Mark Wycislik-Wilson

PureVPN scrambles to defend itself against accusations of logging users

Last week it transpired that PureVPN had helped the FBI track down a cyberstalker from Massachusetts. This came as something of a surprise to other PureVPN users who were under the impression that using the service made them completely anonymous -- a belief strengthened by the company's assertion "We do NOT keep any logs that can identify or help in monitoring a user's activity."

Strictly speaking, this is true, but that's not to say that the company doesn’t maintain IP logs that can be used to identify users. The company does exactly this, logging IP addresses and timestamps, and this is how it helped the FBI. In a blog post, the company tries to explain this as it attempts to convince concerned users that it is not logging their activities.

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Android: DoubleLocker ransomware encrypts data and changes PINs

A new breed of Android ransomware has been discovered that hits victims with a double whammy. DoubleLocker not only encrypts data as all ransomware does, it also changes the PIN on the target device.

DoubleLocker was discovered by security researchers at ESET. They say that the ransomware abuses Android accessibility settings, and is the first to use a double-lock approach. Based on previously released banking malware, it is though that a test version of DoubleLocker could have been in the wild since as early as May.

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KRACK warning: Severe WPA2 security vulnerability leaves millions of devices open to attack

A severe security warning has been issued after Belgium researchers managed to exploit a serious vulnerability in the WPA2 wireless protocol.

Known as KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attacks), the vulnerability makes it possible to eavesdrop on Wi-Fi traffic. Millions and millions of devices are at risk -- Windows, Linux, Android and more -- but it is not known whether there is an active exploit in the wild yet. Details about the vulnerability were due to be released at 8:00AM ET (1:00PM BST), but the research paper has now been published early after someone leaked a draft version.

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Twitter vows to take a more aggressive approach to unwanted sexual advances, abuse and more

Jack Dorsey has promised that Twitter will take a more aggressive stance in applying its rules. The announcement came after the #WomenBoycottTwitter protest was used to draw attention to women being silenced.

The Twitter CEO also said that new rules will be introduced to try to counter "unwanted sexual advances, non-consensual nudity, hate symbols, violent groups, and tweets that glorifies violence."

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Samsung Connect Tag is a smart IoT tracker using narrowband technology

Samsung has unveiled the latest addition to its range of Internet of Things devices: the Samsung Connect Tag. It is designed to make it possible to keep track of anything you can’t bear to lose, from a bag or keys, to a child or pet.

Based on the Tizen operating system, the Samsung Connect Tag can be clipped to a range of objects and, using a combination of NB-IoT, Cat.M1, GPS and GLONASS, it will report the location of whatever it is attached to. It is described as the first consumer product to take advantage of narrowband technology.

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LinkedIn is testing autoplaying video ads

Looking for new ways to make money out of its professional social network LinkedIn, Microsoft is testing video advertisements. Currently in closed beta testing, video advertising is available to "a limited number of advertisers" and it may well prove unpopular with LinkedIn users.

Following a well-worn path set out by the likes of Google, Facebook and others, the video ads will autoplay. The one saving grace is that videos will play without sound, but this is unlikely to be enough to prevent them from quickly becoming an irritant.

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Windows 10 telemetry violates privacy laws

The data collecting activities of Windows 10 has landed Microsoft in trouble again. Investigating the telemetry built into the operating system, the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) has said that Microsoft's spying is a violation of local privacy laws.

Of particular concern to the authority is the fact that users are not clearly told that data will be collected in both Windows itself and Microsoft Edge. With Microsoft's web browser gathering data about every URL that's visited by users who have not opted out of telemetry, and Windows 10 itself sucking up detailed information about app usage, the DPA is concerned that users are not adequately informed or protected.

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Arrow Launcher for Android exits beta and becomes Microsoft Launcher

It came as something of a shock to people when Microsoft first released an Android launcher in the guise of Arrow Launcher. Now the company is making it more obvious who is behind the app, bringing the launcher out of beta and relaunching it as Microsoft Launcher.

