Security flaw can expose your real IP address when using a VPN

VPN Security Flaw IP Addresses

Virtual private networks (VPNs) are supposed to help users protect their online privacy. VPN services obfuscate the user’s real IP address by routing traffic through other international servers. There are plenty of online companies who offer free or paid access to VPN subscriptions that many users rely on to avoid geofences (read: access Netflix U.S. content from anywhere in the world), download pirated content or just to simply mask their online activity to enhance privacy protection.

However, a discovery has revealed that VPN services aren’t as secure as you’d think, as a huge security flaw can apparently expose the real IP address of their users.

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ICYMI: Plant-powered lamps, livestreaming AI and more

ICYMI: Plant-Powered Lamps, Livestreaming AI and More

Today on In Case You Missed It: A coder from the Netherlands used a live webcam feed for a walk around Amsterdam, running neural network code that identified everything in view. Despite some obvious set-backs (it thought the creator was wearing a suit when he really wore a zip-up hoodie, natch), it impressively identified boats in a river and stacks of bikes. Researchers in Peru invented prototype lamps that run off of the bacteria of living plants. And a new security system for the camera-hacking adverse works by setting up a motion-detecting mesh network.

Reports saying ISIS created its own cyber manual may have been exaggerated

ISIS Cyber Manual Encryption

There’s no doubt in anybody’s mind that the ISIS attacks on Paris were carefully planned and executed, with some degree of sophistication involved, at least when it comes to avoiding intelligence agencies. Immediately after the tragedy that hit France in mid-November, many speculated that terrorists relied on encrypted devices and apps to thwart detection, although that hasn’t been proved so far. Moreover, reports picked up by the media revealed that ISIS might have an advanced support team in place, that would offer its members round-the-clock guidance when it comes to the digital aspect of their operations.

The same report said that ISIS created its own training manuals detailing best practices for safeguarding one’s privacy, but it turns out that’s not the case.

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FCC hires a privacy guru to help lead its telecom investigations

If you want proof that the Federal Communications Commission is getting serious about privacy, you only need to look at its latest recruit. The agency has hired Jonathan Mayer, one of the masterminds behind Do Not Track browsing, as the chief technologist for its Enforcement Bureau. He'll help lead investigations into any shady behavior from telecoms and TV providers, particularly if they run afoul of your privacy or security.

Source: Washington Post

The anti-Anonymous: Hacking group finds a smarter way to fight ISIS

Hackers Vs. ISIS Ghost Security Group

It's good that Anonymous has decided to declare war on Islamic State but there are questions about whether their actions are actually effective. In particular, Anonymous has drawn criticism for getting several Twitter accounts banned that had nothing to do with supporting or aiding ISIS. The group has also come under fire for hyping up terror threats that authorities have said were never credible. That said, there is a hacking group out there that is trying to be the anti-Anonymous by taking the fight to ISIS in a smarter, subtler fashion.

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WARNING: Change your Amazon password now — Amazon suffers potential password leak

Amazon Password Leak

The Black Friday 2015 shopping season is upon us and Amazon's big Black Friday sale is in full swing, but some Amazon customers have received an unwelcome gift over the past few days: News that their Amazon account passwords may have been compromised.

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Google can remotely give cops access to at least 74% of all Android devices

Google Android Encryption Data

There’s a new interesting revelation in the debate on encryption that was reignited after the disastrous attacks on Paris in mid-November. According to a new report, Google can remotely unlock at least 74% of Android devices if ordered to by authorities – and that percentage might be much higher.

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Has Anonymous’s war against ISIS been doing more harm than good?

Anonymous Vs. ISIS Twitter Accounts Banned

Anonymous has been leading the digital fight against Islamic State by getting some of its social media accounts on Twitter banned, but has it been doing more harm than good? A Twitter spokesperson tells The Daily Dot that Anonymous's lists of purported ISIS-affiliated are so "wildly inaccurate" that it doesn't even pay attention to them anymore.

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Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft warn weaker encryption makes the bad guys stronger

Apple Google Facebook Microsoft Encryption

In the wake of last week's deadly terror attacks in Paris, prominent politicians and senior law-enforcement officials have said that western governments have to rethink their stance on encrypted Internet-connected products and services.

But government officials aren’t the only ones to voice concerns about encryption. Politicians might be pushing legislation to weaken encryption in the name of greater security but many big-name tech companies -- including Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft -- warn that weaker encryption will help the bad guys.

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Many of your Android apps send unnecessary hidden data


It won't shock you to hear that Android apps send a lot of data, but you may be surprised at how much of it isn't really necessary... or public, for that matter. MIT researchers have determined that "much" of the hidden data sent and received by the 500 most popular Android apps isn't necessary to the functionality. For example, a Walmart app talks to eBay whenever you scan a barcode -- there's no practical difference when you sever that connection. Out of the 47 apps that MIT modified to prove its case, 30 were virtually indistinguishable from the official versions. The rest only had minor issues, like missing ads.

Source: MIT News