Tech News Today for March 23, 2017
Tech News for Thursday March 23, 2017
Wikileaks wants to give you a friendly reminder to update your Mac and your iPhone. And their way of telling us this is by droppong a new trove of Vault 7 documents. These are called "Dark Matter", which contain documentation for CIA projects that can infect Macs at the firmware level. These CIA documents are over a decade old and all of the holes that were exploited on the Mac and the iPhone have been fixed, as long as you've gotten your updates. Still, this didn't stop Wikileaks from scary name dropping of tools like DarkSeaSkies and The Sonic Screwdriver, which would allow the CIA or another attacker to attack through a USB stick. Read more at theverge.com.
In 2016, 50 percent of all the active Android phones in the world didn't receive a security patch -- with many not getting any OS updates in more than a year. Google disclosed this shameful stat in a Google's annual Android Security Year in Review released Thursday. In that post, Google's security team said it is working on new ways to make it easier for its hardware partners and telecommunications companies to issue Android OS updates and patches to the public. Google issued Android software updates to 735 million devices from more than 200 manufacturers in 2016. Adrian Ludwig of the Android security team told TechCrunch Thursday that last year it was able to cut wait times for OS security updates from about six to nine weeks down to just a few days by working with carriers and manufacturers. But these updates largely only make their way in any remotely timely fashion to high-end, flagship devices. Read more at techcrunch.com.
It's now easier for internet service providers to use, sell, and share our information without our consent, so get ready to see more creepy ads that seem to know you a little too well. The Senate just voted to roll back FCC rules that would prohibit companies like Verizon and Comcast from sharing our data. Critics of the broadband privacy rules that Congress passed in the waning months of the Obama administration say that it targets broadband providers unfairly, but privacy experts call this a crushing loss to privacy. Read more at businessinsider.com.
You're either going to love or hate this, but the emoji reactions you see on Facebook posts -- the hearts and smiley and sad faces, and the iconic thumbs up like -- are all coming to Facebook Messenger. As are @ mentions. So, the next time you're chatting with a friend in Facebook Messenger, if you use the service, you'll be able to call a friend into a convo by typing the @ sign and then their name. And if they like what you said, you might get a heart emoji of approval in return. Read more at newsroom.fb.com.
Instagram now offers two-factor authentication to everyone. What's private on Instagram? Good question. Many people have private Instagram accounts, it's understandable that people would want to keep that private. Beyond that, a lot of people use the direct private messaging tool in Instagram and that could also be something you wouldn't want hacked. Also, impersonation could be an issue. Read more at wired.com.
Jason Howell is out, so Megan Morrone is joined today by Nathan Olivarez-Giles. Tech News Today streams live weekdays at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at twit.tv/live. You can subscribe to the show and get it on-demand at twit.tv/tnt.