment giant Starz is continuing to remove tweets that link to a TorrentFreak news report about leaked TV-shows. From a report: Last week we posted a news article documenting how several TV-show episodes had leaked online before their official release. Due to the leaks, complete seasons of unreleased TV-shows such as "The Spanish Princess," "Ramy," and "The Red Line," surfaced on pirate sites. In most cases, there were visible signs revealing that the leaks were sourced from promotional screeners. The leaks also hit Starz, as three then-unreleased episodes from its TV series "American Gods" appeared online as well. The American entertainment company was obviously not happy with that, but its response was rather unconventional. Soon after the news was published, Starz issued a takedown request through The Social Element Agency, requesting Twitter to remove our tweet to our own article. Twitter was quick to comply and removed the tweet that supposedly infringed Starz copyrights. We disagreed. The article in question never linked to any infringing material. It did include a screenshot from a leaked episode, showing the screener watermarks, but those watermarks were central to the story, as we explained in a follow-up piece. The good news is that many legal scholars, journalists, and lawyers agree with our stance. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), for example, responded that Starz has no right to silence TorrentFreak and also shared that opinion on Twitter, where many others chimed in as well. That's when things started to spiral out of control. Starz takedown efforts only encouraged more people to share the original story about the leaks, which is a classic example of the 'Streisand Effect'. However, Starz didn't budge and issued takedown notices against those tweets as well.

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EFF: Facebook Should Notify Users Who Interact With Fake Police 'Sock Puppet' Accounts

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-04-15 15:34
An anonymous reader quotes a senior investigative researcher at the EFF: Despite Facebook's repeated warnings that law enforcement is required to use "authentic identities" on the social media platform, cops continue to create fake and impersonator accounts to secretly spy on users. By pretending to be someone else, cops are able to sneak past the privacy walls users put up and bypass legal requirements that might require a warrant to obtain that same information... EFF is now calling on Facebook to escalate the matter with law enforcement in the United States. Facebook should take the following actions to address the proliferation of fake/impersonator Facebook accounts operated by law enforcement, in addition to suspending the fake accounts. - As part of its regular transparency reports, Facebook should publish data on the number of fake/impersonator law enforcement accounts identified, what agencies they belonged to, and what action was taken. - When a fake/impersonator account is identified, Facebook should alert the users and groups that interacted with the account whether directly or indirectly. The article also suggests updating Facebook's Terms of Service to explicitly prohibit fake/impersonator profiles by law enforcement groups, and updating Facebook pages of law enforcement groups to inform visitors when those groups have a written policy allowing fake/impersonator law enforcement accounts. "These four changes are relatively light lifts that would enhance transparency and establish real consequences for agencies that deliberately violate the rules..." "Facebook's practice of taking down these individual accounts when they learn about them from the press (or from EFF) is insufficient to deter what we believe is a much larger iceberg beneath the surface."

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The Rise and Fall of the Bayrob Malware Gang

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-04-15 09:22
Three Romanians ran a complicated online fraud operation -- along with a massive malware botnet -- for nine years, reports ZDNet, netting tens of millions of US dollars, but their crime spree is now over. But now they're all facing long prison sentences. "The three were arrested in late 2016 after the FBI and Symantec had silently stalked their malware servers for years, patiently waiting for the highly skilled group to make mistakes that would leave enough of a breadcrumb trail to follow back to their real identities." An anonymous Slashdot reader writes: The group started from simple eBay scams [involving non-existent cars and even a fake trucking company] to running one of the most widespread keylogger trojans around. They were considered one of the most advanced groups around, using PGP email and OTR encryption when most hackers were defacing sites under the Anonymous moniker, and using multiple proxy layers to protect their infrastructure. The group operated tens of fake websites, including a Yahoo subsidiary clone, conned and stole money from their own money mules, and were of the first groups to deploy Bitcoin crypto-mining malware on desktops, when Bitcoin could still be mined on PCs. The Bayrob group was led by one of Romania's top IT students, who went to the dark side and helped create a malware operation that took nine years for US authorities and the FBI to track and eventually take down. Before turning hacker, he was the coach of Romania's national computer science team, although he was still a student, and won numerous awards in programming and CS contests.

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China's 'Game of Thrones' Fans Try Torrents, VPNs For Uncensored Episodes

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-04-15 03:35
"Winter is coming for fans of the hit television series Game of Thrones, with the final season set to hit screens around the world after a near two-year hiatus," reports the South China Morning Post. There were 96 million views for a discussion about the show on China's Twitter-like platform Weibo. "But those watching inside China are also bracing for the chill of censorship." In recent years, Chinese authorities have ramped up the pressure on the television and film industries to clean up content they deem vulgar or politically incorrect. This has led to some serious censorship of foreign productions. Recent examples include the removal of scenes of smashed heads and bare flesh from the American superhero film Logan, and the apparent manipulation of a scene in Oscar-winner The Shape of Water so that a naked woman is made to appear to be wearing clothes... In a bid to get around the censorship, many Chinese Game of Thrones fans have turned to virtual private networks and torrent download websites to access unexpurgated versions of their favourite episodes. Tencent Video holds the exclusive distribution rights for the show in China, leaving one Weibo user to post "I'm begging Father Tencent not to censor too much, thank you." Another added "This censored version is not interesting. I would pay money to watch the uncut version."

