Mark Wycislik-Wilson

Security researcher 'concerned' to find Twitter is not deleting your deleted direct messages

Using Twitter on smartphone

When you delete a direct message on Twitter, it is gone forever, right? From a user's point of view, this is true -- a deleted message vanishes. But a security researcher has discovered that Twitter is actually hanging onto these messages.

Karan Saini found that he was able to see messages he deleted years ago when he downloaded an archive of his Twitter data from the site.

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How to check to see if your data was part of the Marriott Starwood Hotel hack

Marriott Hotel

When hackers hit Marriott's Starwood Hotel database last year, it was first thought that half a billion customers might be affected. This estimate was later downgraded to 383 million guests, but this is still a very large number, and it is understandable that many people are concerned that their data may have been accessed.

There was particular concern about whether passport numbers had been accessed, and this is what a new checking tool lets you check. Marriott has teamed up with security firm OneTrust to enable customers to check if their data was included in the security breach.

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Updated WSL in Windows 10 version 1903 lets you access Linux files from Windows

Access Linux files from Windows 10

The marriage between Linux and Windows is getting stronger. Having embraced Linux with WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux), Microsoft is now doing what users have been begging for: Windows 10 April 2019 Update makes it possible to access Linux files from Windows.

As well as enabling you to open Linux files from within Explorer, Windows 10 version 1903 gives you the option of editing Linux files from Windows.

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e is a thin and light entertainment-centric Android tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e

Samsung may be on the verge of officially unveiling its Galaxy S10 range of phones, but ahead of this the company announces its Galaxy Tab S5e tablet.

Being thin and light, there's a strong focus on portability here, and the display makes it perfect for movie watching. This is a 10.5-inch Super AMOLED screen with a 16:10 aspect ratio, and the bezels have been stripped right back. The tablet is driven by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor, comes with up to 6GB of RAM, and pricing starts at $400 -- which compares well with Apple's iPad.

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Fake news: OpenAI's 'deepfakes for text', GPT2, may be too dangerous to be released

Fake news robot

OpenAI -- a company backed by Elon Musk -- has created an artificial intelligence system called GPT2 that's capable of writing fake news. The system is also capable of generating works of fiction, and it has been described as being so dangerous that it may not be publicly released.

The stories written by GPT2 have been called "deepfakes for text" and can be generated by feeding the system just a few words. The style is far more sophisticated than most AI-generated text, and the news stories it can generate are so convincing that there are serious concerns about the potential for misuse.

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Facebook is ready to fight back against anti-vaxxers

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp tiles

The battle Facebook wages against the spread of fake news and misinformation could be set to expand to include removing anti-vaccination content from the social network.

The anti-vaxxer movement has long been fairly vocal, and it has found a home on Facebook. The viral spread of anti-vaccine groups on the social network has been blamed -- at least partly -- for outbreaks of measles in the US. Facing pressure to block the spread of dangerously misleading information, Facebook has said that it could demote anti-vaxxer content and remove it from recommendations.

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New concept video of iOS 13 is packed with exciting features

iOS 13

We won’t get a proper look at iOS 13 until Apple reveals it later in the year, but that isn’t going to stop people from coming up with some ideas of how the mobile operating system should look.

Just a couple of weeks ago we saw one iOS 13 concept video, and now another has surfaced. A collaboration between AppleiDesigner and Skyline News, this latest concept is packed with ideas to get excited about for iPhone and iPad users alike -- a redesigned status bar, system-wide dark mode, some great-looking wallpapers, and customizable lock screen elements.

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Google is bringing virtual desktops to Chrome OS

Chromebooks have fared far better than many people would have first thought when they first appeared on the market, and Google's Chrome OS is going from strength to strength. While not yet ready to topple either Windows or macOS, the operating system continues to gain features that make it increasingly appealing.

One addition that is on the horizon and likely to please many users and potential users alike is virtual desktops. This is something we have heard about before in relation to Chrome OS, but a recent commit to the Chromium Gerrit shows that "virtual desks" are being worked on -- and there's even a video showing off the feature.

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Final text of new EU Copyright Directive retains controversial content blocking of Article 13

European copyright

In an attempt to bring aging copyright laws up to date for the digital age, the European Parliament and European Commission have agreed the final text of the EU Copyright Directive.

After several rounds of intense negotiations, it was decided to retain the controversial Article 13 which can be used to block the uploading of content, and Article 11 which has been described as the "link tax". The directive will place the onus on the likes of Google and Facebook to ensure that users do not upload copyrighted content, leading to fears that this could mean the introduction of restrictive upload filters and make life difficult for smaller companies.

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Dirty_Sock vulnerability in Canonical's snapd could give root access on Linux machines

Dirty Sock

A security researcher has discovered a vulnerability in Canonical's snapd package which could be exploited to gain administrator privileges and root access to affected Linux systems. The security issue has been dubbed Dirty_Sock and assigned the code CVE-2019-7304.

Chris Moberly found a privilege escalation vulnerability in the snapd API. This is installed by default in Ubuntu -- under which proofs of concept have been tested and found to work "100% of the time on fresh, default installations of Ubuntu Server and Desktop" -- but may also be present in numerous other Linux distros.

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User data exposed in 500px security breach... that happened in the middle of last year


The photo sharing site 500px has revealed details of a security breach that took place in mid-2018.

The company says that its engineering team only became aware of the breach -- which is thought to have taken place around July 5, 2018 -- a few days ago. 500px launched an investigation in conjunction with a third party and police, and says that "an unauthorized party gained access to our systems and acquired partial user data".

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Google pivots Android Things to focus solely on smart speakers and displays

Android Things

Google has announced that it is dramatically narrowing the focus of Android Things, originally conceived as the company's wide-ranging IoT platform.

Now rather than being an OEM tool that can be used to produce just about anything for the Internet of Things, Android Things will instead be focused on just two product lines: smart speakers and smart displays.

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VFEmail hack wipes out all of the email provider's US servers

Holding email icon

Email provider VFEmail has been hit by a huge attack that resulted in all of the data it stores in the US being wiped out.

Describing the attack as "catastrophic", VFEmail revealed that a hacker had breached its security and succeeded in deleted not only primary data systems, but also the backups. The attacker was caught in the act, and it was possible to intervene before damage was caused to servers in other countries. But for VFEmail users whose data was stored in the US, the news is far from good.

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Gmail gets a new right-click menu

Gmail right click menu

It is not news that Gmail has a right-click menu; what is news, however, is the fact that it has been updated so it is now actually useful.

Google has gradually been updating Gmail over the years, and the refreshed context menu provides easy access to more message options. For control freaks, the new menu is a godsend and makes the web-based email tool more like using a desktop email client.

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Health experts call on Facebook to close anti-vaxxer groups


Facebook is under pressure to stem the flow of pseudoscience among its users. The social network has faced criticism and pressure about many issues including the dissemination of fake news and disinformation, and false information spread by anti-vaxxers is the latest target of concerned experts.

There has been much concern about how Facebook could be used to influence elections, but there are growing calls for the social media giant to step in and prevent anti-vaccinations groups from being used to spread false information. Despite medical evidence pointing to not only the efficacy but also the safety of vaccinations, the anti-vaxxer movement has found a home on Facebook which experts say is dangerous.

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