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Court rules it is not illegal for GCHQ to hack computers

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Privacy International has lost a court case that questioned the legality of GCHQ's hacking operations. The UK-based privacy and human rights charity launched a legal campaign after Edward Snowden revealed the spying and surveillance that was being carried out by the NSA and GCHQ.

In the course of the case, GCHQ admitted for the first time that it was involved in hacking devices and computers not only in the UK, but around the world. The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) ruled that activities such as the installation of keyloggers, the remote activation of microphones and cameras, and the use of malware by the intelligence agency is entirely legal.

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Everything you need to know about SIM swap scams

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In today’s mobile-centric world, using mobile phones for Internet banking is standard practice for most people, but do customers know they could be at risk of a new type of scam?

SIM swap fraud, where scammers cancel and re-activate new SIM cards to hack into bank accounts, is reportedly on the rise.

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PSA: Time to switch to Google Photos as Picasa shuts down

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It has been a long time coming, but when 15 March rolls around Google will no longer support the desktop Picasa app -- and this is just the start of the shutdown. Picasa is being gradually shuttered in favor of Google Photos as the search giant focuses its energy on a single photo service.

So what does this mean for Picasa fans? Well, the good news is that there's nothing to do in terms of migrating content from one service to another. Picasa Web Album content can be viewed, edited and shared through Google Photos, but if you don't want to migrate then it will be archived from 1 May.

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It's too easy to breach a bank

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I arrived onsite to suite 102 -- the bank’s corporate headquarters -- around 9:40 am. I was impersonating a local utility worker -- with all the garments like a hardhat, clipboard, obnoxious yellow vest, and some old Timberland work boots. I played the part well.

When I approached the suite I saw a giant glass entrance into the main office of the bank with a secretary minding the entrance and questioning visitors. I also noticed employees were entering and exiting an unmarked door at the end of the hallway -- no cameras to be seen. I proceeded slowly past the main entrance and then ran to catch the secured door as it was closing behind an unsuspecting employee. I was in!

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Pedophiles are reportedly using Facebook to share images of children

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An investigation by the BBC has found that secret groups on Facebook are being used by pedophiles to share images -- and Facebook doesn't seem to be doing much to control such activity.

The BBC reportedly unearthed numerous private groups which were both run by and for men with a sexual interest in children. One group was found to have a convicted pedophile as its administrator. Despite many of the groups and images being reported to Facebook, not all of them were removed, raising the question as to whether Facebook is doing enough to combat pedophilia.

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binvis.io is the visual way to analyze binary files

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Exploring the structure of binary files can be very useful for identifying malware, and tools like PeStudio and HxD may help point you in the right direction.

But if you find they bury you in fine detail, when you’re more interested in the big picture, then you might like to try another approach.

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Samsung to plant Trojan horse in Apple's yard

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Samsung already has a bunch of its apps on iOS, but this year the company plans to bring the majority of its apps to the App Store. In fact, it's quite possible that all of Samsung's apps will be available for iPhones and iPads soon.

To many, this decision comes across as counterintuitive considering Samsung's rivalry with Apple. However, there’s no reason for Samsung not to make money off of Apple. In fact, it’s a smart decision that will support its position on the market, while Apple will likely take a hit, which may not seem quite that obvious.

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Better customer experience can turn travel searchers into bookers

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When people are booking travel, companies like travel agencies, hotel chains and airlines have an opportunity to gain a loyal customer.

But a new survey of more than 500 travelers from data science specialist Boxever suggests that the window to turn searchers into bookers and beat the competition is a narrow one.

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Electronic toys maker wants to blame parents for data breaches

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Electronic toys maker VTech has recently been a victim of a cyber-attack, which has seen the data of more than 6.3 million children exposed. The hackers got access to chat logs and photos.

Following the breach, VTech has updated its End User License Agreement, saying the company can’t provide a 100 percent guarantee that it won’t be hacked. It also shifts the responsibility back to the parents:

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Get your legs moving, Asics buys RunKeeper app

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As a society we tend to put an emphasis on being physically fit. There may be more diet plans out there than there are people to follow them. But honestly, there's no substitute for a smart meal plan and exercise, nothing fancy is needed.

If you exercise then you're likely familiar with the name Asics, a popular manufacturer of running shoes and clothing. To keep it all in the family, the company has now purchased FitnessKeeper, maker of one of the top running apps available in the mobile space. The app can track more than just runs, though. It handles walking and cycling as well, using GPS to calculate distance and pace.

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Samsung Gear S2 Classic smartwatch now available in rose gold or platinum

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While Apple did not invent the smartwatch, it certainly pioneered the luxury-focused variants. Before the Apple Watch, many smartwatches were merely geeky extensions of smartphones -- now, they can be fashion statements (with premium prices).

Today, Samsung goes the luxury route too, with its Gear S2 Classic. The existing device is now being sold with beautiful 18k rose gold or platinum plating and genuine leather bands. Should you pay the premium?

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Best Windows apps this week

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One-hundred and sixty-seven in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps and games released for Windows 8.x and Windows 10 in the past seven days.

Microsoft revealed information about the highly anticipated game Quantum Break this week. Initially thought to be an Xbox One exclusive, the company announced that it will also be made available for Windows 10 on the same day.

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Adblock Plus wants to know why you're blocking ads (!)

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Adblock Plus has been in the headlines quite a lot recently. Adblocking is certainly popular, but the company needs to strike a balance between keeping users happy, and maintaining a good relationship with advertisers. The Acceptable Ads program is part of this, but at its second #CampDavid session there have been some further ideas about the future of adblocking.

There was talk about what should be viewed as an 'acceptable ad', and an Acceptable Ads Committee will oversee this. But the discussion between Adblock Plus and advertisers brought up an important question: just why do people install adblockers?

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Social engineering tops the hacking pops

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Hackers are constantly seeking new ways to attack systems and gain insider access to data. A new survey from IT security company Balabit reveals the 10 most popular hacking methods to help companies understand how to protect themselves.

The survey of almost 500 IT security practitioners reveals that social engineering is the most popular means of attack. Hackers aim to get a 'low level' insider user account by means of phishing and escalate its privileges.

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ISP filters could be harming UK users’ love lives

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Content filters are supposed to protect you from bad stuff, but they can have unexpected side effects and block things you want to access.

As we approach Valentine's Day a new survey by UK broadband comparison site Broadband Genie has discovered that filters may be preventing Brits from finding love by blocking online dating sites.

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