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Monthly Archives: August 2018

Facebook pulls ‘snoopy’ Onavo VPN from Apple’s App Store after falling foul of rules

Just say no to Facebook, they will never change, they can’t, because your private data is their product.

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Facebook has pulled its data-snaffling Onavo VPN from Apple’s App Store after the iGiant said the tech violated recently tightened rules.

Onavo is a free VPN app that pipes user traffic through Facebook systems under the pretext of protecting surfers from malware-tainted websites and other threats. The app, which the social network acquired in 2013, sends users’ data back to Facebook, even when the app is turned off.

Security advocates have blasted Onavo for being a privacy threat, as previously reported. Onavo Protect was separately criticised for allegedly harvesting users’ psychological profiles.

Facebook has been accused of using the data gathered through the app to track rivals and provide pointers on new product development. Data from Onavo lit the way for its 2014 purchase of WhatsApp as well as the social network’s excursion into live video in 2016.

Apple updated its App Store guidelines in June to ban “[collecting] information about which other apps are installed on a user’s device for the purposes of analytics or advertising/marketing”. Apple also informed Facebook that Onavo violated developer rules that prevent apps from using data beyond what’s needed to deliver the service on offer, The Wall Street Journal reported

Voting machine maker claims vote machine hack-fests a ‘green light’ for foreign hackers

But NSA code smacker says no, hackers perform a service

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Voting machine maker ES&S says it did not cooperate with the Voting Village at hacking conference DEF CON because it worried the event posed a national security risk.

This is according to a letter the biz sent to four US senators in response to inquiries about why the manufacturer was dismissive of the show’s village and its warnings of wobbly security in some systems that officials use to record, tally, and report votes.

Among the vendors singled out was ES&S, sparking Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Mark Warner (D-VA), Susan Collins (R-ME) and James Lankford (R-OK) to express concern that ES&S wasn’t serious about security.

“We are disheartened that ES&S chose to dismiss these demonstrations as unrealistic nd that your company is not supportive of independent testing,” the senators wrote in their letter [PDF].

“We believe that independent testing is one of the most effective ways to understand and address potential cybersecurity risks.”