Windows 10 spies on emails, images, credit cards, more

Software ‘collecting data on much of what you do’

Americans are still waiting for a resolution to the controversy that erupted when it was discovered that the National Security Agency was spying on everyone’s telephones – lawsuits still are pending and Congress is working on making changes to the law.

Now they’re learning that while the NSA was collecting telephone data, the newest version of the ubiquitous Windows software, version 10, is watching everything that’s on their computer.

“From the moment an account is created, Microsoft begins watching. The company saves customers’ basic information – name, contact details, passwords, demographic data and credit card specifics,” explains a new report from the online Newsweek.

“But it also digs a bit deeper,” the report says.

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Russian hackers used flaw in Microsoft Windows to spy on NATO, a new report says

WASHINGTON — A Russian hacking group probably working for the government has been exploiting a previously unknown flaw in Microsoft’s Windows operating system to spy on NATO, the Ukrainian government, a U.S. university researcher and other national security targets, according to a new report.

The group has been active since at least 2009, according to research by iSight Partners, a cybersecurity firm. Its targets in the recent campaign also included a Polish energy firm, a Western European government agency and a French telecommunications firm.

“This is consistent with espionage activity,” said iSight senior director Stephen Ward. “All indicators from a targeting and lures perspective would indicate espionage with Russian national interests.” Continue reading

600 million Apple devices contain secret backdoors, researcher claims

A security researcher considered to be among the foremost experts in his field says that more than a half-billion mobile devices running Apple’s latest iOS operating system contain secret backdoors.

Jonathan Zdziarski, also known by his online alias “NerveGas,” told the audience attending his Friday morning presentation at the Hackers on Planet Earth conference in New York City that around 600 million Apple devices, including iPhones and tablets, contain hidden features that allow data to be surreptitiously slurped from those devices.

During Zdziarski’s HOPE presentation, “Identifying Backdoors, Attack Points and Surveillance Mechanisms in iOS Devices,” the researcher revealed that several undocumented forensic services are installed on every new iPhone and iPad, making it easier that ever for a third-party to pull data from those devices in order to compromise a target and take hold of their personal information, including pictures, text messages, voice recordings and more.

Among the hidden functions running on iOS devices, Zdziarski said, are programs called “pcapd,” “file_relay” and “file_relay.” If used properly, he added, those programs can allow anyone with the right means and methodology to pull staggering amounts of data from a targeted phone, even when the rightful owner suspects the device is sufficiently locked. Continue reading