Joe Belfiore only very recently admitted that Windows Phone is dead, and this is something that is borne out by Microsoft's increasing interest in developing iOS and Android software. What may well come as a surprise to many is that Microsoft Launcher is actually a decent piece of software.

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OnePlus opens up about its secret data collection and promises an opt-out opportunity

Last week it emerged that OnePlus has been secretly gathering a huge amount of data from handsets, revealing a wealth of personally identifiable information about their users. Now the smartphone company has spoken out in response to the uproar, and vowed to give users the ability to opt out of data collection.

Company founder Carl Pei took to the OnePlus community forums to explain why data was collected, stressing that OnePlus takes privacy seriously. But while Pei promises that an update is on the way by the end of the month that will introduce the ability to opt out of telemetry, users are still not happy, and many questions remain -- particularly about the secrecy involved.

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Download the Android Oreo beta for your OnePlus 3 or 3T

OnePlus has earned itself quite a reputation for pushing out new Android builds to its users, and it's no different with Android 8.0 Having previously announced that Oreo would be the last major update for the OnePlus 3 and 3T, the Chinese smartphone-maker has now made a beta version available to everyone.

Just last month, a closed group was given access to an early Oreo beta for the OnePlus 3, but now the OnePlus Open Beta program means that anyone who likes the idea of trying out Android 8.0 on their handset can do so.

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Women boycott Twitter to protest against women's voices being silenced

The sexual abuse and harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein are having some interesting side effects. Having temporarily banned actress Rose McGowan from its platform, Twitter today finds itself at the center of a boycott.

While it was initially thought that McGowan had been booted from the site for speaking out about Weinstein, Twitter insists it took action because she shared a private phone number in a tweet. But other users are making Friday the 13th an unlucky day for Twitter via the #WomenBoycottTwitter hashtag. Many women are choosing to boycott the site completely today to protest against the silencing of women, while others are using the trending topic to help raise awareness of abuse.

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Another Equifax security alert as support page leads to malicious fake Flash updates

Things have not been good for Equifax -- or its customers -- recently. Following a huge data breach earlier in the year, the credit reporting company has now suffered a new blow after it was discovered one of its support pages was redirecting to malware masquerading as Flash updates.

Just last month, Equifax revealed a security breach from May that exposed the personal details of around 145.5 million Americans and 15.2 million people from the UK. Now the company site has been found delivering fake Flash updates, and the offending page has been taken down.

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Download Microsoft Edge preview for Android

Microsoft only recently announced that its Edge browser would be coming to both iOS and Android -- and now the company is making good on its promise. A preview version of Microsoft Edge (described by the software giant as "unreleased") is now available on Google Play.

Based on Chrome's Blink engine, Edge for Android has a particular treat for anyone using Windows 10 Fall Creators Update -- they can take advantage of the "continue on PC" feature. This lets users start browsing the web on their phones, and then switch to a computer and pick up from where they left off.

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Google unbundles Android battery app and pushes it to the Play Store

Google has started -- just as OnePlus has -- to unbundle many of its core apps and make them available through the Play Store. The latest candidate to be stripped out of Android and give a Store release is its battery app.

Many people have been pleased to see such unbundling, as it makes it far easier for Google to release updates for individual components without having to wait for the next big Android update to roll out. But while many Android users will be happy to see the arrival of Device Health Services (as the battery app is named), it's not good news for everyone.

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[UPDATED] Twitter temporarily suspends Rose McGowan following Harvey Weinstein tweets

Rose McGowan -- one of many actresses to have spoken out about Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual abuse and harassment -- has been slapped with a temporary suspension from Twitter. The sanctions came after the Charmed and Nip/Tuck star talked about the Weinstein allegations.

While Twitter has not revealed exactly why McGowan's account was suspended, it followed her speaking out about sexual abuse, and telling Ben Affleck to "fuck off" after he said he knew nothing of Weinstein's reputation for sexual harassment.

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