Mark Wyciślik-Wilson

Google boosts Chrome bug bounties

Google Chrome logo

Bug bounty programs have become a popular way for companies to unearth security issues in software and address them quickly. Google is no stranger to such programs, and it has just announced massive increases to the payouts made for finding vulnerabilities in Chrome.

Some rewards have doubled while others have tripled, taking the maximum compensation for reporting a security flaw in Google's web browser -- and other Chromium-based browsers -- to an impressive $30,000.

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Slack resets hundreds of thousands of passwords following data breach

Slack has just been made aware of additional information about a security breach that took place back in 2015, forcing the company to reset the passwords of around 1 percent of its users.

The company announced earlier this year that it has a daily userbase of over 10 million people, so this means that a huge number of users are affected by the incident no matter how much Slack tries to downplay it.

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Google is closing a Chrome API loophole to make Incognito Mode more secure and private

Google HQ logo

Following increasing awareness that using Incognito Mode in Chrome can be detected, and it is still possible for sites to track your online behavior when you're using it, Google has announced upcoming changes that will close a loophole.

The update is due at the end of this month and it addresses a chink in the FileSystem API. Google says the change are coming in Chrome 76, and will also make it harder for publishers to determine when people are trying to bypass paywalls.

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Microsoft is ripping SMS Connect from Skype... Again

Skype on laptop

Microsoft has announced that it is cutting the SMS Connect feature from Skype at the end of August.

The feature -- which makes it possible for Android users to send and receive text messages via Skype on their computers -- has been dropped in the past but made a reappearance last year. But now Microsoft is trying to push people into using the Your Phone app instead.

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Microsoft warns thousands that they are victims of state-sponsored hacking

Microsoft ElectionGuard

Microsoft has revealed that it has issued warnings to nearly 10,000 people that they are the targets or victims of state-sponsored hacking.

The announcement comes as Microsoft showcases election systems running Microsoft ElectionGuard which not only helps to increase security, but also makes voting more accessible. Microsoft reveals that the vast majority of the state-sponsored attacks targeted enterprise customers, but there were still a significant number of regular consumers affected.

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F-Secure's Data Discovery Portal reveals what the big tech companies know about you

F-Secure Data Discovery Portal

In an age where people want -- even expect -- everything for free, particularly online, the price we pay for using various services is our privacy. Social networks are obvious collectors of personal data, but it doesn't end there... and who really knows what information has been collected about them over the years?

This is what F-Secure hopes to cast a light on with its new Data Discovery Portal which aims to "expose the true cost of using some of the web's most popular free services". It covers Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Snapchat and Twitter.

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Apple pushes out another emergency security update to fix videoconferencing vulnerabilities

Angled Apple logo

Having released a silent update last week to protect Zoom users from webcam hijacking, Apple has now pushed out a second security patch that is silently installed in the background.

This second patch addresses issues with the RingCentral and Zhumu videoconferencing tools. These apps suffered from a very similar vulnerability, putting users at risk, so Apple has stepped in once again to neutralize the problem.

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Google kills off its censored Chinese search engine, Project Dragonfly

Google logo on Chinese flag

Google has decided to close down its controversial Project Dragonfly which would have seen the company launching a censored version of its search engine in China.

The company's vice president of public policy, Karan Bhatia, made the revelation speaking at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday. She said simply: "We have terminated Project Dragonfly".

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Apple's 2019 MacBook Air is significantly slower than last year's model

13-inch MacBook Pro

When Apple announced the 2019 refresh of its MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, attention was focused on the reduction in price and a boost to hardware.

But while much was made of the addition of True Tone to the Retina Display and the lower starting figure, it seems that the price cut comes at the price of performance. Tests show that the 2019 MacBook Air's SSD is actually slower, significantly slower, than last year's model.

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You need to update your Logitech wireless dongle to avoid falling victim to MouseJack hacking

Logitech Unifying Reciever

If the word MouseJack seems familiar, it's because it as been around for a while. It is a remote access hack that emerged a few years back that took advantage of a vulnerability in some Logitech wireless dongles, as well as hardware from other manufacturers.

Being at least three years old, you would expect that patches would have been addressed -- and they were. But a large number of devices are still at risk because Logitech failed to recall the affect units that were on sale so there's a chance that if you bought a Logitech wireless keyboard, mouse or standalone dongle in the last few years, you could be at risk.

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Twitter redesign rolls out on the web

Twitter redesign 2019

Twitter is rolling out a faster, redesigned version of its website, bringing not only a new look to the desktop, but also a range of new features.

It's now possible to bookmark tweets -- something users have been asking for for a very long time -- there is a darker dark mode, and the Explore feature from Twitter's mobile apps makes its way to the web. There's certainly a lot to like, but the fact that the new look is not optional is likely to grate with some users.

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German schools ban Microsoft Office 365 because of privacy concerns

Office 365

The German state of Hesse has banned schools from using Microsoft Office 365 because it fears the software opens up student and teachers' private information to the risk of "potential access by US authorities".

The Hesse Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (HBDI) believes that Office 365 is in contravention of GDPR legislation, and also expressed concerns about the collection of telemetry data by Windows 10.

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Europe relies on American GPS as its own Galileo system suffers massive outage

Galileo

Europe's Galileo satellite network -- used by satnavs, financial institutions and more -- is in the throes of a huge outage. The system has been down since Friday meaning that travelers (and others) in Europe have instead had to fall back on the American Global Positioning System (GPS) -- or even Russia or Chinese systems.

Galileo has been struck by what is being described as a "technical incident related to its ground infrastructure", and it's not clear when the situation will be remedied.

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Microsoft blocks Surface Book 2 owners from upgrading to Windows 10 1903

Microsoft Surface Book 2

Having just removed some of the blocks that were preventing people from installing Windows 10 May 2019 Update (Windows 10 version 1903), the company has now introduced a couple more obstacles -- including for its own devices.

One of the new blocks prevents Surface Book 2 owners from installing the update, while another affects systems with Intel 4 series chipset integrated GPUs.

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AMD Ryzen 3000 causes boot problems for some newer Linux distros

AMD Ryzen 3000 series

Just last week AMD launched its latest Ryzen 3000 series of CPUs. The third-generation Ryzen chips are the first to be based on 7nm technology, but there is a problem for users of some Linux-based systems.

For distributions based on newer versions of the Linux kernel, an issue renders systems unable to boot. Some users have managed to patch the systemd component with an older version to allow successful booting, but a BIOS update from AMD is what's needed.

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