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  1. Electricity and CRISPR used to write data to bacterial DNA Although it's inefficient, we can use voltage changes to write data to bacteria. Enlarge Rizlan Bencheikh and Bruce Arey, PNNL 14 with 11 posters participating In recent years, researchers have used DNA to encode everything from an operating system to malware. Rather than being a technological curiosity, these efforts were serious attempts to take advantage of DNA's properties for long-term storage of data. DNA can remain chemically stable for hundreds of
  2. Google will add a "Privacy practices" section on each Chrome extension's Web Store page listing what data they collect from users and what the developer plans to do with it. Google said today it plans to add a new section on the Chrome Web Store where extension developers will be able to disclose what user data they're collecting from users and what they plan to do with the information. The new section is set to go into effect on January 18, 2021, and will appear as a "Privacy practices" button on each extension's Web Store listing. To aid the p
  3. Another day, another Spotify acquisition. This time, it’s podcast advertising platform Megaphone, which the music streaming giant announced it was buying earlier today, in an attempt to beef up its advertising chops as it expands its roster of podcast programming. The acquisition accomplishes a few things for both the buyer and buy-ee. On Spotify’s end, the acquisition allows the major brands currently working with Megaphone to funnel some of their major brand bucks through Spotify’s systems, which will help Spotify pinch off a bigger chunk of the roughly $1 billion
  4. A new survey from the National Cybersecurity Association (NCSA) shows adult workers vastly overestimate the security of the internet devices in their homes. The Nest Learning Thermostat is displayed at a Home Depot store. As COVID-19 forced companies to embrace remote working, home networks transformed into office networks. That’s proving a problem for CISOs. “You can’t just assume that people know how to stay secure in this moment,” NCSA chief operating officer Sylvia Layton told SC Media.
  5. Details about hackers obtained the files remain unclear. Ransomware gang also threatened to leak the source code of Watch Dogs: Legion, an upcoming Ubisoft game. A ransomware gang going by the of Egregor has leaked data it claims to have obtained from the internal networks of two of today's largest gaming companies — Ubisoft and Crytek. Data allegedly taken from each company has been published on the ransomware gang's dark web portal on Tuesday. Details about how the Egregor gang obtained the data remain unclear. Ransomware gangs lik
  6. Court records in an arson case show that Google gave away data on people who searched for a specific address. There are few things as revealing as a person's search history, and police typically need a warrant on a known suspect to demand that sensitive information. But a recently unsealed court document found that investigators can request such data in reverse order by asking Google to disclose everyone who searched a keyword rather than for information on a known suspect. In August, police arrested Michael Williams, an associate of singer and accused sex
  7. Marketing firm parts with massive trove of customer data The last time an Apollo effort went this badly, Tom Hanks made a movie about it. Marketing intelligence (read: data broker) startup Apollo fessed up to being the victim of a massive theft that saw it reveal something in the neighborhood of nine billion points of data and contact information of 212 million people. As per usual, the massive trove was discovered online in a misconfigured database that had mistakenly been set to be accessible by anyone. Those "data points" include things like addresses and
  8. Hacker was selling 141.5GB of data from Huazhu Hotels Group. He also attempted to blackmail the hotel chain to pay for its own data. Huazhu Hotels Group Ltd, a China-based hotel chain, announced this week that Shanghai police arrested the hacker who was selling data on millions of its customers online, on the dark web. The arrest was announced on Monday, September 17, by the hotel group in an investors message, and confirmed two days later by Shanghai police for Chinese media. Police did not release the man's man, but according to local reports, the hacker i
  9. A team of Dutch scientists has reportedly managed to 'teleport' information between two computers. The news came through a publication in a popular science journal, where they claimed to exchange data between two computers despite a lack of any connection. The technology used during this breakthrough has led Professor Ronald Hanson to claim that it would be possible to teleport ourselves with distance in the future. What we are teleporting is the state of a particle. If you believe we are nothing more than a collection of atoms strung together in a particular way, then in principle it should b
  10. Emergency powers to ensure police and security services can continue to access phone and internet records are being rushed through Parliament. Prime Minister David Cameron has secured the backing of all three main parties for the highly unusual move. He said urgent action was needed to protect the public from "criminals and terrorists" after the European Court of Justice struck down existing powers. But civil liberties campaigners have warned it will invade people's privacy. Mr Cameron defended the move in a joint news conference with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, saying it was about maint
  11. Late last year, the U.S. government accidentally revealed that a sealed complaint had been filed against Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. Shortly before this was made public, the FBI reconfirmed its investigation of WikiLeaks was ongoing, and the Wall Street Journal reported that the Department of Justice was optimistic that it would be able to extradite Assange. Soon after, portions of sealed transcripts leaked that implicate WikiLeaks and Assange in directing hackers to target governments and corporations. The charges against Assange have not been officially revealed, though it’s pl
  12. The vast majority of televisions available today are "smart" TVs, with internet connections, advertising placement, and streaming services built in. Despite the added functionality, TV prices are lower than ever — especially from companies like TCL and Vizio, which specialize in low-cost, high-tech smart TVs. There's a simple reason that smart TVs are priced so low: Some TV makers collect user data and sell it to third parties. Did you get a 4K, HDR-capable TV this past holiday, perhaps on sale? Millions of Americans did. Massive TVs with razor-thin fr
