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Google Downloaded Audio Listeners Without Users’ Consent, Chromium users say. Is your microphone on?

Google downloaded audio listeners onto computers without users’ consent before the error was fixed, according to The Independent. Users of Chromium, the open-source version of Google Chrome, allege that Google listened into the conversations of users through a ‘black box’ of code. It is downloaded to enable a feature that activates a search function when you say "OK, Google," but the code appears to have en...

The Trouble with Installing Unofficial Browser Extensions

Google has extended its ban on unofficial Google Chrome extensions. This means developers and Mac users will have to install extensions from the official Chrome Web Store, according to recent news reports. The initiative, launched a year ago, aimed to eradicate malicious browser extensions that ruined users’ browsing experience by slowing the system down, injecting adware or silently tracking browsing activ...

Google, Microsoft and Mastercard Sign Anti-Piracy Agreement with Danish ISPS

A coalition including Google, Mastercard, Microsoft and anti-piracy organization Right Alliance was formed to tackle the issue of online infringement, according to news reports. Their memorandum of understanding, or ‘Code to Promote Lawful Behavior on the Internet,’ has five key objectives: To help make the Internet a safe and legal platform for consumers and businesses. To stress that copyright is an impor...

Rogue Ads Impacted Tens of Millions Users, Google Study Reveals

In 2014, 5.5% of visitors to a Google site were served malicious ads, according to a Google study. In an in-depth analysis of the web injection ecosystem, Google identified tens of millions of ad injections “in the wild” in only a few months. The company partnered with the University of California, Berkeley and Santa Barbara to shed light on the “tangled web” of the lucrative online advertising business. “O...

Should your voice be enough to unlock your Android phone? Google seems to think so

According to media reports, some users of Android phones are beginning to see a new feature rolled-out to their devices. And it could mean that all you may need to do to unlock your Android phone in future is murmur the words "Ok Google." This isn't the first time Google has tried to give Android users methods to unlock their devices without having to go to all the "effort" of entering a PIN, swipeable patt...

Google endangers 900 million Android smartphones, by refusing to patch WebView

Do you have an Android smartphone or tablet? Have you checked what version of the Android OS you are running? Because if you are running Android 4.3 (aka Jellybean) or earlier I'm afraid there's some bad news: you're not going to be receiving any security updates from Google for WebView, a core component of the Android operating system used to render webpages. In case you didn't know, WebView is the tool wi...

Google Will Mark HTTP Sites As Unsafe Starting in 2015

Google plans to mark all HTTP pages “insecure” to warn users about data security and privacy issues, according to Chromium.org. As part of the open-source Chromium Projects, the initiative will affect Chrome starting in January. It’s meant to encourage all website owners to switch to HTTPS by default. “We all need data communication on the web to be secure (private, authenticated, untampered),” Google’s tea...

Over 30 Vulnerabilities Exposed in Google App Engine

Over 30 vulnerabilities that allow hackers to bypass critical security sandbox defenses were discovered in Google App Engine (GAE), according to The Hacker News. Security Explorations researchers identified the series of flaws in the Java environment of Google’s Platform as a Service. Attackers can exploit the vulnerabilities to achieve a complete Java VM security sandbox escape, as well as to execute arbit...

Google Launches New Security Dashboard

Google launched a “Devices and Activity Dashboard” to offer users more control over which devices connect to their Google accounts and prevent unauthorized access, according to a company blog post. The dashboard provides a snapshot of the devices that connect to the user’s Google account, along with details including the last time their account was accessed, the location and the web browser used. This list...

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