Mark Wyciślik-Wilson

Until Apple patches this security flaw your VPN traffic might not be secure

Rainbow Apple logo

The recently open sourced ProtonVPN has issued a warning about a bug in iOS that leaves some VPN traffic unencrypted.

Apple is yet to release a fix for the VPN bypass vulnerability which affects iOS 13.3.1 and later. The flaw means that some connections may exist outside of the secure VPN tunnel for several hours, leaving traffic open to interception and potentially exposing users' real IP addresses.

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Microsoft will release off-schedule patch for VPN connectivity problems caused by buggy update

Microsoft is racing to prepare an out-of-band patch that will hopefully fix VNP problems introduced by February's KB4535996 update. This update was released to address search and print problems in Windows 10, but users complained of slowed performance, issues with sleep.

On top of this, Microsoft also acknowledged that the update could cause connectivity problems for VPN users, as well as for various applications. With so many people currently remote working, there is pressure to get these issues addressed, hence the rush job on an out-of-band fix.

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Zoom apologizes for Facebook privacy fiasco and updates app to stop data sharing

Zoom on iPhone

After an investigation by Motherboard's Vice, video-conferencing app Zoom was found to be sharing user data with Facebook. Data was being sent from iPhones to Facebook, regardless of whether users had Facebook accounts or not, and the fact that data was being shared was not made apparent in privacy policies.

Zoom's popularity has skyrocketed recently, with more and more people looking for remote working solutions during coronavirus lockdowns. Now the company has apologized for the secretive data sharing, saying that it takes privacy extremely seriously. There's also a new version of the app available that doesn't use the Facebook SDK.

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Operation Poisoned News used local news links to hit iPhone users with spyware

iPhone spyware

Research published by security firms Trend Micro and Kaspersky reveals details of a watering-hole campaign targeting iPhone users.

Dubbed Operation Poisoned News, the campaign used malicious links on local news websites to install the LightSpy malware. Hackers have been exploiting vulnerabilities in iOS to install the spyware which can gather huge amounts of information and can also be used to take remote control of a device.

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Microsoft asks Xbox developers to limit games updates to reduce strain on the internet

Blue Xbox controller

The internet is currently straining under the pressure of millions of people around the world working from home or self-isolating because of the coronavirus pandemic. There is additional strain because of people using homeworking as a reason to using streaming video services and online gaming more.

Many tech companies have had to take steps to meet increased demand, with the likes of Netflix reducing video quality to cut back on bandwidth. Now Microsoft is asking that developers limit the updates released for Xbox games.

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Why is Zoom secretly sharing data with Facebook?

Zoom icon

With so many people now working from home, video conferencing service Zoom has become a household name virtually overnight. But while millions of users appreciate the ability to connect with the office, colleagues, friends and family for free, a worrying privacy issue has been found.

The Zoom iOS app has been spotted sharing data with Facebook... even for users that don't have a Facebook account. So what's going on?

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MX Player launches free movie and TV streaming service in US, UK and more

MX Player

MX Player is not only a nifty media player, for some time it has also offered free streaming services in India. Now this is expanding into seven new markets including the US, the UK and Australia.

While not linked to the coronavirus pandemic, the offer of free entertainment will please many people who find themselves stuck at home. MX Player is home to both licensed and original content, which is currently enjoyed by 175 million monthly users.

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Facebook is doing more to promote reliable information about coronavirus

Facebook coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has people around the world searching for information about what they should and shouldn't be doing, as well as news about the spread. But there is a lot of misinformation out there, and social media platforms are breeding grounds for such harmful content to spread.

Facebook has been taking steps to counter misinformation about COVID-19, not only on the main Facebook platform, but also on Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Now the company is expanding its efforts to connect people with trustworthy information about coronavirus.

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Google gives Chrome users the option to always show full URLs in the address bar

Cartoon Chrome logo

Google's decision to hide the start of website URLs from Chrome's omnibox was a little controversial. While replacing https://www. and http://www. with icons indicating whether the site was secure or not, many people preferred being about to see that the HTTPS protocol is being used through the presence of those five letters.

If you're one of these people, there's some good news: Google seems to have been listening. Having previously implemented an experimental option to show full URLs on a one-off basis, preview builds of Chrome for macOS, Windows and Linux have a new "Always show full URLs" option.

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Piriform releases privacy-, security- and speed-focused CCleaner Browser 80.0

CCleaner Browser

Avast-owned Piriform is best known for its CCleaner software, a tool designed to help you clear out the crap from your computer. Now, after a preview period, the company has launched the Chromium-based CCleaner Browser 80.0.

Promising "no ads, no tracking, no junk[and] built-in security" CCleaner Browser is billed as a fast browser that gives users easy-to-use privacy tools that help to reduce digital footprints.

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Microsoft releases an official fix for the Windows Defender bug

Microsoft has released KB4052623, an update that addresses an issue with Windows Defender that was preventing scans from running properly.

While a workaround had been suggested by some, now there is an official fix available which should banish the "Windows Defender skipped an item due to exclusions or network protection settings" error message.

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Microsoft may hide the Control Panel in Windows 10

Microsoft building in California

If you've used any version of Window before Windows 10, you'll definitely be familiar with the Control Panel. It's still present in Windows 10, but with various updates to the operating system Microsoft has been gradually encouraging people to use only the Settings app.

With just about every update to Windows 10, the prominence of the Control Panel has been reduced to the point that it's a bit of a chore to get to. According to references found in Windows 10 insider Build 19587, Microsoft could be on the verge of hiding or removing the Control Panel completely, or at least elements of it.

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise warns of SSD flaw that kills drives after precisely 40,000 Hours

Stop us if you think you've heard this one before, but Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is warning customers to install a critical patch to stop certain SSD models from dying after 40,000 hours of use.

With echoes of a flaw that was revealed in November that caused drives to fail after 32,768 hours, HPE advises its customers to install a critical firmware upgrade if they use one of several SAS Solid State Drive models. The firm predicts that no drives should fail until October 2020 -- so there's plenty of time to act -- but it is still important to take action.

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Microsoft, Facebook, Slack and others support #BuildforCOVID19 Global Online Hackathon


There are numerous technology companies that have agreed to offer their services for free as the world tries to tackle the coronavirus crisis, and others who have taken steps to reduce their strain on the internet. Tomorrow, #BuildforCOVID19 Global Online Hackathon kicks off, with many of the big names from the world of tech coming together to tackle some of the problems COVID-19 presents.

There are also numerous partners from the health community, including the World Health Organization, and the aim is to come up with software solutions that can be used to improve health and hygiene, help with social isolation, assist in education, and help businesses stay afloat.

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Microsoft is pausing all but essential security updates for Windows 10

Square Microsoft store logo

Microsoft is putting Windows 10 into coronavirus lockdown. The company has announced that from May it will only be releasing security updates for the operating system, as it puts all optional updates on pause.

New versions of Edge have already been put on hold and it is little surprise that, in light of coronavirus, Microsoft is choosing to focus its energy on the updates that matter the most. The decision means that no more so-called "optional C and D releases" will be release from May.

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