Recent Articles By Charlotte Henry [RSS]

Comscore Firm Distributes Man-In-The-Middle Proxy Spyware to MacOS

· · Link

Dramatic interpretation of a hacker plying his trade

Airo Security uncovered Man-in-Middle Software proxy spyware being distributed to macOS. It came via Comscore subsidiary firm VoiceFive.  In a paper released this week, researchers explained the issue, which put sensitive data at risk.

This Comscore spyware installs a proxy on ports 8888, 8443 and 8254, where it captures all machine’s SSL/TLS traffic of the user. The spyware is being installed as a bundled application that is offered along with the installation flow of other software products. It installs a local system certificate which any application then automatically trusts. If that’s not enough, it imposes a severe security breach by not generating a unique certificate for each machine on which it is installed but rather installs the exact same root certificate for all machines. This is a known bad practice, to say the least, and was in the heart of the infamous “Lenovo Superfish” case of 2015 issued at the time by the US Department of Homeland Security.

Spotify: The Game Show Could be on the Way

· · Link

Not content with music and podcasts, Spotify could be getting into game shows and reality TV.. Music Business Worldwide reported on an intriguing job advert for a Reality Formats Lead it unearthed.

MBW has spotted a job ad for a Los Angeles-based Reality Formats Lead at Spotify, who will oversee the company’s exclusive content strategy within the ‘Reality’ category… One of the most interesting parts of the job description, however, is this: The Reality Formats Lead’s remit will include “shopping fully realized IP to television networks while leveraging existing and new relationships with talent and premium networks.” This suggests that not only does Spotify want to create and publish original audio content in this category, it wants to create original entertainment content for television.

Microsoft Surface by Sir Jony Ive

· · Link

Microsoft Surface Laptop

Speculation is rife about what Sir Jony Ive will work on after he has officially left Apple. On ComputerWorld, analyst Rob Enderle speculates that Sir Jony could end up designing a Microsoft Surface device. I think this is highly unlikely, for a number of reasons, but it is certainly an intriguing idea.

if I were to put something like this together, I’d co-brand it with Jony’s name so that buyers knew that if they wanted a product designed by Jony Ive, this was it. Regardless of whether you believe Cook’s position or not (I clearly do not), the fact is that with Jony gone from Apple and opening his own shop that future Jony Ive products are going to come from, his new customers won’t be his old employer. So, I’m anticipating a line of products from someone with name recognition. And since I’m suggesting that line be the Microsoft Surface, a “by Ive” name would be the most powerful way to achieve it. At the very least, an Apple customer would see a “Surface by Ive” name and at least consider it, where they might not even look twice at any other PC.

Marriott Set For Major GDPR Fine

· · Link

Marriott Hotel

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), announced its intention to fine Marriott after it suffered one of the biggest data breaches in history, BBC News reported. The announcement of the £99m ($125.23) fine came a day after ICO announced its intention to fine Britsh Airways a record £183.39 ($226.22 million).

Marriott International’s president, Arne Sorenson, said: “We are disappointed with this notice of intent from the ICO, which we will contest. Marriott has been co-operating with the ICO throughout its investigation into the incident, which involved a criminal attack against the Starwood guest reservation database. “We deeply regret this incident happened. We take the privacy and security of guest information very seriously and continue to work hard to meet the standard of excellence that our guests expect from Marriott.” The ICO said that Marriott had failed to properly review Starwood’s data practices and should have done more to secure its systems. “The GDPR makes it clear that organizations must be accountable for the personal data they hold,” said Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham.

YouTube to Return to Fire TV After Agreement

· · Link

Google and Amazon appeared to have settled their streaming dispute. Consequently, users will once again be able to get YouTube via Fire TV. Wired reported that Prime Video will come as standard on Android televisions.

On Fire TV, the official YouTube app will show up in the ‘Your Apps and Channels’ and support playback in 4K HDR at 60fps plus Alexa voice control integration. YouTube Kids is coming later in 2019. Interestingly there’s no mention of YouTube on Amazon’s Echo Show smart display, one of the devices caught up in the tit-for-tat fight over the past few years between Google and Amazon. (We’ve asked Amazon to clarify this). As for Prime Video, it is already available on some Android TV models, such as Sony’s, but this new detente means that Amazon’s subscription service will now feature as standard alongside Netflix and the rest

Huawei Working With UK Mobile Providers Rolling Out 5G Network

· · Link

Huawei’s presence in the UK 5G network has long been controversial. The Observer reported that mobile operators are ignoring security fears and working with the Chinese firm.

The Observer understands that Huawei is already involved in building 5G networks in six of the seven cities in the UK where Vodafone has gone live. It is also helping build hundreds of 5G sites for EE, and has won 5G contracts to build networks for Three and O2 when they go live. The decision to use Huawei in the “non-core” parts of their networks – chiefly the radio systems allowing wireless communication – is a gamble for UK telecom operators. They may be left counting the cost if the government bans the Chinese company from any involvement with 5G.

Creators, Influencers, And How They Apologise

· · Link

Dr Disrespect influencer

I’m fascinated by the rise of creators and influencers. Such people dominate platforms like YouTube, Twitch, and Instagram. However, sometimes they get called out for doing something wrong. The Verge published an interesting look at how people like Dr. Disrespect go about apologizing.

Apologies can be a big deal for creators. They’ve become a staple in YouTube’s beauty community, with personalities like James Charles and Tati Westbrook pulling in millions of views for videos responding to controversies. By using their main channels to post apologies, those creators confront their issues head-on and show a willingness to accept responsibility for whatever happened. But other creators may not want their core fans to see them apologize. Posting on alternate platforms allows creators like Paul and Beahm to acknowledge an issue and say they’ve addressed it while largely sweeping things under the rug.

Sony is Working on a Rollable Phone

· · Link

While Samsung is stilling working to get its foldable phone released, others are trying to find new form factors. Techradar reported on rumors that Sony is developing a rollable phone.

Considering the lack of solid evidence to back up these claims, we wouldn’t bet your house on them just yet. They are, however, an intriguing hint about where Sony and the rest of the industry might head next. We’ve previously seen patents from Sony detailing how rollable (and foldable) phone screens could work. We also know that LG – tipped to be supplying Sony with flexible screens – has the expertise to make displays that roll up. Add in the news that the likes of LG and Samsung are apparently busy developing rollable smartphones of their own, and this new rumor about a Sony device starts to sound a lot more credible.