Legal News

flashlight app

FTC Settles With Flashlight App Maker Over Geotracking

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced on Thursday that it settled with the maker of a popular Android mobile flashlight application over charges that the company used deceptive advertising to collect location and device information from Android owners. The FTC announced the settlement with Goldenshores Technologies, LLC of Moscow, Indiana, makers of the “Brightest Flashlight Free” Android application, saying that the company failed to disclose wanton harvesting and sharing of  customers’ location and mobile device identity with third parties. Brightest Flashlight Free is a top download from Google Play, the main Android marketplace. Statistics from the site indicate that it has been downloaded more than one million times with an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. The application, which is available for free, displays mobile advertisements on the devices that it is installed on. However, the device also harvested a wide range of data from Android phones which […]

digital spying

Internet of Things Demands New Social Contract To Protect Privacy

Changes brought about by the Internet of Things demands the creation of a whole new social contract to enshrine the right to privacy and prevent the creation of technology-fueled Orwellian surveillance states in which individual privacy protections take a back seat to security and “control.” That, according to an opinion piece penned by the head of the European Commission’s Knowledge Sharing Unit. Gérald Santucci, in an essay written for the web site privacysurgeon.org, argues that technology advances, including the advent of wearable technology and the combination of inexpensive, remote sensors and Big Data analytics threaten to undermine long-held notions like personal privacy and the rights of individuals. The essays says that current approaches to data protection are “largely inadequate” to the task of reigning in the asymmetrical changes wrought by new technology. “Data collection and video surveillance will continue to grow as ubiquitous computing pervades almost all areas of our […]

ToR

Is Jump In ToR Use Blowback From PRISM?

It’s ironic that government surveillance might push the public to embrace technology pioneered by the Department of Defense. But so it is: new metrics from The Tor Project show that use of the online anonymity service has exploded since early June: up more than 100 percent, from just over 500,000 global users to more than 1.2 million. Why the sudden surge in privacy conscious Internet users? It would be easy to connect the dots between revelations about the U.S. government’s omnibus data gathering program PRISM and the sudden desire of Internet users to sacrifice some speed and performance for the privilege of having their online doings passed through The Onion Router. Still, it’s not clear that this is the case. To be sure: growth is being seen across the board, not just in active users, but in the number of ToR clients running, the data suggests. There are steep increases […]

Anonymous Email Services Shutter In Wake Of Snowden

Podcast: Play in new window | Download () | EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS | https://www.securityledger.com/subscribeFaced with the prospect of being forced to turn over metadata from their customers’ private correspondence to secret courts in the U.S. or other countries, two prominent secure e-mail services decided this week to cease operation. The secure email service Lavabit – lately the choice of NSA leaker Edward Snowden – announced that it was ceasing operations on Thursday after ten years of operation. The announcement was followed, on Friday, by a similar one from the security firm Silent Circle, which operated Silent Mail. Both companies cited the difficulty of securing e-mail communications and the prospect of secret government subpoenas to obtain information on the activities of their customers as the reason for deciding to stop offering secure email services. In a message posted […]

Are Anti-Mule Ops Breaking The Bank Fraud Kill Chain?

Mules are the “last mile” in many online fraud operations: the unwitting dupes, or witting co-conspirators who lend their legitimate bank account (and reputation) to fraudsters who are looking for a way to cash out funds from a compromised account. Mules – often lured with promises of “work-from-home” riches receive fraudulent transactions, then immediately withdraw the funds and wire them to the fraudsters, minus a healthy “commission.”   In recent years, there has been ample coverage in the media of cyber crime and fraud and the role of money mules in scams. (I note Brian Krebs excellent reporting on the mule problem on his blog.)  And yet, the supply of mules seems to be endless. Or is it? According to researchers at the security firm RSA, bank account cash-out attacks are becoming less common online, and a sharp increase in busts on money mules may be the cause. Writing on […]