security alert

California Signs Cellphone ‘Kill Switches’ Into Law

(Photo: PC Mag)

Long live the kill switch.

Yesterday, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law its highly anticipated “kill switch” bill. Under the new guidelines, cell phones sold in the state are required to come with a button that makes the device inoperable if stolen or lost. Law enforcement officials said it works remotely and they hope the antitheft feature deters criminals from stealing phones.  Read More

True Crime

68% of People Would Put Themselves in Danger To Find a Stolen Phone, Survey Says

Prime theft target. (Wikimedia Commons)

If you thought the idea of tracking down an iPhone thief with a hammer was total lunacy, know this: in a new survey, nearly 70 percent of people said they’d willingly put themselves in danger to recover their stolen phone.

The stats come from Phone Theft in America, a report released today by mobile security company Lookout. Conducted in March 2014, the comprehensive survey measures things like where, when and how phones are most likely to be nabbed, and how much money theft victims would hypothetically pay to retrieve all the data on their stolen device. Read More

Hacked!

Visitors to Sochi Olympics Will Be Instantly Hacked

Richard Engel watches as his phone gets totally owned. (YouTube)

Proving yet again what a fabulous idea it was to stage the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, NBC has discovered that all the Games’ attendees can expect to immediately get hacked as soon as they get to Sochi.

“The State Department warned that travelers should have no expectation of privacy, even in their hotel rooms,” NBC’s Richard Engel said in a report on Brian Williams’s show last night. “And as we found out, you are especially exposed as soon as you try to communicate with anything.” Read More

Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart

Hack This Toilet and Make It Spray Water All Over Someone’s Butt

(Photo: naijagists.com)

Hey, you pranksters. Have you ever wanted to use your smartphone to hack a toilet, freaking out whoever is enjoying their after-coffee ritual by causing the seat to open and close and water to spray all over their sensitive areas? We’re about to make your Friday: according to information security company Trustwave Holdings, the fancy Japanese toilet Satis is easily hackable using just your cell phone. Read More

Hardware is the New Software

Meet Canary, a Super Simple New Home Security Device for Normals

(Photo: Canary)

The majority of home security systems are clunky, inefficient, expensive and not exactly ideal for renters. Chances are if you want to quantify your home the same way you quantify yourself, you have to sign a contract with a security behemoth like ADP and go through a lengthy install process to get the thing working. Canary, a new startup based in Soho, aims to change that. Read More

I'll Tumbl For You

Tumblr Asked You to Reset Your Password Because of a Pretty Embarrassing Security Hole

eeeeeeesh (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Last night, Tumblr product VP Derek Gottfrid posted a rather alarming communique to its users, far from the usual omg-we’re-just-so-darn-happy-to-announce gushing. “We have just released a very important security update for our iPhone and iPad apps addressing an issue that allowed passwords to be compromised in certain circumstances¹. Please download the update now,” the post read, emphasis theirs. Read More