More Than Half of Children's Apps Found to Fail at Protecting Information

More than 50 percent of Google Play apps targeted at children under 13 — we examined more than 5,000 of the most popular (many of which have been downloaded millions of times) — appear to be failing to protect data. In fact, the apps we examined appear to regularly send potentially sensitive information — including device serial numbers, which are often paired with location data, email addresses, and other personally identifiable information — to third-party advertisers.

Bannon, Seeing Facebook and Google as Necessities, Urges Regulation

Tech companies like Facebook and Google that have become essential elements of 21st-century life should be regulated as utilities, top White House adviser Steve Bannon has argued, according to three people who’ve spoken to him about the issue. Bannon’s basic argument, as he has outlined it to people who’ve spoken with him, is that Facebook and Google have become effectively a necessity in contemporary life.

Iranian Gov't Hackers Impersonated Woman Online to Lure Men

Hackers believed to be working for the Iranian government have impersonated a young female photographer on social media for more than a year, luring men working in industries strategically important to Tehran's regional adversaries, according to research published. The so-called Mia Ash persona has been active on sites including LinkedIn, Facebook, WhatsApp and Blogger since at least April of last year, researchers at Dell SecureWorks said.

Russian Agents Used Fake Facebook Profiles to Spy on Macron Campaign

Russian intelligence agents attempted to spy on President Emmanuel Macron's election campaign earlier this year by creating phony Facebook personas, according to a U.S. congressman and two other people briefed on the effort. About two dozen Facebook accounts were created to conduct surveillance on Macron campaign officials and others close to the centrist former financier as he sought to defeat far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen and other opponents in the two-round election, the sources said. Macron won in a landslide in May.

U.S. Airports to Begin Screening Electronic Tablets Separately

U.S. airline passengers will have to take tablet computers and other large electronic devices out of carry-on bags for inspection as the government phases in tighter screening prompted by fears terror groups can hide bombs in them. Most passengers already had to remove laptops from their bags when going through security, and now will need to remove e-readers, tablet computers and other devices so they can be X-rayed separately, the Transportation Security Administration announced.

Security Experts Fear More Cyber Attacks Amid U.S.-Russia Stalemate

The Trump administration's refusal to publicly accuse Russia and others in a wave of politically motivated hacking attacks is creating a policy vacuum that security experts fear will encourage more cyber warfare. In the past three months, hackers broke into official websites in Qatar, helping to create a regional crisis; suspected North Korean-backed hackers closed down British hospitals with ransomware; and a cyber attack that researchers attribute to Russia deleted data on thousands of computers in the Ukraine.

Greek Police Arrest Man Linked to Bitcoin Money-Laundering Scheme

Greek police have arrested one of the central figures in the Bitcoin exchange BTC-e on suspicion of money laundering. Russian citizen Alexander Vinnik was arrested in Greece at the request of US law enforcement, according to a Reuters report. The BTC-e exchange has long been a favorite of criminals, as its headquarters in Russia places it outside the reach of US and European law enforcement.

Google Wants U.S. Court to Stop Canadian Ruling on Search Results

Google is going south of the Canadian border to push back on a landmark court ruling that the tech giant must take down certain Google search results for pirated products Google filed an injunction with the U.S. District Court for Northern California, arguing that globally removing the search results violates US law, and thus Google should not be forced to comply with the Canadian ruling.

High-Tech Leaders Asked to Testify at House Hearing on Net Neutrality

The chairman of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee asked the chief executives of Alphabet Inc., Facebook In.c, Amazon.com Inc., AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and other companies to testify at a Sept. 7 hearing on the future of net neutrality rules. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is considering tossing out 2015 Obama administration net neutrality rules that reclassified internet service like a public utility. 

EU Pressures Facebook, Google, Twitter to Amend User Terms

European Union authorities have increased pressure on Facebook, Google and Twitter to amend their user terms to bring them in line with EU law after proposals submitted by the tech giants were considered insufficient. The European Commission and consumer protection authorities in the bloc wrote to the three companies in June, asking them to improve their proposed changes to user terms by the end of September, according to letters sent to the companies and seen by Reuters.

DHS Confirms End of Laptop Ban on Flights from 10 Muslim Countries

Passengers flying into the United States from airports in 10 Muslim-majority countries affected by the ban may now take their laptops and other large electronic devices into the cabin with them, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed. Security officials imposed the ban in March, warning then that the Islamic State was developing bombs that could be hidden in portable electronic devices.

Microsoft Uses Cybersquatting Laws to Pursue Russian Hackers

A new offensive by Microsoft has been making inroads against the Russian government hackers behind last year’s election meddling, identifying over 120 new targets of the Kremlin’s cyber spying, and control-alt-deleting segments of Putin’s hacking apparatus. Last year attorneys for the software maker quietly sued the hacker group known as Fancy Bear in a federal court outside Washington DC, accusing it of computer intrusion, cybersquatting, and infringing on Microsoft’s trademarks.

 

FTC Reviews Allegations About Amazon's Misleading Pricing

As part of its review of Amazon's agreement to buy Whole Foods, the Federal Trade Commission is looking into allegations that Amazon misleads customers about its pricing discounts, according to a source close to the probe. The FTC is probing a complaint brought by the advocacy group Consumer Watchdog, which looked at some 1,000 products on Amazon's website in June and found that Amazon put reference prices, or list prices, on about 46 percent of them.