Dropbox, Google, Open Technology Fund, Security Researchers to simplify security tools

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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.


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Android L will enable device encryption by default for better security

Nexus_5_Android_L_Developer_Preview_Home_Screen_01_TAWe’re still waiting on an official Android L announcement from Google, but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep an eye out for new features that the update will have. The latest report comes from the Washington Post and states that Google will enable device encryption by default on all Android L devices. Phone security is a huge deal lately, so this is a welcome change. This encryption will primarily deter law enforcement or government from pulling any data or personal information off of an encrypted device, unless the owner of the device willingly consented to a search. 
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Tim Cook’s new privacy statement for Apple jabs Google

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New hardware and software isn’t all Apple has launching this week. Tim Cook, the chief executive officer, personally wrote a new privacy statement located on the company’s site. In it, there are jabs at other tech firms and Google is seemingly the prime target. Unlike other tech firms, Cook states that Apple treats users as customers and not a product.


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Google updates security section in Account settings

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As Google continues to deal with the fallout from the posting of Gmail account information on a Russian forum, Google has added a new Security tab for Google accounts to help make it a little easier for users to update and maintain their security settings. It is likely a coincidence that this change has occurred on the heels of yesterday’s events, which Google says is not as bad as initially reported. However, it could be in response to what happened as Google would be a company that has the resources to throw at the issue and rollout a change quickly.
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Google comments on leaked passwords and usernames

Gmail_SecurityJust yesterday we reported that roughly 5 million Gmail username and passwords were leaked on the web, which sounds like a pretty terrifying thing to happen. Google has released a statement today to clear things up, though, and it looks like things aren’t as bad as they first appeared.

Google claims that less than 2% of the leaked username/password combos would have actually worked, which is only about 100,000 accounts. On top of that, Google’s security measures likely would have blocked most of those attempted log-ins anyway. On top of that, Google has prompted affected users to reset their passwords, so if you were one of the few to be affected, Google has already given you a heads up.
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Dropbox Pro gets price cut, storage increase and new features

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Dropbox has announced some major revisions to the Dropbox Pro paid subscription version of their service. The update brings some enhancements related to security in response to customer requests. Dropbox is also simplifying their pricing and increasing the storage available. Previously, Dropbox Pro was priced at $9.99 per month for 100 GB of space. Users could bump that up to a maximum of 500 GB of space for $50 per month. Now, Dropbox is keeping the pricing the same but users get 1 TB of storage space instead.
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Android malware can attack devices with “Fake ID” exploit

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It’s been awhile since we’ve heard of any major security exploits in Android, but it looks like another pretty massive security vulnerability has been uncovered by Bluebox Security. The latest exploit takes advantage of Android’s failure to check the authenticity of digital certificates, allowing some apps to gain access to the OS and resources that they otherwise should not have access to.
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The internet will be a safer place thanks to Google’s Project Zero

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Today, Google announced a new “well-staffed team called Project Zero.” Project Zero aims to put an end to targeted internet attacks such as those criminals or state-sponsored actors that try to infect your computer to steal information or monitor your activities.

Google is hiring the best security researchers who will devote 100% of their time towards improving security with all types of software. Google will also continue its tradition of transparency by filing each and every bug they discover in an external database. Before they become public, they will report the bugs to only the software vendor. After the bug is patched, it will become public.

This sounds like another sound Google project and if you think you might have the expertise to help Google, be sure to contact them because they are hiring now.

source: Google Online Security

Google Play Services holds important role in security for Android devices

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During Google I/O 2014 today, some time was spent sharing the role that Google Play Services holds in keeping all users up-to-date and secure against malicious attacks. According to Google, Google Play Services gets updated every six weeks and is one of the few frameworks that they actively monitor to make sure it stays on that schedule. With these updates rolling out regularly, Google says 93% of all Google users are on the latest version.
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