Millions of smart TVs in China may have collected data without the knowledge of viewers about Wi-Fi networks found within range and attached devices.
According to the South China Morning Post, an owner of a Skyworth smart TV posted last month on a Chinese technical forum that their suspicions were aroused when they felt their TV’s operation had slowed down, and wondered what background processes might be running.
The unnamed user examined the code running on his Android-powered Skyworth TV, and discovered it was scanning for devices connected to their family’s Wi-Fi every 10 minutes, scooping up information:
What do they collect?
“TV App installed in users TV sends back the hostname, mac, ip and even the network delay time. It also detects the surrounding wifi SSID names, The mac address is also packaged and sent to this domain name of gz-data.com.” GZ-Data.com is the domain name of Gozen Data, a data analytics company that specializes in delivering targeted advertising to smart TVs.
You most likely have heard how important it is to protect your privacy and the information you share online. To demonstrate this, we are going to try something new; we are going to show you how to research yourself and discover what information is publicly known about you. The process is called OSINT, a fancy way of saying Open Source Intelligence.
If Google sticks to its roadmap, by this time next year Chrome will no longer allow websites to use third-party cookies, which are cookies that come from outside their own domains. The change theoretically makes it vastly more difficult for advertisers to track your activities on the web and then serve you targeted ads.
Because of course Google doesn’t want to kneecap the online ad industry — the one it dominates and from which it makes all its money. Instead, Google wants to replace the third-party tracking cookie with a complicated set of (bird-themed) technologies that are meant to let ad companies target specific demographics like age and location, while at the same time allowing the people who are targeted to remain anonymous.
Tor is the encrypted, anonymous way to browse the web that keeps you safe from prying eyes, right?
Well, no, not always.
Blogger and security researcher Chloe spent a month tempting unscrupulous Tor exit node operators with a vulnerable honeypot website to see if anyone was looking for passwords to steal.
In all, the trap sprung for twelve exit nodes, raising a finger of suspicion for them and reminding us that you can’t get complacent about security even if you’re using Tor.
Tor is a bit of heavy duty open source security software that’s famously used to access anonymous, hidden services (the so-called Dark Web) but, more commonly, used as a way to access the regular internet anonymously and in a way that’s resistant to surveillance.
Tor (short for The Onion Router) works by sending your encrypted network traffic on an eccentric journey between Tor ‘nodes’. At each step along the way each Tor node helps keep you safe by never knowing what’s in your message and never knowing more about your data’s journey than the node it came from and the next one it’s going to.