Prior to the launch of the Nexus 6 and Android 5.0, we knew Google was moving to making device encryption mandatory for all new devices shipping with Lollipop. As far as security goes, that’s a great move, but it looks like it’s actually having some negative effects on the Nexus 6.
Early benchmarks seem to show that Lollipop’s full disk encryption (FDE) are having some fairly significant performance impacts on the Nexus 6. This is especially unfortunate since the Nexus 6 encrypts itself on first boot and there’s no way to turn it off, outside of flashing custom boot images. That’s not exactly a user friendly solution. Read more
The most popular messaging platform is getting better today. The update to the WhatsApp Android app now includes end-to-end encryption. Using open source code from Open Whisper Systems, even WhatsApp won’t have the ability to decrypt your messages.
Only the users will have access to the conversation, which means that law enforcement officials won’t be able to force WhatsApp to share your messages since they won’t have access to it.
Samsung’s Find My Mobile service has come under fire by NIST and security researcher Mohamed Baset regarding an exploit that allows attackers to remotely lock, ring or wipe Samsung devices. Baset points to a vulnerability in Samsung’s service that doesn’t validate the lock code information it receives, allowing an attacker to flood the device with network traffic and do their bidding. No word from Samsung on a patch, but for now we recommend disabling the service until they address the security issue.
Samsung issued a statement to us and it looks like it only affected the Web interface, not mobile devices. Furthermore, they patched the Web UI on October 13.
The reported issue occurred on the Find My Mobile Web site, and was not a problem on any mobile device. This Web UI was fixed with a patch update on October 13.
Security is one of Google’s major focus points with the latest version of Android, and in a blog post they’ve detailed exactly what goes into making your Android more secure once it’s updated to Lollipop. Read more
Look out! Three Google researchers published a bug today, causing much of the internet to panic over securing systems. The bug is called POODLE, for “Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption.” Read more
It seems like just about every day there is some sort of hack involving an online service. Today’s hack is from Dropbox.
A user posted files on Reddit that contained a bunch of usernames and passwords for Dropbox accounts. The poster said there were close to 7,000,000 more, but asked for Bitcoin donations to reveal them.
According to reports, some 4chan users are claiming that a a third-party app used to access the Snapchat service has been breached giving access to over 200,000 images matched with usernames. The app in question is named SnapSaved and is used to get around Snapchat’s system that alerts users when someone grabs a screenshot of an image that has been posted. Apparently SnapSaved was using a cloud architecture to save the images being grabbed from Snapchat, along with everything else that was being passed to a user, like usernames. According to posters on 4chan, the image database will be posted online by this Sunday, October 12th. Read more
AT&T has revealed that an employee inappropriately accessed customer data, including Social Security numbers and other account data. It is not clear whether the employee may have done anything beyond accessing data that was off limits, but the company is offering to reverse any unauthorized charges incurred by customers. AT&T is also offering a free year of credit monitoring services to affected customers. Read more
Recently, Apple CEO Tim Cook was on Charlie Rose and questioned Google’s data collection practices. He said, “When an online service is free, you’re not the customer, you’re the product.” Now it’s Eric Schmidt’s turn as he appeared on CNN Money and obviously had some things to say about Tim Cook’s comments.
There seems to be a lot of talk about security and privacy today. First Apple took shots at Google in their statement about privacy. Then it was revealed that Google would enable device encryption by default in Android L. Now Google is collaborating with Dropbox, the Open Technology Fund, and leading security researchers for Simply Secure, a new organization that will make open source security tools simpler and easier for people to use.
Many of the security tools that are in place are just too complicated for the average consumer. Take two-factor authentication for instance. It’s widely used in many services, including Gmail and Dropbox, but so few people utilize it. Most people don’t even lock their smartphones.