  13. Government says hackers breached 30 computers and stole data from 10. Hackers have breached the computer systems of a South Korean government agency that oversees weapons and munitions acquisitions for the country's military forces. The hack took place in October 2018. Local press reported this week[1, 2, 3] that hackers breached 30 computers and stole internal documents from at least ten. The breached organization is South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), an agency part of the Ministry of National Defense. I
  14. Cyber-security company Trend Micro says the personal data of thousands of its customers has been exposed by a rogue member of staff. The company says an employee sold information from its customer-support database, including names and phone numbers, to a third party. It became suspicious after customers started receiving phone calls from scammers posing as Trend Micro staff. The company says it has contacted those whose details were exposed. Trend Micro said it believed approximately 70,000 of its 12 million customers had been affected. "It's every securi
  15. Quito big deal A street in Ecuador. That car is probably in the database... IF YOU'RE EVER asked the population of Ecuador in a pub quiz, the answer is somewhere in the region of 17 million people. That number is quite awkward, as an enormous leak exposed by ZDNet and vpnMentor has uncovered a database with information on 20.8 million Ecuadorian citizens. The reason for this discrepancy is twofold: duplicates and the deceased. Otherwise, if you live in Ecuador, then the chances are that you're on this list. The site was able to find records for Ecuador
  16. Car smash-and-grab ends with loss of payroll details for 20,000 employees Facebook has lost a copy of the personal details of 29,000 of its employees after hard drives containing unencrypted payroll information were stolen from an employee's car. The antisocial network said it is in the process of informing those who were exposed, though so far there is no indication of the purloined details being used for fraud, it is claimed. "We worked with law enforcement as they investigated a recent car break-in and theft of an employee’s bag containing co
  17. India has proposed groundbreaking new rules that would require companies to garner consent from citizens in the country before collecting and processing their personal data. But at the same time, the new rules also state that companies would have to hand over “non-personal” data of their users to the government, and New Delhi would also hold the power to collect any data of its citizens without consent, thereby bypassing the laws applicable to everyone else, to serve sovereignty and larger public interest. The new rules, proposed in “Personal Data Protectio
  18. GOOGLE KEEPS A SCARY AMOUNT OF DATA ON YOU HERE'S HOW TO FIND AND DELETE IT Everything you do online when you're signed into Google, and even some stuff when you aren't, becomes a part of your Google profile, but you can wipe the slate clean with these steps. Google collects a staggering amount of personal information about its users -- possibly even more than you realize. Google remembers every search you perform and every YouTube video you watch. Whether you have an iPhone ( $870 at Walmart ) or Android phone, Google Maps logs everywhere you go, the
  19. IBM said its cloud and cognitive software revenue -- which includes Red Hat -- was up 8.7% to $7.2 billion. IBM published its fourth quarter financial results on Tuesday, with a full quarter of Red Hat now in the fold. The company is showing signs of a return to growth, although year-over-year revenues were up just slightly for the quarter and still down overall for 2019. For Q4, IBM reported a non-GAAP EPS of $4.71 on revenue of $21.8 billion, up 0.1% year-over-year. Analysts were expecting earnings of $4.68 per share on revenue of $21.64 billion.
  20. A year ago, we asked some of the most prominent smart home device makers if they have given customer data to governments. The results were mixed. The big three smart home device makers — Amazon, Facebook and Google (which includes Nest) — all disclosed in their transparency reports if and when governments demand customer data. Apple said it didn't need a report, as the data it collects was anonymized. As for the rest, none had published their government data-demand figures. In the year that's past, the smart home market has grown rapidly, but th
  21. (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc has a promotion for U.S. shoppers on Prime Day, the 48-hour marketing blitz that started Monday: Earn $10 of credit if you let Amazon track the websites you visit. The deal is for new installations of the Amazon Assistant, a comparison-shopping tool that customers can add to their web browsers. It fetches Amazon’s price for products that users see on Walmart.com, Target.com and elsewhere. In order to work, the assistant needs access to users’ web activity, including the links and some page content they view. The catch, as Amazon
  22. New court documents reveal the government is investigating the Capital One hacker for 30+ other breaches. Paige A. Thompson, the hacker accused of breaching US bank Capital One, is also believed to have stolen data from more than 30 other companies, US prosecutors said in new court documents filed today and obtained by ZDNet. "The government's investigation over the last two weeks has revealed that Thompson's theft of Capital One's data was only one part of her criminal conduct," US officials said in a memorandum for extending Thompson's detention pe
  23. PARIS (Reuters) - Facebook has agreed to hand over the identification data of French users suspected of hate speech on its platform to judges, France’s minister for digital affairs Cedric O said on Tuesday, adding the deal was a world first. The move by the world’s biggest social media network comes after successive meetings between Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg and French President Emmanuel Macron, who wants to take a leading role globally on the regulation of hate speech and the spread of false information online. So far, Facebook has cooperated wit
  24. Abandoning the tech giant's services, like Gmail, maps and Chrome, offers some privacy gains, but it's not easy to do. A hearty few are taking the ultimate step to keep their files and online life safe from prying eyes: turning off Google entirely. SAN FRANCISCO – In the small South Carolina town of Newberry, Bob’s Red Mill muesli cereal is hard to come by. That presents a challenge for resident Gregory Kelly, who can’t get enough of the stuff. He’d rather not truck the 40 miles or so to Columbia to stock up on it, but he’s also loath to buy it from the company
  25. BEIJING/HANGZHOU, China (Reuters) - In China, the sales maxim of ‘know your customer’ is being taken to new lengths. One of the first firms to join an Alibaba Group Holding Ltd program that provides years of consumer shopping history, snack food chain Bestore Co Ltd plans to link facial recognition technology with the e-commerce giant’s account data by the year’s end. For customers opting to have their facial data in Bestore’s systems, that means shop assistants will be able to check on what food they like the moment they enter one of its stores.
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