Latest Technology News

What the FREAK? Huge SSL security flaw stems from US government backdoor

What the FREAK? Huge SSL security flaw stems US government backdoor

Seven hours is all it takes to crack the encryption that is in place on some supposedly secure websites. Security experts blame the US government's ban on the use of strong encryption back in the 1990s for a vulnerability that has just come to light. Named FREAK (Factoring attack on RSA-EXPORT Keys), the flaw exists on high-profile websites including, ironically, NSA.gov.

Restrictions that limited security to just 512-bit encryptions were lifted in the late 90s, but not before it was baked into software that is still in use today. The ban on the shipping of software with stronger encryption apparently backfired as it found its way back into the States. Security experts say the problem is serious, and the vulnerability is relatively easy to exploit.

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Qualcomm challenges Apple's fingerprint sensor tech with new Touch ID rival

Snapdragon sense

Fresh from a few big mobile announcements at MWC, Qualcomm has announced a new fingerprint sensor technology to compete with Apple’s Touch ID.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Sense ID is a new technology using ultrasonic waves to create a 3D fingerprint of the user, offering more depth than Touch ID, which uses an area-type capacitive 2D fingerprint.

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7 ways to maximize your Android and Apple contacts

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I’m sure you all know that your smartphone contacts app has long been essential for storing contact information, but while storage is its typical use, Android and Apple devices contacts are not limited to that function.

There are several nifty tricks you can use to lever the full potential of your contacts list. Here are seven of the best.

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iPhone 6 and Surface Pro 3 win at MWC 2015 Global Mobile Awards

iPhone 6 and Surface Pro 3 win at MWC2015 Global Mobile Awards

MWC 2015 has seen all manner of exciting smartphones, tablets, wearables and other goodies, but the event is not solely about brand new products. It's also a chance to look back on the past year and reflect on the highlights. Today Microsoft and Apple were among the companies picking up gongs for their products.

Both were to be found in the prestigious Best Mobile Handsets and Devices section. Apple's iPhone 6 shared the best smartphone award with the LG G3, and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 picked up the prize for best mobile tablet. Plenty of other awards were handed out in recognition of innovative technology products.

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Will the Galaxy S6 help Samsung challenge Apple once more?

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On the surface, Samsung’s position as the world’s second largest smartphone vendor seems formidable. The firm’s mobile division posted profits of £1.1 billion for the fourth quarter of last year and its most recently released flagship phone, the S5, has sold more than 12 million units worldwide since its launch.

However, all is not well with the South Korean technology giant.

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Essential NetTools: 15+ networking tools in one free suite

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Troubleshooting network problems can be a nightmare, even for Windows experts, but equipping yourself with the right software can make all the difference.

As we wrote last month, NetCrunch Tools is a useful collection of common network management tools, an easier way to access old standards like Ping and Traceroute.

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Pebble unveils higher-quality Time Steel -- lower-cost alternative to Apple Watch

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The upcoming Apple Watch looks beautiful, but it has some problems. The most apparent is the cost; rumors are pegging it to start around $350, skyrocketing much higher, depending on the materials you choose. Plus, battery life may be problematic, causing daily or multi-day charges.

The biggest downfall to the Apple Watch, however, is that it is tied to iOS; it will not work on Android, which limits its market. A good alternative is Pebble, as its watches are cross-platform and offer extremely long battery life. The recently-announced Pebble Time has a color screen, but still looks a bit cheap. No worries, as the Pebble Time Steel is here, featuring prettier materials and giving Apple something to worry about. The best feature? Battery life up to 10 days!

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Google reneges on its promise of encryption by default for Lollipop devices

Google reneges on its promise of encryption by default for Lollipop devices

Not wanting to be outdone by Apple, when it was announced that iOS 8 would encrypt data by default, Google felt compelled to follow suit. Back in September Google said that in Lollipop "encryption will be enabled by default out of the box, so you won't even have to think about turning it on". But six months is a long time, and it now seems that Google has had a change of heart.

Well, as noted by Ars Technica, many of the Lollipop handsets appearing at MWC 2015 -- including the Samsung Galaxy S6 -- do not have encryption enabled. Of course there is nothing to stop users from manually enabling it, but that's not really the point; the idea was that you "won't even have to think about turning it on". So what gives?

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Monitoring third-party security is a major concern for enterprises

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A new study carried out by Forrester Research for security rating company BitSight Technologies reveals that third-party security has become a major concern for enterprises.

The results show that when it comes to tracking third-party risk, critical data loss or exposure (63 percent) and the threat of cyber attacks (62 percent) rank as the top concerns. These come above standard business issues, including whether the supplier could deliver the quality of service they were contracted for.

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DDoS attacks have major impact on service providers

DDoS attack

A majority of service providers have experienced some form of DDoS attack and have experienced loss of revenue or customers as a result.

This is among the findings of a new report by security and DDoS protection specialist Black Lotus. Only 16 percent of service providers said they'd rarely or never experienced a DDoS attack whilst 35 percent are being hit by one or more attacks each week.

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Embed Twitter-hosted videos on your own site with new widget

New Twitter video widget draws followers to your profile

It just became a whole lot easier to embed Twitter-hosted videos on websites. A newly launched widget makes it possible to add the video from a tweet to a website without the need to embed the entire tweet. It's a neat-looking solution that makes it simple to embed videos without unnecessary, distracting page furniture.

It works in just the same way as embedding an entire tweet, and it provides a way for Twitter to drive traffic back to its own site rather than other video services, whilst simultaneously making life easier for embedders and helping to pull in followers from other sites.

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Avast 2015 update brings remote access for all, integrates browser cleanup

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Avast Software has released a new version of Avast Free Antivirus 2015, Avast Internet Security 2015 and Avast Premier 2015.

The big change is that the premier Access Anywhere feature has been replaced by a new Remote Control tool available via the Account screen in all editions (click Account, scroll down to My Other Devices).

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Google Play turns 3, but users get the gifts

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It seems like Google Play has been with us as long as Android, but in truth it hasn't, although that's only due to a name change for the store that was there from the start. Now the modern version of that store is celebrating a birthday. It's been three years since the relaunch of the app, which comes with most, but not all, Android devices.

In celebration of this momentous occasion Google is offering up some deals, and they span across all manner of things -- from apps and books, to movies and music. Steep discounts are being given for many things and a dedicated page in the store will give you the list.

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Android apps crash more than iOS apps

Android apps crash more than iOS apps

With MWC 2015 underway in Barcelona, the tech world is laser focused on mobile devices at the moment. Whether your mobile device preference is an iPhone, an Android handset or a Windows Phone device, your decision will have been swayed by a number of things -- price, brand reputation, knowledge of the ecosystem, and range of apps. Android may be the most popular choice at the moment, but this appears to be in spite of problems the platform suffers form.

A new report from Crittercism suggests that Android apps crash more frequently than their iOS counterparts. But this is not the only bad news for Google's mobile operating system; the report also finds that the fragmentation of Android persists.

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BlackBerry will keep making smartphones -- unveils Leap mid-ranger, new slider

BlackBerry The Slider

BlackBerry shipped an insignificant number of smartphones last year, but the Canadian maker is not giving up the fight yet. Today, at MWC 2015, it announced a new mid-range handset, called Leap, and revealed an upcoming slider phone, which CEO John Chen referred to as "The Slider".

Leap is clearly not designed for the typical BlackBerry aficionado, as the smartphone is an all-touchscreen affair, with no physical QWERTY keyboard in sight. Such designs have not helped BlackBerry woo consumers nor business clients so far. The Slider though is the more conservative of the two, looking at it from the perspective of BlackBerry fans.

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