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WhatsApp issues 24 hour ban for WhatsApp Plus users
Jan 22nd 2015

WhatsApp has started giving out 24 hour bans to those using a third party Android app to send and receive messages through its service.

WhatsApp Plus - also known as WhatsApp+ - allows you to customize the app with different colours and themes, and also offers the option to block contacts from seeing when you were last online while still allowing you to see when others were.

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People happily give away their (bad) passwords to TV reporter
Jan 22nd 2015

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2011!

Yes, it's a time warp in password land, according to the yearly list of the 25 worst passwords collected by password management app company SplashData.

It's a fresh list, but this bakery's full of stale bread.

Welcome back, 123456 and password! You've been glued to the top two spots since the company first put out a list in 2011!

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Crackers take over social media accounts of US Central Command
Jan 12th 2015

United States Central Command, better known as CENTCOM, is responsible for US military operations in the Middle East.

As you can imagine, "owning" any part of CENTCOM’s social media presence would make for some serious bragging rights in the hacking scene, as well as attracting a fair amount of public attention.

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Google Stops Security Updates For Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
Jan 12th 2015

Up to 930 million Android devices could be at risk following a change in policy at Google’s security team which means any vulnerability that affects WebView - which renders web pages on an Android smartphone or tablet - will only be fixed if it affects version 4.4 KitKat or later.

Google has not made this policy public, and it was only discovered by independent researcher Rafay Baloch and Rapid7’s Joe Vennix, both of whom have discovered a number of WebView exploits.

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Zero-day in Windows 8.1 disclosed by Google
Jan 3rd 2015

Some situations in life call for a zero-tolerance policy. Drunk driving, sexual harassment and murder come to mind. But do security vulnerabilities pass the test?

Google seems to think so. Google’s Project Zero team publicly disclosed a zero-day vulnerability in Microsoft Windows 8.1 on December 29th after giving the software giant 90 days to patch the flaw.

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Japanese newspaper makes bold claim about Mt Gox's giant 2014 Bitcoin loss
Jan 2nd 2015

If you're a Bitcoin user, you'll know that 2014 was a bit of an annus horribilis for the "freedom currency."

Bitcoins are effectively cryptographic puzzles that are claimed by the first person to solve each one, and thereafter traded at a value agreed between buyer and seller.

That makes them into a cash currency, more or less, but without any central backing or, for that matter, regulation.

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EU to demand 2-factor for online payments by August 2015?
DEC 22nd 2014

The European Banking Authority (EBA), the EU body tasked with supervising and regulating the banking sector, has issued a new set of guidelines on the security of internet payments.

Among much else, the new instructions [PDF] seem to require payment service providers (PSPs) to ensure two-factor authentication (2FA) is used to verify the identity and intentions of all customers in online transactions.

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Bitcoin-based messaging could slip past censors
DEC 19th 2014

A computer science student in the Netherlands has built a way to weave messaging into the underpinnings of Bitcoin that's both cheap and resistant to censorship.

And, because messages would be baked into the Bitcoin structure itself, they would be unerasable, meaning that countries would have to keep the messaging service if they wanted to use the virtual currency, and therefore would have to potentially put up with dissidents.

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US Congress OKs 'unprecedented' codification of warrantless surveillance
DEC 15th 2014

Congress last week quietly passed a bill to reauthorize funding for intelligence agencies, over objections that it gives the government "virtually unlimited access to the communications of every American", without warrant, and allows for indefinite storage of some intercepted material, including anything that's "enciphered".

That's how it was summed up by Rep. Justin Amash, a Republican from Michigan, who pitched and lost a last-minute battle to kill the bill.

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Ofcom mulls selling UK govt's IPv4 cache amid IPv6 rollout flak
DEC 15th 2014

The UK is in danger of falling behind the rest of the world in rolling out IPv6 networking, while Ofcom sees pound signs and focuses on workarounds, it's claimed.

In a thought-provoking blog post, internet policy expert Emily Taylor digs into the UK's adoption of IPv6 - an upgrade to internet infrastructure that experts have been pushing for more than a decade.

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