Samsung prepping security update for SwiftKey keyboard vulnerability

Samsung_Galaxy_S6_Edge_Right_Edge_Slanted_01_TAEarlier today, a massive security exploit involving Samsung’s default SwiftKey keyboard spread across the internet like wildfire showing the dangers of manufacturers pre-loading third-party software on their phones. The vulnerability was pretty obscure and wouldn’t affect everyone with a Samsung device, but it was still a fairly serious exploit Fortunately, Samsung has issued a relatively quick response about the whole situation.

Samsung has stated that they’re working on a fix, and it will be deployed through a security policy update via Knox. The vulnerability was based in how language packs for Samsung’s SwiftKey-backed keyboard were updated, and doesn’t affect the normal version of SwiftKey that you may have downloaded through the Play Store.  Read more

Google discusses privacy and permissions within Android apps

talk android app permissionsPrivacy and security are big issues for consumers lately, especially when it comes to technology. It’s such an important topic that during Apple’s keynote last week, they used privacy as a selling point for their products. Staying in control of your data and information is invaluable to customers now, and companies are striving to make sure their users stay in control of those things.

With Apple making such a huge push in the direction of privacy, that puts eyes on Google to see what they’re planning on doing to help out on the security front. A Google executive recently sat down to discuss some of what goes into managing user info, especially when it comes to apps on a smartphone, and why it took the company so long to get things to where they are now. Read more

Researchers able to access private data on smartwatches

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Over the years owners of smartphones have learned the hard way that they need to keep their devices secured against attempts to get private information off of the devices. The worry is not so much that someone will intercept data on the fly, but that a misplaced device could fall into the wrong hands that have plenty of time to try to break through security to access private data. Researchers from the University of New Haven have started work on examining how secure a new crop of devices – smartwatches – may be and the results are not promising. Read more

Gmail app gets Oauth support for Yahoo! and Microsoft mail accounts

Gmail-bannerGoogle’s Gmail app for Android has gotten some extra new security features that will be very important for those of you using a Yahoo! or Microsoft account. The new update brings Oauth support for both accounts, bringing the security of using those email addresses closer to what you’ll typically experience with Gmail.

Oauth allows users to take advantage of two-step authentication and Google’s account recovery process, both of which are staple security features in 2015. If you use either a Yahoo! or Microsoft mail account in your Gmail app, keep an eye out for this update over the next few days. Read more

Coalition of tech companies, others urge Obama to reject encrypted data backdoors

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Leading tech companies like Apple and Google, along with a host of cryptologists and other advisors, have penned a letter to President Obama urging him to protect privacy rights from attempts by law enforcement agencies to create backdoors to encrypted phone data. The move is in response to several months of statements from officials like FBI Director James Comey who have criticized tech companies for building encryption into their devices possibly at the expense of public safety. Against that fear, the letter notes that “strong encryption is the cornerstone of the modern information economy’s security.” Read more

The Chrome Web Store will be the only source for browser extensions from July

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The Chrome browser is a most versatile piece of software, one can find an extension to satisfy almost any need via the Chrome Web Store. Because of its rising popularity though, Google was forced to take the step of disabling the side-loading of extensions for Windows users in May of last year. Following on from that, Google has just announced on its blog that from July onwards, both Mac and Windows users will only be able to install extensions for its web browser directly from the official Chrome Web Store.

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