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Amazon Helps Cops Set Up Package Theft Sting Operations

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - N, 2019-04-14 16:34
An anonymous reader quotes Motherboard: In response to Amazon packages being stolen from people's doorsteps, police departments around the country have set up sting operations that use fake packages bugged with GPS trackers to find and arrest people who steal packages. Internal emails and documents obtained by Motherboard via a public records request show how Amazon and one police department partnered to set up one of these operations. The documents obtained by Motherboard -- which include an operations plan and internal emails between Amazon and the Hayward, California Police Department -- show that Amazon's "national package theft team" made several calls to the Hayward Police Department and sent the department packages, tape, and stickers that allowed the department to set up a "porch pirate" operation in November and December of 2018... Several other cities around the country -- including Aurora, Colorado; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Jersey City, New Jersey; and Hayward, California -- have also conducted porch pirate sting operations aided by Amazon. Jersey City, New Jersey -- like Hayward, California -- put GPS-tracking devices inside the dummy packages. Aurora and Albuquerque, meanwhile, used doorbell cameras from Ring -- which is owned by Amazon -- to capture video footage and surveil for theft.

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We're All Being Judged By a Secret 'Trustworthiness' Score

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - N, 2019-04-14 15:34
schwit1 writes: Nearly everything we buy, how we buy, and where we're buying from is secretly fed into AI-powered verification services that help companies guard against credit-card and other forms of fraud, according to the Wall Street Journal. More than 16,000 signals are analyzed by a service called Sift, which generates a "Sift score" ranging from 1 to 100. The score is used to flag devices, credit cards and accounts that a vendor may want to block based on a person or entity's overall "trustworthiness" score, according to a company spokeswoman. From the Sift website: "Each time we get an event be it a page view or an API event we extract features related to those events and compute the Sift Score. These features are then weighed based on fraud we've seen both on your site and within our global network, and determine a user's Score. There are features that can negatively impact a Score as well as ones which have a positive impact." The system is similar to a credit score except there's no way to find out your own Sift score. Factors which contribute to one's Sift score (per the WSJ): Is the account new?Are there are a lot of digits at the end of an email address?Is the transaction coming from an IP address that's unusual for your account?Is the transaction coming from a region where there are a lot of hackers, such as China, Russia or Eastern Europe?Is the transaction coming from an anonymization network?Is the transaction happening at an odd time of day?Has the credit card being used had chargebacks associated with it?Is the browser different from what you typically use?Is the device different from what you typically use?Is the cadence of the way you typed out your password typical for you? (tracked by some advanced systems)

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Police Are Using Google's Location Data From 'Hundreds of Millions' of Phones

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - N, 2019-04-14 06:34
"When law enforcement investigations get cold, there's a source authorities can turn to for location data that could produce new leads: Google." An anonymous reader quotes CNET: Police have used information from the search giant's Sensorvault database to aid in criminal cases across the country, according to a report Saturday by The New York Times. The database has detailed location records from hundreds of millions of phones around the world, the report said. It's meant to collect information on the users of Google's products so the company can better target them with ads, and see how effective those ads are. But police have been tapping into the database to help find missing pieces in investigations. Law enforcement can get "geofence" warrants seeking location data. Those kinds of requests have spiked in the last six months, and the company has received as many as 180 requests in one week, according to the report.... For geofence warrants, police carve out a specific area and time period, and Google can gather information from Sensorvault about the devices that were present during that window, according to the report. The information is anonymous, but police can analyze it and narrow it down to a few devices they think might be relevant to the investigation. Then Google reveals those users' names and other data, according to the Times... [T]he AP reported last year that Google tracked people's location even after they'd turned off location-sharing on their phones. Google's data dates back "nearly a decade," the Times reports -- though in a statement, Google's director of law enforcement and information security insisted "We vigorously protect the privacy of our users while supporting the important work of law enforcement." (The Times also interviewed a man who was arrested and jailed for a week last year based partly on Google's data -- before eventually being released after the police found a more likely suspect.) "According to the Times, Google is the primary company that appears to be fulfilling the warrants," reports Gizmodo, adding that Apple "says it can't provide this information to authorities..." "A thriving black market in location data has persisted despite promises from carriers to stop selling it to middlemen, who divert it from intended uses in marketing and other services."

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